Our trip to the rock garden!

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! 



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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.


Indian economic

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January 1st was a day off! In the morning I worked on the assignments of accounting class and from the afternoon I went to the shopping mall to purchase traditional costumes and have lunch with my friends. A ride double was my first time and a bit scary, but I had an exciting experience for a total of 30 minutes.

On the way to the shopping mall, I found several problems that you might need to improve or address. For instance, uncontrollable traffic, hygiene aspect of town including garbage, lack of signal, the condition of the road, and so on. If you address the problems, you could invite more foreign tourists, and the solution of the challenges could allow more foreigners to live here. Therefore, I think that having problems could be business opportunities depending on ideas. From that perspective, India has so many business opportunities, unlike Japan. Japan has already matured, and the business opportunities in Japan are limited. Therefore, Japan has to accelerate its expansion to overseas.

A large number of customers gather in the shopping mall as well. There are many people in India wherever you go! I am always surprised by the number of individuals. The population is also a very attractive element for the economy. Therefore, more and more foreign companies will advance into India to grab business opportunities. In various respects, the development of the Indian economy is no doubt! I’m looking forward to the increasing growth of the Indian economy!

Akshay Patra

The first day of this program, students were split into groups and told to find problems around campus and to brainstorm solutions. This problem-solving mindset is something that I have been trying to hold onto throughout this program in order to learn more and potentially make a difference. Today the Entrepreneur students visited the Akshay Patra factory, the largest kitchen in India. My background and work experience has been in Supply Chain, so visiting this factory was something I have been looking forward to. Akshay Patra produces 1.6 million meals each day to feed children in public schools around India. In total, there are 26 kitchens throughout India that allow Akshay Patra to meet the needs of all the children.

Akshay Pakra has a three story factory. The top floor is used to clean rice, and then distribute it out to be cooked. The second floor is where the meals are prepared. There is rice served at every meal and sambar is also frequently served. The bottom floor is where the food is packaged up to be delivered to the schools. Akshay Patra has done an incredible job lowering its operating costs. Each meal costs $0.16, and $30 per year. While these costs are low, and many meals are produced daily, I observed some opportunities for improvement.

The greatest opportunity for improvements that I noticed was regarding manual labor. On the third floor, the rice was cleaned by hand in small buckets. There were three people using a constant stream of water to rinse and rub the shells off of the rice, and then pouring the water into a trough that would get rid of it. On the second floor, where the food was cooked, there were huge machines and equipment used to prepare a lot of food in a small amount of time. I noticed that there was food waste from when food would be moved between cleaning, cooking, and packaging. Also, once the food was made ad ready for packaging, an employee would scoop the rice out of the pot and into a trolley. There was a lot of rice remaining in the pot. The trolley full of rice then had to be wheeled across the floor to the vents to feed it down to the bottom floor. The food packaging was no standardized between containers. There was an employee who would syphon out rice until the containers were full, and then without stopping the flow of rice, push another container into place to be filled.

My recommendation for limiting food waste, cutting labor costs, and ultimately being more efficient are to buy or develop a device to scrape the sides of the pots, cook food closer to the vents to reduce time between batches, and to invest in an assembly line belt so that the distribution of rice will be more consistent between containers. img_9246img_9247

“Everything you expect it to be, is nothing that it will actually be”

The best piece of advice that I was given prior to departure for my study abroad trip to India was “Everything you expect it to be, is nothing that it will actually be.”

My first couple days in India were spent with my body fighting some kind of flu-like virus. It felt as if I were trying to enjoy everything with a gorilla on my back, but I knew that I could not let it stop me from enjoying this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The entirety of my life up to December 26, 2016 had been spent in North America. Almost all of it in the United States, with a few brief trips to Canada when I was no more than ten years old, so this trip to India was my first big adventure out into the real world. I committed to go on the trip in October, but it didn’t hit me that it was actually happening until one week away from departure. I was nervous, but it was an excited kind of nervous. This was a feeling that I had never exactly felt before, so I knew that it was going to be a great experience, and that’s just what it has been so far.

I have met so many incredible people who have already changed my outlook on life in only one week in Hubli. We were all told that there would be a big culture shock for the first few days here, but in the first week, I feel that rather than a shock, the culture has embraced me and welcomed me in. I have not once felt home sick. Instead, it has been non-stop learning about one another. Every time that I was confused by how or why something is done here, someone simply explains it, and asks what the difference is from my home. The people in this program have made everything a smooth transition from life in the United States to India.

My favorite experience so far has definitely been the trip to the rock garden, where artists have constructed life size artificial scenes from Indian culture. Throughout the day there, students explained each scene and importance behind what was going on in them. I grew to deeply understand and appreciate Indian culture. At the end of the day, we took part in a mud bath, and then a rain dance to clean off. This was a first time, and one of a kind experience that helped the entire group bond even further together. When we returned to campus, I wanted to tell my family and friends about the whole day, and found that it was impossible to truly describe it all to them in words. It was a “you had to be there” kind of day, and one that I will remember vividly for the rest of my life.

Nothing about this trip has turned out to be what I expected before departure, but it has exceeded my expectations, and I can not wait to see what the rest has to offer!

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Fantastic short trip!










I visited the Rock Garden with my classmates by bus on December 31. It has various statues and displays traditional lifestyles of Karnataka state. Owing to the proper explanation of my friends, I was able to know and understand Karnataka’s culture, history, and lifestyles. It was the pleasant and meaningful experience. Understanding other country’s culture or history enables to expand my viewpoint and way of thinking. In that sense, I could gain lots of learning and discovery. Especially, the conventional wedding style of Karnataka state was impressive for me. The Karnataka’s people seem to invite a minimum of 400 guests. I couldn’t believe it. In Japan, we usually invite only about 50 people on average. Also, guests are getting less year by year. Due to the maturity of country and changes in lifestyle, the way of thinking and behavior of Japanese people change. We are getting less involved with others. From Indian culture, I realized the necessity and importance of building the right or strong relationship with relatives, friends, and others.

As another impressive thing, it was Indian children. They were not shy and enjoyed dancing seriously. Japanese children cannot do that. I felt Indian power and energy from that scene.

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.

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Become A Better Person Is The Motto

India has been AMAZING, but not for the typical reasons you would say; beaches, tourism and crazy “first world” activities. I almost feel like it’s taken me back to my “appreciation phase”. In a lot of ways, I feel like I lost a sense of feeling alive in the USA. Every hour of every day is accounted for, and it’s always for reasons that do not necessarily improve humanity or better the world’s conditions. I wake up, I go to school until five, then I clock into work and I won’t be out until 11pm or even later. We talk a lot about profit, about ambition, staying busy, moving up, “going hard”, but here we are in a beautiful city that’s always worried about setting up business plans in a way to help first, rather than boast profits.

Reality check: $1 can get about 65 rupees – this means for every dollar I’ve simply lost in the streets and not cared about could have fed two kids here for two days. Talk about living under a rock. This makes me wonder if I make good choices with the money I spend. Is it worth spending my hard earned waitress money on the stuff I choose to spend on a daily basis? You spend a dollar here a dollar there and we do not even realize how beneficial that could be to someone else around the world. We live in a different world. I am glad I got to be on this trip and witness that.

So… I wanted to do something about this and not just know knowledge, so I called my mom and we decided we will no longer be donating money to the three foundations we donate to every year. my yearly $1000 donation will now be going directly to India in form of school supplies, clothes and anything else that could bring smiles to their faces. Something as simple as dry tape white-out amazed them. I just need to do some rethinking. Happy I got the opportunity to come here and check myself.

We have landed!

After a long journey, over 17 hours, from Boston to Bangalore, we arrived at Bangalore  Can’t wait to  get to Hubli and meet all our classmates!

Then we had to take a bus to Hubli, about 8 hours! Our friends from China joined us in this long ride.

Stopped along the way to have Indian breakfast, Idli and Dosa!


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