Taking place in the rich cultural backdrop of India and Nepal, this program comprises courses on climate science, engineering, and policy. The first course introduces the physical-science basis of climate as well as the concept of urban and coastal resilience, focusing on preventing natural hazards from turning into catastrophic disasters in densely populated and vulnerable regions. The second course emphasizes climate adaptation and policy from urban to national and global scales. From chaos theory and natural catastrophe models to infrastructure and environmental design and policy, as well as Artificial Intelligence for climate risk management, the program balances academic intensity and cultural immersion, with each course ending in a climate change war game. The program explores how India and Nepal plan to manage climate risks and choose to participate in international negotiations. One point of discussion will be how developed and emerging or developing nations may learn lessons from each other in climate resilience.

From the majestic Himalayas of Nepal (including Mount Everest) and Sikkim (which borders with Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and Bengal) in India, to the beautiful coastlines of Kerala ("God's own country") and the cave sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora, from the megacities of Kolkata (the "city of joy" and arguably India's cultural capital) and Mumbai (the "maximum city" and India's financial capital) to forests, villages and slums, we will see the emerging economy of South Asia in all its glory and despair. Lessons that can be learned from history, including how a proud and tolerant civilization and possibly the largest contributor to the world's GDP can develop regressive tendencies and ultimately fall victim to ruthlessly destructive forces, as well as from modern times, about how a deeply wounded region can gradually rise from the ashes and reinvent itself, will be discussed. How distant lands and faraway times may offer way forward for the current generation of Americans and for humanity at large will be discussed and debated.

Group Flight Plans:

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2018
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime before the final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?
    • An Op-Ed in CNN by Frida Ghitis on August 29, 2017, was titled “Holland has solved this problem; why can’t the US?” The Dutch have developed innovative ways to manage natural and built infrastructures to tackle the resilience problem. In India, much has been made of the Mars mission, which is said to have cost less than the production cost of the movie Gravity, as an example of frugal innovation. In terms of natural disasters, there have been news articles (e.g., in the NY Times) on how lessons learned from the devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami helped save lives during the 2013 landfall of Cyclone Phailin. Based on these and similar considerations, how do you think natural disaster and climate risk management in the US can benefit through lessons learned from other countries, such as the technological progress in Holland and frugal innovation in India?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, 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

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.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • Possible Student Challenges: Travel within India and Nepal can offer occasional surprises and opportunities in solving unprecedented challenges


The courses provide a multifaceted view on climate change, emphasizing scientific, engineering, social, economic and policy dimensions. Studying climate extremes in India will allow students to observe firsthand the hazards faced by vulnerable populations. India’s rapidly developing economic sectors also provide insight into climate policy and mitigation strategy. Students will reinforce understanding of multi-party negotiations by participating in the final mock “climate change war game”.

Students can expect to deepen their understanding of climate science and policy through immersive experiences in the social, political and economic ramifications of climate adaptation and mitigation.

Time will be devoted to understanding local culture through tours and interaction with local guides and academics. Religious and economic diversity will be explored through excursions to Hindu and Buddhist holy sites and Dharavi, Asia’s largest (“poor little rich”) slum.

  • CIVE4777 - Climate Hazards and Resilient Cities Abroad : Focuses on the science of “global weirding”—unprecedented changes in weather caused by global warming and natural climate variability. Introduces the physical-science basis of climate, computer models of the earth system, statistical tools for the analysis of climate model, and remote sensor data. Also introduces the concept of urban resilience, focusing on preventing natural hazards from turning into catastrophic disasters in densely populated and vulnerable regions. Examines multifaceted aspects of resilience, including governance, emergency response, infrastructural, informational, social, and policy aspects. Encourages students to consider the science, engineering, and policy challenges in transforming vulnerable urban and coastal regions to climate-resilient cities and to examine how societies can learn from each other by comparing Boston with the country visited. Taught abroad.
  • CIVE4778 - Climate Adaptation and Policy Abroad : Explores how the country visited plans to adapt to climate change and natural hazards and how that country participates in international climate and emissions negotiations, within the context of its history and culture. Focuses on how an emerging economy adjusts to the reality of climate change/extremes and how citizens may drive decisions and policy. Incorporates topics from climate change, environmental sciences, civil and chemical engineering, remote sensing, social sciences, electrical engineering, computer science, and the management sciences. Encourages students to think about possible policy lessons for the United States. Offers students an opportunity to visit key sights. Culminates with a mock “climate change war game,” simulating an event in which international negotiators meet to formulate treaties on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Taught abroad.


Northeastern Tuition: $12,613
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $3,250
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals).

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


Additional Resources
  • Tentative Itinerary : This is a tentative itinerary for the DOC. A finalize itinerary will be supplied by your professor in Spring 2019
  • Website : 2015 DOC’s website.


As a mixed economy, combining aspects of both developed and underdeveloped economies, India offers interesting insights into mitigation and adaptation strategies. India provides illustrative examples of innovative climate mitigation opportunities across its economy. India also has many populations with vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards. In India and Nepal, students can observe firsthand threats of climate change and sea level rise to populations and agriculture. Students will also have the opportunity to experience holy sites, monasteries and Asia’s largest slum.

The U.S. State Department lists travel advisories, local laws, alerts from the embassy, and other important information about India and Nepal. Please review this information before applying.


  • Hotel: We will stay in high standard hotels and guest houses: most of the hotels will be located centrally with access to all amenities. Breakfast is included and internet access will be available in all the accommodations. At IIT Kharagpur students will stay in the IIT KGP Guest House.

Host University or Organization

The course includes visits to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and IIT Bombay.

Faculty Advisor