Aging in Thailand and Family, Religion, & Wellbeing in India: Video Transcript

Desmond Dixon [Chemical Engineering major, Class of 2017; Thailand Trip]: One of the big reasons why I wanted to go on this trip was to get an idea of their culture and their way of life, to see if it’s something that I really might be interested in, because that is a really big life decision.

Morgan Liddic [Gerontology major, Class of 2016; Thailand Trip]: There are not many study abroad programs that were geared toward my major. I thought it was going to be a really eye-opening experience for me since I had never been abroad.

Timothy Ovia [Psychology major, Class of 2015; India Trip]: I wanted to have a study abroad experience that I could speak to. It's an experience that you just won't get from being a part of any other organization that's here in the States.

Eric Leon [Psychology and Philosophy majors, Class of 2015; India Trip]: This helped me because it was both in psychology and abroad, so two birds with one stone, I thought.

Nikhitha Karakarala [Psychology major, Class of 2015; India Trip]: I wanted to go back and experience it in a lens, like a psychological lens, just because of the program's overall theme of mental health and family, as well as religion.

Elizabeth Spidel [Nursing major, Class of 2016; India Trip]: Nursing, the psych part, and the religion part kind of intertwined together to really help me with personal relations.

Kate de Medeiros [Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Professor of Gerontology; Thailand Trip]: Our goals and objectives for the 'Aging in Thailand' experience was really to get them to, first of all, see another culture through their eyes and through that other culture's eyes, but also to really become in tune with the fact that the world is aging.

Vaishali Raval [Associate Professor of Psychology; India Trip]: To allow students to immerse in a culture that was very different from their own and to engage in scholarly literature related to families, health, and well-being, and then being able to go to the country itself and experience some of those things for themselves.

Liz Wilson [Professor of Comparative Religion; India Trip]: For example, we went to departments of psychology and counseling centers and nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, feminist organizations, as well as temples and mosques and historical sites.

Nikhitha Karakarala [India Trip]: We went to the Taj Mahal, which was a really, really cool experience.

Desmond Dixon [Thailand Trip]: We had a class on their biggest religion which is Buddhism, we had a class on Thai dancing, and my favorite class was the cooking class.

Kate de Medeiros [Thailand Trip]: We had people zip lining, riding elephants. They were a fearless group.

Timothy Ovia [India Trip]: Once we interacted with the people that were indigenous to India, particularly Bangalore, it definitely helped get that humanistic perspective.

Elizabeth Spidel [India Trip]: They have these little cars called tuk-tuks that are just open-sided taxis that you can squeeze as many people in there as you can.

Jennifer Kinney [Professor of Gerontology and Scripps Gerontology Fellow; Thailand Trip]: They were navigating the public transportation system, they were familiar with the food and customs. As a result, I think they each grew in ways that we really admired.

Morgan Liddic [Thailand Trip]: We visited a nursing home, and as my major is gerontology, I was obviously really interested to see how everything was structured, what the facility was going to be like.

Nikhitha Karakarala [India Trip]: One of my favorite experiences was going to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences. We talked to a psychiatrist there who kind of told us how they deal with clients, and it's something that I would have never learned from a textbook.

Vaishali Raval [India Trip]: I wanted them to experience what that looked like, how that system worked, what people thought of mental health and mental illnesses, what do professionals think of those things, what kind of training was available to professionals, and how does that compare to the system we have here in the United States.

Eric Leon [India Trip]: One of my favorite moments was when I actually met the president of this psychiatric ward in India. He's using these different methods for evaluating patients, and it's something I would never have thought about before to use and implement.

Elizabeth Spidel [India Trip]: One place in particular was called Parivarthan, and it was a counseling center. All of the women there were just like mothers or grandmothers to us, and they gave us specific cases that they had had in the past and they let us read through them as American students.

Timothy Ovia [India Trip]: I feel like studying abroad has really helped me refine my cultural awareness and my cultural sensitivity to these various topics.

Morgan Liddic [Thailand Trip]: Things like policies and government and global health, and other aspects besides just gerontology that apply all around the world.

Eric Leon [India Trip]: There is a real benefit to studying abroad because you're able to learn kind of in a more visceral sense what it is to look at the world in a different way.

Elizabeth Spidel [India Trip]: This trip really helped me with a lot of cultural competence. It's going to make a lot more of a difference in my career path with psychology.

Nikhitha Karakarala [India Trip]: I see things on a more global scale. My views are broadened; I'm more critical of what I'm reading, I'm a better critical consumer of information, I think.

Desmond Dixon [Thailand Trip]: It helped me like look at a different perspective, just a different view of life. It made me want to be a better person.

[February 2015]