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Indiana University

Student Profiles

Emily stands in front of the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

Overseas Study Program

Hyderabad,  India

Enjoy multinational friendships, and don’t hesitate to travel in an unfamiliar country.”

Emily Ridout

Emily’s majors: Folklore/Ethnomusicology 

Term abroad: Fall 2009

Reason you chose this program: I've always wanted to go to India!

Favorite classes: Modern Indian Art.  I learned a ton. It was very applicable, allowing me to understand the culture more deeply and artistically. The class also allowed for analytical thought. 

Describe the housing situation: I stayed in an international hostel that held semester-long students on the second story and permanent international students on the ground level.  It was a great place to stay, and there was a shuttle going to and from the hostel during class times. 

Biggest surprise:  Probably the biggest surprise was how friendly people were.  It was not uncommon to be approached by a stranger checking to see if I liked their country. (I definitely did, and do.)

Greatest challenge: Waking up before 6 a.m., six days a week to go to yoga.  It was worth it. 

What I wish I knew before I left: I wish I knew the purpose and practices of the festivals, which I really enjoyed.  I would have set off more fireworks! 

What you know now that you didn't know before going abroad:  I feel I understand more about travel and how to communicate across cultural bounds.

Experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock:  Upon arrival, I was shocked at the amount of noise in traffic, which is generally heavy in cities.  In India, using the horn is a courtesy that allows people to know of your presence. 

Fact about your host country that you think people would be surprised to learn: Gandhi is pictured on Indian currency.