The Bangalore (Bengaluru) program provides the extraordinary opportunity to study Indian culture, sociology, and global issues and while volunteering in the local community with fellow students who are interested in contributing and making a difference in their society. You will be studying in one of the most prestigious and beautiful campuses in India and will gain personal exposure to the social issues of rural life. Bangalore is an ideal place to examine global issues due to its location in India’s Silicon Valley, as cultures meet in the transformation of traditional Indian society into a fast-paced hybrid of East-West life. USAC students are integrated into the college atmosphere and have many opportunities to experience the culture, learn about the country, and make friends. Volunteer opportunities are available as well as college sports, clubs, and excursions to local towns and historical temples. Semester or yearlong students are required to enroll in the 1-credit Service Learning during their first semester in India and we strongly encourage summer and January students to do the same. You may take the program-organized Indian Cuisine course or workshop to gain even more knowledge of the local culture and we strongly recommend participating in the Optional Tours to Northern or Southern India. USAC students are also paired with Indian “buddies” to help orient them to the university and surrounding areas. In addition to a semester or yearlong program, USAC also offers summer and January program options. The summer Bangalore program offers one 3-week session (Session I) and one 5-week session (Session II); you many participate in either one or both for an 8-week session. The January Bangalore program offers one 3-week session. You may participate in the session alone or combine it with the semester program.
Unnamed Road, Lugareño, Cuba
The La Habana summer program offers an unparalleled opportunity to visit this enchanting island and legendary city to learn about its culture and society. It will also provide a unique occasion for understanding—firsthand—the multiple layers of history that make Cuba significant in North America and in Latin America. The courses will examine not only the history of former Spanish colonies, but also the twentieth-century, during which Cuba played a significant geopolitical role. The Habana summer program will give you the opportunity to experience the past, present, and future realities of Cuban society and its fusion of Spanish, African, and American flavors to create a rich culture of its own. The La Habana program consists of one 5-week session offering academic coursework in history, society, politics, and culture studies. Many of these courses include enticing field trips offering hands-on experience with the subject matter, such as Old Habana, Matanzas, Pinar del Río, a tobacco factory, and Varadero Beach. The session begins with several days of orientation and lectures in Costa Rica before departure for Cuba. The courses for the La Habana program focus on the history and society of Cuba, with particular attention focused on exploring the impact of slavery and Cuba's African roots on its culture and religions, as well as the present-day political and economic factors Cuba faces in its future. If you are interested in studying Spanish language in preparation for several weeks in Cuba, the first summer session in Costa Rica can be paired with the La Habana summer session for intensive language study.
Bilbao is located in the north of Spain near the French border and has an international airport with direct flights to most large cities in Europe. Both Bilbao and Getxo (where most of the housing placements are located) are situated in an area of beautiful green mountains that face the ocean, making it possible to hike in the morning and go swimming in the afternoon. Close by, there are several picturesque coastal towns with great beaches that are easily accessible by public transportation. Bilbao is the poster city for successful urban renewal and the spectacular Guggenheim Museum of Art has ushered in an era of international tourism to the area; in urban renewal circles, the use of a revitalized cultural sector to kick start the renewal of a city’s economy is known as the “Bilbao effect.” Bilbao is home to some of the world’s most renowned architecture including: Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the Euskalduna Music Hall and Convention Centre, Norman Foster’s Underground, Calatrava’s Bilbao airport, and other projects by architects such as Arata Isozaki and Cesar Pelli. Additionally, the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation has given its approval to expand around Urdaibai's Natural Reserve area. Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country with a population of approximately 350,000; the greater Bilbao region has just under 1,000,000 inhabitants. Bilbao was recently recognized by the Eurostat report as one of the top three safest areas in the EU. It is an extremely walkable city with a great transportation system that is efficient and safe. The city includes many pedestrian areas, including the old quarter with shops, restaurants, and coffee houses. There is also a bike path along the riverfront and through the main street of town. Getxo is a charming, coastal community popular for its beaches, lively nightlife, and diverse cultural activities. It is well connected to downtown Bilbao by subway (20-25 minutes away). Getxo is a relatively young town—80% of the population is below the age of 60—and it is not touristy, maximizing the opportunity for students to meet local peers. Getxo is known for its numerous outdoor activities and cultural events including: surfing, canoeing, hiking, rollerblading, paragliding, music festivals, a medieval market, and much more.