Shyanne Ruiz - 2012 Program Participant
IES Abroad Delhi, India Banquet Fall 2012. Left to right: Shyanne Ruiz, Jessie Yaros, Megan Ziman, Aime Chase, Auntie Chopra, Jordan Krutek and Nikita Agrawal.
Why did you decide to go abroad?
I was looking for something to challenge my perspectives, my comfort level, and my social consciousness.
What made you choose IES Abroad?
Well for starters it was affiliated with my school, something I was adamant about for financial reasons. IES Abroad staff was very helpful from the very beginning in trying to choose a program. No one was pushing the program on me, they seemed genuinely interested in finding a perfect fit for me. Plus, I had friends who studied abroad with IES Abroad and they had nothing but great things to say. IES Abroad also provides a lot of opportunity for financial help which was a huge plus.
What was your favorite part about Delhi?
The food!! I still dream about it. Not only was the food delicious, it brought people together and people showed their generosity through the sharing of food. I had some of the best meals of my life with village locals and it did not even matter that there was a language barrier.
What made your program stand out?
IES Abroad commits itself to give you not just a trip abroad, but a trip that leads to self discovery and passion all the while encouraging academic excellence.
How did you feel supported by the local staff during your time in Delhi?
The Delhi staff was AMAZING. I could go on regarding the extent of assistance and support they provided. From helping us set up our cell phones, to booking trips for us to explore the country, to calling us directly if we weren't feeling well to check up on us, the staff was caring and made all of us feel like a little family since our group in India was so small.
If you could go back, what would you do differently?
I wish I would have taken better advantage of the internship opportunities. At the time, it did not seem to fit my purpose, but looking back I know I would have benefited from the experience.
Explain your daily life in India.
Chaos. Classes, eating, exploring, yoga, and more chaos- in the best way.
What was your favorite part about your time abroad outside of the normal schedule?
Travelling for sure. Every weekend we took a trip somewhere new where we would connect the dots from the things we learned in the classroom and applied them to everything we learned outside of the classroom.
Can you explain your accommodation a little?
I lived in a flat with six other students and had a host auntie. I was skeptical about living with so many people at first, but it turned out to be one of my favorite things about my experience. You need a support system of people who are going through the same things as you. We became very close. Our Auntie was so loving and made sure we were comfortable all the time and boy did she feed us.
How has your program continued to impact your life after returning home?
Wow, in more ways than I can say. I think the biggest impact my program abroad has had on my life, is learning to find peace among chaos.