An Immersive Study of Indian Culture, Religion, and Art Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/02/2016 to 05/11/2016 with

SIT Study Abroad: India - Sustainable Development and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was so worthwhile. I gained an incredible insight into what it's like to live in India, and I know that I barely scratched the surface. I also gained a new perspective on a lot of the social / cultural practices I have seen as totally normal in a Western setting.

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?

* Food:

Indian food is great in general, and the program house's food was amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only got sick once and took my own medicine. The Program Head was really responsive and gave me great advice on how to get better.

* Safety:

No safety-related incidents. I went in much more cautious and nervous than was warranted. My experience with pretty much all locals I met was very positive.

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

This program is amazing. The staff and Dr. Storm are part of what makes it awesome - other than that it's just being in India. I loved it, and felt very supported throughout.


* 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? $10-15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Set a budget for yourself. Setting a weekly budget is more helpful than a monthly one, because it's easier to see when you're going over.


* 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? 0
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? Learn the Hindi alphabet PRIOR to arrival! It makes a huge difference. Don't expect to leave India being fluent in Hindi, it'd be almost impossible to do so. But if you dedicate time to practice while you're there, you'll improve a lot.

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 staff & professors
  • Living in Delhi
  • Travel around India
* What could be improved?
  • Not much.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I hadn't been so nervous to move around the city on my own. I never felt scared in India, and the way people talked about it before I went, I expected to feel nervous/scared all the time. Once I started to explore alone and talk to people more, I realized that a lot of those fears were grounded in the image of India that is perpetuated in the U.S.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

National Identity Seminar

Course Department: Art History / Religion
Instructor: Mary Storm
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was very informative and at times challenging, but appropriately so.
Credit Transfer Issues: None.
Course Name/Rating:

Beginning Hindi

Course Department: Hindi
Instructor: Prahlad Kumar
Instruction Language: Hindi/English
Comments: Challenging but well-taught. I learned a lot of Hindi, both written and spoken.
Credit Transfer Issues: None.
Course Name/Rating:

Field Methods & Ethics

Course Department:
Instructor: Mary Storm
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was challenging but very useful for ISP. I was grateful to have this course under my belt by the time ISP came around.
Credit Transfer Issues: None.
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study Project

Course Department: Independent Work
Instructor: None
Instruction Language: English
Comments: ISP was challenging but an incredible opportunity. We had a fair amount of guidance but a ton of independence, and Dr. Storm had very high standards for our projects. I gained a lot of skills in conducting independent research that will be useful throughout my time in academics.
Credit Transfer Issues: None. I didn't have problems getting a Middlebury professor to approve my ISP, because I had already had him as a teacher in a class that was very related to my ISP topic. There's no harm in identifying and asking a teacher to review your ISP before you actually write it, though, if that will alleviate some stress later on.