Broad in India Past Review

By (Theatre Arts, English, Nebraska Wesleyan University) for

ISEP Exchange: Hyderabad - Exchange Program at University of Hyderabad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There was a lot for me to overcome, so it took me a long time to adjust, and I don't know if I ever did completely. I never felt grounded with a network or friends while in India. I did not feel connected to the rest of campus. However, I learned so much about ideals and mentalities, and how judgmental we accidentally are. I learned that tourists of India have ideas that are more often than not completely false, and that poverty is horrifyingly real. I learned that human beings are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, and that our bodies were made to be lived in.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The American system is very rigorous, and the Indian system seems to pretend to be, but isn't. Books are circulated, not purchased; exams are a majority of your grade; classes are lecture based.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

For someone who did not know much about the education system in India, I wanted to know more about how classes were conducted to begin with. I didn't know much about transportation or how to access it from where I was. Generally speaking, I suggest more practical orientations to help us be self-sufficient.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our hostel was very far away from campus. If the shuttle didn't come to pick us up, we walked or biked. This was fine, until the summer months hit, at which point 100+ was unbearable. Nightlife existed if you wanted it to. There aren't big parties like there are in American universities; you have a small party with friends, or you go out to a club.

* Food:

Even bad Indian food is good. Be sure you like chilies.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Visit the country. Travel is cheap.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There are strikes and religious conflicts all the time. You probably won't be in trouble ever. Just be smart, and don't get involved in anything that could put you in danger.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? a cheap meal can cost anywhere from Rs. 150-500, which is about $3-10.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just because it's cheap, doesn't mean you shouldn't keep track of your expenses. Otherwise, it will add up.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to use Hindi in public, but more often than not, the Indians I spoke with wanted to speak English with me. When I tried to use Hindi, it was very appreciated.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Search through multiple programs. Sometimes when one doesn't offer a country you're looking for, another will.