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International Center

University of Missouri

Study abroad India: winter 2013/14

Filed in Blog, India, Smith Family Scholarship by on January 21, 2014

I knew that traveling to India as an individual who grew up in a first world country would be a culture shock, but I never expected a shock like I experienced. I was able to gain knowledge and experience that I wouldn’t give back for the anything, even with the culture shock, that allowed me to open my eyes to the rest of the world.

Upon arriving in India, I could not contain my excitement! As soon as I stepped off the flight I knew that I was in for an experience of a lifetime. The culture shock began literally as soon as I stepped on the flight from Chicago. The plane seats and floors were not the usual neutral colors, but rather variations of bright reds, oranges and yellows. After landing in Delhi, I took one look around the airport and it was obvious I was now a minority in this massive county. Another culture shock I experienced was the driving. A little fender bender that would have involved a police report and insurance claim in the U.S. simply ended in a quick “Are you OK” and then the vehicles were on their way. Another shock was the animals that would roam free throughout the country, among humans. This was the best part for me, I mean how many times can one say they were less then a foot away from monkeys, cows, elephants, camels, etc. It was absolutely wonderful.

Although culture shock was a huge factor throughout my entire trip, I was able to acclimate to the environment and take in all that this experience had to offer me. My only hope after I return back to the States is that I will be able have the opportunity to travel more and maybe one day end up back in India, a country that taught me about who I am, and want to be as a person.

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