The University of Iowa

In the news: International Development

December 12th, 2018

By Tyler Strand, Iowa Magazine

David Braun squeezed into a densely packed subway car and noticed a few classmates struggling to board. More than 7,500 miles away from home, Braun feared his group might get separated during rush hour in one of the world's largest cities. Instead, a few passengers held open the doors and made room for his peers. Aboard the busiest metro system in Delhi, India—where the country's overpopulation crisis was on full display—Braun encountered the unexpected: kindness from strangers.

"I don't think it's until you see things with your own eyes that you actually understand how bad the [overpopulation] problem is, but people in India are very generous and compassionate," says Braun, a UI civil engineering senior who studied water poverty in rural India last year as part of the university's India Winterim program.

Such meaningful hands-on experiences are the goal of the three-week expedition, which gives Hawkeyes the opportunity to learn within India's diverse cultures. Since 2006, more than 1,300 students have participated in the India Winterim, which received the Institute of International Education's 2016 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. This winter, 51 students depart Dec. 26 to work alongside public and private nongovernmental organizations across India in one of four disciplines (see "India Unveiled").