The New York State Independent College Consortium for Study in India (NYSICCSI) provides a rigorous, one-semester academic program each Fall that offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of historical and contemporary India; its religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions; and its evolving role within the international community.
As the world’s largest democracy, India offers a stimulating and challenging learning environment. The NYSICCSI program combines direct fieldwork experience and a comprehensive academic program of study in history, culture, language, literature, art, religion, politics, sociology, anthropology, and economics. Students travel to locales across northern India over the course of the semester, sampling the diversity of peoples and cultures that is modern India. The program’s goal is that each returns home with a deeply enriched understanding of one of the world’s most complex and vibrant countries.
Founded in 1989, NYSICCSI is one of the country’s oldest programs in India, combining today the efforts of faculty from St. Lawrence University and Hamilton, Vassar, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges in providing their students an academic term for full residential credit. The program is directed by a Faculty Director, and assisted by an in-country Resident Director, who together accompany the students at all times and oversee the curriculum, student travel and housing, and a rich menu of excursions and field trips.
Coursework includes the study of historic and contemporary India focused on a theme developed by the Faculty Director, Hindi language instruction, and an independent fieldwork project. Additionally, students earn a unit of academic credit for their pre-departure preparation, which includes participation the prior Spring semester in the Program’s pre-departure course and a program of preparatory summer work.
Faculty Director for 2017 is St. Lawrence University Professor of Art and Art History, Dr. Chandreyi Basu. Dr. Basu’s theme for the 2017 program is contemporary youth identity and culture, complementing her research interests in issues of identity formation, gender, patronage, and cross-cultural interaction in the ancient art of northwestern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.