Dagny was a foreign exchange student in India and shared her study abroad experience with us!

Foreign Exchange Student in India

There’s simply no place on earth that’s quite like India. Ancient, unexpected, inspiring, India is one of the most magical places in the world.
Mark Twain said that, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great-grandmother of tradition.” He wasn’t exaggerating, either, and on your foreign exchange to India, you’ll find that out for yourself.

Foreign Exchange Student Experience in India

1. What do you find the most challenging about living in India?

I think the hardest thing about living in India is everyone is focused on their reputation. They’ll do or say anything to make you look bad as long as they look good, which of course can create a lot of problems.

2. What do you find the most rewarding about your foreign exchange student trip?

Definitely learning about myself! Not only do you get to embrace a new country and culture but you also grow immensely as a person and mature much faster than others.

3. What advice would you give someone before they go abroad for the first time?

Read about the countries and cities you’re going to! Know what’s appropriate to wear and what’s not. The best foods of the cities and places to visit.

4. What was your favorite (or strange) tradition in India?

In my last host family we would HAVE to play cricket almost everyday. If we are taking actual traditions though, my favorite is if you accidentally kick or touch someone’s foot with yours, you would apologize by touching their feet with your hand and putting your hand to your heart (asking for their forgiveness and blessing).

5. How do you deal with culture shock?

DO NOT TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY BACK HOME!!!! If you’re so stuck in your culture back home then you will never be able to embrace it in a new country. Just go with the flow and learn to respect it.

6. How do you deal with language challenges if you had any? What advice would you give to someone who has?

Use lots of hand motions! And try to be apart of all conversations.

7. How often did you speak with your friends and family back home?

Not very often, it would make me more homesick.

8. What did you like the most and what did you find the most different about India?

The roads are very different, very crowded and noisy, always people on the street. But people don’t go out past 10 pm so also very weird.

9. What are you planning to do next? Will you go abroad in college?

Not sure yet, but I’d at least like to spend one year abroad in college!

10. What are some tips or advice you would give to someone who is going to India?

Be aware of street food, know what’s okay to wear in specific cities. Do not trust any Indian.

Tell me: What is the country you would go to study abroad in?