India

 
 

Educational Tours in India

Explore India With No Barriers Youth Programming

India—a land of contrasts that constantly stimulates the senses. It’s drenched in vibrant colors and boasts a rich, complex, and diverse culture that envelops every last bit of you from the moment your feet hit the ground. There’s absolutely no other place like it on earth, which makes India a perfect destination for high school students abroad! If you want your students to go deeper, travel further, and get to know the locals on a personal level, No Barriers’ service trips to India are second to none. Projects include volunteering with girls, studying Tibetan Buddhism in Dharamsala (fingers crossed you’ll meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama!), and more. You can:

  • Learn what modern-day followers of Gandhi are doing to promote peace and non-violence
  • Support an all-girls school with educational outreach and skill development
  • Work with a grassroots, rural development nonprofit in Rajasthan
  • Travel to Agra and take selfies at the world famous Taj Mahal
  • Observe people of different faiths and cultures worship in harmony

What to Know Before Educational & Service Trips to India

India is a country of extremes. Sheer poverty and destitution saddle up next to dazzling, sparkling saris. Traditional colonial buildings punctuate high fashion designer boutiques. Peaceful yoga ashrams and Buddhist monasteries interject the glamour and glitz of Bollywood. Rural villages. High-tech global industries. India has it all; making it one of the most popular places for student travel abroad. From the peaks of the Himalayas to the bottom of the Ganges, India has a story to tell. And it’s your students’ turn to listen.

The aromas of warm curries and jasmine will stir something in your core. Give teens the chance to learn about the world—and themselves—through an educational tour for school students India.

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Choose Your Adventure for Service Trips to India

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Himalayan Service Experience

Day 1: Welcome to India!
  • Evening: Arrive to New Delhi, India. Meet your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leaders upon and transfer to your hotel for the evening.
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi
Day 2: Explore New Delhi!
  • Morning: After breakfast, participate in an informal language lesson, learn basic greetings and common phrases to assist with the weeks ahead. Head out into Delhi and begin a day tour of the exciting monuments scattered throughout the Indian capital.
  • Afternoon: Continue with your day tour of Delhi. Participate in a cultural scavenger hunt during a visit to the Gandhi Museum, where you will learn about the history of India.
  • Evening: Learn more about the Sikh religion at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. After dinner, participate in the program Opening Ceremony.
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi
Day 3: Travel to McLeod Ganj
  • Morning: After breakfast, head back to the New Delhi Airport for the internal flight to Dharamsala.
  • Afternoon: Welcome to the spectacular Himalayas. After a short drive to McLeod Ganj, settle into your homestay (or guest house) and participate in a cultural learning experience with Tibetan families.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner with Tibetan host families and learn about Tibetan culture in Mcleod Ganj.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, McLeod Ganj
Day 4: Introduction to Tibetan Culture
  • Morning: After breakfast with you host families, participate in an exchange with a local learning partner. Local learning partners are local Tibetans who are eager to improve their English skills and have time with visitors to the region. Together, your learning partner and you will participate in a town square scavenger hunt.
  • Afternoon: Take a break for lunch and then continue working on English language and life skills development with your local learning partner.
  • Evening: Before heading back to your homestay, work together with your team to plan lessons for the following day with your learning partner. Spend time with your Amala (mother in Tibetan) and learn techniques of Tibetan cooking.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, McLeod Ganj
Day 5: Tibet Museum and Cultural Exchange
  • Morning: Wake up for breakfast with your homestay family before heading out to explore more of McLeod Ganj. Visit the TIbetan Museum to learn more about the crisis in Tibet and the plight of the Tibetan people. Participate in a presentation by a local Tibetan Activist. 
  • Afternoon: Take a break for lunch and then continue with your local learning partner, assisting them with skills development and basics of English language.
  • Evening: Head back to your homestay and participate in a Tibetan cooking lesson.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, McLeod Ganj
Day 6: Temples and Tibetan Buddhist Life
  • Morning: Start your day with a Yoga and Meditation class. Spend one final morning with your local learning partners.
  • Afternoon: Take a short hike to the town of Bhagsunath. Explore the waterfalls, cool mineral springs, and try out some traditional TIbetan street food along the way. Depending on the weather and season, participate in a longer hike to Triund, a high mountain plateau that looks out over 25,000-foot Himalayan peaks.
  • Evening: Spend the evening with your homestay family and enjoy a delicious Tibetan meal together.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, McLeod Ganj
Day 7: Temples and Tibetan Buddhist Life
  • Morning: Start your day with a Yoga and Meditation class. Spend one final morning with your local learning partners.
  • Afternoon: Head to the Norbulingka Institute of Art to see work by local artisans. Learn about Tibetan art and the history of work being done to preserve Tibetan artifacts.
  • Evening: Participate in a goodbye dinner party with your collective homestay families at a local venue in town! Head back to your homestay for one final night before heading off to a new community in the morning.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, McLeod Ganj
Day 8: McLeod Ganj to the Himalayan Foothills
  • Morning: Rise early for a final breakfast with your host family. Take time to do some last-minute souvenir shopping in the market before your afternoon departure.
  • Afternoon: Pack up your bags and head off for Balla village, a local Indian community in the foothills of the Himachal State.
  • Evening: Arrive to Balla and meet your new host families. Explore the town and learn a bit more about their history. Enjoy your first Indian meal in Balla before heading off to sleep in your new home(s).
  • Accommodation: Homestay, Balla Village
Day 9: Balla Service and Cultural Immersion
  • Morning: After breakfast with your host families, begin your first day of service in the community. 
  • Afternoon: Take a break for lunch at the service site and participate in a Bollywood Dance class. Continue with your service until it is time to head back to your homestay families.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner with your entire group and reflect upon your first day of service.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, Balla Village
Day 10: Balla Service and Cultural Immersion
  • Morning: After breakfast with your host families, begin your second day of service in the community.
  • Afternoon: Work to refine your Bollywood Dance routine in preparation for a performance for your hosts later in the week. Continue with your service until it is time to head back to your homestay families.
  • Evening: Participate in a Himali cooking lesson with the community. Learn about the spices in Northern India and how they have contributed to the countries culinary delicacies. Head back to your homestay for the night.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, Balla Village
Day 11: Balla Service and Cultural Immersion
  • Morning: After breakfast with your host families, begin your third day of service in the community.
  • Afternoon: Continue with your service until it is time to head back to your homestay families.
  • Evening: Participate in a communal henna party and learn about this traditional Indian art form!
  • Accommodation: Homestay, Balla Village
Day 12: Balla Service and Cultural Immersion 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head out for your last service day.
  • Afternoon: After lunch, finalize your work on your service project in the community.
  • Evening: After a week of practice, it is time to perform for your homestay families! After your dance presentation, share a communal dinner with your hosts and spend one final night in your homestay.
  • Accommodation: Homestay, Balla Village
Day 13: Back to New Delhi
  • Morning: After a final breakfast and heartfelt goodbye to your host family, travel to the airport in Dharamshala for your flight back to Delhi.
  • Afternoon: Internal flight to New Delhi.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner together and reflect on your experiences and the issues you engaged with. Participate in a closing ceremony with your group before heading off to bed.
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi
Day 14: Namaste India!
  • Morning: After breakfast, visit a local artisan market and any other monuments in Delhi that you did not see on your first day in the city. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, head back to the hotel to pack your bags and enjoy one final meal together before departure.
  • Evening: Depart India. Return home with a new appreciation for Tibetan and Indian culture, religion, and history.
  • Accommodation: Overnight flight home

Off the Map: Community Service in Rajasthan

Day 1: Welcome to India!
  • Evening: Arrive in New Delhi, India. Meet your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leaders upon arrival and transfer to hotel to settle in and relax. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or Similar, New Delhi 
Day 2: Jodhpur and Rajasthan 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head to the airport to catch an internal flight to the ancient city of Jodhpur. 
  • Afternoon: Settle in to your accommodation and then participate in an educational session to learn about education and youth in Jodhpur. 
  • Evening: Spending time developing lessons, brainstorming new games, and preparing for tomorrow’s service with local students. 
  • Accommodation: Raghav Vila / Jagat Villas, Jodhpur 
Day 3: Participate in Education and Community Projects 
  • Morning: Visit your local school partner, where you will spend the week. Work through curriculum focused on name games and ice-breakers with the students. 
  • Afternoon: Learn more about the biggest issue facing India: water access. Participate in a water revitalization project with a local NGO. 
  • Evening: Spend time refining your lesson plans for the remainder of the week. Join your group for a post-service debrief in the evening. 
  • Accommodation: Raghav Vila / Jagat Villas, Jodhpur 
Day 4: Zip Line Through Mehrangarh Fort 
  • Morning: After breakfast, continue your service this morning with our local partner school. 
  • Afternoon: Take a guided tour of Mehrangarh Fort and participate in an exciting zip line down to the community market below. Learn more about Rajasthani culture and the incredible diversity in the region. 
  • Evening: Spend the evening shopping in the local bazaar of the old city. Enjoy the work of local artisans, from Rajasthani puppets to slippers to beautiful tapestries. 
  • Accommodation: Raghav Vila / Jagat Villas, Jodhpur 
Day 5: Continue Service and Experience Village Life 
  • Morning: After breakfast head back to service with our local partner, continuing your lesson from the day before. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch and a quick rest at the hotel, head out to the local step-well. Continue your project with the local NGO to enhance access to clean water for the citizens of Jodhpur. 
  • Evening: After a long but rewarding day of service, head to the nearby Bishnoi Village for a look into rural life in Rajasthan. Enjoy a traditional dinner in the community before heading back to Jodhpur for the night. 
  • Accommodation: Raghav Vila / Jagat Villas, Jodhpur 
Day 6: Dance and Rajasthani Celebration in Desert 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head back to school for a final morning of teaching and exchange with the local students. 
  • Afternoon: Pack up your bags and depart for the desert. After a short drive to the town of Osian, climb onto a camel and head into the dunes of the Great Thar Desert. 
  • Evening: Enjoy an art show where you’ll see traditional Rajasthani dancers and musicians put on a dazzling performance! Learn more about desert life and customs in the desert state of India. 
  • Accommodation: Raghav Vila / Jagat Villas, Jodhpur 
Day 7: Journey Back to New Delhi 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head back to Delhi. 
  • Afternoon: Spend the afternoon in transit back to the capital. Depending on arrival time, visit a local market. 
  • Evening: After dinner, reflect on your experience and the issues you engaged with during your trip. Participate in your Closing Ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort, New Delhi 
Day 8: Namaste India! 
  • Morning: After breakfast head out to explore Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and other monuments in the city center. 
  • Afternoon: Visit a local market for some last-minute shopping with local fair trade artisans. 
  • Evening: Depending on flight time, depart and return home with a new appreciation of India. 
  • Accommodation: Overnight flight 

Indian Wildlife Protection Project

Day 1: Welcome to India!
  • Evening: Arrive in New Delhi, India. Meet your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leaders upon arrival and transfer to hotel to settle in and relax. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or Similar, New Delhi 
Day 2: Agra Bear Rescue 
  • Morning: After breakfast, board a mini-bus bound for the city of Agra. 
  • Afternoon: Upon arrival to Agra, enjoy lunch and settle in to your accommodations for the week. Head to the Agra Bear Rescue Facility (ABRF), meet with the Wildlife SOS team members, and learn more about the week of service ahead. 
  • Evening: Watch a documentary about the Wildlife SOS rehabilitation work with dancing sloth bears and circus elephants. Participate in your opening ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: ABRF Volunteer House or Hotel, Agra 
Day 3: Conservation Service with Sloth Bears 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head out to the ABRF center. Spend the morning monitoring bear behavior, assisting with their daily routine, prepare their food, and cleaning their dens. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, participate in the evening bear routine. Attend an orientation at the elephant rehabilitation facility and participate in your first elephant feeding. 
  • Evening: After dinner, reflect on your first day of service and visit a local market. 
  • Accommodation: ABRF Volunteer House or Hotel, Agra 
Day 4: Elephant Conservation 
  • Morning: Participate in a morning walk with the resident elephants through the beautiful Indian landscape. Provide them with their morning meal and take part in bathing these gentle giants. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, participate in a brainstorming session with the local Wildlife SOS volunteers. Think of new ideas to aid in the bear enrichment process and develop simple prototypes for your designs. 
  • Evening: Dinner and post-service reflection. 
  • Accommodation: ABRF Volunteer House or Hotel, Agra 
Day 5: Bird Watching on the Yamuna River 
  • Morning: After breakfast, take a bird watching tour by boat on the serene Yamuna River. Spot exotic bird species and other wildlife native to the region. 
  • Afternoon: After your previous afternoon brainstorming enrichment activities and ideas for structures for the resident animals, work together with the Wildlife SOS staff members to create your designs. Watch as the bears take to your new structures! 
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner together and participate in a post-service reflection.. 
  • Accommodation: ABRF Volunteer House or Hotel, Agra 
Day 6: Last Day of Conservation Work 
  • Morning: Wake up for one final morning walk with the resident elephants. Spend one final morning working with the Wildlife SOS volunteers to prepare food, feed, and bathe the elephants. 
  • Afternoon: In the afternoon head to nearby Sapera Village, where residents used to work as Snake Charmers. Learn about the changes to their village specialty and their transition away from harmful animal arts. 
  • Evening: Spend the evening in the village courtyard, share dinner with locals, and participate in an evening of music and dancing with your hosts. 
  • Accommodation: ABRF Volunteer House or Hotel, Agra 
Day 7: The Taj Mahal 
  • Morning: After six action packed days of service, it is time to see the crown jewel of India, the Taj Mahal. Wake up before the sun and head to the gates to be the first inside for sunrise. After participating in a tour of the structure, head to the nearby market for some souvenir shopping.  
  • Afternoon: After your trip to the Taj Mahal, transfer back to the ABRF for lunch and to say goodbye to your fellow volunteers. Pack your bags and drive back to Delhi. 
  • Evening: Enjoy a final group dinner and participate in a closing ceremony at the hotel. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or Similar, New Delhi 
Day 8: Namaste India! 
  • Morning: After breakfast head out to explore Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and other monuments in the city center. 
  • Afternoon: Visit a local market for some last-minute shopping with local fair trade artisans. 
  • Evening: Depart New Delhi and return home with a new appreciation of India. 
  • Accommodation: Overnight flight home 

Indian Wanderer

Day 1: Welcome to India!
  • Evening: Arrive to New Delhi, India. Meet your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leaders and transfer to your hotel for the evening. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi 
Day 2: New Delhi and Northern Indian Culture 
  • Morning: After breakfast, participate in an informal language lesson, learn basic greetings and common phrases to assist with the weeks ahead. Head out into Delhi and begin a day tour of the exciting monuments scattered throughout the Indian capital. 
  • Afternoon: Continue with your day tour of Delhi. Participate in a cultural scavenger hunt during a visit to the Gandhi Museum where you will learn about the history of India. 
  • Evening: Learn more about the Sikh religion at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. After dinner, participate in the program Opening Ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi 
Day 3: Agra and the Taj Mahal 
  • Morning: Wake up early and board a bus to Agra! Stop along the way for snacks and a cup of delicious Indian chai. 
  • Afternoon: Arrive to Agra and settle in to your hotel. After lunch, learn about the intricate marble work and artisans who built the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. 
  • Evening: Enjoy a delicious dinner together sampling a wide array of traditional Mughal dishes native to the region. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel Amar / Pupsh Villa, Agra 
Day 4: Spectacular Monuments and History 
  • Morning: It is time to see the crown jewel of India, the Taj Mahal. Wake up before the sun and head to the gates to be the first inside for sunrise. After participating in a tour of the structure, head to the nearby market for some souvenir shopping. 
  • Afternoon: After your morning visit to the Taj Mahal, load back into your mini-bus for the drive to the ancient Rajasthani city of Jaipur. 
  • Evening: Upon arrival and settling into your accommodation, participate in a cooking demonstration and learn to prepare traditional Rajasthani dishes. 
  • Accommodation: Adhbhut Hotel, Jaipur 
Day 5: Explore the Amber Fort and Make Bangles 
  • Morning: Explore the famous Amber Fort! Learn about the ancient history of Jaipur and its influence over the kingdoms of Rajasthan. 
  • Afternoon: Participate in a lac workshop to see how artisans make lac bangles. Try your hand at this ancient art with the assistance of local experts. 
  • Evening: Spend the evening getting a customized henna design on your hand while showing off your dance moves with an interactive dance class with traditional Ghoomar dancers! 
  • Accommodation: Adhbhut Hotel, Jaipur 
Day 6: The Ancient City of Jaipur 
  • Morning: Walk through the ancient city of Amber this morning, keeping your eyes peeled for peacocks and monkeys. Marvel at the wares sold in the markets and try your hand at bargaining for goods! 
  • Afternoon: After your adventure through Agra and Jaipur, head back to New Delhi 
  • Evening: Spend the evening at a local restaurant and participate in a mid-trip debrief. Head to bed early in preparation for a flight to the South of India the next morning. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi 
Day 7: Journey to South India 
  • Morning: Wake up early and head back to the airport for an internal flight bound for the city of Cochin and in the Indian state of Kerala 
  • Afternoon: Settle into your hotel in historic Fort Cochin and enjoy a cup of chai from your hosts. 
  • Evening: Depart for the port of Cochin. Board a traditional boat and head off for a relaxing sunset cruise through the Arabian Sea. Enjoy dinner on board and taste some local seafood delicacies native to the region. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel / Guest house, Fort Cochin 
Day 8: Fort Kochi and Historical Figures 
  • Morning: Visit the centuries-old Jewish Synagogue, one of the last remaining in India, and the 15th-century Chinese fishing nets. Wander the fresh fish market in Fort Kochi and learn about fishing techniques used by local communities. 
  • Afternoon: Participate in a local language lesson, Malayalam, and try your hand at the local dialect of the region. Compare the local language of Kerala to the national language of India, Hindi. They are very different from each other (each have a unique alphabet). Learn more about one of the most important exports of the region, coconuts! Sip fresh coconut water and learn about the coconut tree. 
  • Evening: Visit a local Keralan Cultural Center and learn more about the traditional dance of Kerala, Kathakali. Watch as local dancers put on a spectacular performance of Kathakali. Enjoy the stunning costumes and marvel at the artistry of this long preserved cultural treasure! 
  • Accommodation: Hotel / Guest house, Fort Cochin 
Day 9: Tea Plantations and Mountains 
  • Morning: After breakfast, drive into the Western Ghats to the hill station of Munnar. 
  • Afternoon: Take a tour of a local tea plantation and learn more about the process of growing, harvesting, and making tea. After your interactive team tour, sample more than ten varieties of teas that are locally grown in the mountains of Kerala. 
  • Evening: After dinner, walk around town and try a local Kerala Paratha, a South Indian pancake! 
  • Accommodation: Hotel Abad, Munnar 
Day 10: Discovering Mountain Cultures! 
  • Morning: This morning will be spent learning more about the local tribal colonies who inhabit the Western Ghats. Learn about their lifestyle and culture and ways these people preserve their heritage. 
  • Afternoon: Visit a local spice plantation! Participate in an interactive cooking lesson and try some of the delicious local cuisine prepared with fresh local spices picked in the surrounding mountains. 
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner together with your group and reflect on the events of the day. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel Abad, Munnar 
Day 11: Board your Houseboat
  • Morning: Take a short drive from the mountains of the Western Ghats to the beautiful waters of Vembanad Lake. Meet your houseboat captain and team. Learn more about the Ketuvallam houseboat that you will call home for the next two days. 
  • Afternoon: Board your houseboat, settle in, and set sail across one of the largest lakes in all of India. Stop along the way at villages to learn more about local foods and traditions of the lake region. 
  • Evening: Try your hand at fishing (whatever you catch, the boat captain will cook as a part of your dinner). Swim in the lake and compete in a friendly canoe race in one of the smaller canals that branch into the lake. Soak in the ambiance of Kerala. 
  • Accommodation: Houseboat, Alleppey 
Day 12: Onam
  • Morning: Participate in a mock Onam Festival. Onam is a traditional festival celebrated in the state of Kerala that welcomes the Gods to Kerala and celebrates the harvest time. Together with your fellow travelers, you will have the opportunity to create a beautiful Onam pattern from freshly picked flowers on the deck of your boat. Dress in local Keralan clothing and enjoy a traditional Onam meal eaten on a banana leaf! 
  • Afternoon: Continue to sail around the backwaters. Stop along the way for a traditional Keralan Massage and take a swim in the cool clean waters of the lake. 
  • Evening: After dinner, take a sunset walk on a trail through the rice paddy fields. Return to the boat and participate in a closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Houseboat, Alleppey 
Day 13: Back to New Delhi 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head back to Cochin, stopping by a spice market along the way to purchase spices for all the new foods you will be cooking at home! 
  • Afternoon: Internal flight to New Delhi. 
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner together and reflect on your experiences and the issues you engaged with. Participate in a closing ceremony with your group before heading off to bed. 
  • Accommodation: Ashok Country Resort or similar, New Delhi 
Day 14: Namaste India! 
  • Morning: After breakfast, visit a local artisans market and any other monuments in Delhi that you did not see on your first day in the city. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, head back to the hotel to pack your bags and enjoy one final meal together before departure. 
  • Evening: Depart India. Return home with a new appreciation for Indian culture, religion, and history. 
  • Accommodation: Overnight flight home 

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader