Road Troubles

tolHey there,

Once our class was finished, we had the opportunity to tour the Northern region of India. We flew from Bangalore to Dehli and then drove to Agra, Jaipur, and back to Dehli. Of course, not without a few road bumps along the way…

Meet the bus:

I picked the back row so I would have the best room and the most space to spread out and lay down when I wanted to. I made a great decision! I also brought my converter multi-plug extension cord which everyone was very grateful to be able to use on the long 4-5-6-7 hour bus rides.

ROAD BUMP #1: Police Speed Trap

Just five minutes from the airport pick-up spot, the bus was pulled over on the highway for “speeding” –which he was not… AT ALL. In the image sequence below, you can see the officer walking into the 3rd lane of traffic to pull a woman over for speeding (even though you cannot see her in the first frame).  Apparently, the police have quotas and will often pull people over and will charge a fee before they let the drivers back on the road with the threat of writing them a formal ticket… basically, they pull random people over who appear to be rich to get their money. A tourist bus filled with white people and a single woman in a nice Porsche seemed like great targets, However, we never got a full story from the bus drivers, the above information was told to us by our Indian student translators who were speculating based on past experiences.

ROAD BUMP #2: Flat Tire

A few hours away from Dehli we were on the highway completely surrounded by farmland when our tire burst. I had just woken up from my nap while everyone else was asleep. I had started looking out the windows and I saw a few ostrich, so I reached for my camera and started changing the lens when the right back tire (right underneath me) burst, making a loud pop and jumping the whole bus. The bus drivers got to work immediately to put the spare on (another old and beat up tire). We all ended up getting off the bus for a stretch break and I took it as an opportunity to brush my teeth after a long night and day of travel.

ROAD BUMP (or obstacle) #3: Flipped Lorry (truck) 

As a part of my research for my class project, I learned a lot of statistics about road accidents in India. India has the most fatal accidents in the world. The worst part is that bystanders don’t stop to help because they are often afraid of having to pick up the medical bill or be a witness in a dragged out court case. As you can see, only one person is helping this victim.

Road Trip as a Whole

The rides were long and harsh, there are many tolls, tons of traffic and the days were long and exhausting. I would never imagine doing the Rickshaw Run Race across India.

-Jen S.

What I learned while working on the Class Project


What I learned was one of the most important parts of understanding of global business and markets is the cost is EVERYTHING.

My group is working on a product called the ‘Handy Bandage’ which is a modified bandage designed to help prevent infection of trauma wounds while the patient is being transported to a medical facility. The product has a starting target market of the developing world and in this case, specifically India.

As apart of our research for the product market, my group visited a few hospitals to see what types of products are used now to help prevent infection in these specific types of wounds and to inquire about their costs. In these interviews with doctors, we learned that the price of the product would be valued in rupees not dollars because dollars are waaaaay too expensive for a product like this to even enter the market. We also learned that this product would be completed with a lot of commonly used home remedies such as using turmeric as an antiseptic powder and dehydrating agent (helping blood clots form). Turmeric is commonly used because it is a very cheap household staple that does the trick just fine.

Jen S.

Traditional Day


As we entered into our second week of classes, we prepared for the ‘Traditional Dress Day’ by venturing into the city and purchasing sarries. We went to three different shops for each of the different parts: the robe-like fabric, the underskirt, and the crop top.

We all decided that we loved this way of shopping because we got to sit on a nice cushion and the workers brought the fabric to us. Below are images of the sarry shop.

The next morning we were woken up to be dressed by the hostel housekeeping women who wear sarries every day. It took them about 15 minutes or so to wrap and pin each of us to their liking. Then some of the Indian girl students did our make up and gave us jewelry.

We had a lecture in the morning and then spent our tea break taking pictures. All of the colors were so beautiful.

Class ended up being moved to our hostel due to security concerns. A strike was occurring in the city just outside of the university by a minority group fighting for more equal rights. So, we took more pictures outside.

Then, we headed back to the hostel for lunch were a formal lunch was being prepared for us. There were women pounding the dough in the common room and the sound echoed like drums.

The meal was served on banana leaves which apparently is traditionally done at weddings. There were so many colors and flavors. Both sweet and spicey.

After some group (or rest) time, we took some more photos with the better evening light.

Overall, the day felt like getting ready for an Indian prom, except instead of dancing we did classwork. After my roommate and I were dressed by the housekeepers in the morning I turned to her and asked how are we supposed to be Boss Woman in these? The truth is, wearing those sarries was really difficult, so I give props to all of the women to do their daily manual labor in them!

Until Later,

Jen S.

Journey To India: Insider Traveler Tips


My name is Jen and I am a freshman biomedical engineering major and business minor at UMass Lowell. I am so excited to be apart of this study abroad program in India and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Tip #1

Don’t forget your wallet with your passport, ID, and Money in a restaurant in Boston before you leave for the airport! Especially do not drive away and leave it there for 20 minutes. If you do make this mistake, as I did, make sure to call the restaurant while driving back and if they say they don’t have it, still drive back anyway because the chances of you actually retrieving it significantly increases.

Tip #2

The flights are long, so pack light, store the snacks given to you on the plane for later and bring a book audiobook because the plane will be dark and you don’t want to upset anyone near you by turning on the light. Also, try to get as much sleep as possible because once you are at the University you will want to have enough energy to greet your fellow students with a friendly smile.

Tip #3

THE BANGALORE AIRPORT DOES NOT HAVE FREE ACCESSIBLE WIFI!!! It will be helpful to know this and plan around this in advance. The Bangalore airport is small, so fear not, you will easily find people from your group when you or they arrive. Go to the bathroom, wash up, change your clothes, get a chai tea at the cafe, withdraw cash and get to know your new classmates.

Tip #4

The drive is 6-8hours so get as much rest as possible, but don’t forget to look out your window every so often to see what is around you. You will also be given lunch at the halfway point. Make sure to only eat the warm things and definitely try the coffee!

Tip #5

When you arrive at the campus, make sure to be alive and ready for a big crowd to greet you. This is what you rested for, so smile up!

Thanks for reading,

– Jen