Summer Experiences: An Open Door Led to India

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By Zoe Hinton, EC Scholar and Honors College Sophomore 

The required study abroad experience of the EC Scholars Program is a gift that can open a variety of doors. Some doors open to Ecuador and environmental sustainability, while others open toward Italy and art history of the Renaissance. The knob I chose to turn landed me in Northern India on a Religious Studies trip with 13 other East Carolina students.

My classroom has never been with fifteen other people in a foreign country. In fact, this scholarship gave me my first opportunity to travel outside of the United States. By the end of the trip, we were no longer a group students with widely different interests, we became a community of people. When we were put further away from home, it was easier to realize our similarities and bond as a whole.

As a Neuroscience major, most were surprised with my decision tto study a subject so vastly different. I am intrigued by the interaction and overlap between religion and medicine.

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If I had the opportunity to experience another study abroad trip, I would pick India one thousand times over. I found beauty everywhere we traveled: in the architecture of the temples, in the hand woven saree designs, in the cows and dogs on the street, in the spiritual connection on the mountainsides of Dharamsala, and even in the lemons artfully stacked morning after morning on carts in Delhi.

I learned lessons about myself, I broadened my horizons to learn about other cultures and professional interests, and I pushed myself further than I have ever been outside of my comfort zone, and there is nothing more priceless than that.

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