Global Education


Read the India trip blog.

Through a partnership with the Doon School and Welham Girls School in Dehradun, Groton School offers students and faculty the opportunity to engage directly with the people, places, and issues encountered in India’s towns and villages. Dehradun is in the foothills of the Himalayas, sandwiched between two of India’s major rivers—the Ganges and the Yamuna. Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) in India takes place during spring vacation, in March, when temperatures are in the mid 70s and the water in the rivers is starting to swell from the melting snow of the Himalayas.

The Doon School and Welham Girls School are two of India’s prominent private schools. Our students enjoy their interactions with their Indian peers as they live in the dorms and perhaps play a game of cricket. Groton students attend a few classes in these schools and participate in some of their activities, but spend most of their time working on their host school’s community projects. During one GEO, for example, our students worked on the Bindal Slum and Street Smart projects, both initiatives of Shaila Brijnath, a resident of Dehradun.

The Bindal is a dry river bed alongside the Doon School that carries water during the monsoons. Every year after the monsoons, the Bindal community rebuilds its homes. Our students, together with the Doon boys, worked most afternoons teaching the children of this slum how to read and write in English. The Street Smart project takes children off the streets to teach them the basics of reading and writing. Our students engage and connect with these children through art and craft projects and other cultural activities where language is not a barrier.

Following a week in the city we will travel to a village on the border of the Rajaji National Park, a magnificent preserve that supports populations of elephant, tiger and leopard. During our time in this area we will work with the villagers to help them transition from an economy based on the sale of forest products to one that benefits from the region's tremendous tourism potential. In the park itself we will engage in projects to improve signage and infrastructure to improve tourism and we will revisit plots established by Groton and Doon students in 2012 to record changes to the habitats because of human activity and global climate change.

In addition to time in Dehradun, Groton India participants trek in the Himalayas, tour Delhi, and go white water rafting on the Ganges. The development of Groton India stems from the School’s desire to establish more opportunities for students and faculty in global education. Virtually all participants find the experience memorable, many find it life-altering, and some say it shapes their attitudes toward their lives and careers.

Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) to India occurs every other year, alternating with the GEO to China.
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