During the spring semester of 2010, Walker College sophomore Dylan Waller lived in Bangalore, India as an exchange student at Kristu Jayanti College. His experience started a year earlier with a simple email promoting a study abroad program there. He immediately pursued the opportunity, and spent five months living, studying and exploring India. In his own words, Dylan discusses what he learned, what he did and how he was impacted.
The primary impact India had on me was instilling a desire to use my life to serve others. It started with a conversation with a fellow student, who told me about his family's desire to start an orphanage in their home state of Manipur, located in Northeast India. After our discussion I visited an orphanage. I interacted with kids through games and activities, and taught them music. After seeing the impact of a well-run orphanage home, I realized that these homes could serve as a better alternative than adoption. The owners looked after the kids as their own and ensured that they would rise in society by providing them the highest level of education.
Based on that service - and the hospitality I encountered in India - I want to extend it to others. According to Ghandi, "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." So I have decided to help my new friend's family achieve its dream in whatever way I can. While I knew I wanted to do some type of international service work after graduating, I had no specific vision until after I came to India.