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Global Women's Leadership in India

Global Women's Leadership in India
India's cities and villages become a dynamic classroom in this two week winter break program focused on women's leadership in India.
Language of Instruction: 
Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: 
-Open to All Majors
Leadership Studies
Program Type: 
  • Earn three hours of leadership studies credit (LDST 260/LDST 460).
  • Visit a variety of NGOs, MNE’s, and educational institutions to learn about women’s roles and the leadership challenges women are addressing in the contexts of business, politics, education, and culture.
  • Practice yoga, visit Bollywood's most famous studio, take a safari in the Bannerghatta National Park, and try your hand at cooking Indian cuisine during some of the cultural experiences included in this program.
Program Summary: 

The purpose of this study abroad experience is to learn first hand the global nature of issues faced by women and the varied styles of leadership they engage. Through the contexts of business, politics, education, and culture, students will gain deeper insight into the challenges women face globally and the leadership strategies they employ in order to make progress. Open to undergraduate students in any major; students enroll in one 3 credit course in the Institute of Leadership Studies. The two week program will include visits to multi-national businesses, nonprofit organizations, women-owned start-ups and small businesses, and educational institutions, and meetings with women from the corporate, nonprofit, small business, political, and educational sectors. 


Students will have the opportunity to visit multiple cities and villages in India.  The program's home base for the 2018 program will be in Bangalore, the tech capital of India and its third largest city.  Students will visit locations throughout the expansive city and experience its rich culture and history.  From Bangalore, students will visit Hyderabad and Mysore, returning to Bangalore for the final days of the program. 


Academic Information: 

Three hours of academic credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program and will be posted to the student’s Spring transcript.  Students will enroll in LDST 260/LDST 460: Study Abroad Topics in Leadership Studies: Women’s Leadership.

Leadership Studies Minor students can count the course toward an elective credit in their leadership studies minor program of study.

The program consists of a combination of lecture, discussion, readings, and site visits to understand the issues surrounding women’s leadership in India. The program includes visits to NGOs, MNE’s, and educational institutions to learn about women’s roles and the leadership challenges women are addressing in the contexts of business, politics, education, and culture. Throughout the program the group will have opportunities to visit, engage, and network with women representing the various sectors examined, local community members, eat local cuisine, shop at various locations, and explore cultural/historic sites.


Students will stay in double occupancy hotel rooms during the program. All hotels used for this program have high safety standards and provide comfortable accommodations. 

Life Abroad: 

2018 Program Itinerary (activities and itinerary are subject to change)

January 1: Depart U.S. for Bangalore, India

January 2: Welcome to India!

January 3 - 10: Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Mysore (specific itinerary to be updated soon)

A sampling of site visits and activities include (more to be added soon!):

  • AWAKE (Association of women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka) - an NGO promoting entrepreneurship among women.
  • Women Cabs - taxi service catering exclusively to the needs of women commuters.
  • Sampark Trust - organization supporting sex workers through facilitation of micro enterprises.
  • Ramoji Film City - Tollywood/Bollywood's famous studios in Hyderabad.
  • Bannerghatta National Park - safari park with lions, tigers, and elephants, plus a famous butterfly park.
  • Infosys - India's second largest IT company.

January 11: Depart India

  • Morning activities TBD.
  • Evening departure for the US.




This program is open to students of any major with an interest in women’s empowerment.  No prior coursework is necessary.  Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of a petition).

Further Reading: 

For more information contact:

Dr. Mary Banwart

The University of Kansas

Institute for Leadership Studies

Email: mbanwart@ku.edu

Video Clips

"Incredible India" (Indian Ministry of Tourism) - TV commercial that traces the journey of a young woman through India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qBE_Z8JbzY

Program Faculty: 

Mary Banwart, PhD

Dr. Banwart is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies Department and is the director of the Institute for Leadership Studies at KU. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership and communication as well as political communication. Her political research focuses on political campaign communication and the influence of gender in political campaigns, with specific attention directed toward political advertising, campaign web sites, and mixed-gender debates. Her research on women and leadership focuses on leadership program development and assessment; and, the intersection of gender, mindset, personal efficacy, and flourishing. She directs the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute hosted at KU.


Astrid Villamil, PhD

Astrid M. Villamil (Ph.D. University of Kansas, 2011) teaches courses in culture and communication, conflict, and organizational communication. Astrid’s research considers non-dominant voices in organizational contexts and the way structural and organizational policies affect the experiences of individuals from underrepresented groups. Her research has been presented at regional and national conferences and has been published in Women’s Studies in Communication and Communication Monographs. In addition, Dr. Villamil works with a grant team funded by the U.S. State Department that brings college women from countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia to the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute every summer.


Study Abroad Information Center
To learn more about your study abroad options, we encourage you to visit the Study Abroad Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The Study Abroad Info Center offers walk-in advising for current and prospective students. Drop by to learn more about program options, make an appointment with a study abroad program coordinator, get information on scholarships and financial aid, and talk to returned study abroad students. We also encourage you to explore the resources available on our website to learn more about the application process, KU Core Approved programs, and the cost of study abroad. 

Study Abroad Information Center
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Hours: Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 pm and Thursday afternoons at 2:00 pm in the Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The financial aid officer will be happy to take any questions and can offer individual advising at the end of sessions for specific concerns. For those that cannot attend the weekly Info Sessions due to scheduling conflicts, we also offer appointments for financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students. Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.


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More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
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Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
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