No Place Like Bangalore

Academics: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 10

I went to Bangalore through USAC the summer after my freshman year of college (2015), and it was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was the first time I had been out of the country alone, it was my first study abroad experience, it was the first time for many things for me, and I truly believe I will remember it and cherish my experiences there for the rest of my life. While I was only in Bangalore for the six-week program and I wish I would have stayed longer, I was able to experience a lot and travel around outside of Bangalore more than I had imagined. I took a sleeper bus to Hampi, and a sleeper train to Kerala, and those were just the places I went with other students, USAC took me places as well! The USAC staff was very accommodating and helpful. They are there if you need medical help, if you need travel advice or even if you need a friend. Bangalore is a unique city. While there I took a class on populations and poverty, which was incredibly interesting, especially since it was something that I could see all around me; I completed a service learning project where I watched young children while thier mothers were at work and helped middle school-aged children with homework; and I bought local goods including a sari, art work, and so many tantalizing spices. What I have come to learn about traveling abroad is that the experience is what you make of it. You can spend it tucked away in a room watching movies on your laptop, or you can go out and explore. While I was in Bangalore, it monsoon-ed regularly, but it never stopped me from getting out of my apartment and going around the city to experience different art festivals or markets (constantly look this kind of stuff up online because there are truly endless opportunities and experiences out there). I loved my time in Bangalore and I can say with absolute certainty that I will return to India at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. I left India having a deeper understanding of the true social problems at play there and feeling a deeper sense of purpose to be a part of the change that can alleviate systemic poverty (not just in India, but everywhere). I left grateful for the opportunity to expand my mental capacities and for the relationships I had built with other USAC students, the USAC staff and random individuals along the way, all of which shaped my experience into the life changing event that it turned out to be. More than anything, though, I left feeling humbled-- humbled by the way people live, humbled by their attitudes in those situations, humbled by how small we truly are as individuals, and humbled by the purpose and sheer magnitude a single smile can hold.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed