Beginnings set the stage for what may follow, and this first week in India has made a kind impression on me. As a preface to the semester-long Study in India Program (SIP), AIFS arranges a week-long tour of northern India’s Golden Triangle. The tour is included for students coming into SIP through AIFS.
The Golden Triangle refers to three cities popular with tourists for their share of historically significant sites: Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Delhi is the country’s current capital, Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, and Jaipur is widely known as the Pink City. Our little group spent the week visiting mosques and monuments, making friends among old forts and palaces.
To lessen the ring of romance in that, we also spent a notable portion of the time sitting as our tour bus carried us between these points and recuperating in our hotel rooms. Even so, it is hard to miss the wonders of the sights being seen and the friendships being formed. For this first post, the few photographs may do more justice than my unprocessed thoughts, though we paid visits to many more sites beyond these.
At the airport now, we are waiting for the flight to Hyderabad. Hyderabad is in the southern state of Telangana and is India’s fourth largest city. It is perhaps not as well-known as the northern cities of our tour, and I have not looked much into Hyderabad’s background, either. Because of that, I do not hold clear expectations prior to my actual arrival. I may be unprepared in this sense, but I am content to be open to the possibilities of what it could and will be.
The University of Hyderabad is where I will be attending classes for the next five months. We will register for classes after we arrive, so technically the study portion of this study abroad trip is yet to begin. At the very least, each day so far has brought mini history lessons, mostly involving India’s past Mughal Empire. Much of the information from this week may not be directly relevant to Hyderabad’s history specifically, but it gives some necessary context and is an effective introduction to the country as a whole.
I also appreciate getting to meet the other AIFS students in this way, a bunch that I think will be delightful and dependable through this upcoming semester. Curious about their new environments and earnest in their willingness to follow up on that curiosity, I have already run into good luck in meeting each one. It has been a good week.