Caution: Drivers in street may be more reckless than they appear. Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in India

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Gained a greater appreciation of space and silence. Better understanding of the socioeconomic problems affecting the poor. Learned I could take a lot more stress than I thought I could.

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.

What is good about this program is that it provides the stability and regularity of an American or Western university-setting, which is incredibly valuable in India. However, the semesters do tend to have fairly heavy final exam periods.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff, both American and Indian, is incredibly friendly, personable, and dedicated. They welcomed us in, helped us navigate the Indian bureaucracy and landscape as best as they could and took the time to know us individually. I taught a few of the Indian staffers how to play baseball. For those of us who were from Boston during the Marathon Bombings, they made sure to check in on us to make sure that our friends and family were okay and ask if we wanted to talk. They also provided great insights into travel and activities within Delhi and India in general. I could not ask for better staffers.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

While I was never able to fully adapt to domestic staff, my homestay was lovely. What made the biggest impact was my wonderful, loving host parents whom I am eternally grateful to. They were warm, caring and took the time to take me and my roommate out to dinners with them. They also took the time to get to know more about us and our ways of life, and vice-versa.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program does a good job integrating you with the socio-cultural landscape. During orientation week, they send you out on your own to several markets, canteens and other locations to gradually introduce you to India before releasing you to your homestay. In addition, they also provide every participant with a map, a metrocard and a useful phrase sheet with instructions on how to properly interact with taxi drivers. However, I would have liked to interact more with young people my age. I was greeted with cold stares when I tried meeting people on my own.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* 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)

The exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Indian Rupee really works in our favor.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Varies
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bargain, eat at Western food only occasionally and be aware of significant taxes placed on luxury food (which includes Western food) and alcohol (which includes beer)


* 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?

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
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Rural Trips
  • Food
  • Interactions with locals
* What could be improved?
  • Better attempts at interacting with locals within the age range of participants.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? White people get photographed everywhere they go.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!