Namaste India | Blog Post #1

Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.                               

-Unknown

Travelling to a new place can be daunting, terrifying even for some. There is always worry of lack of communication, monetary issues, not fitting in, etc — the list is endless. However, for this trip and for me, that worry is not there I’m in India, my motherland.

I landed in India just over a week now and am settling into my internship here in Bangalore at the Canadian International School where I am a Contextual Learning facilitator. Contextual Learning is a fantastic program at CIS started by a passionate mother who saw the limited amount of comprehensive engagement to the outside world and cultural awareness in education so she built her own initiative for students from scratch. It was such an immense hit with the students and staff that it is now an integral part of the CIS curriculum for the middle school. CL provides a hands-on opportunity for students to explore their surroundings and apply their skills learned in the classroom to the outside world. The activities at CL are specifically tailored to allow the students to get the most out of their education by exposing them to global and local issues as they explore ways to address, analyze, and create solutions to said issues. CL boasts a new way of presenting the world to students, one where they can draw upon their own diverse experiences to create meaningful reflections from activities.

I was really drawn to this opportunity because here was a program that my eleven year old self would have jumped at had this program it existed in the United States. Growing up I have always felt that I look at the world with a lens different than my peers. I always questioned my surroundings and wandered off in search of new places always, much to the chagrin of my parents and teachers (however after a while they threw their hands up in the air and let me on my path as I was a woman on a mission). With that mindset I searched for experiences that would satisfy my curiosity for the world but instead I found opportunities that fueled them even more.

Flashforward and that mindset is still with me, my undying curiosity about the world and need to explore more being the reasons why I chose this internship. Here with CL (which by the way actually starts in the last week of May), I can explore more of India and learn new things that I haven’t gotten the chance to before. As an eleven year old, the closest I got to a global experience was participating in Destination Imagination which had a similar set up to Contextual Learning, but now as a nineteen year old I can see first hand how a more tailored and defined, creative infused global awareness program is conducted. Not only that, but I have the opportunity to conduct my own individual week long activity in addition to my facilitating of the currently planned events and excursions for the students (more on that in a later blog post).  

During my internship here I really hope to learn more about myself and the country in addition to positively contributing to the program by promoting the importance of creativity and individuality in education. I hope to inspire students to be inquisitive about the world and foster the curiosity that students may already have. Given my background in education and working as a tutor throughout high school, in addition to my unique creative background as being involved in Destination Imagination, I feel that I can bring a lot to the school and the CL program itself. Here is finally the moment where I can really make a difference.

However, while I could go on and on about my professional goals, I feel like this internship is equally important for me in terms of my personal goals. With many of the activities for CL geared around places near Bangalore or in the city itself, I hope to learn more about my own country and the rich history the South of India has to offer. As a North Indian hailing from the state of Maharashtra, every time I come to India I end up visiting family and not really seeing the beauty that India has to offer due to our short lived visits every four/five years or so. Hence, with this internship and the amount of free time I have, I made it my personal goal to really explore and discover India for myself, whether it be with my two fellow interns or as part of a CL activity. I feel as if this if finally my moment to travel with no regrets, as the quote in the beginning says. Here is the time where I can finally explore my desi side as they say, and really become in tune with my dual identity as an Indian-American.

Let’s see how this goes.

2 thoughts on “Namaste India | Blog Post #1

  • May 11, 2018 at 5:53 pm
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    Loved how you wrote about your dual identity in your first post-excited to see what you write about next!

    Reply
  • May 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm
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    Hi, Madalasa–

    Thanks so much for sharing your first thoughts on your internship. What a beautiful blog post! I love how you were able to connect your experience as an Indian-American to your internship in India–as an experience to get back to your “motherland,” as you say. The opportunity to connect deeply with a place is one of the biggest advantages to interning abroad. It sounds like this is coupled for you with an internship that you feel a passion for, and that’s great! It is very, very hard to be successful at something for which you feel no passion.

    One thought that I have for you as you begin your internship is to just make as much of it as you possibly can! It’ll take some time to settle into the internship work once you begin, but try to push yourself as hard as you can to take on new projects and to impact the organization and the society in ways that go beyond your job description. Being able to do so will allow you to leave India with a really strong sense of accomplishment and a powerful sense of yourself! I hope you have a transformative experience this summer, and I’m looking forward to following your adventures on the blog.

    Cheers,

    Ian

    Reply

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