Winter 2025 brings study abroad program in India to UDM

The University of Detroit Mercy is offering a study abroad program to India at the end of Winter 2025. This international experience will last nine days, and it promises students an enriching adventure in India.  

This program will go to India’s famous “Golden Triangle,” which includes the cities of New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. This opportunity provides students with a unique chance to immerse themselves in Indian culture, history and experiences. The students will also get to visit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which promotes world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture. 

The program is organized and arranged by Diane Robinson-Dunne, who is an Associate Professor of History, and Lara Wasner, who is the Director of Language and Cultural Training and the Study Abroad Coordinator.  

Robinson-Dunne said, “Traveling to India is an incredible opportunity. The country is fascinating and beautiful.”  

Robinson-Dunne continued to say that this experience enriches students’ lives in numerous ways from helping them have a greater appreciation for people different from themselves. During Winter 2025, a 3-credit history course will be given by Robinson-Dunne to help students prepare for the program. 

Local guides will also travel with the class sharing their insights into the specific locations, as well as their knowledge of the sites, both historical and cultural. The class will explore ancient temples, vibrant markets and a chance to engage in discussions with local experts.  

Wasner said, “It opens up opportunities to explore the world beyond our university and beyond the Detroit Metropolitan area.”  

Wasner also explained that India has many historical and cultural sites and UNESCO helps to preserve places and structures that are very important to the country. One of the UNESCO world heritage sites that student will visit is the world-famous Taj Mahal. Wasner said that students get to understand the long history of India and its politics including the aspects of their culture.  

Wasner said, “The most important thing is that it breaks stereotypes and perceptions that people might have before going.”   

A past participant, UDM student Mateo Six, was a senior when he attended the travel abroad program.

Six said, “I had never been to Asia, and after having learned a bit about the Mughals, I wanted to see it more in person. The experience offered a class on different periods of Indian history, which allowed for an even greater appreciation of the trip when the time came.”  

Wasner noticed that after students make the trip to India, it tends to make them more confident in traveling both internationally and nationally. They make sure students will feel supported if they are anxious or have any issues while in India.  

Wasner said, “You want to full sensory experience, the things that you see, the things that you touch and things that you taste are all very important to building the memory of a country.” 

There is an info session about the program in April for students to see if it is the right opportunity for them. The cost for the program for most students will be generally $3,000 -$3,500, which includes airfare plus room and board in India. Once students sign up, they can start the process of looking into financial aid, seeing if they are eligible to apply for travel grants.