a wonderful, wonderful city Past Review

By (Anthropology., The College of Wooster) - abroad from 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013 with

IFSA/Alliance: Varanasi - The City, The River, The Sacred

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Varanasi is a challenging city to study abroad in. It pushes you outside of your comfort zone and you inevitably learn a lot about yourself in the process. That being said, it is also an amazing and beautiful city, and 100% worth it.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host families are all SO wonderful--definitely one of the best parts of the program.

* Food:


* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's a little too easy to stay in the program center, do your homework at a "western" cafe, or go home to your room, but definitely worth the effort to get out into the community.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program directors are really concerned with your health. You'll be very taken care of.

* Safety:

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 semester in Varanasi was much more affordable than a semester in the States


* 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
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? Don't be shy or embarrassed! Everyone will be excited that you're trying to speak the language, no matter how bad your attempts are. The only way to learn is to practice. Speak in Hindi whenever possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travel Week
  • Host Family
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Language Immersion
  • Field Trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't worry. Don't try to prepare for everything. You'll be fine.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'