“India Immersion” - Semester in South India
“India Immersion” is unique long term semester program offered to the University of IOWA and other US undergraduate students majoring in a wide variety of academic disciplines who have common interest in India. This course targets those students who have a keen interest to know more about India, understand the rich cultural heritage and the contemporary issues which are playing key role in building India as a strong nation.
This Course is conducted in a modular format with more hands on and immersion activities and open class sessions. In a semester long program, the courses introduced to the students include:
- Indian Culture and Civilization: This course seeks to introduce historical, religious, cultural and political trajectories of Indian civilization. It briefly outlines the vast diversity of Indian languages and literary traditions, classical and folk traditions of India The entire course is covered through lectures, field visits to historical places in north Karnataka to understand the urban forms and architecture of Karnataka, home stays with Local families during weekends and also supported by film shows on the Indian epics .
- Science, Technology and Sustainable Development: This course is to introduce students to development in India, and critically examine the current discourses on the domestic sociological, economic and ecological environmental effects of the current model of development. The course consists of class room lectures, student participation in field visit exposing the students to Agricultural issues, Water management issues, Traditional industrial methods etc, panel discussions, and discussions on video documentary films that highlight particular themes covered in the course. The course includes an innovative introduction to development studies through the medium of theatre with students participation in a futuristic English play titled ‘Foot Prints”
- Health and Environment: This course introduces students to India’s environment and health traditions as well as to its major contemporary scenarios. The course will also provide an overview of traditional and modern health care systems in India. The course consists of classroom lectures and discussions in the health care campus, Vivekananda Memorial Hospital Sargur and Kenchanahalli followed by field trips to Primary health centers, Medical college hospital biomedical waste management plant, forests etc.
- Indian Women, tradition and change: In this course the students are introduced to the myriad ways by which gender exercises its influence on Indian society, and how in turn is being influenced by it. The changing ideologies and strategies of the women’s movement that has a history of nearly two centuries are discussed in a critical perspective, so as to bring out both the green and grey areas. Class room lectures are supplemented by a nearly equal number of panel discussions, film reviews and field visits and interactions with grass roots level women groups, elected women representatives and members of autonomous women organizations
- Languages: Conversational Kannada Is introduced as it is the regional language. Introduction to Hindi or Sanskrit is available as an elective.
- Students also have a choice of courses on Yoga, Mridangam (drums), Sitar, Bharatanatyam (dance) and carnatic vocal music. Students may also take Indian cooking class as optional offered not for credit.