Photo Credit: Students in Jaipur
Tue, 06/05/2018 - 00:00

The Global Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln partnered with the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services to travel to Jaipur in Rajasthan, India for a faculty-led study abroad trip. Fourteen students from three colleges stayed at the American Institute of Indian Studies to study Hindi culture.

The group visited numerous locations in Jaipur and Delhi, as well as the Taj Mahal in Agra and the world’s only Lord Brahma temple in Pushkar. Lessons included learning Hindi; cooking paneer curry, parantha, and pineapple raita; making recycled paper; and block printing.

Maricia Guzman, Program Coordinator with OASIS, worked with her former language instructor in Jaipur via video conference to help with lessons, and OASIS worked with the university's Indian Students Association to connect students studying Hindi with native language speakers.

"What is special about our program this summer is that it brought together students from all walks of life, but especially students from underrepresented backgrounds who call OASIS their home," Ibrahimpasic said. "We have one of the most diverse students groups studying abroad."

Students also volunteered at a non-governmental organization called RAYS-Aasha Ki Ek Kiran, or “A Ray of Hope,” an orphanage for children with HIV. Many children are there due to the stigma associated with the disease, the cost for medical care, or the death of their parents. The students wanted to donate more than their time to the orphanage, so they started a GoFundMe campaign and raised over $500 in five days.

“My experience working with this NGO was amazing,” Maricela Paramo-Reyes said. “The employees were very welcoming and were always looking out to help us in any way we needed. The children were always happy and eager to spend time with us. They really taught me that there is always ‘A Ray of Hope’ as they shared with me their academic and extracurricular accomplishments as well as who they aspire to become. I have come back with a more positive attitude along with many valuable lessons from my time at RAYS.”

“I did not know what to expect while spending time at the orphanage because, what can little old me do to help those kids?” Gaye Gwion said. “I realized that just spending time with them and playing games and just acknowledging them was something that meant a great deal to them.”

The program is an extension of a two-year program started in the spring of 2017. Guzman received funding from the Critical Language Scholarship Program to help promote Hindi language and culture study at Nebraska. Gwion and Mishala Lewis received additional funding from the Gilman Scholarship program; Keli Wheeler was an alternate.

"We hope to continue this program in the future and carry on the important work of connecting students of color and underrepresented students with international experiences, as well as serving not only in their communities here in the US but also abroad."

“The India Faculty-led 2018 trip was a once in a life time experience,” Gwion said. “It dawned on me that my major was truly the one for me.”

For more highlights from the trip and other updates, visit the Global Studies program's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Students:

  • Austen Baack, political science and economics
  • Siaira Baustert, psychology
  • Gaye Gwion, global studies
  • Mishala Lewis, anthropology and sociology
  • Yajaira Lopez-Villa, Spanish and Latin American studies
  • Micah Milligan, philosophy
  • Dana Moze-Kadavy, global studies and political science (and a Boren Fellowship recipient)
  • Maricela Paramo-Reyes, civil engineering (College of Engineering)
  • Stephanie Schulman, psychology and global studies
  • Danielle Trejo, global studies
  • Victoria Villota, global studies and economics
  • Keli Wheeler, art (College of Fine and Performing Arts)
  • Ivy Williams, civil engineering (College of Engineering)
  • Fernando Wisniewski-Pena, global studies, French, and political science

Locations:

  • Agra: the Taj Mahal
  • Delhi: the National Museum, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Qutab Minar
  • Jaipur: Amer Fort, Albert Hall Museum, Jal Mahal, Galtaji Temple, Hawa Mahal, and City Palace
  • Pushkar: the only Lord Brahma temple in the world, a pilgrimage site for millions of Hindus