Written by Alicia Crone, (Texas Christian University) Student Correspondent UW in India: Delhi Intensive Language, Summer 2018
I love India. Then again, I love pretty much every country I’ve ever been to. My goal is to go to 100 countries in my lifetime, and each new nation I enter is another added to my growing list, and encompasses a new culture I haven’t encountered. One might say that I’ll jump at any opportunity to cross a border.
If you resonate with any of this, I beg you to study abroad – and study abroad wherever possible. Wherever you can get a scholarship or find a program or convince your parents to let you go. My friends and I here in India aren’t just studying in Delhi; we’re studying in Nepal, the Netherlands, Indonesia, France, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK. Why? India is just a jumping-off point. We can take weekend trips to different countries, travel before or after our program, or leave the airport on long layovers. If you get creative, you can turn a one-country trip into a two-country trip, or three- country trip, or six-country trip. You get the idea.
All of this was why I was desperate to go to Nepal for one of my travel weekends during the program. It was so exotic! I knew only one person who had visited it previously, and he is a world traveler I look up to greatly. With a little convincing and several searches on Google Flights, I roped 3 of my friends into flying to Kathmandu with me.
We loved it because it was an escape from India, but still completely removed from the West and any notion of the US we had. We ate Tibetan momos (dumplings), took a cable car to see the snow-capped Himalayas, searched extensively for the perfect singing bowls, and experienced one of the world’s great centers of Buddhism – in only 3 days and 2 nights.
Wherever you study and wherever you want to travel, just know that it can be done. And it should be done. Please, come to Asia. Go to Europe. See China… and Korea. And Japan. And Australia. Even if it’s your first time leaving the country, you’ll soon be able to call yourself a world traveler.