Justice, Peace and Sustainable Communities
Over two decades old , the ‘Justice, Peace and Sustainable Communities’ (JPSC) is the most recent title for a Study Abroad Programme jointly offered by Gustavus Adolphous College and Concordia College, Minnesota, USA and Visthar, Banaglore, India.
“This is the third group of students that I have led for the SJPD program, and I can say without any qualification whatever that India never fails to surprise, educate, and challenge me, and I am quite sure it will do the same for the very talented 2007 batch. SJPD has undergone many changes over the last eleven years, thanks to the dynamic staff at Visthar it remains one of the finest study abroad programs in all of the American higher education.” Professor Douglas Huff
On an average, 16 undergraduate students sign up for the ‘India learning experience’. This is a 105 day immersion into contemporary Indian realities, through travel (6 states in India), class room engagement and interaction with grass root communities. The semester is accredited by the colleges and each year students are accompanied by a faculty leader.
The courses include:
- Religion, Ethics and Social Change
- Earth care and Adaptation
- Human Rights and Economic Justice
- Democracy, Conflict and Peace
Over the years, this programme has attracted students pursuing a wide range of academic interests and social engagement.
India Orientation for Gordon College, USA
Gordon College, a small liberal arts college in Boston, sends 10 students to India around July of every year. The students spend 3 weeks at two orphanages in Andhra Pradesh – organizations the college has been working with for many years. The students spend a week each before and after that experience at Visthar. During the orientation week , the students learn about contemporary Indian society with special focus on caste, class, and gender inequality. On their return, they reflect on their experience in Andhra and review the various approaches to development. The program encourages students to engage with society at various levels. Alumni have reported that many of their subsequent lifestyle choices were influenced by Visthar.
India Today - University of Lancaster, UK
A 21-day program for the University of Lancaster. Third batch in August 2015. 7 undergraduate students came from the Department of Religion. In addition to studying urban Indian realities, students travel to Koppal to get a sense of life in rural India. Students reflect on life in England – especially for workers and minorities – during their studies in India, and their responsibility to stand up for the rights of the marginalized.