** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of F&M approval for this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Experience how the influx of religious pilgrims to the sacred Ganges River has given rise to unique urban and environmental issues over the centuries. Through studying Hindi or Urdu language, living with a host family, and learning an Indian art form or artisan trade, you will be fully immersed in Varanasi's daily life!
The Fund for Education Abroad offers semester and summer awards for study abroad in India. Click here to find out more.
Enjoy our Varanasi program center’s prime location to witness year-round religious rituals on the nearby banks of the sacred Ganges River
Learn traditional Indian art forms or yoga theory straight from master teachers in the local community through the Culture in Practice field component
Boost your resume with a Directed Research project focused on a relevant topic of interest within the social sciences and humanities
Make lasting connections in your host community by living with Indian families and learning Indian customs that might be difficult to experience in any other way
Improve your critical language skills locally and begin to communicate with nearly 500 million Hindi speakers globally
Experience a completely different side of India by visiting historically and culturally significant places in West Bengal and the Himalayas
The City, the River, the Sacred program challenges you to examine the urban realities and geography that define Varanasi and place it in a greater context of national and global currents. This 15-credit semester is comprised of a core course and field component, plus Hindi or Urdu language and 2 electives. Students choose from three Culture in Practice field component options: music and dance, yoga and yoga theory, or artisanal apprenticeship, which take learning outside of the classroom and into local communities.
Franklin & Marshall Academic Policy
F&M requires all students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. You can typically find this information on the program partner's website. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. Many programs grant course credit in U.S. semester credit hours. Franklin & Marshall will award four F&M course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours. If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive (this includes summer study).
Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis. Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.
Courses taken off-campus may be able to satisfy major, minor, language or distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Non-Western Cultures or Natural Science Lab) in addition to general elective credit. Courses may fulfill more than one requirement. Please note that Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the College. If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.
Franklin & Marshall Housing Policy
Housing options during your off-campus study program will vary by program. Some programs may allow students to choose their housing option; other programs require all students to live in a certain type of housing. Typical housing arrangements may include apartments, homestays, or on-campus housing at a local university. Please visit the program homepage to determine your program's housing options or requirements.
Please note that some programs may offer students the option to pursue independent housing (outside of the regular housing options provided by the program). F&M does not allow students to choose independent housing unless there is a significant academic or cultural reason (such as wanting to live in a homestay when only apartment housing is provided). Independent housing carries many risks and F&M and the program provider cannot provide any support to students who pursue independent housing. Students who are interested in pursuing independent housing will need to contact their off-campus study adviser to petition for approval to pursue this option.
Financial Policy, Financial Aid and Scholarships
During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study. This includes federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants. In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on Franklin & Marshall tuition, cost of housing and meals from the off-campus study program, and an allowance for books and personal expenses. Your annual estimated family contribution as generated by your FAFSA will remain the same regardless of program costs. Students who receive Grant-in-Aid benefits will continue to access these benefits for the semester off-campus. This benefit is only available to students of eligible full-time F&M faculty and staff.