We all have some preconceived ideas about different cultures and cities based off of what we’ve seen on TV or have read in books over the years. The beauty of study abroad is that you get to visit different countries and learn first-hand what the culture and city is really like.
When it comes to studying abroad in India, there are several misconceptions that students have before they go abroad. We spoke with a USAC Bengaluru alumna for the most common misconceptions that you might have if you’re heading for a summer, semester, or year in India.
You are going to eat Indian food every day.
India, Bengaluru especially, has lots of different types of food available to eat. You can get anything from Chinese, Italian, burgers, and lots of other choices. It is also really easy to get any food you want delivered to your front door, with apps like Swiggy. However, if you are craving some Indian food clearly there is no better place in the world to get some.
There are only vegetarian options.
There are lots of meat options available in India. You can find chicken at most restaurants, but there is also lamb, pork and even very occasionally beef or bison. But if you are a vegetarian, India makes being one very easy. There are veg options everywhere.
There will be a huge language barrier.
While there is sometimes a language barrier with people, it isn’t something that you come across super often. There are over 125 million English speakers in India, and if you encounter someone who doesn’t speak English you can normally get by with a few words and gestures.
You will wear Indian clothes every day.
Traditional clothing is worn in India and you should wear it going to classes because of campus dress code. However, people also wear lots of western clothing especially going to restaurants, malls, and other social places. Being on the conservative side is usually better but feel free to bring your favorite teeshirt or summer dress, you will wear them at some point.
There is no access to the internet.
There is internet all over the place, especially in Bengaluru the tech capital of India. You will still have access to sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and any of the other things you like to do on the internet.
India is an undeveloped country.
India is a developing country, and actually very modern! The cities have all the same amenities that are in cities in the united states, including metro systems, malls, and a thriving social scene for young people. While there are places that are still developing and changing Bengaluru is a modern city of 12 million people with lots to do.
Nicole Elletson is a Boise State University student. She studied abroad in Bengaluru, India