By Emily Jimenez
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
University of the Incarnate Word students who went on a course-based trip to India during the summer shared their experiences studying abroad Wednesday, Sept. 10.
For their presentation in J.E. and L.E. Mabee Library Auditorium, they wore traditional rich-hued Indian saris.
While in India the students traveled from Mumbai to New Delhi, and several places in between while learning about the different cultures. During their presentation, most of the students said the trip was life-changing.
“For me it was a requirement, and so I went the first time in the spring of 2013 and I just fell in love with it,” said Yvonne Thompson, a May 2014 graduate in government. “I fell in love and I just could not pass up another opportunity to go and I will never pass up an opportunity to go to India if it ever comes to me [again].”
Because the trip was course-based, students needed to take a mandatory class, choosing from the Indian experience, history of modern India or Asian politics.
Students visited many popular sites, such as the Lotus Temple, Gandhi Memorial, Taj Mahal, and many other attractions. Dr. Lopita Nath, an associate professor of history professor and native Indian, chaperoned the trip and accompanied the students to these sites.
“Dr. Nath taught most of the classes that I took and she was really into going to India and showing us around, and everything,” said Annamarie Meneghetti, a senior international affairs major from San Antonio.
Students made many excursions, from seeing monkeys in the cities to going to a religious temple. They even took a train ride to where the Dalai Lama resides.
When many students think of study-abroad trips, Europe is the only destination that comes to mind and not many think of others such as India. One of the students who attended the trip even had her doubts about traveling somewhere in Asia.
“For me the first time I decided to go to India I was not that excited, honestly,” Thompson said. “I never thought that’d be the first place I’d go. I always thought it’d be Europe, Italy or Germany or something like that. But that is what’s so special about the course-based program here at UIW is that you actually find out more about yourself that you even knew to begin with.”
For Paulina Chacon, a senior international affairs major from Brownsville, Texas, traveling to “India has always been at the top of my list to go, and I never thought I’d be this lucky to go at this young age and I was so blessed to go and I would recommend this to anyone.”
Students who consider studying abroad are urged to explore their opportunities because certain trips are course-based, while others can be a semester or longer. Researching where to go and what to study will also help make the traveling experience even better. Students considering studying abroad are urged to meet with their academic adviser as well as the UIW study abroad coodinator, Alanna Taylor, as soon as possible.
“If there is even a little bit of interest with whatever country it might be, definitely do it,” Thompson said. “If not [the] the only thing that will happen is that you will regret [it]. There is no reason not to, if you can.”