I learned how to be both a receiver and a giver. Being new to the country and not knowing the language meant that, in many ways, I was dependent. I learned to rely on the knowledge of our academic and field mentors, and on the "cultural coaching" from my teammates. What amazed me was the generosity of the Indian villagers. Even out of their relatively minimal resources, they selflessly offered me whatever they had to give. It was both humbling and heartening. Although I was there to learn and serve, I became the grateful recipient of the abundance of my new Indian friends.
The Summer School provided me with an incredible opportunity to work alongside seasoned development professionals and other passionate students. The variety of classroom, research, and practical applications offered during the program has only added to my academic and professional experience. I not only gained field experience in rural India, but I also benefited from a special collaboration with a well-respected NGO, which further taught me the importance of adaptability and cultural sensitivity when working in international development .
With a fine balance of classroom learning and field work, Summer School prepares you to be a change agent. It provided me an opportunity to learn different aspects of 'Development' through a powerful pedagogical research and the vibrant intellectual atmosphere. Such an environment helped me in gaining some deep-rooted knowledge of other people's approach to development, understanding their professional lives, and also helped me to appreciate my own.