Program: UMD-Winter: India (HLTH)
Term: Winterterm 2020
Major: Nutrition & Food Science - Dietetics
Studying abroad deepened my drive for inclusivity and cultural appreciation, and made me want to travel and learn about other cultures even more. As someone who has done various mission trips in other countries, studying abroad with other UMD students made this experience so meaningful, especially for us graduating seniors on the trip! I think the biggest takeaway that I gained from this experience was being able to make such meaningful connections with Dr. Howard, the other students on the trip and the professors at Manipal Edu. Their friendship and genuine interest for exploring Indian culture made the trip worthwhile, and the educators in India were so passionate about their fields of study, whether that was Ayruveda, Public Health, Sanitation, or Women's Health. I learned so much and came back to the US with an invigorated passion for learning about the diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds that make UMD such a great place to study.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Within the NFSC department there are limited study abroad options, but don't let this stop you from searching for opportunities that fit your personal and professional interests! The NFSC department advisors were great about helping me fit this study abroad course into my 4-year plan and making sure it fulfilled an academic requirement.
I think my most memorable experience was waking up in the mountains of Munnar after a full day of travel on our minibus. The air was cool and dry (which was unusual in India - we were all used to hot and humid conditions) and we all got to sit together to have hot chai and coffee on the balcony of our hotel. It was so beautiful to all be together and experience such a peaceful morning together.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: There are so many resources that are available to students who are passionate about their field of study and want to integrate a global experience into their education.
Water [was the hardest part about studying abroad]- it wasn't my first time in a country where you could only drink bottled water, but I definitely learned to ration and appreciate drinking water (especially when it happened to be cold).