It was the best time of my life!!!! - BCA Chennai - Madras Christian College Past Review

By (Social Work, Loras College) - abroad from 01/05/2015 to 04/24/2015 with

Study Abroad Programs in India

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved India. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. It was definitely worthwhile. I learned a lot about culture and tradition as well as a newer, more contemporary culture. There are such contrasts in India and I think that is something that makes it very unique to all who visit this amazing country.

Review Photos

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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.

The classes were really similar to ones that I had already taken at Loras. The classes were for students getting their Master's degree in social work but they weren't very difficult. Some of the material covered at MCC I had already learned in my social work classes at Loras.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program director was really great at getting us started and settled after our arrival. We Learned a lot from her. She talked to us about safety and she taught us how to use the train and how to get around the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Overall, the housing at MCC was really great. The one thing that sometimes was a problem was that the water would get shut off sometimes, but the director talked to the warden and had that problem fixed. Another problem that we had later in the semester was that the A/C would start leaking water whenever it was on. Other than that, I don't think there were any other problems.

* Food:

The food was amazing!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved getting to know the people of Chennai. Everyone was so sweet. It was great being able to have some of the MCC students introduce us to their friends and families. They were also really helpful in translating. It was also really fun meeting people on my own because there is a language barrier and I think that being in a position where you can't understand one another was an eye opening experience for me because I had never been in that kind of situation before and now that i have, I can relate more to people here in the U.S. that have been in those types of situations.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I arrived sick to Chennai and during the first week, I kept on getting worse, but our director took me to a doctor and I got some medicine and I was fine after a few days.

* Safety:

I felt pretty safe but from what some of the MCC students said, it could be kind of dangerous to be out by yourself at night. We did have a curfew of 9:00 so we couldn't be out past then. I had no problems being out in the city during the day. Usually if I went out at night time, I would be with a group of people and at least one person that could speak Tamil.

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)

In all of the program fees, food and housing is included so if you really wanted to, you could probably just eat the food that is served in the hostel for the entire semester. Everything is pretty cheap to buy. We also got money from our director that could be used as travel money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you don't want to spend very much money, you can choose to not order food from restaurants. Just limit yourself to buying only what you need.


* 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

We had to take a conversational Tamil class while we were in India. We weren't fluent at all but it did make the people from India happy that we at least tried to speak to them in their language so we tried our best but always usually had someone that could translate for us.

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? none
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? I think just learning some basic words would be great. I think the more you explore and talk to people, the more you will learn the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • the crazy traffic
  • the people
  • the food!
* What could be improved?
  • I think everything was great
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I don't think there is anything that I would have wanted to know prior to going to India besides what was covered in the Skype orientation. I think going in blind was a really amazing eye opening experience for me.

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.'