• About this Program
    • On Location
  • Academics
    • Semester Curriculum
    • Faculty
    • Credits, Grades, and Transcripts
  • Field Component
    • Capstone Research Project
  • Calendar and Fees
    • Academic Calendar
    • Program Fees
  • Daily Life
    • Housing Arrangements
    • Food and Meals
  • Activities and Excursions
    • Co-Curricular Activities
  • Already Accepted?
    • Already Accepted?
  • Photos

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Power, Politics, and Population


China and India are increasingly commanding international and scholarly attention as rising economic powerhouses and strategic partners. Their rapid growth provides the foundation for the Alliance’s newest program – Power, Politics, and Population. Through the lens of their capital cities, Beijing and Delhi, students examine the regional and international power dynamics, domestic politics, and population pressures that shape these nations’ presence on the world stage. 

With 8 weeks in each country, this 15-credit program features coursework that spans international affairs, culture and society, communication and media studies, and political economy, a rich slate of co-curricular field-based activities, and unparalleled insider access to the people and institutions driving change in these two emerging Asian superpowers. 

Students may enroll for the fall or spring semester. All students are encouraged to consider spending an academic year with the Alliance, building upon your experiences of Beijing and Delhi and expanding your knowledge of either India or China. 


  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. institution
  • No prior Chinese or Indic language study is required


For a total of 15 credits in fall and spring terms, students take the following curriculum:

  • One English-taught core course
  • Four English-taught content courses

Classes are offered exclusively for Alliance students. Students who wish to learn Chinese and Hindi will be offered the option of a non-credit bearing "Survival Language" course. 

Academic Year

All students are encouraged to consider a full academic year abroad with the Alliance, whether continuing in the same location or trying a new city (or even country!). Deepen your linguistic and cultural immersion and explore your internship or research interests further – and to help you do so, you will receive a $500 continuer’s discount, for any combination of programs, countries, or terms.

On Location

This multi-country program offers students the unique opportunity to live in two of the world’s most dynamic capital cities and to discover the international, national, and regional currents that compose their vibrant urban landscapes.


The political, educational, and cultural center of China, Beijing holds a commanding position as the capital of the world’s most populous country. The seat of Chinese government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Beijing offers a fitting environment in which to explore the evolution and adaptation of China’s governing institutions, the construction and implementation of national policy and the distribution of evolving political ideologies that have informed and guided the transformation of the Chinese economy, society, and population since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Weaving through the city’s few remaining hutongs one encounters a storied past of an ancient civilization now wrestling with its modern incarnation. While the city is replete with historical treasures, Beijing is buzzing with restaurants, museums, and movie theaters, and is home to some of the most cutting-edge architectural projects in the world.  Government agencies that oversee layers of power across China, international organizations, think tanks, academic research institutes, and NGOs also abound in this exciting and expanding modern city. From the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven to Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, Beijing’s most famous landmarks serve as a reminder of its leading role in Asia and around the world.

Check out this interactive map to locate the Alliance's resources across Beijing:

View Alliance On Location: Beijing in a larger map.


The burgeoning city of Delhi is India’s unmistakable center of power and the heart of the world’s largest democracy. With a massive new international airport and expanding comprehensive metro system, and hundreds of new markets, shopping malls, restaurants, and movie theaters attracting millions of consumers each day, the National Capital Region (NCR) has become an engine for economic growth and a magnet for commerce, media, fashion and the arts. Delhi will soon be one of the largest cities in the world, yet its historic charm still prevails in the narrow winding lanes of Old Delhi and along the grand tree-lined boulevards of New Delhi. The vibrant chaos of this urban metropolis is balanced with a stroll through one of the city’s lush green parks dotted with historic Moghul and British landmarks. From Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhavan, and Parliament to the Red Fort, Humayan’s Tomb, and the Qutab Minar, Delhi’s historic monuments are a testament to its role as the capital city of the second most populous country in the world.

Alliance On Location: Delhi map coming soon!

Semester Curriculum

This multi-country program offers a 15-credit curriculum that includes a core course and four in-country content courses. 

Students Must Enroll In:

  • One core course taught in China and India: Power, Politics, Poplulation (3 credits)
  • Two India-based content courses (3 credits each)
  • Two China-based content courses (3 credits each)


Click the hyperlinked course titles to view syllabi

IAFF350 China and India: Power, Politics, and Population (3 credits)

The core course runs for the duration of the program and offers a comparative look at China and India through the lens of their capital cities, Beijing and Delhi, examining the regional and international power dynamics, domestic politics, and population pressures that drive and inform these two increasingly important global players. As part of this course, students complete a capstone research project that examines a particular area of their interest within a comparative framework. 


Two 8-week courses are run in each country, respectively, totaling 12 of the 15 credits. Courses may change according to faculty availability.

In India:

COMM355 / IAFF355 Soft Power: Cultural Capital and the Marketing of the Nation (3 credits)

The notion of soft power, as articulated in the work of Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye, is defined as ‘the ability to attract people to our side without coercion.’ Though Nye focuses primarily on the United States, this notion has gained currency around the world. India in particular is experiencing a cultural and economic ascendance that in some ways eclipses more traditional forms of geopolitical and military muscle. How does soft power apply to India’s portrayal of itself in the global marketplace of images and ideas? How does the global Indian diaspora—and the rise of its IT industry—play into India’s use of soft power? How do cultural exports such as yoga or Bollywood ‘brand’ a nation? This course explores these questions through an in-country examination of India’s airwaves and Delhi as an incubator of national identity.

POLS360 Center and State: From Panchayat to Parliament in the World's Largest Democracy (3 credits)

The relations between Delhi as the seat of central government and the increasingly assertive state governments is a fascinating dynamic at the heart of the world’s largest democracy. But even beyond the state level, panchayats, traditional local councils composed of respected elders, exert powerful influence in the formation of policy, the elevation (or vilification) of national leaders, conflict and dialogue over land, water, and energy rights, and negotiation of gender, caste, and urban-rural divides. In such a large, complex, and rapidly developing democracy such as India, political dynamics from panchayats to Parliament offer students rich avenues for insight into broader issues of political economy, social activism, and reform.

In China:

SOCI330 Contemporary Culture and Social Discourse (3 credits)

With a political culture that may discourage direct forms of dissent, political dialogue and social discourse in China often takes place through expressive and creative avenues of contemporary culture. Through film, music, dance, and the visual arts—and delving into the heart of Beijing’s rich and vibrant contemporary culture—this course examines social and political discourse in China through the lens of its capital city.

POLS381 / ECON381 Political Ideology and the Lure of the Free Market (3 credits)

As a vast, rapidly evolving experiment in combining a socialist political system with a market economy, China offers a compelling case study of the intersections between a communist-inspired political ideology and the lure and promises of consumer-oriented capitalism. How does the government and ruling Communist party resolve this apparent contradiction, and how is it negotiated on the governance and policy level?  How does the largest nation in the world, economic powerhouse and indefatigable producer and consumer of goods negotiate and navigate the tension between sweeping social and economic changes in society, growing disparities, and the ideological vision of its 20th-century founders? This course leverages Beijing as a seat of power in which these questions are debated and decided, exposing students to their complexities, tensions, and resolutions.


Dr. Manorajan Mohanty and Dr. Xiaohe Cheng, IAFF 350: China and India: Power, Politics, and Population


Dr. David Groth,  Sociology 330:  Contemporary Culture and Social Discourse

Dr. Ding Dou, POLS 381/ECON 381: Political Ideology and the Lure of the Free Market


Dr. Manindra Thakur, COMM 355 / IAFF 355: Soft Power: Cultural Capital and the Marketing of the Nation

Dr. Savita Singh, POLS 360: Center and State: From Panchayat to Parliament in the World's Largest Democracy

Credits, Grades, and Transcripts

A study abroad experience is first and foremost an academic experience. All Alliance for Global Education courses have undergone a faculty review and approval process, and are transcripted by an accredited U.S. university. All Alliance programs from Summer 2014 and beyond receive transcripts issued by Butler University.   For all Alliance programs through Spring 2014, transcripts were issued by Arcadia University.

While in most cases students who have received approval from their home institution to study on an Alliance program can be assured of credits transferring, it is a student’s responsibility to work with their study abroad or academic advisor and home school faculty or academic departments to ensure credit transfer for specific courses.  

Credits and Accreditation

Credits granted for Alliance courses are identified in course listings on the Curriculum page for each program, and appear on the official transcript issued at the completion of a student's term. Credit is issued in U.S. semester hours, ensuring that students continue to make progress toward their degrees and verifying the full-time course load they completed while abroad.

All Alliance courses have been reviewed and approved by Butler University’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee. Butler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs approved by the Butler University College of Business—which include the Alliance’s International Business Program in Shanghai—are accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Students receive a letter grade on a scale from A to F for every course they take while enrolled on an Alliance program. Withdrawals (W) may be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Although policies at students' home institutions may differ, the Alliance does not permit students to take courses on a credit/no credit or pass/fail basis. Student grades are determined by criteria set forth in course syllabi.  

The grading scale used in determining letter grades for Alliance courses is as follows:


At the conclusion of a program, an official transcript is sent to the participant's home school, with an unofficial copy forwarded to the participant. 

Because timelines for final evaluation may vary due to respective program calendars or administrative structures of partner universities abroad, transcripts may take longer to issue than they do at U.S. institutions. While the timeline varies by program, a general timeline for issuing transcripts is:

  • Fall programs - transcript issued in late February
  • Spring and Summer programs - transcript issued in late September

Transcripts are not released for students with an outstanding balance of program fees or other charge incurred while on the program. Students enrolling in consecutive terms with the Alliance do not receive their first term transcript until their second term fees are paid in full.

Students in Alliance programs from Summer 2014 and beyond can request additional transcripts of their transcripts online at any time from Butler University's online transcript ordering service provided by the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization serving the higher education community. 

Students in Alliance programs through Spring 2014 can request additional copies of transcripts online or in writing at any time from the Arcadia University Registrar's Office.

If you have a question about the transcripting process or timeline, please feel free to contact your Student Services Manager.

Capstone Research Project

One important and distinctive component of this program is the capstone research project, intended to challenge students to engage a topic of academic interest to them within a comparative framework. 

The capstone project is a research project that makes use of more than academic readings and published research. While these are important components of research and should be included in the project, the capstone is intended to promote taking learning outside the classroom and into the host context. Students use resources they would not have access to at their home universities, incorporating interviews, participant observation, and other methods to create a reflective final paper and presentation. Many students continue to build upon the research of their capstone after their return as the foundation for a senior thesis, publication, or conference presentation.  

The capstone project is a graded component of the core course, and comprises 25% of the grade for this course. Graded project work includes a project abstract with a problem statement and research methodology outline, a PowerPoint presentation, and a final paper.

For examples of past capstone project ideas from Alliance students on other Alliance programs, click here. To read abstracts of past students' capstones, click here.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester

The 16-17 week fall program begins in Beijing in late August. After 8 weeks in Beijing, the program shifts to Delhi for 8 weeks beginning in mid-October, and concludes there in mid-December. 

2015 Fall Term Calendar

Aug. 25, 2015     Departure Flight from U.S.
Aug. 26, 2015     Arrival in Beijing (PEK)
Aug. 27, 2015     Orientation in Beijing
Oct. 18, 2015      Arrival in Delhi (DEL)
Oct. 19, 2015      Orientation in Delhi 
Dec. 17, 2015     Closing Ceremony
Dec. 18, 2015     Return Flight to U.S. (after 5:00pm)

Spring Semester

The 16-17 week spring program begins in Delhi in mid-January. After 8 weeks in Delhi, the program shifts to Beijing for 8 weeks beginning in mid-March, and concludes there in mid-May. 

No summer program is currently planned.

Program Fees

Fall 2015 Program           $ 17,990  
Spring 2015 Program           $ 17,990  


The program price includes tuition and fees, pre-departure materials, guidance with applying for a visa, orientation, housing, weekly activities, all textbooks, airfare between the two countries mid-semester, the services of a full-time Resident Director, and medical and evacuation insurance.

The program price does not include airfare between the U.S. and China or India at the beginning and end of the program, or meals, passport and visa fees, independent travel, and other items not mentioned as included.

Our breakdown of the fall 2015 and spring 2015 program fee includes an itemized list of additional expenses that students may encounter abroad.


The Alliance encourages students to enroll for more than one term and to consider studying with more than one Alliance program. Some students choose to spend fall term in one location and spring term in another. Others continue in our summer term after completing spring. Students who continue into a second term with the Alliance receive a $500 discount on the program fee for the second term. All combinations (two semesters, semester plus summer, two semesters plus summer) are possible.

Housing Arrangements


In Beijing, students are housed in the International Student Dorm of our host university (BLCU) in double rooms with other Alliance students. Rooms include: two single beds, two desks, two chairs, small book shelves, cabinets, desk lamps, TV, and air-conditioning, and a private bathroom. They are also wired for high-speed internet. Bed linens, including blankets and pillows, are provided by the dorm and cleaned once a week. Towels are not provided. Each floor is equipped with washing machines. Students can purchase tokens for the machines at the front desk of the dorm. Tokens cost approximately 4 RMB for the washing machine and 8 RMB for the dryer. There is also a kitchen with a stove and microwave on each floor. Students are able to borrow some basic cooking equipment from the Alliance.


In Delhi, students live in fully furnished double rooms at a hostel in South Delhi’s Defence Colony Neighborhood. South Delhi is a conveniently located historic neighborhood with plenty of parks, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment venues.  South Delhi makes for a safe and comfortable home base from which to explore the hustle and bustle of this metropolitan capital. 

Food and Meals


Meals are not included in the Alliance program fee. Students can choose to eat at the small restaurants on or nearby campus or eat in the dining halls, using meal debit cards. Students should budget $10 per day for meals.

Breakfast will be very different in China – no cereal or scrambled eggs to be found! Instead, try congee (zhōu – 粥), a rice porridge brightened up with the addition of pickles, peanuts or meat. Beijingers also love yóutiáo (油条), deep fried sticks of dough to dip in huge bowls of steaming soya milk (dòujiāng – 豆浆).  

Lunches and dinners will feature the meat and vegetable dishes you may be more familiar with – including stir fry, dumplings, noodle soups and bowls, and of course, rice. Vegetarians will find themselves with plenty of options, but be forewarned that many restaurants use animal fat or broth in even their tofu or vegetable dishes. 


Some meals are included in the Alliance program fee – primarily, a daily breakfast at the program center which will include some light western and Indian fare.  Other meals will be taken in restaurants or at your housing placement.  Students should budget $5-10 per day for meals. Indian food is primarily vegetarian, but meat dishes are available in Delhi.  

Fresh fruit and vegetables are available at local markets. Western-style groceries and dishes are becoming more and more available in stores and cafes around Delhi. Dairy products are widely served in coffee, tea, and desserts, which are also highly sugared. Medical dietary restrictions can be accommodated as necessary.


Co-Curricular Activities

There are a number of field visits related to students’ coursework organized during weekdays, as well as supplemental co-curricular activities on weekends. The field visits leverage the Alliance’s insider access in both capital cities and help students enrich their understanding of China and India in areas related to governance, development, foreign policy, political reform, social issues and U.S.-China and U.S.-India relations as well as China-India relations.


  • Visits to the U.S. Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce, and the European Union Delegation
  • Visits to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Military Museum of Chinese People’s Revolution
  • International organizations such as the Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund, and International Union for the Conversation of Nature
  • Meeting Chinese students at Renmin University and discussing whether China and Indian could be partners or competitors in the near future
  • Screenings of documentary films and movies, and meeting with film directors and producers to discuss issues in Chinese society
  • Guest speakers from the U.S. Embassy or the European Union offices, specialists from American Chamber of Commerce and/or other international organizations
  • Taking in the 2008 Beijing Olympic venues 

Supplementary weekend activities have included visiting the Great Wall, the Lama Temple, the Forbidden City, and Jingshan Park and exploring Wudaoying Hutong. 


  • Visits to the U.S. Embassy and the Indian Parliament
  • Visits to the Centre for Policy Research, the Indian Habitat Centre and India International Centre, and international organizations such as UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Group lectures and discussions with local Indian college students and/or graduate students with similar academic interests
  • Guest speakers from the U.S. Embassy or European Union offices, specialists from American Chamber of Commerce and/or other international organizations
  • Tour Old Delhi with the Salaam Balak Trust in Paharganj, an organization that helps street children gain an education and earn a living by leading walking tours through Delhi

Supplementary weekend activities have included celebrating Diwali puja and lighting firecrackers, shopping at Khan Market, visiting India Gate and  Rasthrapath Bhavan, exploring Indian religions at the Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON temple, Ganesh and Hanuman temples, and the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara , and seeing the natural beauty of Lodi Gardens.

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