Interview: Hope in India
Over the summer, Rendcomb College student Hope travelled to India to teach English. We are very proud to have such thoughtful students here at Rendcomb College and look forward to hearing more inspiring stories. Hope shares her experience below:
What made you want to go to India over the summer?
"I wanted to make an impact in the world – especially for people who really needed it – and inspire hope within others. I specifically wanted to do the teaching program, so I would be able to connect with younger kids and give them encouragement, as many of them were very poor and had little to no contact with the world outside of India. I was also fascinated with the culture and wanted to learn more about other countries and their customs; making me get outside of my comfort zone and fully surround myself with a whole new way of life."
What did you do while you were in India?
"I volunteered in Jaipur, India for two weeks, teaching at impoverished schools. I mostly taught basic English since the majority of the kids only knew Hindi, and I also taught a few maths classes. The kids were all very excited to learn from a new teacher and would always leave their classroom to ask me to teach their year instead. The school had no doors, there were bars for windows, there was usually no electricity (occasionally a ceiling fan would turn on, but it wouldn’t last long), cows would walk in and out of the open school, and there was a hole in the ground for a toilet. Whilst it was challenging at times, the kids would always be so happy and eager to learn, and the staff was also very friendly, although many couldn’t speak English. Outside of teaching, I was constantly travelling and submerging myself in the culture. I made many friends who were also volunteering, and we went to many places and experiences: palaces, temples, food tours around the city, elephant sanctuaries, camel rides, textile shops, pottery stores, forts, etc. Over the weekend, I travelled to Agra and New Delhi with a group and saw the Taj Mahal and many other tourist attractions."
What have you learnt from spending time there?
"By the end of the trip, I was definitely changed and impacted by my time spent in India. It was very sad at times – there would be children in the streets begging for food and people were constantly coming up to us asking for money. I learnt the importance of giving to others – whether it just be giving up your time or encouraging positivity for those who need it. I also realised that the world is much bigger than England and I am privileged in so many ways. I also loved meeting new people and learning about a whole different culture."
Do you want to do anything similar in the future?
"Travelling to India, especially by myself, has certainly inspired me to travel and see more of the world. I would love to travel to Bali next summer with the same organisation, or possibly later in the future. I grew so much as an individual and expanded my understanding of the world by experiencing a whole new culture and way of life."
What do you do at Rendcomb College (subjects/sports)?
"I study A-level psychology, art, and English literature at Rendcomb and take part in gym and basketball for sport."
How has your experience been studying here?
"I’ve had a very positive experience at Rendcomb and made many friends that will last for life. I enjoy my subjects and my teachers are also very helpful and friendly. I really enjoy the extracurricular events Rendcomb puts on, such as the Christmas Ball, crypt, sport games, etc."
What would you like to do after Rendcomb College?
"Ideally, I would love to study philosophy at a university in England. After getting my degree, I hope to travel the world for a couple of years and see many more countries and different cultures."