Goodbye India

I am on my way back to Boston, and I can’t help but think back on all the memories and new relationships that I just created. My last week in India was the best and toughest. During my last week, I finally gotten close to so many of the Indian and Chinese students, and we were finally on the performing phase on our team project. On the other hand,  during these last few days in India, I had to do one of the hardest things for me, which is saying goodbye.

My last week in India was filled with a whole lot of fun and a final project waiting to be completed. On January 8th, we had a culture day. We all wore traditional Indian clothes and looked our best. I never thought a saree would look that good on me. My gold saree looked more beautiful than I thought once I put it on, as you can see below. My favorite part of culture day was during the best-dressed fashion shows competitions. The Indian boys went up first followed by the Indian girls, American boys, American girls, Chinese boys, and finally, the Chinese girls. Everyone looked amazing as they worked the runway. I was happy and excited to have won the American girls portion.

After the culture day, my group and I had two more days to complete and present our final project and the stress started to kick in. My groups project, “Multimodal books for Visually Impaired People” was an interesting and fun one. My group and I went to visit some blind schools to get some primary source information and understand our targetted customers better. During this experience of teamwork with different cultures, I learned more patience and gained a lot of communication skills. At the beginning of the project, I was very worried about how well the project is going to go due to the language barrier and different cultures. When we would plan meeting, I would always show up at the exact time and wait for everyone else to show up late. I came to understand that not everyone works on American time. If a meeting is planned, expect it to start about thirty minutes after the scheduled time. This type of exposure to different cultures will definitely assist me in the real business world. I will be required to work with different types of people, and no classroom or book would have helped me experience this as this program did.

After our presenting our project, it was finally time to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to my new friends was not easy. We had all just started getting comfortable with each other, and then we had to leave. I could not hold back the tears, as I thought of all the fun nights and laughs we shared. We may now be going our separate ways again, but one thing for sure is that we shall meet again. See you soon India!


“‘WOW, so this is Hubli”, I thought to myself as I looked out the window in the KLE bus. The streets of Hubli were so busy and filled with vehicle horns. The sight was different but beautiful. No one seemed to be following any traffic laws, but it all seemed to work out. It was mind-blowing.

We were welcomed into the hostel, with breakfast waiting for us. The chai tasted like heaven, I wondered how it was made. The fruits also tasted so different, but better in a way. At this point, I had already forgotten my bad experience at the airport in Bengaluru. The people welcoming us were so kind and considerate. After I finished eating, I rushed to my new room and edited my first vlog in India.

The first day of class quickly rolled around, and I didn’t know what to expect.  I met the members of my project group, Swathi, Vinuta, Priyanka, and Tom. I liked that the group was very diverse, containing at least one student from each other institutions in the program. My group and I will be working on the ‘Multimodal books for Visually Impaired People’ project. As days passed, I definitely saw my group go through some of the stages of team growth such as forming and storming. There was a huge huge gap of cultural differences and miscommunication. At a certain point, I started to become worried and frustrated about us not doing the project correctly due to the language barrier and fully understanding each other. Fortunately, the Rupee challenge was introduced, which helped us create a great bond between each other and increase team confidence.

For The Rupee Challenge, each group was given 500 rupees and challenged to engage in any business that would create profit. Only the 500 rupees were allowed to be invested in the startup of the business, and by the end of the challenge, each group was required to return the 500 rupees. We had two days for this challenge, and the remainder of the net income would be donated to charity. RIght after class, my group and I started thinking of ideas that we can pursue. I thought of a raffle, where we would sell raffle tickets for three different gifts that would buy from the 500. That led to the idea of an auction, which led to more ideas. Our final idea was to sell Indian gift boxes, provide the service of applying Mehndi (henna), and also to buy and resell jewelry.

The project truly helped my group members and I connect on a deeper level and get to know each other better. The collaboration among the group grew the trust and bond that should be within a group. At the end of the challenge, we ended up raising a net income of 4600 rupees. I am so proud of my group, and I cannot wait to see more achievement that we are going to accomplish.


Below is a vlog I posted on my YouTube channel of all the fun Hubli had to offer so far. Enjoy watching!




Blog 1-My way to India

Hello everyone,

My name is Nadine Uwase, and I am a Sophomore here at UMass Lowell. For a very long time, I have always wanted to study abroad, and it is finally happening. As I am writing this, I am on the final flight to Hubli. FINALLY! So how was my trip to India you may ask? Well, definitely not what I had in mind.

On Dec 27th, I left my house in Springfield at 6PM to catch the 10PM flight in Boston. I arrived in Boston exactly 8pm, which gave me more than enough time to check in and board. This would be my very first time taking Qatar airlines. I did not expect much from the airline, but to my surprise, the eleven hours flight to Qatar was worthwhile. The plane was very spacious and wide. Although I did not get a window seat, the free movies and entertainment provided kept me sane. The first movie I watched was a Bollywood movie. I do not remember its name, but I sure learned a whole lot of Hindi, as the movie was in Hindi with English subtitles. As I started the movie, the flight crew began to serve dinner, which I thought would not be that great. Luckily, the food was very decent. I had chicken with rice, and a few beverages. The crew was so kind and welcoming, as they came around asking if you wanted anything else to eat. 5 STARS FOR QATAR AIRLINES. After the movie, it was about 1AM and I decided to go to sleep.

I woke up six hours later, and we had five more hours to go till arrival in Qatar. The crew came around and served us brunch, and I found out I had 1 hour of free Wi-Fi, and full Wi-Fi for the whole flight for just 10 USD. ANOTHER STAR FOR QATAR AIRLINES. Finally, we arrived in Doha, Qatar at 5:40pm, and had two hours layover till our flight to Bangalore. The Doha airport was so beautiful.  It looked like a small New York and Vegas smashed together, although the culture shock began to hit me. I saw four women in full black dresses with their whole face covered in black cloth, which I came to find out is called a burka. I’ve only seen it on TV, but it still took me by surprise seeing it in person. I tried my hardest not to stare, but I don’t think I tried hard enough. All I kept wondering was “How do they actually look like?” “What’s the culture and religious aspects behind it?” This led me to want to do more research on the Islam religion.

Finally, we boarded ANOTHER Qatar Airline to head to Bangalore. Can you tell how much I love Qatar Airlines? This flight was much shorter, just four hours. During the flight, I reviewed my class notes and ate dinner. Upon arrival to Bangalore, I was so excited. We got off the plane and went straight to immigration. They asked us a lot of questions, but we conquered and made it through. We headed to baggage claim, and an airport staff decided to help me pick out my baggage and place it on a rack. When it was time for the group and I to head to the transfer section of the airport, he began asking money for his services. I was so confused. What services was he talking about? I didn’t ask for any services I thought to myself. He said he needed to be compensated for helping me with my suitcase. I was in awe. I told him I had no cash on me, and he insisted I go by the nearest ATM. I became very frustrated and scared, as I saw the seriousness in his eyes. Gladly, Chris came to the rescue and gave the man five dollar.  As the man walked off he said “don’t tell any authorities.”  Unbelievable.

There goes my first encounter in India. I began to second guess on how good of an experience this was going to be, but the group members motivated me to stay positive. The six hours layover in Bangalore did not help the situation. I started to become very inpatient, and tired. Than goodness we’re finally on our way to Hubli. I pray the rest of the trip goes well. Stay tuned!