A Journey Through India: A Journey to Finding Myself Past Review

By (Communication Studies, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) - abroad from 01/01/2014 to 01/21/2014 with

Study Abroad Programs in India

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
India is beautiful place. It is a challenging place. It is a diverse place. India is a place that asks you to step outside of yourself and what you know and view the world through new eyes. In order to gain the most out of this trip, I had to let India open me up. You have to be willing to let India change you in order to see everything there as beautiful and as an opportunity for growth. I would love to go back again.

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.

We did not attend a school, so in that sense the academic rigor was not challenging. Although that is true, the culture shock and change of pace was extremely challenging and intense. At the end of the trip, we did have to tie our experiences together in a paper.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We did not have an on-site administrator because we were not attending a school in India.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our hostels were clean, everyone had their own beds, each room had a bathroom, including a shower, and we were well fed.

* Food:

We never went hungry, but the food is unlike anything in the United States. I did not always enjoy how spicy Indian food was, but there was always something a person could have. I never went hungry. Breakfast was always especially good!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were thrown right in. Our group explored temples, villages, markets, and other sights. We also met with young people and children, stayed with host families one weekend, met with some Indian business people, and more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

If anyone was a little sick, our professor helped them figure out what they may need. I suggest bringing stomach meds, just in case. You will need your Hep. A & B vaccines, along with a Typhoid vaccines. Taking Malaria pills is also something to consider.

* Safety:

Overall, it is important to act with the common sense you would in any other big city. Never be alone, keep your important possessions in front of you, watch yourself and your belongings, and look out for your friends. If you feel uncomfortable (there are generally always a lot of people around you), tell someone. Just be mindful!

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)

Things are very cheap in India. Along with that, your meals are included with the trip fee.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food was included. I probably spent $100-$200 on gifts for myself and loved ones, coffee, ice cream, etc. (my personal choice)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bargain items in markets; people will attempt to overcharge you. Things are very cheap, so you may want to buy everything... Just be mindful so you don't spend more than you want simply because everything is fairly inexpensive. Don't buy everything the first second you see it. You will have time to go back to markets.


* 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

Our professor encouraged us to speak a few statements during the trip out of respect for the culture.

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Had never taken a course on the language
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? n/a

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The diversity
  • Exploring the villages
  • The challenge of being somewhere so different from home
* What could be improved?
  • Try to get everyone on one plane
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known that the country would require me to express a lot of patience. I also wish I would have known that plans would often change. Within the first week, I realized these things, but I wish I would have really understood it before I got there. I think those lessons are difficult to really grasp until you are thrown into the culture.