India Summer Immersion Program

Hi, my name is Christine Song. I’m a junior majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in bioengineering. I’m currently in New Delhi, India, for my India Summer Immersion Program, which SIBC thankfully has supported me to come here. In this blog post, I will talk about how my life in Delhi has been so far.

Now it has passed more than two weeks since I’ve come here in Delhi. There have been lots of things, lots of happenings, lots of sightseeing, lots of thoughts and feelings during last two weeks. From the first moment I landed on the airport and saw no one except me wearing short pants – even though it was quite hot – I knew something was wrong, or at least very different from what I’m familiar with. And by far India hasn’t disappointed me at all in that sense.

First of all, the weather is ridiculously hot so that at certain point I gave up resisting the steam and crazy sunlight and just accepted as if they were part of my body. Due to the monsoon weather, however, it can pour cats and dogs once in a while until it forms a river, so that’s a trap. Secondly, India, or at least New Delhi, can be a very chaotic city to a first-time visitor. Not to mention the volume of traffic and population (both human and non-human such as cows, cats, monkeys, dogs, and flies all over the place), it’s really hard to find a very nice, clean, and organized scene around here in Delhi street. Cars won’t stay in the lines and drivers would literally drive or cross over the lines randomly. There is so much garbage on the street, beggars would knock on your car windows all the time, and drainage system is very poor. People would just cross the street in the middle; nonetheless, cars would never slow down and honk at you until 5 feet in front of you. There are kids in barefoot, sometimes naked, just running around the streets, and once in a while you will see some guys pissing on the sideways. So this is India.

If I just finish at this point and wrap it up, India would merely be a very very dirty city with no rules at all. However, the beauty of India comes from the fact that in spite of all these things above, there are stunningly beautiful and fascinating things about India which make you think and want to learn more about it. The religions, temples, garments, and cuisines…the caste system, a huge gap between the poor and the rich just across a wall. India can give you the best and the worst at the same time. It’s a country of diversity and it is very interesting to see the coexistence of those culture all in one place.

For last two weeks, I’ve been to Taj Mahal in Agra once and mostly toured around many places in Delhi. Just few days ago, I started my work at Oncquest Lab, which is a clinical diagnostic lab specializing in oncology. I’m part of a training program in the lab and it has been very impressive to observe the professionalism and techniques in both science and business sector. As a chemical engineering major and bioengineering minor, I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about this field and have a better understanding of the industry. I am also looking forward to future weekend trips that I’m planning to go on to see other parts of India!





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