testimonials

TESTIMONIALS

I think BEYOND BORDERS is a professional organization that had a good grasp for what we were looking for. The ashram and guesthouse were really comfortable, and were located in beautiful settings. They were willing to answer questions and put us in touch with people who had participated in the past. I felt like the staff was really looking out for us at all times, and that we could count on them!  

Cindy Klinger, Georgia state university, USA
General – India / Mumbai / BEYOND BORDERS

Mark and I toured Dharavi last weekend and one thing that stood out was how self-sufficient this community is. In spite of the close living quarters, health issues, etc., this was one thing that impressed me so much. Also, the fact that nothing was being wasted. In some of my classes, we talk about environmental issues related to population growth. Seeing Dharavi reminds me just how backwards the consumption and use of material goods is in America. In fact, many of our recycled electronics come to places like India to be processed, recycled, etc. so they aren't piling up on our land. It's difficult to live a more simple, sustainable, and self-sufficient life in America and at many times, extremely frustrating when we lack to the infrastructure or resources to do that more easily, but the people and lifestyle in Dharavi reminded me of the value and importance of trying. Another thing I noticed was that even though many of the families don't have very much money, most women still stay close to home to tend to children and family, rather than working to earn more money. This is much less common in the States, but I think really expresses just how deeply family is valued in Indian culture – something I very much appreciate. 

Jayme Aargon, Oregon university, USA
General – India / Mumbai / BEYOND BORDERS

Thank you to you both once again for providing such an amazing experience, this is truly one I will never forget. In particular, I feel like I have truly matured as a person, both intellectually and emotionally… ready for any challenge that life may throw at me.  

Alexandra Spicer, UTS, Australia
Microfinance and Social Business


I really appreciated this program. I learnt a lot and I ended up with a huge knowledge in microfinance and social business in urban areas in India. Interning at a professional microfinance organization, I could learn about various products and how the availability of credit can make a difference to poverty.I will continue reading and learning about these projects because I think is a good way to alleviate poorness in rural and urban areas. 

Ana Garcia, Madrid, Spain
Microfinance and Social Business


The traditional medicine program was amazing. They tailored the program for us, designing a curriculum specifically for nutrition. They were comprehensive and thorough, teaching us everything from the theories of Ayurveda to common dishes prepared in India. During my time here learned how food and proper nutrition is used in Ayurveda medicinally. I learned about medicinal herbs, cooking methods, and the theories of Ayurveda. I plan to incorporate some of these methods into my own practice as a dietitian and will treasure this experience for the rest of my life. 

Jessica, Georgia state university, USA
Traditional Medicine


Learning from ayurvedic doctors, in person, was a really special experience. They taught us a great mixture of components, from the history and theories to cooking and using herbs, all of which were fascinating. Dr. Jagdish, Krishna, Prachi and the other teachers were optimistic and made the experience fun and interesting. Although it was too short to have become an expert in ayurveda, I do feel that it reiterated for me the importance of combining both science and more traditional, intuitive healing techniques.

Cindy Clinger, Georgia state university, USA
Traditional Medicine



..of course the poverty is horrible, shocking, and crippling. But most of the lives that I have been invited to observe (and take part in), although embedded in poverty, have been filled with happiness, connectivity, relationships, and caring for each other. Can the Western lives which are dominated by self-centeredness, property, luxuries, and the fight for who OWNS the most really keep up with the profoundness of the lives I have experienced here? I have my doubts and maybe that is why probably people choose not to adopt all the modern suggestions that have advanced Western nations.

Katharina Werner, University of Montana, USA
Grassroots community Development


During my two and a half months here I have had the opportunity to learn about the gender disparity in education in India, to interview and photograph EG employees, rural families, students, and their surroundings. I have been welcomed into villages and homes like I was family, even though I was a stranger. I have been challenged to understand the feelings and struggles spoken in a village language, then translated into Hindi, then roughly into English, all while the original message was loaded with a culture and context very different from my own and perhaps impossible to express into words. I came to India with the plan of helping others, but I feel the people here have given and taught me more than I can repay.

Kourtney Hannaway, Oregon state university, USA
Grassroots community Development


The rural/public health program was absolutely amazing. Seeing firsthand the challenges people living in rural villages face regarding their access to fresh food and hygiene/sanitation practices really opened my eyes. Dr. Vijay and Suresh were a joy to work with, and they really taught us a lot, not only about their work but also about their culture. I will miss them!  

Cindy Clinger, Georgia State University, USA 
Rural and Public Health

It is exciting for me to see what is done here in nursing care and compare it to nursing school system in America. It was an amazing experience in which I learned A LOT.  

Andrea Turner, Portland State University, USA
Rural and Public Health


Working with Dr. Datar (Academic Director, clinical rotation programs) has been very interesting. I have had an interest in OB/ GYN previously, so this week help me look at the pros and cons of the specialty. I have had an exposure to the speciality in the US, but here I was able to see much more. I saw a few surgeries and talking to both Dr. Datar and Dr. Parwate was very informational. There are many sub-specialties as well in OB/GYN and discussing the aspects of their practice gave me more insight. 

Sharon Reddy, Oregon State University, USA 
Clinical Rotation


I had the opportunity to observe a bypass surgery under Dr Goyal and wow it was quite exciting. I've seen the beating heart inside the chest of a rat before, but it was completely astounding to see a human heart so close. I was standing right at the head of the bed, beside the anaesthetist, and was allowed to take pictures/video! I may be biased, but heart surgery is one of the most spectacular types of surgeries. This particular surgeon did not use a heart-lung machine, and instead performed the surgery on the beating heart with minimal invasion. It took two hours from open to close, but a lot of prep time before and a lot of skin sutures after. 

Mark Rockley, Queen's university, Canada 
Clinical Rotation

Observing in this facility brought one of the most glaring differences between India and the States to light: poverty here is beyond what most Americans can comprehend. While there is extreme poverty in the US, it cannot be compared to the Indian definition of the word. There are slums in Mumbai, the commercial capitol of the country, that lack running water, electricity, and sewage. The state provides free healthcare for the poor, but the system is so overwhelmed that it is impossible to provide truly adequate care to the patients who come to hospitals like Oshiwari Municipal. Since so many resources are poured into the treatment provided by these hospitals, little is left over for education and prevention. It's a truly frustrating cycle. On another note, the city of Mumbai continues to amaze me. I'm enjoying my time here. I do miss home, though, and many things I have found I take for granted (reasonably clean drinking water, English speaking people, lanes on the roads).

Jacques Chouinard, University of south Alabama, USA
Clinical Rotation

I wanted to thank BEYOND BORDERS and Hansal for creating such an incredible program. I learned so much and am amazed at all of the people I was able to meet. I would never get an opportunity in the US to meet so many filmmakers. I did learn so much in four weeks, not only from the scheduled meetings and such, but from getting over all that scared me and my initial culture shock.

Sarah Friedland, Brown University, USA
Film and Media Program

First of all, I want to thank everyone who helped make this program possible for me. It was such a unique and thrilling experience that in many ways, words fail me. I feel as though everyone went out of their way to aid me in my work and goals and I greatly appreciate that.

Neha Jain, Bard College, Canada
Film and Media Program