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