Arts and Religions of India

Trip Highlights

Take classes at an Indian arts center; study traditional music, dance, and arts with local masters; visit important religious sites and learn about the diversity of religions in India; explore the relationship between the arts and religions in India. “Arts and Religions of India” also involves some community service; summer abroad programs for highschoolers are rarely this all-encompassing, thought-provoking and fun!

Trip Description

Week One

Visit-a-Hindu-templeFly in to the high tech city of Bangalore where you will stay at the Sangam Arts Center. Visit a Hindu temple, go shopping in the markets of Bangalore, learn about Indian art from a well-known contemporary Indian artist, visit a nearby Jain pilgrimage center, take classes in Indian dance and movement; and spend a day with the girls at the Home for Abandoned Children.

Week Two

Travel by train to the coastal state of Kerala where you will explore the ancient spice markets of Cochin, visit the oldest synagogue in India, be introduced to the spectacular dance-drama form of Kathakali, and spend a day at the Home of Hope Orphanage. Then take the train to the Temple City of Madurai where you will visit the Meenakshi Temple, one of the largest temples in the world.

Week Three

From Madurai, travel by bus to a Christian pilgrimage center where there was a sighting of the Virgin Mary, spend a day at a Muslim Sufi Shrine, and end the week with a stay at Auroville, an intriguing village township dedicated to international unity, spiritual consciousness, and environmental sustainability.

“I went beyond my personal boundaries going into a country so different and socializing with people I have never met. This gave me a greater sense of independence, and also made me a more flexible person. Seeing the diversity, experiencing the culture and discussing issues widened my horizons and changed my perspectives.”
-Sierra Morgan, Bedford, NY

depart from Newark airportThroughout the journey, students experience daily Indian life by shopping at open markets, visiting Hindu temples, viewing Bollywood films, and swimming in the Bay of Bengal. The trip is also one of SAGE’s community service summer abroad programs for highschoolers, offering students the opportunity to serve at a home for abandoned girls, or a center that feeds and clothes street children. In the final days of the trip, SAGE students spend time reflecting and thinking critically about their summer study abroad experience, and discussing what they have learned over the course of the challenging but ultimately fulfilling journey.

Travel Details

Students and Trip Leaders meet and depart from Newark airport, then fly on to Bangalore, returning out of Chennai and back to Newark. The journey takes place in the southern part of India, in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.