India Winterim Study Abroad

For complete information about the India Winterim program, including cost, funding, and an application, please refer to the Study Abroad office website: India Winterim.

For further assistance, contact: Cory Petersen -, Advisor & Program Coordinator, Study Abroad


India Winterim

Study abroad is a unique opportunity to study topics pertinent or complementary to your coursework, while providing a perspective that is often difficult to obtain from the classroom. India Winterim is a three-week, field-based study abroad program that provides students with the opportunity to learn from and directly interact with leading social entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions within India's diverse cultural, socioeconomic, and geographical mosaic. Each course is based in (or near) one of several cities throughout India.

Professor Rajagopal of The Department of Geographical & Sustainability Sciences is the founder and director of the India Winterim program which began in 2006. Since then, over 1,000 students and faculty have benefited by participating in the program.

Academic Program

The India Winterim program allows students to explore their interests in a variety of areas in India. Specific courses vary each year. Each section is led by UI faculty and has its own disciplinary perspective—health, social work, sustainability, art, etc. Students work with Indian NGOs employing a diverse variety of techniques to address social problems such as child labor, healthcare for the poor, illiteracy, and disability services. The working language for all courses is English. While each course is different, the weeks in India are devoted to learning about and developing solutions to real-world problems.

The courses are taught through a combination of lectures given by University of Iowa professors and local NGO representatives, although most of the teaching/learning occurs outside of the traditional classroom.

The winterim session at the University of Iowa typically runs during winter break between late December and mid January. Weather in India during this time tends to be mild and sunny, allowing the courses to visit a wide range of academic and cultural sites. Course credit typically transfers to most university programs.

Cultural Activities and Excursions

Excursions are a central part of the academic component of this program. Participants visit a variety of local NGO facilities (and engage with their clientele), hospitals, museums, temples, and other significant historical, cultural, and environmental sites.


Our Partners

The unique learning opportunities of the India Winterim course are only possible through the extraordinary contributions, understanding, and support of all of our collaborators and sponsors. Insight into the local culture, geography, and social issues are all integral components of the course. The opportunities for students to work one-on-one with collaborators with field specific and problem-solving expertise provides unique experiences rarely available in other learning situations. Our partners include the following:

  • Aravind Eye Care Systems, a social organization committed to the elimination of needless blindness through comprehensive eye care services and Gates Award Winner for Global Health
  • Meenakshi Mission Hospital & Research Centre, a premier, regional healthcare provider and receiver of the social responsibility initiative of 2007 by the GE Modern Medical Award
  • Pallium India, founded in 2003 to extend palliative care to formerly underserved areas in North and Northeast India and South Kerala
  • Satya School for Children with Special Needs, started in 2003 and dedicated to improving the lives of intellectually disabled children through individualized training and to making meaningful and sustainable services a reality
  • COSTFORD, a nonprofit founded nearly four decades ago that develops cutting-edge, lower-cost construction technology and builds residential and institutional structures
  • S.M. Seghal Foundation, registered as a trust since 1999 and dedicated to developing need-based strategies and programs for poverty alleviation; undertaking research on and building capacities for sustainable rural development; and analyzing the impact of local, state, and national policies on rural development
  • Navsar, an independent organization which promotes and supports artists of various visual art mediums, works with folks artists, and brings traditional Indian arts into a new sphere of creativity

Additional information on financial aid and the application procedure is available at Study Abroad in India.



Contact Us

For further assistance, contact:

Cory Peterson, Advisor and Program Coordinator

Study Abroad