The Varanasi program allows students to examine the intersections between religious life, urban studies, and the environment in contemporary India. A challenging destination for U.S. undergraduates, Varanasi is a city that has stimulated scholarship on South Asia for hundreds of years. It offers boundless, rich opportunities for research, academic study, intercultural experience, and personal reflection. The program provides a structured, balanced blend of classroom and field-based learning, including a required language course and an individualized ‘culture in practice’ component.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: January 1, 2017
  • Deadline: April 1, 2017
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
Submit to Host University
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
  • Exception: This program will consider applicants who do not meet the cumulative GPA requirements in certain circumstances and/or with additional application materials. Please contact the GEO coordinator for more information.
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

Students must take 3 required courses:

  1. SOCI 360 Varanasi: City of Confluence
  2. Hindi or Urdu language
  3. CLTR 280 Culture in Practice: this field-based component provides the rare opportunity for students to go into the local community and study under master teachers (or gurus). Students will choose from three options – music and dance, yoga and yoga philosophy, or artisanal apprenticeships – and spend the semester examining the history and theories behind them as well as learning the skill or trade first-hand. More information about this component is currently available on Alliance’s Culture in Practice page.

You then choose an additional 2 elective courses in South Asian studies.

Students participating in this program are required to take five courses. Students will be charged Northeastern undergraduate tuition for 16 credits.  Should a student decide to transfer back a fifth course, he or she will then be charged an overload fee as defined on the Northeastern University Registrar’s website.

Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $24,280
  • Tuition covers 12-16 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed 16 credits. If a student elects to transfer back more than four courses (or 16 credits), then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Registrar’s website. 

International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • The International Security and Emergency Support Fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: July 1, 2017
  • Deadline: October 20, 2017
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
Submit to Host University
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
  • Exception: This program will consider applicants who do not meet the cumulative GPA requirements in certain circumstances and/or with additional application materials. Please contact the GEO coordinator for more information.
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

Effective Spring 2018 Semester, Northeastern students will follow a new credit conversion scale, as outlined below:

  • The credit conversion ratio is 1:1 (Alliance Baranas: Northeastern)
  • Students typically take five 3 credit courses for a total of 15 Alliance credits
  • A student will earn 15 Northeastern credits, if the student takes 15 Alliance credits
  • Course evaluations will not be impacted by the credit conversion change
  • You should plan on taking what is considered a full-time credit load at the host institution.

 

Students must take 3 required courses:

  1. SOCI 360 Varanasi: City of Confluence
  2. Hindi or Urdu language
  3. CLTR 280 Culture in Practice: this field-based component provides the rare opportunity for students to go into the local community and study under master teachers (or gurus). Students will choose from three options – music and dance, yoga and yoga philosophy, or artisanal apprenticeships – and spend the semester examining the history and theories behind them as well as learning the skill or trade first-hand. More information about this component is currently available on Alliance’s Culture in Practice page.

You then choose an additional 2 elective courses in South Asian studies.

Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $24,280
  • Tuition covers 12-16 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed this range. If a course load exceeds this then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Student Financial Service’s website.

International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • The International Security and Emergency Support Fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Destination

In Hindu mythology, the city is known as Kashi, a center for Hindu enlightenment, yoga, and learning, as well as the ideal final resting place for the devout Hindu. While the English name of Banaras still lingers, in Hindi and Urdu today it is Varanasi, a bustling city situated on the banks of India’s sacred river, the Ganges. Arguably the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Varanasi is a dense, diverse urban center in a close symbiotic relationship with a river that can be simultaneously understood as pure and polluted.

Among the holiest of places for Hindus, it is also home to a vibrant Muslim population and is located only a few miles away from Sarnath where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Locally-produced silk saris are sought after across India for traditional weddings, while musicians continue to teach classical Indian gharana in the city of its origin. A window into the ancient, spiritual, and cultural past of India, Varanasi is an example of the ways in which the ancient and modern coexist.

Accommodations

Please remember that Northeastern University does not arrange accommodations for you while you are abroad – this is your responsibility. You should follow all of your host institution’s or housing provider’s procedures and deadlines for obtaining housing. Failure to do so may mean you are not able to arrange housing through the program.

  • Homestay: The Varanasi program emphasizes cultural immersion, experiential learning opportunities, and extensive interaction with local residents in the host context. All housing arrangements are associated with an Indian host, and students should be prepared to share a room with another Alliance student.

Host University or Organization

The Varanasi program is based near Banaras Hindu University (BHU), one of India’s top research institutions. Founded in 1916, BHU has nearly 20,000 students, including 2,500 research scholars and 650 foreign students from across Asia and around the world. Many of the Alliance faculty members hold appointments within BHU’s various faculties and institutes.

Coordinators