Everyone who had the experience to take the Business and Culture of the Indo-Gulf trip during winter term can agree that they will never forget the experience. When boarding the plane on the way to Dubai I think none of us truly knew what to expect out of the trip and out of our peers who we still didn’t know well; however, by the end of the trip we were all extremely very close. That was a good thing especially since people were feeling less than 100% on the flight home.
Everyone can agree upon the fact that Dubai was an amazing city where we had an amazing experience. When we first arrived people said they believed the city would be a good transition into what we would experience in India; however, we soon realized that aside from the Arabic language and the occasional traditional Emirati dress we could still have been in America. In the area the standard of living was relatively high and in the Dubai mall we were astounded by the lavish stores some of which we didn’t know existed such as a Versace home store. The buildings are all-new and look as if you could be walking in Epcot. Dubai is also home to the tallest building, biggest fountain, biggest fish tank, best hotel, and largest mall in the world.
When landing in India we knew we had arrived. A gush of India hits you as soon as you step foot off the plane. When driving on the bus we could see the immensity of trash and filth all over the streets. The large crowds were everywhere and it was easy to see the differences of how people acted in the streets than you would ever see someone act in America. Also the driving was chaotic to say the least somehow they could make six lanes of traffic out of a three lane road.
When talking to my classmates about the time during the trip where they had the biggest epiphany about life in India they mentioned different points throughout the trip. Four different events were mentioned throughout the trip as being significant. One was the rickshaw ride we took on the first day in Delhi. Where we saw the backstreets of Delhi and were driven through the markets in the area. Second was the walk through the streets in Ahmadabad where most of the group was convinced they were about to be hit by a car. Third was the touring of the Slums where we were able to see how the cities are major areas of commerce and provide jobs to many people coming in from rural areas. Most of the population in the Slums are immigrants and live on a salary of around $3 US dollars a day. Fourth was our trip to Everstone where they taught us to treat India as a United Nations of sorts with every region almost acting as an independent nation with different customs and traditions. The CEO also was able to explain how the Indian people co-exist and divided them into three different levels of the economy. First level are the employees who work for major companies ranging from moderate to large incomes. Second level was any person who provides services to the upper class. In fact the average manager in India has a maid and driver. The third level is the class that fends completely for themselves. This includes small business owners and people in the rural areas.
I can certainly say that all of our expectations for the trip were blown away by our actual experiences and thanks to the program we have been given an insight into two different cultures. India where there is a strong work ethic, unique culture, and bright future. Also we were able to learn about Dubai, which is a gem of the Middle East. Our trip of a lifetime consisted of: 2 countries 3 long bus rides 10 flights 1 world wonder 9 world heritage sites 28 happy students Tons of memories And more Without the program we would have never have been able to see as many places in such a short amount of time. The trip was eye-opening and overall is an experience no one will forget.