Some of the day to things that make the program are that you're living in dorms with other Indian students going to class with Indian students too. You're able to make friends with the other American students on your program, with your Indian roommate, or your friend's roommates, your classmates, and just the other Manipal students, faculty and staff.
The public health field visits are an amazing opportunity of the program. You learn about how the healthcare system is set up, and how it's suppose to operate, and then you actually get to go and see the facilities and ask questions.
Manipal at first can be quite confusing, but you really become comfortable quickly, because at many times it's just like a large college campus in a college town. Many things, like everyone stressing over exams, dance exhibitions on the weekends, and eating in a dining hall are all familiar. Don't get me wrong, you always feel like you're in India, but it isn't as jarring of an adjustment as one might think.
One thing that I wish the program could incorporate more individual travel weekends. India is a huge country, and I definitely feel like I'm not even close to an expert on southern India, let alone the whole country. The saturday excursions are great, but more time to venture on our own would be great.
This program was absolutely the best decision I ever made. I'm now an Alliance alumni ambassador, and love getting to share my experience with potential study abroad students. I also have great plans to go back to India, ideally south India. The culture, people, food, and clothes have all really stuck in my heart, and I can't wait to go back again and again!