The Real Deal Public Health Experience in India Past Review

By (Public Health, University of South Carolina - Columbia) - abroad from 01/18/2015 to 05/12/2015 with

IFSA/Alliance: Manipal - Global and Public Health

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was DEFINITELY worthwhile. I learned so much about myself through the inherent challenges of living in a new country, especially one like India. Pushing your boundaries and going outside your comfort zone is the most rewarding gift you can give yourself.

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.

The classes expanded my knowledge a good bit without feeling overwhelming. Some classes were based on paper writing and others on tests.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The resident director on campus was the best lifeline. She built a great relationship with the study abroad office along with our public health professors to be our advocate on campus.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I shared a double with a current Manipal student. The rooms are spacious and the bathrooms are well cleaned by the housekeepers. A storage closet is provided to stock up on blankets, hangers, etc to reduce cost.

* Food:

Meals in one of the mess halls on campus are provided in your program fees. Similar to any mess hall on your own home campus, you get tired of the food they serve but Manipal is surrounded with other restaurants and canteens.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We often rode the local bus to get to various places in Manipal and Udupi (the next closest city) which was a great opportunity to meet locals. We took the bus to a local art gallery to take art classes by a local woman and her other clients.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to visit the hopsital on campus two times throughout the semester; once for stomach problems and the other for ear infections. The hospital on campus is one of the best in India from what I've heard and experienced. Healthcare is very affordable compared to the US and the program fee includes insurance. Check the CDC for a list of vaccinations needed.

* Safety:

Buddy system, especially for girls. I never ran into a problem - keep your belongings close.

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


* 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)

A meal off campus would cost $2-3. Laundry was $5 a week. Local transportation would be $0.50-3.00. India, compared to the US, is very cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30-40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find a credit card that doesn't charge a fee to withdraw cash.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Public Health Field Visits
  • Art Classes/ Community Engagement
  • Travel Week
* What could be improved?
  • Class structure
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Review the blogs on the Alliance for Global Education for an appropriate packing list.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.