After all the teams completed their presentation we had a ceremony where the professors awarded each student a certificate of completion. What a relief to know that we are done with the program, but at the same time I think most of us are grateful for the knowledge we acquired. These two weeks were intense but the sessions were informative and thought provoking. I think for the students that did not have a business background it helped them acquire a new set of skills and for the students with a business background these two weeks helped them develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
We wrapped up the day with a celebration with all the students. We all decided to stay at the scholar house and spend time eating, dancing, and packing our bags. We are all excited to have the night for ourselves without worrying about school requirements.
Wow, today has been an emotional roller-coaster ride, most of us were happy to present our projects; but I think all of us dreaded the fact that we need to say good bye to the wonderful people we met and interacted with during these two weeks. This experience has been a learning curve, not only I was able to get to know the culture of this country; but most importantly I was able to grow as a person because of this experience. The day I arrived in India, I was full of uncertainty because I didn’t know what to expect, but as the days passed by, I started to feel at home. I was shocked and impressed by the hospitality of the people in Hubli. Everyone I came across was eager to bring me to their house and introduce me to their family
I spent many hours talking to people and learning about their life, dreams, and hopes. The memories I made will never be forgotten. I think that one of the highlight of this trip was spending time with people and going to meet their families. During those visits, I felt so welcome and more connected to each one of them. I promised myself that I would not throw away what I learned here but instead I would make it an essential part of my life. I can sincerely say that because of these two weeks in India I would try to be a better daughter, mother, wife, and friend to those that would cross my path. I can assure you that what I learned from this amazing place will forever change the way I look at the world. I will always cherish the moments I spent with the student at BVB and the long-lasting bond we made. This is not a good bye, this is a see you later.
It is December 31st in India and we are heading to a rock garden for the day. Soon after waking up, we had breakfast at the scholar house. Breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, bread, upma, coffee, sweet lime juice and an assortment of fresh fruits. At 9am we got in the bus to be taken to the garden. During the bus ride, we danced and sang Indian music. We arrived to the rock garden and we were pleasantly surprise to see all the amazing statutes and art pieces. The park has 40 acres of land. We went to different part of the park to see the statues and we took rides in the water boats, that was extremely fun!
After a very long walk around the park, we took a horse ride to where the food was being served. While we waited for the food we sat around in a circle and watched some of our teammates performed. Lunch was served and most of us enjoy the different varieties offered. After lunch we went to the changing rooms to get ready for the mud bath. This was the first time for many of us to actually do a mud bath but it was better than expected. We had a mud fight against each other and to be honest it was fun to see a bunch of students enjoying playing with mud. After the mud bath, we had a rain dance where you dance under a sprinkler system. During the rain dance, they played music.
After finishing our dance, we all headed to the dressing rooms to get ourselves clean and change to regular clothes. We wrapped up the day by eating fruits and drinking chai tea before we took the bus back to campus. The day was full of excitement and we can’t believe there is more to come. As the coordinator plan a New Year’s party to end our day and welcome the New Year. During this field trip, I learned about cultural diversity here in India as well as the different aspects of India and what make everyone here so unique. The people in India are warm and friendly to everyone and they try their hardest to make you feel comfortable and welcome.
As I’m sitting here in my dorm, I just realized how fortunate I’m of being given the opportunity to do my study abroad in India. Before arriving, I attended the study abroad orientation where they tell you how you will go through different stages once you arrive. The first stage is cultural shock and since we only been in India for a couple of days, I can reassure you that most of us were very shocked by how different life is in India compare to the USA. This picture was taken when we arrived to the university and the students gave us flower necklaces to welcome us.
I can tell you as much as I was shocked and I was pleasantly surprise and thought that we got more than we bargained for. We were greeted by a group of students who main purpose was to make us feel welcome and at home. I feel extremely happy to say that at almost every minute you will be approached by someone asking you; how are you and if you need anything. The students and volunteers have shown us what is like to be a host, which is something that I think most of us could learn and apply to our life when we go back home.
We will be staying at the scholar house while in Hubli and everyone shares room with someone. The dorm rooms are comfortable and spacious. After we finished unpacking we left to have dinner with the rest of the group. All of us were tired due to the long journey but we put our best foot forward and had a good time eating and talking to the rest of the students.
The following day, soon after we woke up, we had typical south Indian breakfast and we headed to our classroom. Classes start at 9:00am sharp and it end at 5:00pm. Classes consist of lectures and group activities and the best part is chai tea breaks. The first day of classes we had the opportunity to get to know our teammates as we work on our first group assignment. After class, most of us came back to the scholar house and spend the rest of the day getting to know the rest of the students. As we talked to the students we found out that in India guests are considered gods and because of this they shower you with attention and nice gestures. India is a country that will leave anyone a long-lasting impression and as of me I can already tell you, I don’t think my life could ever be the same after going through this experience.