For her first time traveling beyond Western Europe, International Studies major Jennifer Appleby ’12 decided to go to India. She’s currently spending a semester in Pune through Arcadia’s partnership with the Alliance for Global Education, where she’s experiencing a much different culture.
“It’s hard to summarize it all,” she says. “It's colorful, it's modest, it's about community, it's rich, it's religious, it's unique, and yet it's worldly as well.”
Since her arrival, Appleby has traveled to Mumbai and more rural settings such as Durhset. She also spent a week traveling along the southern Indian Coast down to Kerala.
Back at the program center in Pune, Appleby was introduced to a staff more than happy to assist her with settling into her new surroundings. “There is not a concern that you can't go to them about. I've had experiences where several members of the staff have dropped what they're doing at once just to help me out.”
As for the locals, Appleby has noticed that they are as interested in learning about her culture and hearing what she has to say as she is with theirs. And while their English is somewhat different, trying to communicate with them and noticing their capacity for language is encouraging in itself.
“Most people here seem to know three languages or more (typically Hindi, Marathi, and English) and it definitely encourages me to explore other languages.”
With a focus in Globalization, Development, and Human Rights and minors in Sociology and Anthropology, Appleby will be leaving India with a greater understanding of a culture she previously only read about.
“Now I have personal experience dealing with developmental issues, and a real connection with the people concerned.”