During Week at Arcadia, Mumbai Students Learn Food Culture and Economy

By Caitlin Burns | March 29, 2017

Global Pathways Institute (GPI) students Pankti Antani and Shubhechha Dhar from Mumbai, India participated in a “reverse” Preview experience in Glenside from March 19 to 25. In a unique transcontinental course, both Glenside first-year students and Mumbai students participate in “Food Culture & Food Economy,” where students experience the different cultures.

Pankti and Shubhechha stayed in residence halls at Arcadia during the week, touring Philadelphia and Glenside and learning about food culture in Philadelphia, including the many shops and diverse cuisine in South Philadelphia’s Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market. They also experienced a traditional American Thanksgiving meal at the home of Laura Baldwin, Arcadia’s chief marketing & communications officer and co-leader of the course.

“I had this misconception that America is all about pizza, pasta, and burgers, but then I came here and saw that there’s a lot of variety,” Shubhechha said. “I also had a misconception that the food is really bland compared to India, but I found that there are a lot of sauces and dips, and some of them are really spicy.”

Pankti and Shubhechha both mentioned they would like to attend Arcadia next fall to study Creative Writing and Psychology and Business, respectively. Shubhechha hopes to publish a book in the future, while Pankti wants to become an organizational psychologist.

“The main reason I chose liberal arts is because, in Mumbai, our education system doesn’t work that way–if you’re starting business, you can only choose business subjects,” said Pankti. “In liberal arts, you can major in one subject and minor in a different subject. This type of education is one of the reasons why I chose Arcadia.”

The “Food Culture & Food Economy” course is taught by Dr. Rachel Collins, adjunct professor of English, and Baldwin. This is the second year for the “reverse” Preview. Both years, President Nicolette DeVille Christensen has hosted the dual Mumbai/Glenside students at her home for a meal.

During Arcadia’s spring break, from March 11 to 17, Glenside students traveled to Mumbai on Preview to meet with their GPI classmates. Preview is a two-credit course and weeklong international experience that offers first-year and transfer students an introduction to study abroad.