Students from the Claremont Colleges will have the opportunity to travel to India this winter in a three-week seminar course called “Contemporary Religious Leadership in India.”
Participants in the Delhi-based program, which is being offered by the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) Department of Religious Studies, will visit sites including Agra's Taj Mahal, Amristar's Golden Temple and the India-Pakistan border, as well as local temples, ashrams and mosques.
Students will focus on leadership in the context of the religions of India, including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and the Baha'i Faith. The program will also introduce students to nonprofit humanitarian organizations and help them locate possible future internships.
Participants will be assigned readings for the course, but the focus will be personal, hands-on learning.
“One of the reasons why I'm excited about this trip is that students will be able to actually hear and talk with people in India,” said CMC religious studies professor Cynthia Humes, who will be teaching the course.
The course has no minimum GPA or prerequisite classes, and the main requirement is interest in the material. Interest will be gauged based on an essay component of the application.
Students will receive one half credit for participating in the trip. They can receive another half credit in the spring semester, when Humes will teach an accompanying course. CMC students can use the credits to fulfill their general education requirement in humanities.
The application period for the course closed Monday, with 11 of the 12 spots filled, but students from the colleges may still be able to apply.
“We did get enough students to go, which is terrific, but one thing I'm disappointed by is that they're all CMC students,” Humes said. “Religious Studies is an intercollegiate major, so I was hoping to get some students from the other campuses. If students from the other campuses apply a little late, I wouldn't turn them away.”
The course will cost $1,950, not including transportation. Students will stay at a business hotel in Delhi throughout the program, which will run from Dec. 28 to Jan. 19. The program fee is lower than the actual cost of travel and living, Humes said.
CMC students on financial aid may be able to participate in the trip at a discounted cost. Students at the other colleges can contact their respective financial aid offices for further information on aid.