Study abroad trip to India is ‘priceless’ for IU East business student

You might call William Anderson’s study abroad adventure to India a one-on-one experience for education and fun.

Feler Bose, associate professor of economics and finance for the IU East School of Business and Economics, and William Anderson traveled to India this spring to study business, history, arts and culture. Anderson is a sophomore from Winchester, Indiana, majoring in business administration.

He had two weeks of undivided attention and shared experiences on the trip with Feler Bose, associate professor of economics and finance at the Indiana University East School of Business and Economics.

“The experience and knowledge you get in the short time you’re there is priceless,” said Anderson, a sophomore at IU East from Winchester, Indiana. “I learned so much about India’s business and social aspects (that are) not known to us.”

He and Bose traveled together from April 29 to May 12.

A larger group of IU East students was scheduled to take the trip, but several dropped out for reasons that varied from COVID-19 issues to visa problems. “We made some adjustments,” said Bose. “Overall, it went well and was very busy.”

He and Anderson toured the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, and Delhi as part of the “Golden Triangle” tour and the 130-year-old corporate giant Toyo Ink.

Bose and Anderson travel by elephant in Jaipur, India.

They did some academic field work for the Center for Civil Society (CCS), walked through a variety of markets and visited a private low-cost, award-winning school.

They learned about India’s history, arts, cultures and cuisines and were able to celebrate in an Eid ul-Fitr feast with a local family.

They joined in classes and attended numerous meetings with students and faculty at universities. Bose said those interactions could prove beneficial to IU East. “In the future, this might provide opportunities to collaborate.”

Anderson is working toward a Bachelor of Science Business Administration degree from the IU East School of Business and Economics. Like many study abroad trips, Anderson was able to focus on an area of study at IU East.

Anderson and Bose explored the marketplace while in India.

“I had a class and a one-on-one talk focused on marketing, as well as a conversation with a professor who had a career in marketing,” Anderson said.

He is inclined to go into that field, so those interactions were helpful in offering a foreign perspective. “It helped push me more toward that (marketing),” he said.

Anderson enjoyed “watch(ing) how people interacted and went about their daily lives. “It makes you understand and learn about a very different place.”

Bose offered some observations about what makes India different.

– “American fast food is more of a luxurious item here.” KFC, Subway, McDonalds, and Burger King are more available now in the bigger cities.
– “When we visited Taj Mahal, the tour guides seem to emphasize different things based on their religious upbringings.”
– “People don’t seem to give way to ambulances as much as here in the U.S.”
– “People introduce themselves using status markers – such as job titles and where they got educated.”

Anderson and Bose met with colleagues at O.P. Jindal Global University in the Office of International Affairs and Global Initiatives.

Bose believes future visits should be considered for earlier in the semester, possibly over spring break.

“Further, in May many institutions are on summer vacation and might be hard to coordinate an activity.”

Bose would like to return to India in the near future with a larger group of students. The School of Business and Economics has plans for a study abroad trip to South Korea next year.

Anderson said he was impressed by the friendliness he encountered in India. “The thing that surprised me the most is that everyone I met was very nice and helpful,” he said. “(That’s) unlike the United States in some aspects where some people might be less open to someone they do not know.”