Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) - India's third largest city - is a bustling metropolis where the population exceeds 15 million. Kolkata is the capital of the state of West Bengal located in the eastern part of the country, just north of the Bay of Bengal.  Once the British colony capital, Kolkata  is known equally for its revolutionary history and its rich literary and artistic heritage. A unique study abroad opportunity which allows you to spend a semester in the world's largest democracy with the most diverse population with 22 official languages and 8 major religions represented.  During a semester in Kolkata, it will provide you new challenges and life-long rewards, including profound opportunities to experience life and humanity from an Indian perspective. 

Program Highlights

  • India is quite possibly one of the most interesting and at the same time the most challenging places you may ever visit.  It is a wealth of history, learning, food, art, natural beauty and music.  At the same time it offers a contradiction in poverty, pollution and population density.  It has been described as "one of the hardest places that I have ever visited and the one which most draws me back".
  • The Group Host Family experience will provide you a unique insight into the culture of the area.
  • Participate in exciting excursions to Northern and Southern India to places like Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal) or Kerala.  In addition, you will take in the Culture of West Bengal with local excursions to the Sundarbuns to find the Bengali Tiger or a regional Folk Arts area.
  • Dig further into the community with a service learning component alongside your St. Xavier's classmates with the Sunday Literacy and Education Projects in the area rural villages. 


Kolkata is home to St. Xavier's College (SXCC), one of India's premier educational institutions. It was founded by the Jesuit order in 1860 and offers high quality programs in science, arts, commerce, business administration, and mass communication.  

CSB/SJU students will enroll directly at SXCC for one class of their choice in the following disciplines:  Sociology,  Mass Communications, or Political Science. In addition, students will take courses in Bengali language, and another on History and Society in India.  The Folk Arts course is a series of hands-on workshops and demonstrations featuring different art forms in West Bengal. Finally, all students will take the Study Abroad Seminar course from their faculty director. 

CSB/SJU students will have access to computer laboratories, an on-campus library, and recreational facilities through SXCC.

For a complete list of classes please refer to page 2 of the India brochure.

Experiential Learning and Activities

In addition to classes, students will volunteer and complete a service learning component. On a number of Sundays, students will participate in the College to Village program with the other St. Xavier's students. During the service day trips, students work with the children in the villages to complete a variety of roles that includes to play games, dance, complete art projects, be a mentor, and help the children learn English.   


Students will live in a home stay experience.  Students will be paired in groups of two to four students per household.  In each homestay, internet is provided along with 2 meals a day when present at home. Students have to commute each day for program activities including class or service learning.  The typical commute can average around 45 minutes one way. 

Program Dates

 The program dates for India are from late December to mid-May.

Financial Considerations

 For more information on the "Program Fees" for this program, please refer to the India Program Brochure for specific information.  Another great resource is the Financing your Experience brochure.  In this brochure, there are estimates of what past participants spent on this program.  Also included in this brochure is information regarding scholarships and financial aid.

Explore Further

Spring 2019 Program Director: Janelle Hinchley, FYS 
Program Advisor: Joy Ruis, Center for Global Education