Indian students spice things up in America

Amazing. Very nice. Exciting.

Sophomores Sravya Bathina, Hyndava Peddi, Akshita Gupta, and Preethi Chirla’s only have good things to say about their experience so far studying abroad in the United States.

From St. Francis College for Women in Hyderabad, India, this is the girls’ first trip to the United States. While amazing, it is definitely different.

In India, a day in college is similar to a day in high school in the United States. Classes meet from 10 o’clock in the morning until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. They have a lunch break, and their professors for each class come to the classroom they are in all day.

“For 18 years we have been used to that,” Gupta said. “So it is completely different here.”

Bathina, Peddi, and Chirla study management here, while Gupta studies international business. The four students prefer walking to all of their classrooms.

“We get to meet a number of people and have many friends in each classroom,” Gupta said.

Outside of the classroom, the girls enjoy Ambrose campus life.

“Cafeteria food is very nice,” Bathina said.

Each of the girls likes to try new foods in the cafe each day. Many trips are made to the Rogalski Center food court, as well. And when they aren’t eating in the café or in Rogo, the girls like to cook in their own rooms with spices they have brought from home.

But this doesn’t mean that they don’t like to eat out. For a taste of home, the students like to eat out at Mantra, an Indian restaurant in Davenport. Although the food is not the same as at home, they still love the taste. China King and Village Inn are two of their other favorite spots.

“We love the pie at Village Inn,” Chirla said, smiling.

But what is their favorite activity off-campus? That’s easy.

“Shopping,” they say in unison.

Having been in the United States for one month, the girls have been to Northpark Mall four times. Although home has the same clothes and shoes, the United States offers better prices.

“There are some really nice deals,” Peddi said.

But soon there will be less time for shopping, as travel becomes a priority. The girls have plans for spring break and beyond. From New Orleans and Washington D.C. to St. Louis, the girls are making their own trips. After the semester is over, Bathina, Peddi and Chirla plan to stay for two weeks to travel while Gupta will stay for a month. There is one trip they are very excited for.

“We are so excited to go to Disney World,” Bathina said.

Until then, the students are happy with campus life. Hagen and Tiedemann have become like home.

“The rooms are very nice,” Gupta said. “There’s nothing that we don’t have there.”

Even the weather is not a drawback for them. Used to 90-degree days in the winter, the girls like the change. They saw their first snowfall here and hope to see more.

“From the environment, to the people, to the students, everything is different over here,” Gupta said.

But different is good, and the girls want to enjoy the rest of their time here.

“The days are flying,” Gupta said. “We can’t believe it’s already been a month. June 11 will come like that.”

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