South India Term Abroad is respected for its mission, accomplished through:

  • semester-long family home-stays 
  • field visits & educational travel with faculty
  • highly qualified staff members
  • rigorous academic expectations for student coursework and directed field research
  • low student to faculty ratio
  • free one-on-one or small group training in the arts (dance, painting, yoga, cooking, instrument, voice, martial arts, etc.)
  • an extensive pre-departure and programmatic support system

South India Term Abroad students take all their courses together, in English, at the SITA Center from local university and college faculty. The academic program is separated into two parts. During the first half of the semester, students are enrolled in four courses. This intensive coursework prepares students with appropriate methodological, South Asian area studies, and theoretical background for the second half of the semester: Research in Madurai. Students receive a transcript from The George Washington University upon completion of a SITA semester.

Students enroll in three required courses:

  • ANTH 3791: Elementary Functional Tamil (4 credits/required)
    Instructor: Dr. Arun Raja Selvan, Ph.D in Linguistics from Madurai Kamaraj University
  • ANTH 3531: Ethnographic Methods & Theory (3 credits/required)
    Instructor: Dr. Ted Samuel, Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from American University
  • ANTH 3991: Research in Madurai (2 credits/required)
    Instructor: Dr. Ted Samuel, Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from American University

Students also enroll in two elective courses:

In the spring semester, academic-year program students continue their language and anthropology studies with Intermediate Tamil and Critical Theory, respectively. They also enroll in the two electives they did not take during fall semester or in approved independent courses with local faculty (examples from previous academic-year program students include Development Issues and Hindi).

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