I don’t think that I am alone in saying that the things I was most excited about learning, the things that I first told my parents about, were outside of the classroom. However, the topics we learned about in the classroom and within my group are definitely worth mentioning as well.
I had previously taken an Entrepreneurship at my university before joining this global immersion program so that helped me a lot. I needed this previous knowledge because I was the only American in my group and, also, the only business major. I am not the type of person to come out of the gate and immediately take the bull by the horns, especially in a group of people I don’t know, so the beginning was rough and it wasn’t until I spoke up with my ideas that we really started to get on track in the right direction. This work I did with my team was definitely where I learned the most. It would have been difficult if I hadn’t gone through other business classes before this, but with the knowledge that I already had, I was able to actually apply it in a real life situation in order to successfully complete this group project and be able to have something worthy to present to the CEO of the company.
I was really proud of the work that we produced and I was definitely proud of my team and the fact that the CEO had mentioned that he really wanted to take our advice into consideration.
It was great to have the classroom experience each day and get refreshed on the basics of what we were supposed to specifically focus on for this particular project. The classroom itself, however was a bit difficult to focus in because it was difficult to hear the speakers and there was a lot of extra talking going on. Overall, I think that this was a great opportunity to work with a team to come up with a real-life solution for a real-life company and this is an experience I can use in the business world going forward.
My experience in Hubli thus far has been incredible. Although there was a bit of culture shock in regards to the living and water situations, those worries have become far from my mind. Every day here I have had an incredible new experience including riding on a motorcycle, feeding bread to bulls, getting mehndi (henna), visiting students’ homes, shopping at an Indian market, trying new foods and, of course, a completely new culture of people all together. All of these new experiences, and more, have truly added so much to my life. Better than just a tour of the city, we have been immersed in the local culture, not as tourists, as one of their own. The Indian students are always so excited to show us around their city and talk to us about the different quirks of their culture. These students are more amazing than I could ever have imagined and getting to know them has been my favorite part. They each have their own unique qualities that makes them thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating. I am an introvert (being an only child) and I have to regain my energy by being alone sometimes but it has been so hard on this trip to do that because I don’t want to miss out on any chance to hang out with the students. These students truly care about us and we about them. Not only has my experience been incredible because of the indian students, but it has been equally influenced by the American students. This has been a great group to travel with and getting to know everyone and getting to share these experiences with both the Indian and American students been the most wonderful experience of them all.
Yesterday was our first full day in Hubli at BVB College and it was a full day! We were placed in the dorms with a roommate the night before and woke up in the morning to eat a vegetarian Indian breakfast provided by the college with our group and the other students. We then headed across campus where we had our orientation in the Management building. This building is beautiful and was just built last year. The classroom was very clean and much bigger than what I had imagined. The room was filled with American and Indian students as we split up into our groups based on what organization we are going to be working with. We then worked on a group exercise together to get to know each other. After orientation, we were all given a tour of the campus by the students in our group and it was beautiful and quite expansive. After our tours, half of the groups stayed on campus to work with their organizations and the other half took a bus around town with their groups to meet with people from the company they are working with. We each met with our company leaders for about 5 hours and discussed some problems that they are having or some areas that they need help in. After the 5 hours were up, we were then picked up by the bus and brought back to campus where we socialized with all of the BVB students and ate a vegetarian Indian dinner consisting of white rice, lentil mix, and non (a handmade bread). It was a long day for most of us so we went to our rooms pretty early to get some sleep. The students here at BVB are some of the most warm-hearted and kind people that I have ever met! Incredibly smart, too!