Connecting Cultures: India

Chennai, Agra, Delhi

July 2-15, 2020

Application due February 15, 2020


India HandsThe George Washington University Art Therapy Program has been involved in international cross-cultural community service learning since 2008. Our students have had this opportunity to study and explore social and cultural diversity, connecting collaboratively in India, South Africa, France, United Arab Emirates, and Croatia. To celebrate GW Art Therapy’s 50th Anniversary and after numerous requests, we have created a trip specifically for professionals who want to connect across cultures, learn from each other, and work in the community.

This trip is for anyone who has a desire to connect to others; an openness to expanding your own self-awareness; a commitment to give of yourself and to learn from everyone; a willingness to participate in art-making; and an interest in mental health, community support, and cultural issues that divide and unite this world. 

Main focus of the trip is community service & connections with local experts (specific to interests of participants), trainings/workshops, and discussion groups with art-making. Cultural excursions include arts & cultural center, dance school, flower market, handmade art-book publishing house, and exploration of temples, Agra Fort, and Taj Mahal with storyteller guides.

Community Connections:

We have organizations we have worked with for over 9 years (women’s and men’s shelters, cancer center, schools, differently-abled adults) where we can do community work (dependent upon their needs); however, if possible, we would also like to tailor the trip to each participant’s interests, professional work, and skills. Therefore, setting up learning exchanges with leaders in the area to create connections for present and future collaborations. These may be through visiting sites, over dinner, or doing/attending workshops/trainings.

Discussion Groups with Artmaking:

Each evening we will end our day with art-making, journaling, and discussion as a group. It is mandatory that everyone be willing to participate in order to strengthen bonds with the group and to explore and process the days events. Former participants have stated that this ritual each evening becomes one of the most important and looked forward to aspects of the trip. No previous experience with art is required.



Download details and schedule



Study Abroad Facebook page

India 2017 Facebook page


If you are interested in participating in this exciting opportunity, please make sure to download the application in order to access fillable PDF and submit along with your CV to:

Email: [email protected]

Subject line: GW Connecting Cultures: India

Attachment: Application (save and name document: your last name, first initial) and CV ((save and name document: your last name, first initial)





India ManOnce your application has been approved, we will send you notice with a link to pay deposit ($750), instructions for pre-trip requirements (flight, visa, vaccinations, travel insurance), and final payment schedule.





$2500 (double accommodation) or

$3000 (single accommodation)

Includes: accommodations, group meals, local flight within India, local transportation, art supplies, excursions, and entrance fees. CEC’s available upon request.

Not included in costs: International airfare, visa, travel insurance, vaccinations, and personal expenses.



Heidi Bardot, ATR-BC, LCPAT is Director and Associate Professor of the GW Art Therapy Program. She has brought an international focus to the GW Program through immersion diversity courses and service-learning programs in France, India, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Croatia and has assisted in creating the first post-master's program in Croatia. Bardot currently collaborates with local organizations in Lebanon to work with refugees and to train relief workers in art techniques, self-care, and trauma.


Mary Ellen Ruff, LPC, ATR-BC, ACS is an Assistant Professor in the GW Art Therapy Program and is board certified art therapist, a licensed professional counselor and clinical supervisor in private practice.  The focus of her clinical work is in the area of addictions with adolescents and adults. 







Contact information:
Please contact 703-299-4148 if you have questions, concerns, or need special accommodations. Space is limited. Registration closes on May 2, 2019. Cancellations must be received 48 hours prior to the event date to be eligible for a refund.



Course completion & CE info:
Course completion requirements: Social workers must attend the entire course and complete a course evaluation to earn CE credit. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 10 business days of course completion.



The George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Program, Provider #1708, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Program maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 4/16/2019-4/16/2020. Social workers completing this course receive 6 Trauma continuing education credits.



The George Washington University Art Therapy Department has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 3053. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The George Washington University Art Therapy Department is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.