Women protesters during Dr. Cochrane's last visit to India.
courtesy Regina Cochrane

Studies in India

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Pack your bags! The Faculty of Communications and Culture is offering its first development studies field school in India.

This May, students will have the opportunity to step outside the classroom and gain invaluable hands on learning in South Asia. The India field school was developed as a result of the University of Calgary's mandate to internationalize degree programs, and is open to students of all faculties who are interested in studying globalization in India.

U of C development studies and women's studies student Sonya Hope has already participated in an India field school and believes India has a lot to offer students.

"India is a country of paradoxes," she said. "On one side you have extreme modernization and on the other side you have extreme and rising poverty."

India is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Rising standards of living are pitted against escalating levels of poverty and environmental degradation. Consequently, India offers a unique perspective on development.

Hope visited India to learn about women's roles in developing countries.

"Women [in India] are not only discriminated against because they are women but because they are colored and poor," said Hope. "I wanted to see how this impacted Indian women since I have been afforded so many privileges in Canada."

U of C women's studies professor Dr. Regina Cochrane encourages students to join her and development studies professor Aradhana Parmar on the trip of a lifetime.

"Every student needs to spend time living outside their own culture and doing so in a developing country is an enormous educational experience," said Cocharane. "This kind of opportunity offers life-changing experiences."

The India field school will focus on development issues pertaining to the diverse lives of Indian people. Both professors have extensive knowledge of Indian life, environment and women's issues and will offer unique feminist perspective by emphasizing women's roles. But, this does not mean male students should divert their interest, noted Cochrane.

"This will also be of interest to male students since women's roles under globalization affect men as well," said Cochrane. "The percentage of women in the workforce is rising, which will influence male roles in work and family."

To help students finance the trip six travel bursaries of $1,000 will be offered for participating students. Student loans will also apply towards this trip.