IFSA Study Abroad
The City, The River, The Sacred

IFSA's The City, The River, The Sacred program in Varanasi, India is a chance to explore the intersections between religious practice, urban studies, and environmental issues in the ancient city of Varanasi. Arguably the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Varanasi serves as an important holy site for Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist communities alike. Today, this dense urban center is defined by its close symbiotic relationship with the Ganges River, which can be simultaneously understood as pure and polluted. Artistic and artisanal traditions thrive in Varanasi, known for its silk-weaving and pottery, as well as generations of mastery in classical Indian music forms.

IFSA's program center is the perfect location to witness year-round religious rituals on the nearby banks of the sacred Ganges River. Students can learn traditional Indian art forms or yoga theory straight from master teachers in the local community through the Culture in Practice field component, and boost their resumes with a Directed Research project focused on a relevant topic of interest within the social sciences and humanities. The Varanasi program also gives students the opportunity to make lasting connections in their host community by living with Indian families and learning Indian customs that might be difficult to experience in any other way. You can also experience a completely different side of India by visiting historically and culturally significant places in West Bengal and the Himalayas.

IFSA, a non-profit educational organization, is driven to provide you a high-quality academic and cultural experience with the support services you need, and the fees you don’t – such as no application or transcript fees. Our on-site staff serve as advisors, counselors, and mentors who will help you make the most of your experience and guide you throughout the semester.

Sign up today to learn more about studying abroad with IFSA in Varanasi, India!

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