Incredible, Insane, Indescribable, India! Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/12/2014 to 05/14/2014 with

Study Abroad Programs in India

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Worthwhile doesn't even begin to describe it. I had traveled to New Delhi before, but spending such an extended time there changed me forever. India is very beautiful, and full of so many contradictions. Sometimes people go to India and intensely hate it - the poverty, the filth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes people become entranced with the spirituality of it. They "find themselves" and ignore the rest. I learned that you've got to take it altogether. The things you see that make you want to weep in sorrow, and the things and experiences that make you come alive. India gives you priceless perspective. I love it there.

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in India Photo Study Abroad Programs in India Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Excepting my Hindi course, I thought the course work was pretty sub-par. It reminded me more of middle school than college. This is good for traveling, but attendance is required at all classes (and there's no spring break or anything) and they're kind of intense about attendance.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They are very, very hands-on and helpful. India is a tough place to live sometimes. They pay attention (sometimes more than you wish they did!)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very satisfied. I arranged my own home stay, which made it unique. Everyone I studied with stayed in home stays and had mostly good experiences.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The amount that you will be integrated is totally up to you. You can be full Indian in traditional clothes or you can be your mostly typical western self. Delhi is very cosmopolitan.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Anytime someone was sick, the administration was totally helpful. Kind of like a family at times.

* Safety:

Don't walk around or take autos by yourself at night. It's pretty commonly known that New Delhi is dangerous, especially for women. Just be smart.

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)

Travel is the main expense. Everything else is rather cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I took a lot of taxis, which made it more than others. About $80.


* 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

You will have to decide to actively use the language on your own. It is of course encouraged, but not very actively or very much.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Third semester of Hindi
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 use it, don't be embarrassed. Indians love to hear foreigners speak Hindi. A little bit will go a long way.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • New Delhi
  • Geetaji (the Hindi professor)
  • The Center
* What could be improved?
  • Courses
  • Attendance Requirement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That missing class is really looked down upon (understandably for safety reasons I guess). But, you're in India! Sometimes you just want to go on a trip or do something spontaneous in the city. It could be awkward missing class since the program is so small.

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.'