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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Visakhapatnam, India
  • Program Terms: Summer Session 2
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications. It's likely that the application is in the process of being launched. Check back for updates.
Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available: English Minimum VT Class Status required for admission: 1 Freshman/First Year
Language Experience required for admission: 0 none Program Type: VT faculty-led
Areas of Study: History, History (HIST) Minor, Liberal Arts, Material Culture & Public Humanities, Religion and Culture College Sponsor: *Open to All Majors, CLAHS
Program Description:

The real India

Map of India

Additional Information

Virginia Tech course, VT faculty led, VT credit 


The real India outside games


Summer II, 2019 (July 7 - August 16, 2019)

THE REAL INDIA - VT Summer in India

This program is based in Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag), the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh located on the Bay of Bengal coast roughly half way between Chennai and Kolkata. A smaller city by Indian standards (about 2 million people) and generally off the tourist beaten path, Vizag offers an opportunity for students to live in and learn about India in an in depth and casual manner. Students will explore and study cultural, historical, and religious sites located in the vicinity of Vizag (see below) and have opportunities for undergraduate research, independent study, and/or community/service learning. Housing and food will be provided for in the quiet community of Lawson’s Bay, located near the oceanfront and Kailasagiri, a mountain with a cable car!

The program coordinator is Dr. Peter Schmitthenner, a specialist in modern Indian history who has lived in India for over 20 years. Local arrangements will be coordinated by M.V. Krishnayya, retired Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Andhra University, who has worked with American students and scholars for about 50 years!

For more information please view the program brochure:  VT India Brochure.pdf

The real India man studying


  1. Tour or the city of Visakhapatnam (Vizag), where the program is based. 
  2. Visit to Simhachalam, a famous Hindu temple and pilgrimage center, located in the hills nearby Vizag. 
  3. Tour of Bheemunipatanam (or Bhimilipatnam), a coastal town near Vizag which contains remnants of a Dutch settlement dating to the 17th century. 
  4. Visit to Aruku Valley. A popular tourist destination in the hills about 60 miles north of Vizag.   It is home to indigenous peoples (advasis). 
  5. Tours of Vizianagram and Bobbili, towns about 30-40 miles from Vizag which were once part of an independent princely state (under British rule), whose rulers were great patrons of the arts and literature.  Bobbili is the site of a famous battle between the British and French during the 18th century, which is the subject a popular folk performance. 
  6. Tours of Rajahmundry, the Godavari River, and Machilipatnam.  Rajahmundry, located at the head of the Godavari River delta about 120 miles southwest of Vizag, is an important Hindu pilgrimage destination and is known as an important center of Telugu literature and culture.  The tour includes a boat trip up the Godavari River, the largest river in south India.  Machilipatnam, located about 100 miles southwest of Rajahmundy,  was once a thriving port city (under the British East India Company) and is famous for its colorful block-printed textiles (kalamkari).


No prerequisites; open to all VT majors and minors. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Contact faculty program leader for exceptions.


RLCL 3214: Religion and Culture in India (CLE 2/Pathways Humanities) or RLCL 3954-Study
Abroad (for students who have already taken RLCL 3214); 3 credits
- Includes excursion to about six regional sites of religious and cultural significance

Optional Independent Study/Undergraduate Research; 3 credits
- Catered to student’s major and/or interests. Guided by either Dr. Schmitthenner or another VT
   faculty member (remotely). Could include service learning with a local NGO. 

Course Information: Independent Study_Undergraduate Research.pdf



Approximate Program Costs
- Fixed program fee (includes lodging, meals, and internal transportation, medical and security insurance) $2800
- International Airfare (current rate; lower fares will probably be available) $1600
- Visa $200
- Other possible fees (including immunizations, books, etc.) $300
- Approximate total costs (excluding VT tuition) = $4,900

University Tuition & Fees

Tuition and university fees are billed separately from the program fee according to University Bursar policy. See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term:


Click the "Apply Now " button at the top of the page and follow the instructions. There are a few steps in the process.
The application comprises submission of a brief statement of intent, letter of recommendation, and an unofficial transcript. The application deadline is March 8.

Contact Information

Dr. Peter Schmitthenner
Associate Professor
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
321 Lane Hall (0227)
(540) 231-8377

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer Session 2 2019 03/08/2019
Rolling Admission 07/07/2019 08/16/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be notified of acceptance into this program within a few weeks of submission. Please allow time for review.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications. It's likely that the application is in the process of being launched. Check back for updates.