Remember That...

Thank you all so much for your comments on my previous post, Big Decisions.
I was extremely overwhelmed reading them all and if you left a comment - I've responded.
If you have yet to leave a comment and feel so inclined - please do.

*image from the delightful blog thenotebookdoodles.com
btw-that's not a font in the pic...it's her handwriting! so cool.


Mrs. Limestone said...

I think spending a year abroad anywhere is an incredible opportunity. Particularily if you are feeling restless about what to do next, this is a great chance to give yourself a break from that for 12 months. So without knowing anything about you, I'd say go for it.

Ive never been to India so I can't share much personal knowledge of it. It certainly evokes strong opinions from everyone I know who has visited. For that reason, Im going to play devils advocate:

Is it possible for you to visit before you commit yourself to a full year there? You really can't judge from travel photographs what it would be like to live somewhere. What kind of accomadations will you be staying in on assignment? The standard of living for the average person there is so drastically different from what you are used to, you should be totally okay with your home for the year. How often can you come home with the stipend they provide?

But honestly, its a wonderful opportunity. Even if you hate it you'll have an amazing experience to keep with you for the rest of your life.

Kay* said...

@Mrs Limestone - I was happy to see that you have left a comment about this :) I agree with you, a year anywhere abroad is really an incredible opportunity and something we (and when i say we i mean ppl in developed countries) are very fortunate to do. Although I know that upon my return I would still have to find a job and that kind of stuff...to be free from it for a year really sounds quite wonderful right now.

Again, I totally agree with you. From what I’ve read, the responses I’ve received, and the people I’ve emailed and spoke to who have been there - it’s either you grow to love it or you don’t like it all. All of the people I’ve come across have loved it but admitted there were frustrating times and some have said the grew to love it. I totally get that - and that’s part of the adventure.

The questions you ask are all really good. Hmmm...really it’s not possible to visit before you commit. Once you receive the offer you have 2 weeks to respond with you interest or to decline. Accommodations vary and ideally the organization arranges that for you before you arrive - however, all of the volunteers I’ve communicated with have said that upon arrival they were able to find their own accommodation (or with a roommate) so that it is up to their preferred standards. One volunteer that is there now who I’ve been communicating with has a roommate, a balcony, a rooftop lounge area, a cleaner who comes weekly.....and a washer and dryer in apartment....all things I don’t have in my home right now ;) I’m not saying this is what my accommodation would be like...but it’s nice to know that it’s available :) The monthly stipend they give you would not be enough for me to visit home...unless I saved it up each month and came back near the end. However, its enough to have a social life there and to do a bit of travel within the country. From what I’ve learned from other volunteers I would most likely have to supplement the allowance with about $100 bucks of my own per month to do extras (like by beer and stuff...luckily i’m not a big beer drinker!) - and that sounds okay to me. Plus it looks like you get anywhere from 4-6 wks for vacation plus holidays...so I know I would have to supplement the allowance with my own money to do travel to other countries. Luckily, it’s not too expensive to get to neighbouring countries. And I could always visit home with my vacation time.

I totally agree with your final point as well. Even if I hate it I’ll have an amazing experience for the rest of my life.

Thank you so much for commenting :)

Profit From My Closet said...

I follow this guy on youtube that is a Black American living and studying in India. He speaks on race and politics regarding foreigners over there. He has many videos regarding his experiences. Some good some bad but I think it will be a good resource for you.


Kay* said...

thank you! what a fantastic resource - off to watch some videos :)

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