I Went to India? An Exercise in Chaos Past Review

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 01/31/2016 to 05/12/2016 with

SIT Study Abroad: India - Sustainable Development and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself. Who I am. Who I want to be. Sometimes, you go long periods without experiencing any significant personal grow and sometimes it happens all at once. That was India for me.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

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 homestay was perfectly fine. Conditions were all completely acceptable. I didn't really feel as though my host family was making an effort to get to know me. I gave them ample opportunity, regularly initiating conversations, offering to share photos of my family and even doing my Hindi homework infront of them. They were most interested in me when they had company, and it was at that point that I realized that I was really a status symbol for them. It was as though they got to say "Oh yes, we have an American staying in our home. Aren't we special." They were a perfectly polite couple, but it felt more like staying at a Bed and Breakfast than it did a homestay. That being said, I know people who had really meaningful homestay experiences. It's really a coin toss.

* Food:

Food was incredible. Both at the homestay and during excursions, food was delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Most everyone on the trip got sick at one point or another. The program staff handled it all easily. There was one point at the end of the trip that was a little upsetting (no pun intended). The guest house we were staying at during out last week was given clean, filtered water in jugs and, when they ran out, refilled the jugs from the tap and put them out for our use without telling us. Needless to say, most of the group got sick. I couldn't keep anything in my system for almost a week and dropped a pretty significant amount of weight for my body size, so that was a bummer.

* Safety:

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

Despite all of the shit-and there was shit-I really do feel like a changed person after studying abroad. Despite whatever struggle there was, my time in India was incredible and memorable. I think that is all you can ask for out of a study abroad 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)

India is incredibly affordable.


* 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? I had taken several language classes, some advanced and some beginning.
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? Just drill it. The Hindi syllabary is really intuitive. Just don't plan on leaving fluent. Survival Hindi is what you'll need and it's what you'll get.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The students
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Food. Seriously, amazing.
* What could be improved?
  • Academics
  • Lecture format
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had stretched more before going. Sitting on the ground, criss cross apple sauce is incredibly painfully for long periods of time. Stiff American joints do not work well with that position. Practice before coming. It will help you in the long run.