Community & Sustainable Development India

Connect with communities and students in India, building sustainable futures together.

Embedded in the rich communities of Delhi and Dharamshala, this program explores the topics of sustainable growth and social issues through the lens of the family in India. You will co-learn with local students, visit a wide range of historic and cultural sites, as well as artisan markets, and engage with various NGOs including staying in a feminist collective homestead. These experiences will introduce you to India’s unique sociopolitical context and illustrate how the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals can be applied at a local level. Throughout this program, you will be challenged to critically reflect on specific regions of India and the impact of social service delivery systems on urban, rural, disadvantaged, and marginalized families – and ultimately practice skills used to overcome these barriers and promote social justice within diverse groups.

This program is a collaboration between the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work and faculty & students from Jamia Millia Islamia University (JIMI) in Delhi and the Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CU) in Dharamshala. UCalgary students from all faculties with an interest in sustainable development and community practice are welcome to join this program! Although based in an Indian context, the learning you gain can be applied towards your own academic or professional field in Canada and will help inform ethical approaches to working in intercultural communities.

Key information






Spring 2024

Program type

Group Study

Application information

Application status


Apply Now!

Application deadline

First come first considered for remaining spaces!

Additional requirements

Undergraduate students in good standing from all faculties are welcome to apply.

Info sessions

Oct 20 at noon -  Register Here!

Oct 20 at 5pm - Register Here!

Have questions?

For program information, please contact Christine Walsh ( or Angelique Jenney at

For application and registration support, please contact the Group Study Team at

Other useful links:

Info Session

Program details

Questions about these courses should be directed to the program instructors.

Please note: course descriptions are tentative and subject to change.

  1. Courses offered

    SOWK 557.49 S04 or UNIV 501.81 B02: Inter-Cultural Practices and Sustainable Development Goals (3 units)

    SOWK 557.50 S05 or UNIV 501.82 B03Community Practice in India: Children, Youth, and Families in Context (3 units)


    Note: Although 2 course outlines are linked above for each course, the course content is the same; it is just the credit that changes. Program participants from UCalgary's Faculty of Social Work may choose to receive SOWK or UNIV credit. Participants from other faculties will receive UNIV credit unless otherwise negotiated.

  2. Prerequisites

    The prerequisite for registration in all of the courses offered on this program is by consent of the instructor.

  1. Pre-departure

    March (date TBD), Calgary: Mandatory Travel Medical Clinic

    April (date TBD), Calgary: Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation facilitated by the Global Learning office

    May 6 (online): 

    9-12:00 MST
    Orientation to Field Study UC students
    Walsh: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

    Group work Online orientation to NGO via websites in Dharamshala– explore these three issues

    1:00-4:00 MST
    Cultural Humility (Walsh)
    Family Issues Canada (Jenney)
    Discuss SDG Interests form groups

    May (before departure) - check course outline:

    -Complete Assignment 1 SDG pre-departure situating self in international context and SDG.
    -Complete Assignment 1 Family course pre-departure – Situating self within context of family and development (considerations of definition of family, cultural norms regarding childhood, roles and expectations of family life). What infant/child/youth/family issue interests you most.

  2. In-field

    May 8: Depart Calgary for flight to Delhi, India

    May 9 - 12, Delhi: Bus transportation to JIMI
    Campus Tour and Lunch with JIMI students/instructors
    Tour Botanical Gardens, Artisan market
    Visit to NGOs
    Tour to tourist sites

    May 13-14, Dharamshala: Bus transportation from airport to Jagori (feminist women’s collective)
    Group dinner Jagori
    Orientation to NGO and feminist practice
    Lectures, NGO Visits
    Group Dinner Crown Hotel

    May 15, Macleodganj: Bus transportation
    Guided day tour

    May 16-18, Dharmshala: Bus transportation
    Preparation for group assignments
    Tour of downtown
    Local Sightseeing
    Visit Tushita Meditation Centre and Hindu Temple
    Lecture Spiritual Social Work
    Group lunch on CU campus

    May 19-21, Delhi: Bus transportation
    Tour old Delhi, Sunday Market, Mosque
    Full day guided tour of Agra (Delhi-Agra-Delhi)
    NGO visits
    Shopping, cultural activity, music, dance
    Integration and final debrief

    May 21: Depart to Calgary
    (or independent travel)

  3. Post-field

    *check course outlines

    May 27: Final course assignments due: Written Reflection

    June 1: Assignment: Multisensory Research Project Individual Report

    June 7: Assignment: Policy Brief or Two Blog Posts 

  1. Costs

    The estimated cost of Community and Sustainable Development in Nepal includes tuition, airfare, field trips, local transportation, accommodations and meals. The program cost is $6,364.

    For the full cost breakdown and payment deadlines, please see the Student Cost Summary.

    Important information regarding deposit payments: Deposits are non-refundable. Deposits secure your space in the program and allows payment for logistical arrangements to be made in advance.

  2. Funding

    This program is funded by the Canadian government through UCalgary's Global Indigenous Skills Program. Students who are Canadian citizens or PR are eligible for the GIS Scholarship, worth $2,500 for all students and up to $5,000 for students who identify as Indigenous, disabled, or low-income. Students accepted to this program will be guided on how to apply for the scholarship.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Learning Award. The funding page (click here) is a great resource for faculty-specific awards and other funding opportunities.

    Student loans: If you qualify for student loans, your program should qualify. Please note that eligibility for student loans is determined by your loans provider.

Students will stay in safe and affordable accommodations at a feminist women’s collective.

This program is open to undergraduate students in good academic standing from all faculties.

Applications will be considered after your online application and supplementary documents have been received in full.

Please read the sections below for information about what your application will include. The application is completed online. Because the online application will time out after 1 hour, we recommend writing out your answers to the application questions in a Word document and preparing any of the supplementary documents you may need in advance.

Once you are ready, click here to access the application system.

Announcements on whether you have been selected to the program will not be distributed until after the November 12 deadline.

  1. Written application questions

    All Group Study Programs have general questions about how the program will meet your goals (academic reasons, personal interest, career prospects, etc.), how you plan to finance your program, and coping skills for travelling abroad. These questions are designed to help narrow down your motivation for applying and why you should be selected. 

    Note: Because the online application will time out after one hour, we recommend that you "save" your application, copy the questions into a Word document to compose your answers, check for spelling, grammar and word count, and then paste it into the online application.

  2. Unofficial Transcript

    Download an unofficial transcript from your Student Centre. Click here for a step-by-step guide to access your unofficial transcript.

    You will be asked to upload your transcript as a PDF in the online application.


    Note: Social Work students in the post-diploma program may instead provide a copy of their diploma.

Please ensure that you have read the Group Study Program General FAQs thoroughly before applying.

If I were to tell someone about the study abroad program I would tell them about how much fun they are. While getting credits and seeing the world are definitely perks to a study abroad, what I enjoyed the most was being with the group and enjoying every day.

Past Group Study Program Participant

Getting started

Program-Specific Info Sessions

Info sessions are scheduled for every Group Study Program. Attending an info session is not required to apply, but strongly recommended as it will give you an opportunity to meet the instructor and learn more about the travel experience.

We also recommend watching Global Learning 101 for general information.

Watch Global Learning 101

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions about this program, you can meet with one of our Global Learning Advisors by emailing or booking an appointment through the link below.

1. Select "Advising"
2. Select “Study Abroad”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Select your program advisor to view available times.

Book an appointment

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how a Group Study Program might align with your degree.

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.