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Sedric White on UMD-Winter: India (HLTH)

Program: UMD-Winter: India‚Äč (HLTH)
Term: Winterterm 2023
Major: Master of Public Health

I loved studying abroad for many reasons. 

I got to explore a new place and was immersed in the culture and learned about their way of life and it related to my future career path. I learned how much I enjoyed traveling with a group of students who share the beliefs of Public Health and were just as eager as me to go on the trip. A skill I gained while in India was the ability to connect with people from the region on a deeper level - especially those who live in the US now. Meaning, I am able to relate to those whose lineage comes from the area which is important for my future in a diverse work environment.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad

I am a fairly well-traveled person but had never traveled this far across the world. As an American Jew, I had some fears about going abroad to India and how I might be treated if they knew my background. But, I faced no issues regarding my religion and India is such a diverse place and is generally welcoming to all faiths, races, and orientations.

Apply for scholarships as much as you can and you might be surprised. Aid from schools/other sources is fairly common to come by. If you have to choose between study abroad and another trip, consider that study abroad is only available while in college.

One of my favorite memories while in India was when we were on a boat ride to a small island and the crew was playing popular Hindi music. 

When the locals started dancing, I joined in and convinced some friends to dance as well. For a few minutes, I felt like we were able to communicate and understand each other without speaking the same language and the locals were super excited that we wanted to be with them. The feeling of joy and connection was mutual between us and I will always remember the moment I spent with Indian strangers on a boat.

The flights and general schedule changes were difficult. 

Being able to adapt on short notice and going with the flow is important to having a good time and staying calm on a study abroad - as well as any trip.

If I hadn't studied abroad, I would have never taken a leap to travel independently.

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