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India: Culture, Development, and Globalization

Culture, Development, and Globalization in India

  • Bangalore, INDIA: January 3-19, 2012 (January Term)
  • TRAVL-UG 9700 | 4 credits | Instructor: Ritty Lukose (NYU Gallatin)
  • LEVEL: Undergraduate, NYU students
  • TOPICS: Development studies, traditional v. modern culture, tourism, and more

Students are admitted on a rolling basis and programs may fill quickly. Students are encouraged to apply early.

students at Hoysaleshawara at Halebid standing before elaborately carved human figures on walls

Contemporary representations of India either paint the subcontinent as a vast treasure trove of exotic culture and tradition and/or as an emergent economic powerhouse, rapidly modernizing to overtake the West. Sitting uneasily between these two images is the idea of India as a third world country, struggling with disparities of well being by trying to "develop" itself. During this two-week course based in Bangalore, India, students are offered an interdisciplinary learning experience that explores the dynamics of culture and development within globalizing India.

Bangalore, considered the “Silicon Valley” of India, is at the epicenter of India’s information technology boom—its changing urban landscape a microcosm of third world urban development and globalization. In the classroom, students will be introduced to the philosophical underpinnings and practice of “development” as an important framework through which ideas of culture, economy, politics, tradition and modernity are organized and managed by the Indian state and international organizations. Background historical works will explore how the idea and practice of development are linked to colonialism and anti-colonialism, capitalism, nationalism and globalization. Readings will also explore the cultural politics of tradition, tourism, heritage and monuments and the environment in order to understand how tourism is linked to development.

Taught by a Gallatin faculty member and a faculty member of the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, students will have the opportunity to share classroom time, assignments and non-classroom learning experiences with peer undergraduate students of Srishti, who will take the same class.

Excursions will include visits to heritage sites and community based NGOs focused on environmental sustainability within Bangalore. Students will also travel to the state of Karnataka and neighboring Kerala, enabling students to understand how local NGOs and other community based organizations seek to leverage local communities, culture and history as a platform for development.

Gallatin students: This course fulfills 4 credits of the Interdisciplinary Seminar as well as the Social Sciences and Global Cultures requirements.


  • Undergraduate students of all NYU schools
  • Must have completed at least one full-time college semester before the course begins
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA, good academic & disciplinary standing
  • Admissions preference will be given to students who have taken either of the following Gallatin courses: Nationalisms in South Asia, Imagining India


  • Tuition, 4 credits: $4636
  • Deposit (applied to program costs, non-refundable): $400 
  • Program Fee: $1000

Program fee includes roundtrip flight, housing, mandatory excursions, some meals, and mandatory international health insurance, which is provided for the program duration.

Other Major Costs to Consider:

  • Fees for passport; fees for travel visa, if required
  • Fees for vaccinations (the CDC recommends certain vaccinations for travel to India)
  • Most meals

Financial Aid

The Gallatin Dean's Scholarship is available for this program. See our Financial Aid for Study Away page for details on eligibility and additional opportunities.

Important Travel Details

Housing: Students are required to reside in accommodations arranged by NYU Gallatin. In Bangalore, students will be accommodated in spacious, furnished double-occupancy rooms that have a TV, telephone with domestic and international calling facilities, and WiFi. This is a safe and secure facility with clean and comfortable accommodations. Outside Bangalore, students will be accommodated in suitable hotels.

Travel Documents: All program participants are required to have a valid passport, and certain participants might need a travel visa. These documents should be obtained well in advance of the program start date.