As I begin to pack for my trip across the globe, I can’t help but feel both excitement and a slight sense of apprehension. I know that great adventures await me in India, a country that in my mind is as unique as it is distant. Its culture and customs are highly distinctive, and it seems to be the most dissimilar culture I am aware of. I do not fear anything going wrong during the trip, but I believe that my worldly perspective will change, and every change is accompanied by growing pains.

My decision to go to India began a year ago, when I returned home from a study abroad trip in Florence, Italy. The trip had been everything and more than what I had hoped for. My thirst for adventure had been intensified, not quenched. I knew of the MBA trip to India, and after receiving the STEM MBA scholarship in the fall, India became a feasible opportunity economically. Without any luck in finding a summer internship in the spring, India became a definitive must.

In my excitement, I have booked a three day layover in Spain. I might as well enjoy a bit of Europe since I will be in the neighborhood. I am planning every minute of my stay in Madrid, from flamenco shows to garden tours. India, however, is mostly already planned for me. My preparation for India is mostly comprised of doing research and taking every possible course of action to avoid diarrhea or sickness. I am packing clothes that will keep me cool, but covered from the insects. I’ve received the necessary vaccines and bought quality bug spray and anti-diarrhea medication. I plan on watching videos on Indian culture, food, and religion before I depart.

It brings me great pleasure that the purpose of this study abroad trip is both educational and humanitarian. Reverse innovation is a business concept that greatly helps those in need, brings about innovative technology, and yet manages to turn a profit. We will be working to create products that could change the lives of those in rural India, and this possibility is thrilling. Although this is the ideal goal of the trip, there is much more to be gained. I hope to broaden my understanding of the world, learn about the hardships and lifestyle of some of the poorest people in the world, and learn as much as possible about a rich, ancient, and intricate culture so that I may gain from it. Most of all, I hope that seeing the worst of the human condition up close will rekindle a motivation in me to bring about change.