India Trip 2017 (Upper School)

India1India 2015

INDIA 2017

India Trip Gallery
India Trip Flyer


Leaders: Peter Clark (, Erin Aitchison (, Catherine Klem (, and David Pynchon (

Trip Dates: March 31-April 14,  2017 (As with any remote foreign travel, these dates must always remain slightly flexible as flights can be cancelled, weather can impact timeliness, etc.)

Purpose: This trip’s purpose is to give students cultural exposure to India, its history and religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Through travel, students will explore some of the issues India faces today related to poverty, development, politics, the caste system, and discrimination. Students will experience personal growth through experiencing the challenges of traveling in a developing country and gain a new understanding of their own country and themselves by discovering how people in India perceive them as Americans.

Important Dates:

  • October 31: sign-up deadline/Financial Aid requests. Deposit of $500 due.
  • Week of November 7: applicants notified of trip assignments
  • November 23: refund deadline.

Sign Ups: Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

  • If there are still open spaces after October 31, then we will accept people in the order they get their deposit in.
  • If more students sign up than spaces available, we will hold a lottery, though we will seek some gender balance while keeping in mind those students who have not taken a SAAS trip or who have been waitlisted in the past. (Students’ applications will always be viewed in light of their records at school, as there might be instances where a specific trip is more or less appropriate for a given student.)
  • Deposits will not be refundable if you are accepted on the trip after November 23 unless we find a suitable replacement (minus the change ticket fee)

Cost: $3500 +visa, vaccination, optional trip cancellation insurance, Med Evac insurance, and passport expenses if student does not have one

Payment Schedule:

  • $500 deposit by October 31
  • Remaining payments are due the first week of each month (December-March) for $750.

Financial Aid:  There is some trip financial aid available through the school.  Forms can be found online on Inside SAAS under “Form for Parents.”

Passport Information:

  • Must have a passport by early January, one that is valid through 2018.  Plan on this process taking 6-8 weeks, so if you need a new or updated passport, you might need to expedite at this point.
  • You need to have your passport in order to get your Indian Visa.
  • Passport information can be collected from the following website.  (

Visa Requirements:

  • An application for an Indian Visa must be filled out on the following web site.  (  Follow the path for the “Apply by Mail” option and be sure to choose the “tourist” visa option.
  • Passports must have a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of application for the visa with at least two blank visa pages.
  • Two recent identical passport-sized photographs must be included with the application.
  • Applicants must submit a photocopy with proof of residence/address while applying for the visa. Photocopy of driver license or utility bill must be submitted.  For minors, a parent or guardian proof of address may be submitted instead.

Health and Immunizations:

  • Please visit a travel clinic within your insurance plan
  • Some immunizations that you may be encouraged by your doctor to get include: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis B, MMR, Tetanus-diphtheria
  • Medications for traveler’s diarrhea and anti-malarial medications may also be recommended by your doctor.

Travel Insurance: Specific information regarding travel insurance requirements will be provided at a later date.

Conditioning: Some physical conditioning will be required, though not extreme.

Gear: Gear list forthcoming

RISKS INVOLVED WITH THIS TRIP: This trip includes risks associated with foreign travel to remote regions, including but not limited to the following: risks associated with political acts, disease, remote areas where there is limited access to phones, local transportation, and emotional stress caused by foreign travel. Further risks will be enumerated in a document titled “Overnight Trip Acknowledgment of Risk, Release, and Consent for Medical Treatment for Minors, ”which all students and parents are asked to read and sign prior to the trip’s departure.

Student Behavior and Expectations:

  • Mature attitude and openness to learning about other cultures is necessary.  Learning will consist of readings, discussions, lectures, and experiential components.
  • Students will be expected to adhere to school rules regarding drugs, alcohol, and inappropriate relations.  Any student breaking any of these rules will be sent home immediately at the student’s/parents’ expense.

Tentative Itinerary:

  • March 31:  Leave US for India in afternoon
  • April 2:  Arrive Delhi early morning
  • April 2:  Day in Delhi; Caste lecture, scavenger Hunt
  • April 3:  Day in Delhi; overnight to Varanasi
  • April 4:  Varanasi
  • April 5:  Varanasi
  • April 6:  Varanasi
  • April 7:  Overnight to Ashok’s farm
  • April 8:  Travel to Amritsar
  • April 9:  Visit Golden Temple; travel to Dharamsala
  • April 10:  Dharamsala
  • April 11:  Dharamsala
  • April 12:  Dharamsala; overnight bus to Delhi
  • April 13:  Arrive back in Delhi.  Day in Delhi and then go to airport
  • April 13 or 14:  Arrive in Seattle