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Center for Public Service: India - Compassion in Action
Dharamsala, India (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 02/15/2017 03/01/2017 06/01/2017 06/30/2017
Program Description:
CPS India
cps logo

India: Compassion in Action
June 1st to June 30th, 2017

Course Description

The primary purpose of the Tulane Center for Public Service (CPS) Compassion in Action Program is for students to have the opportunity to meaningfully engage with Tibetan refugees and local Indian people in Northern India. This course will support the CPS service learning international trip by providing students with a more in depth understanding of the theory and practice of community social service work with Tibetan refugees and disadvantaged local Indian communities in Northern India. The course will provide context for the trip and opportunities to process the experience through additional axes of study, including exploration of issues related to experiential group education, and cultural exposure to Indian and Tibetan peoples in Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh states in India.

The Compassion in Action Program is an international intensive service learning program and 3 credit class (SOWK 3400: Social Engagement in India), offered in partnership with the Department of Social Work. The program engages students in a variety of learning opportunities to develop self and community. Students will spend four weeks in India involved in community service and social work projects.

Application deadline: February 15th
Decision Date: March 1st
Program cost: $4,750.00 (airfare included)

Program Objectives
The Compassion in Action program is designed to:
  • Develop student participants' community-focused social service leadership skills.
  • Engage student participants in a variety of social service delivery models, interventions, and techniques.
  • Expose students to Tibetan and North Indian history, and cultures and religions.
  • Introduce students to an array of projects, programs, and movements to address issues related to marginalized communities, social justice, sustainability and the environment in India.
Service Projects

The Compassion in Action will involve up to 16 Tulane students in community service projects North India. In addition to the projects listed below, participants will visit and engage in dialogue with a variety of community leaders and visit social service programs in the area.

Sisters of Mercy: While in Delhi, students will volunteer with the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Theresa's social service program. Services provided will be dependent on need. Examples of previous service activities include: cooking, cleaning and visiting with residents.

Lha Charitable Trust: The flagship project for the program will be our work with Lha Charitable Trust. Through Lha Charitable Trust, each student will be paired with a Tibetan refugee. Beginning via e-mail during the semester, we will serve as a conversation/writing partner and English tutor. Student interaction with learning partners will focus on English language skills. While working with Lha Charitable Trust, students will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of additional activities. For more details on Lha Charitable Trust, visit

Tso Pema: While in Tso Pema, participants will have the opportunity to engage with Tibetan refugee elders and a group of Tibetan monks and nuns that live in meditative seclusion in caves in the mountains around Tso Pema.

Amritsar: Students may volunteer to help with food preparation for the free kitchen at the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar (

Environmental projects: Students will meet environmental activists and participate in local clean-up and awareness projects, at Navdanya Institute in Dehra Dun (, Waste Warriors in Dharamsala ( and Deer Park Institute in Bir (

Fair Trade Programs: The students will visit cooperative and fair trade projects, learn about social entrepreneurship and cooperative development.

Suggested Prerequisites

Preference will be given to students who have participated in any of one or more of the following recommended courses: 

SOWK 2310: Buddhist Culture and Global Social Work with Tibetan Refugees; taught by Professor Guidry

TIDE 1113: Mindfulness - Self and Emotion; taught by Professor Legshe

SOWK 2300: Social Welfare; taught by Professor Legshe

SOWK 2320: Tibet-Social Welfare and Change; taught by Professor Legshe

PHIL 3500: Buddhism; taught by any Philosophy Professor

Or Introduction to Tibetan Language

Program Costs

$4,750.00 is the total cost of the program. It includes:
  • Airfare
  • Tuition
  • Room and Board
  • In-country transportation
  • Group Meals
  • Medical and Travel Insurance

The Center for Public Service is pleased to be able to offer need based scholarships for $1000.00 each and merit-based scholarship of $500.00 for the India Program.  Please complete and submit the CPS scholarships essay in order to be considered. 
Payments and deposits

Please make all payments promptly. No guarantee is given if payment is not received on time. A deposit of $750.00 is due with the application.  Once you accept a place on the trip, the deposit becomes non-refundable, and will be applied towards the total cost of the program. 
Passport & Visas

A valid passport is required for all U.S. citizens traveling to India. Requirements vary for other nationalities. International students should check the requirements for their respective countries. For US passport fees and instructions see the U.S. Department of State site:

You must submit a copy of your valid passport as a part of your application to participate in the India Program. 

You will need a visa to travel to India, either a Tourist Visa or 30-day e-Tourist Visa (On Arrival). You need to apply through the Indian consulate in Houston which uses the Travisa outsources service. Their website is It only takes a week for the process, but sometimes applications can be held up, especially if there was a problem with your application. For this reason, it is very important that you begin the visa application process as soon as possible but no later than April, and track your application on the Travisa website.

Medical & International SOS Insurance

All students participating in CPS summer programs are covered by a comprehensive study abroad medical insurance policy provided through HTH International. This insurance is included in the cost of the program. The policy provides for accident, medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and family assistance coverage. The policy does not provide for trip cancellation or baggage loss. Students are also covered by International SOS insurance. This insurance assists students with various medical and safety needs as well as emergency needs such as emergency evacuation (for non-medical reasons) if necessary. Students are required to enroll for membership at

Accessibility for the Disabled

Tulane University is committed to making all its programs accessible to the physically challenged. Persons requiring special facilities should notify the specific program coordinator and the academic director as soon as possible (in writing). All effort will be made to accommodate but students should be aware that reasonable accommodation may be required.

Contact Information

For any further questions regarding the CPS India - Compassion in Action Program, please contact:

James Garrett
Senior Program Coordinator for Internships and International Programs
Tulane University Center for Public Service
Alcee Fortier Hall 102E, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118
Read more about the India program in The New Wave!
India journey brings classroom to life
Compassion in Action trip brings service to life