This summer, I was fortunate enough to take part in the India ISM program in Mysore, India. After studying abroad in Europe last summer, I was ready to push myself beyond my comfort zone again. Through the India ISM program, I met amazing people, experienced an incredible culture, learned so much about my major in a global perspective, and had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will treasure forever. From living in the dorms and attending classes at Infosys Mysore to exploring Bangalore’s lively culture to visiting the Taj Mahal, I could go on forever about my experiences and how much India helped me grow, both academically and personally, but to save you some reading, here are my three key highlights from this program!
- Be open to every new thing – India is a complete and totally different cultural experience than anything I’d ever experienced. By embarking on this trip, you’re choosing to open up your mind to a whole new way of thinking. My first piece of advice would be to stay open to all new things, and try everything you can. You never know what might happen! For me, being open to new experiences led me to leaving India with the story of having ridden an elephant at the Royal Palace of Mysore!
- Ask questions – This piece of advice goes for time spent both in the classroom and exploring the various sites you visit. At Infosys, you will learn so much from the wonderful instructors, and you can make the most of this opportunity by asking all the questions you can think of. They are there to help you learn, so take advantage of that! I know I walked away with a new perspective on software engineering and business analytics, so make use of the time you have in class! Outside the classroom, ask questions about where you’re going, what you’re doing, and the meaning behind things! Whether it be asking the tour guides about the history of the Taj Mahal, asking your professor about pickup games of cricket on the side of the road, or asking other students at Infosys about their lives, there is so much to learn while you’re there.
- Make friends – Continuing on the line of asking questions, make friends! I’m still in contact with all of the members of this trip and some friends I met while at Infosys! Though none of us knew each other before this trip, I now have lifelong friends who I have some of my fondest memories with! This experience allows you to bond with others in an incredibly unique way, from buying (and learning to wear) sarees to playing card games late into the night.
India ISM is an absolutely incredible experience; the quality of education is amazing, the staff and instructors at Infosys have a wealth of knowledge to give to you, and the people and adventures you have while exploring India truly are unforgettable. I left India with an increased sense of self, and I know that this program and the individuals I met through it will continue to be a part of my life for years to come. I can’t wait to use what I learned while in India, and I can’t wait for my next adventure!