My name is Ashley Sosa and I am a sophomore Management major in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. I fell in love with the idea of studying abroad from the moment I heard about it at my New Student Conference but I never felt it was a possibility because I was from a low income household and couldn’t afford to travel. Once I became more educated about the trips, I learned that traveling the globe isn’t an impossible feat thanks to the help of Scholarships and  Grants. I was fortunate enough to receive both and be able to travel to Chile last summer and to India this winter.

I had never been exposed to other cultures and I would consider myself to be sheltered in the way that, despite growing up in a diverse community, I had never really experienced the cultural aspects of my community in regards to traditions of other faiths or visiting places outside of my comfort zone. When I heard about the India trip, I was intrigued because I hadn’t ever considered visiting this country. I had always admired their culture through the little access I had to it through documentaries and other media but it is a completely different story actually getting to experience everything first-hand. I am very thankful that I decided to come on this trip and have the opportunity to experience all of these things.

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My name is Ryan Mireles and I like to party. (Totally kidding, I just hope this blog
is curated by someone other than myself.) I am proud to say that my Dad passed on to
me his love for history and I leaped at the chance to learn, in a formal setting, about India and her culture. My first exposure to India’s rich history came during my sophomore year at Texas A&M, and I have been fascinated ever since.
I strongly encourage any students who haven’t had the opportunity to take classes from some of the incredible Mays professors that have either studied, or have roots in India, to do so. I have been lucky enough to build fruitful relationships with Dr. Pappu, Dr. Ray, and Dr. Gaspar, just to name a few that, through their shared experiences, have molded me into a better student and a more dynamic individual. So if the question is ‘Why India?’ then my answer is to ask them!

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My name is Rachel Drummond and I’m a senior Supply Chain Management major at Mays Business School with an Economics minor. I participated in a study abroad through Mays last summer in Ireland. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in college and I couldn’t wait to go abroad again. I took advantage of the next opportunity I was given and signed up for the winter study abroad in India. Being a country with such a rich history and culture, India has al-ways been a place that has interested me. The study abroad programs are very professional and thought out, making the trips abroad more comfortable and accessible for students. Being able to have in depth experience in one of the largest economies in the world was a chance I couldn’t pass up. I believe this international exposure to the Indian business environment will definitely come in handy in my future career.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

My name is Katie Lonquist and I am a senior Non-Profit Management major, graduating in May. Last Spring, I found myself at the very top of the Europe Marketing trip wait list, and I ended up not making the cut. I decided that I really wanted to study abroad somewhere before I graduated, but I did not have any specific place in mind. After looking at the website, I decided that India would be such a cool experience, and that I may never get the chance to go there again in my lifetime. I applied without really knowing anything about the trip and without knowing anyone else who was going. After our first meeting, I discovered that one of my friends, Matt, was going on the trip too! I became more and more excited as the semester went on and as I learned more about the rich culture of India. I could not wait to get to taste it for myself.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

Hello!

My is Pamela Leon and I am a senior Management major from Houston. My focus is Human Resource Development and I hope to work in employee relations after I graduate. I chose to come to India because I have had a huge fascination with the country since my sophomore year of high school when I took world geography. This class taught me that the country is filled with contradictions. They are achieving great economic growth, yet the country is also home to vast and appalling poverty. Similarly, India is the world’s largest democracy, yet the caste system is still in place and the country is often under speculation for deep-rooted political corruption. Even with these contradictions, my interest to experience the culture, chaos, and customs of India only increase. I also chose to study in India because of what I have learned in class as business student. India is a part of BRIC, which means they are among the fastest growing market economies. India specifically is projected to surpass China’s GDP by the year 2050. As business students we have learned how important globalization is for business success, so I think it’s equally important to understand the business environment and culture of countries like India.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

Howdy! My name is Fred Blackman III and I am a business management major from Austin, Texas, but most importantly I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2018! I am a first generation college student and have been blessed to be able to attend Texas A&M University. Along with that, I have been blessed with the opportunity to study abroad! I have been told multiple times that if I have the opportunity to study abroad, I should take advantage of it and do it. I wanted to do it but I didn’t want to be away for too long so I figured a winter program would be perfect. I wasn’t quite sure which program I wanted to choose at first but after some thinking, I came to the decision of India. I chose India because it is the largest democracy and I thought it would be a cool experience to see it first hand. Also, being a business major and econ minor, this is the perfect place to learn about and experience first hand since it is the largest country with the highest GDP growth rate.  There are many opportunities here and that’s why I chose India.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

My name is Nelda Gonzalez, and I’m a senior Finance and Business Honors major. I’m a student technician for a supply chain course, and I’m involved in the Financial Management Association. I will be graduating in May 2017, and will work for Ford Credit as a part of their Business Leadership Development Program. I decided to visit India during my last semester of college because I wanted to learn more about a culture that I connected with through my studies at Texas A&M University. Throughout college, I’ve been able to read books that introduced me to the Indian culture. In addition to this, I’ve made friends with many students, as well as faculty and staff, that are from India, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about a culture that I have grown to admire. I thought I knew a lot about the culture already, until we actually got to India. We’ve been in India for about three days now, and I learned that you don’t really know a culture until you’ve experienced it for yourself. Being here has opened my eyes to the complexity behind all of the superficial details that I’d gathered prior to this trip.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

I chose India because it was not a country on my bucket list.  I derived this method of thinking based on a previous study abroad experience. I lived in Morocco for six weeks my freshman year of college, which was also a country that was not on my bucket list. And I loved it. One of my biggest takeaways from that experience was to try something that I never considered in the first place.

While I have a proficient background in the Arab World, and a good understanding of Europe, I had no experience or knowledge of the Indian Subcontinent. I aspire to become knowledgeable about as many countries and cultures as possible. Since India was a mystery to me, this region became a target for my studies.

Lastly, my long-term career goal is to live and work abroad. India is the number one fastest growing economy, and has a population that will soon surpass China. In the business world, especially in information technology, India will be an incredible force and partner. The corporate excursions will give me the opportunity to get an idea of how business is conducted in this country. In my career, I could easily use the experiences and knowledge I gain from this trip to a cross-cultural situation. As an MIS major, I am interested in visiting Infosys, and IT company to learn how they operate in juxtaposition to the United States.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

After realizing that I wanted to study abroad in the winter, I thoroughly looked at all the options Mays offered to visit. I read some blogs about the different cities and finally decided that I wanted to go to India. India is the fastest growing major economy in the world right now and their number one trading partner is the United States. These are just some basic facts about the commerce of India, and as a business student, you can bet that these stuck out to me. They are such a prevalent part of the business world, so I thought it would be very beneficial in the long run to learn about their business environment hands-on. But along with being very rich in knowledge and power, this country is vastly rich in culture as well. So much fascinating history lies within the streets of India and I just had to see it. They have gorgeous monuments and structures that people travel so far to see, so it must be worth it. It has been a dream of mine to see the Taj Mahal since I was a little girl. They also have lots of shopping, with traditional apparel to jewelry to home decor, I knew it would be a unique experience with cheap prices too. Along with the awesome culture, I had wanted to try all the different food and drinks they have. I like to try different cuisines and enjoy spicy food very much! I also thought the price you pay for this trip was very fair and worth the splurge. When comparing all my options, this opportunity seemed like the perfect fit for me.

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students

Howdy! My name is Laura Hunt and I am a sophomore accounting major from Houston, TX. I have been privileged to travel around the world with my family and church over the years and have now been to as many countries as states including many places in Latin/South America and Europe. I love traveling when I can and hope to check off many of the places I want to see before starting a full time job in the real world! 

In my free time, I like to read books, watch Netflix (Parks and Rec, The Office, Friends, OITNB, and Nikita are some favorites), and cuddle with my dog, Jasper. At A&M, I am an executive for a FLO, PREP, that I was in as a freshman, I work part time on campus for the IT department, and I had the opportunity to serve as a Fish Camp counselor in Session B camp Barnes last summer! Some of my favorite things are:

Country – Greece

BookThe Secret History or 1984

On Campus outfit – obviously a comfort colors org shirt, leggings or Nike shorts, and chacos #mays

Food – Mac and Cheese 

Musician – Saint Motel

I have two dogs, Pepper (who my family has had since I was 8) and Jasper (my pup that I rescued in October) and they are my absolute favorite! I am definitely a dog person and want all the dogs when I have a house and a big yard. I grew up in Houston and, although I love to travel, I really want to live in a suburb of Houston long term (because it’s the best, sorry Dallas). 

So, why did I choose India? Well, I knew that I wanted a winter program so that I would still have time for a job and mission trip over the summer and I wasn’t quite ready to commit to a semester exchange. India is somewhere that no one in my family has ever been before and somewhere I might not ever get the chance to visit again. Since it was towards the top of my list of places I want to see, I decided to apply and go from there! India has such a rich and unique culture and I am so excited to experience and learn more about it. I think that going abroad to experience new cultures, form relationships, and gain respect for places around the world really allows you to connect with the more diverse group of people in America and makes you a little more well rounded. Seeing how different people live around the world is really eye opening and there are things to see abroad that are nothing like anything in US (i.e. the Taj Mahal) My dad keeps reminding me to take lots of pictures because I’ll probably be the only one in my family that gets the chance to go there. I am so excited to embark on this trip, best wishes for safe travels and health throughout our time there! 

Categories: 2017 Trip, Meet the Students