Thursday, September 22, 2016

Elise B. ILR'18: Vivekananda Teacher Training and Research Center

At the temple in Sravanbelgola. 
I can’t believe that six weeks have passed since I first stepped off the plane at Bangalore airport and walked the streets of India for the first time not knowing what to expect. In my time here, I have found unique architecture, delicious food, beautiful clothing, friendly people, and a culture so vibrant that people need to experience it first hand to understand its true beauty. I have made memories that will last a lifetime and India will always hold a very special place in my heart.

My project at the Vivekananda Teacher Training and Research Center (VTTRC) consisted of creating a digital database to house admissions and academic information for this tribal vocational school. I then analyzed the database to identify relevant trends in student demographics/enrollment and identified recommendations to admissions to maximize school’s success based on challenges.

With the students in Hosahalli.
Looking back on the past four weeks working on my project at Hosahalli, I simply don’t know where the time has gone. I was so impressed by the students at VTCL and VTTRC. They were kind, funny, selfless, intelligent, athletic, artistic, and so much more. I feel blessed to have grown close to many of them and saying goodbye was extremely difficult. From getting my hair done Indian style by the 9th standard girls, to dancing together in celebration of elections, I made so many joyful memories with the students and although we spoke different languages, that did not stop us from making strong connections.

I think this concept is what makes cross-cultural exchange so rich in importance and meaning. The idea that two vastly different groups of people, who speak vastly different languages, from vastly different places on the globe, can come together to simultaneously grow and learn from each other is absolutely amazing. As I prepare for my final departure, I can’t help but hope that my life journey leads me back to India some day.
GSL team resting after the climb down the mountain from Sravanbelgola Temple. 

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