After 10 weeks living, working and traveling in India, I’ve spent the last few days relaxing and unwinding at home. As summer comes to a close I feel very grateful for the whole experience and glad that I signed up for the CASI program. While I have visited India many times before, this summer was filled with new work experiences, friendships and cities.
Working for IFMR Rural Channels and Services was my first real job and the feeling of contributing to an organization, as opposed to simply studying and doing homework, was very satisfying. I gained a greater appreciation and understanding of the working world and am actually looking forward to future internships and jobs. Prior to this experience, I was convinced that being a student was the best thing for me- with the way some people talk about work, I was under the impression that full time jobs were something to dread. I had already accepted that I would probably not fall in love with my job. But, while I may not have discovered my passion just yet, my work at IFMR helped me come to the conclusion that something in banking or consulting would be both interesting and challenging.
Another big take away or me was that I thoroughly enjoyed living in India. This was the first time I experienced living in India by myself, as opposed to with grandparents. And the experience was entirely different. I explored more of India, taking day and weekend trips to areas in and around Chennai as well as Delhi. My family tends to travel to Bombay and Pune, and that’s it; we’ve always found reasons (excuses) to not make the effort to travel more within India and it’s been a big mistake. I underestimated how much India had to offer- between the old forts, great food, incredible temples, elephants and much more, India can be an incredible tourist destination. I ate food I wouldn’t normally dare to try with my parents, who are rightfully afraid of us eating the wrong things and falling sick. Nonetheless, I ate off leaves, drank iced drinks, had seafood in the monsoon season and came out of it unscathed. All in all, I ended my CASI program on a high note, with the knowledge that I would enjoy living in India one day. If you look past the poor infrastructure, mosquitoes and heat, it is a great place to be, and I hope to live there at some point in the future. As the slogan goes, it’s truly Incredible !ndia.