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NMSU students travel to India for learning experience focused on water issues

For one group of New Mexico State University students, this spring break will be a different kind of adventure. Aggies Go Global in partnership with UBELONG, an international volunteer service organization based in Washington, D.C., is taking 10 students and one faculty member and her spouse on an expedition to India from March 20-29.


Group photo of students and faculty who will travel to India with the Aggies Go Global program.
NMSU students and faculty will travel to India over spring break as part of an Aggies Go Global/UBELONG expedition focused on water issues. (Courtesy Photo)

“These experiences provide students the opportunity to develop a broader perspective of other cultures as well as their own,” said Gary R. Lowe, coordinator of Aggies Go Global (AGG). “I think a global experience will enhance a student’s career opportunities by preparing them to be more effective in our increasingly global world.”

The traveling workshop to Delhi and Udaipur will focus on water, a critical issue for both New Mexico and India. The group will meet with local officials, foreign aid workers and non-profit leaders. The students will also have the opportunity to participate in cultural events, including a weekend trip to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. As part of the hands-on experience in India, the students will design public health education programs for under-served communities.

Lowe will co-lead the NMSU group along with Raul Roman, co-founder of UBELONG. Lowe first saw India as a Peace Corps volunteer 50 years ago.

“My experience in India was a profoundly formative event in my life and the country has remained important to me throughout my academic career,” Lowe said. “UBELONG has a volunteer program in Delhi, and Dr. Roman’s doctoral research focused on India. AGG has supported many students on UBELONG programs and through this link it seemed only natural to develop a program to India focusing on an issue vital to both India and New Mexico.”

Aggies Go Global is a partnership between NMSU's International and Border Programs, the Office of the President and Provost, and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences with support from the Associated Students of NMSU. The program supports NMSU students, through mentoring and travel support for global non-credit earning opportunities that defy traditional academic boundaries or classifications. It works with students to locate and develop international opportunities to gain experience related to their field of study via research or volunteer/community service activities that will enhance their career goals while also contributing to their cultural competency.

“New Mexico State University has as one of its primary goals the promotion of international and global opportunities for students,” Lowe said. “AGG is a unique program, working in close cooperation with the Office of Study Abroad as an alternative to traditional credit-earning programs, to support and promote the university’s international goal.”

For more information about Aggies Go Global and future expeditions, contact Lowe at bhopal@nmsu.edu. For more information about UBELONG, visit www.ubelong.org.