Alumni Spotlight: Katherine Baildon

Why did you decide to study abroad with AIFS at University of Hyderabad?

Dressed up for a Kuchipudi performance

Katherine: Why did you decide to study abroad with AIFS at the University of Hyderabad? I was interested in studying in an asian country simply because it seemed like it would be the most foreign. I wanted to be disoriented and challenged. Of the programs that I looked into SIP program at HCU was the most interesting. I wanted to study literature and dance primarily and SIP offered classes in both. The colorfulness and overstimulation of Indian city life seemed very intimidating and that is partly why the program was perfect for me.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Katherine: What made this study abroad experience unique and special? I needed the shock of being completely out of my element to force me to expand my perspectives on life. India did that. I encountered incredible architecture, art and culture on the excursions that I took with AIFS and with friends. I also saw poverty and the workings of a country so different from the US. In the classroom I met students from radically different backgrounds from my own and found that their interests were like mine. They had grown up with strikingly different origin stories and legends, most of which I was unfamiliar with and sometimes couldn't relate to. So my experience was special simply because it exposed me to a world I previously knew nothing about.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Katherine: How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc) Personally it gave me a more humanitarian perspective on life I saw ways in which my efforts could benefit others. I came out of it knowing that being engaged in encouraging a person, a community or an idea is rewarding. By just deciding to go and doing it I gained perspective, patience and confidence that I hope will reflect in both my personal and professional life.