GSPer Reflects on Study Abroad Experience in India!
”When many students think of the words “study abroad” things like parties, backpacking through Europe, and light hearted fun and exploration may pop into their minds, and for some students, especially those who come from low or middle income families, such experiences may seem to be luxuries out of their reach. Yet, I would like to challenge this notion and all college students who may hold this notion to dare to think differently about study abroad.
Returning from a study abroad experience in Pune, India, through the Alliance for Global Education, and having been blessed with the financial ability to have had such an experience through the support of GSP, I see studying abroad in a very enriching and edifying light. Walking away from an academically demanding four month program that was flexible enough to allow for ample individual and group travel time, I see study abroad, at least at Georgetown, and specifically for GSPers, as a unique opportunity to travel abroad, immerse yourself in a culture different from America’s culture, and expand your intellectual and personal horizons.
Aside from developing humility, patience, and understanding as a result of being challenged to live in a place whose cultural practices, language, and lifestyle may be unfamiliar, studying abroad also offers a chance for intellectually growth. Academically rigorous program, such as all of those offered by the Alliance fro Global Education, allow students to study with professors who may have dry different teaching styles, and who definitely have different world views then professors students study under at their home institution. Such experiences at the college age can stand to nurture life long cross cultural understandings, which can serve as seeds for future travel, future learning, and future growth for everyone.
The simplest yet most complex thing that I walked away with from traveling to and around India, and which can be learned when traveling to any country, is that human goodness exists in all cultures, and this goodness transcends political, economical, cultural, and geographical differences, making love possible everywhere. Every Georgetown student, be they in GSP or not, coming from any background and identity, can greatly profit from traveling abroad, and especially from serious academic study in a place as diverse and culturally and historically rich as India.”
Toniann Maniscalco (C’15)