Rickshaws, Festivals, and Aunties
India is not for everyone. This is not the place to have the poster child European study abroad trip, however, if you want to have a once in a lifetime experience India is more than capable of providing it. It is a country full of warm people and even warmer food. Every day was a new adventure with challenges to be met and surprises around every corner. It is truly the land of unity and diversity. Every state has its own language, dress, food, and geography. There is always a festival to be celebrated and hundreds of people to celebrate with. India will grow you in ways that a Western study abroad trip can't. India will change you.
The program is unique because it offers students the chance to study from Indian professors without the pressure of conforming to the Indian classroom. The campus is beautiful full of birds, flowering trees, and aunties in Sarees. With several trips built in USAC ensures you will see different parts of India. I stayed in the dorms and the curfew was difficult but not impossible to adapt to, and having my own space was crucial to my sanity. Smriti Chhabra is the program director and I cannot sing her praises enough. She is both friend and mom. She was always there for me, teaching me how to get the most out of my India experience and helping me navigate some of the more difficult parts. I would highly recommend this program to any American wanting a safe way to spend some quality time in a country and culture so opposite to our own.
P.s Uber now offers rickshaw rides without the bartering, but once you learn how to haggle with an autorickshaw driver you will have an invaluable life skill. It's an empowering experience.