Wrapped in multicolored, sequined saris and cotton tunic suits, students and alumni discussed their experiences studying abroad in India.
Vishal Gupta, director of the program and a professor in the School of Management, congratulated participating students on their endeavors during the trip, and referenced the marketing slogan for the trip: “What happens in India, stays in India.”
“It worked for Las Vegas, it should work for India too,” he joked.
Gupta said that many people are intimidated by the changes they experience while living abroad and the struggle of adapting to the social norms. He advised guests to keep an open mind.
“People on opposite sides are not so different that they will never understand each other,” Gupta said.
President Harvey Stenger attended the program, and he made a small speech about his own travels and experiences. Though he has never visited India himself, he said that he hopes to do so in the near future, and shared some advice on haggling that he was given by an Indian friend.
“You start at 10 percent of the list price, start yelling, then agree on 50 percent of the price and shake hands,” Stenger said.
Binghamton University alumnus Pierce Smith, class of 2012, who attended the program during the winter 2012 session, said he had wanted to visit India for a long time.
He said the most significant difference he noticed between the United States and India was the economic circumstance.
“When we were in Delhi, we’d go past a viaduct and there’d be tents of people who have to squat and live under there,” Smith said.
Smith also described his positive experiences in India.
“People love to dance in India,” he said. “We went to a country fair — these people were dancing harder at 2 p.m. than we’d be dancing at 2 a.m.”
The event was followed by a buffet Indian dinner including basmati rice, chicken tikka masala, lentils and naan.
Gabbie Malhotra, a freshman in the School of Management, said she visited India before and would love to go again.
“I went to India before … but the two times I’ve been there have been mostly family and vacation,” she said. “I love the Indian culture, and I want to learn more about it.”