Trip of a Lifetime Past Review

By (Bethel University) - abroad from 12/26/2017 to 05/01/2017 with

AIFS: Hyderabad - University of Hyderabad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about the Indian culture that you can't grasp from simply reading a textbook. Living and studying in a new culture is such an amazing opportunity to grow as a young adult. I became more independent, adaptable and developed a passion to travel. Going abroad was one of the best choices I have made in college and would recommend it to my peers.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The faculty and staff at the Univeristy of Hyderabad were so welcoming and helpful throughout the registration process for classes. If any of the students had questions or concerns they were eager to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Mr. Daas had an excellent staff that managed Tagore International House ranging from an awesome kitchen crew to an attentive security staff onsite.

* Food:

Traditional Indian food was served for all three meals. There were some Western-options as well. The campus has a few "ShopComs" short for shopping complexes that are a hub spot for students all throughout the day. Snacks like icecream, smoothies and my favorite, shawarma!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Hyderabad is a very safe city overall. Following the same guidelines as you do at home still apply abroad such as not going outside alone if you are a woman after dark and always being aware of your surroundings when out and about.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved going abroad with AIFS. I felt confident in the pre-departure process as they had state-side staff that were terrific in communicating the logistics from visa information to booking our flights for us. Upon arriving in Hyderabad, the Resident Director met our group there and was so helpful throughout the semester. They truly care about the students and want to ensure everyone has a wonderful experience.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

The cost of living in India is quite low relative to the United States. Even on a student budget, going out to eat was not nearly as expensive as it can be in America. Transportation costs were also relatively cheaper.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy gifts and souvenirs the first time you see them. In tourist populated areas prices are at least three times higher versus purchasing locally. Plus it is fun to get to know people in the community you will be living in!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200-level Spanish course
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Take the time and learn basic phrases before going abroad. I really wish I would have done this it would have made a huge impact on communicating with other Indians.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Pre-departure proccess
  • Golden Triangle Tour
  • Resident Director, Univeristy staff
* What could be improved?
  • More cultural events throughout the semester
  • Attend traditional Indian sporting events like cricket
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have done more volunteering while I was abroad.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.