Randi Howry - 2013 Program Participant

After completing culinary school, Randi decided to see the world through international education programs. During her undergraduate studies, Randi was able to spend three summers traveling, interning, and studying abroad. Seeing the world has given Randi such a sense of gratification that she continues to look forward to many more journeys in the future.

The Beautiful Fabrics of India.
The beautiful fabrics of India.

What made you choose ISA for your study abroad experience?

I really felt that ISA offered a well-rounded experience for travelling and studying abroad. They provided the perfect combination of educational opportunities as well as weekend excursions. It allowed for an immaculate learning environment while still having time to be immersed in the incredibly rich culture that India has to offer. 

From your own experience, what advice do you have for other students heading to India for study abroad?

Bring an extra suitcase! India has some of the most gorgeous fabrics I have ever seen. I had to buy a duffle bag while I was there to bring back all of the beautiful tapestries and saris that I had bought. Also, don’t go with any concrete expectations. India is portrayed to us as this place of never ending colors and rich foods containing dozens of spices. Those things are true, but India also has a myriad of other life changing qualities to offer. Go with an open mind!

Why did you choose Hyderabad and how did it live up to your expectations?

I loved that ISA offered a program in a lesser known city, instead of Mumbai or Delhi. Although they provided weekend trips to both of these cities, it was nice to be in an area further south. After completing the program, I couldn’t imagine studying in another part of India because I made some lifelong friends in the beautiful city of Hyderabad.

What was your favorite class during your time abroad?

The classes offered through the University of Hyderabad were very diverse. One class I took was called “Contemporary India”. Each day, the class covered a different topic that was either controversial or popular for one reason or another in modern India. For example, some of the classes were titled “Indian Philosophy” or “Agrarian Crisis in India”. It was so enriching to be able to have a different lecture each day designed by an expert in the field. I learned an incredible amount about India and I am very grateful for that class.

How has studying abroad impacted your life back at home?

I could write a 20 page answer for this question and still not portray just how much studying abroad has impacted my life. While abroad in India, I was constantly in the presence of something new, whether it was a new food, language, people, or home. I experienced things that are impossible to duplicate in the States, and not a day goes by that I don’t deeply miss some of those things.

Most importantly, traveling and studying abroad has given me a greater sense of global awareness. I have been to five of the seven continents, and I can say that every single trip has left me with a greater sense of knowledge and understanding for every walk of life. Exploring this world is a priceless event. The memories you make, the people you meet and the experiences you obtain are worth every single penny.