On my first day upon arriving in Bangalore, I attended the USAC orientation where making friendships with other Christ students was heavily encouraged by the USAC director, Jacob.
During the orientation break, I decided to reach out to some students watching the Christ men’s soccer match. After inquiring if there was a women’s team, I was immediately encouraged to come and try out the next morning for the team from a welcoming group of girls.
From that day forward, every morning at 7am I went out to the University fields and trained with 16 amazing girls that made my time in India worthwhile.
From daily tasks of where to buy clothes, which restaurants to go to, or to how to haggle properly, they were always more than happy to help.
If I wanted to know more about Hinduism, they would take me to temple and have me participate in a way that was respectful and less touristy.
If I wanted to try a new food they would promptly call a cab and we would all go.
I truly don’t know what I would have done without them. In addition to gained life skills, being on Christ’s team allowed me to travel around India for matches free of cost. With my teammates and Christ University guiding me on and off the field, I felt I truly had an immersive experience.
Moreover, I continue to stay in contact with my old teammates and have had the privilege of visiting many of their families during my time in India. I should mention, I extended my visa several times after my student visa was complete. I never wanted to leave!
Playing on the Christ women’s soccer team acted as a catalyst for the rest of time in India and will forever be one of my most cherished memories.
The girls on Christ’s team weren’t just my teammates, they were my little family abroad too.
Maya Tobar is a student at Humboldt State University, majoring in Environmental Studies. She was selected to play with Crist football team during her study abroad in Bangalore, India.