What I learned about myself based on my Personality type, my Strengths, and the goals I set for myself for the trip to India.

I learnt that I can adapt to situations by either working as a team or listening to everyone. Or being confident and taking the lead in front of people. AD.

I am proud that during the teaching assignment I was able to lead some of the lessons, letting my ideas become heard rather than an extrovert taking control. I discovered that I am better at taking the initiative than I thought, planning lessons for different age groups at the last minute, adapting to the Indian environment of throwing myself in the situation. AG.

I learned that I can think on my feet and use my initiative in high pressure situations despite being nervous. I also learnt that I can take the lead for example in the teaching assignment leadership was needed to keep control of younger children and ensure they learn something. AL.

I learnt that I really enjoy teamwork and am better at leadership than I thought, for example in the school teaching the children. I took initiative in many cases and I was given opportunities to grow. BT.

I have both leader skills and listening skills which is useful when doing group work as I can take any role. I learnt that when put in a challenging situation I am able to adapt fast and resolve any issues that arise. My confidence has noticeability grown when teaching in schools and talking to the orphans. BF.

Whilst teaching, I found that I was very comfortable at the front of the class talking to the children. Being an extrovert I loved talking to the children and saying Hi but I did find it overwhelming at points. In my survey I was considered very kind and I think this showed during my teaching assignment. However, this did not stop me from being stern when I needed to. During my travels I really gathered a deep admiration for the beauty and culture of India. I was very inspired by the people and I will continue to think about them going forward. CC.

I learnt that even though I may have been a little bit nervous I was able to push myself e.g. dancing confidently. I was also able to deliver speeches of thanks. I immersed myself as much as possible in the Indian culture and tried everything and all of the chances. On my personality type I learnt that even though I have many introverted characteristics, I am an extrovert because I enjoyed being with people. CM.

As an extrovert with leadership as one of my top skills I sometimes found it hard to step away from taking the lead. But I realised it’s nice to see others take charge and follow. I felt I had to adapt my use of language a lot to make myself understood which proved to be difficult. I’ve learnt that I can worry quite a bit but that I can be more easy going by allowing everything to unfold naturally. EH.

I am proud of the way I have learned to adapt to changing circumstances. I have realised that I love working with children and feel inspired by their happiness despite their difficult lives. I have learned that I love travel. ES.

I have learnt to work in a team better under stressful situations. I have learnt to have initiative and think on my feet. I have learnt to take initiative by myself. EB.

I had challenges during teaching but I overcame within couple of days my fear and was very effective in the classroom. DE.

My top character strength was teamwork – I feel like I fulfilled this whilst in India, whether this be in the teaching with my partner or communicating with the whole group. My second character strength was prudence – I feel that on the trip I have let my guard down a little and being less careful with my choices which have meant I have had more fun and experienced the trip far better. My least character strength was spirituality – when experiencing the different culture and religions in India I have learnt more about myself and life as whole. IS.

I have found that the personality type assessment opened my eyes to my character a bit more. Being an introvert who loves being with people but needs time to recharge has helped me to understand why I need to take a step aside every now and then. LT.

I found the personality tests very interesting and learnt a lot about myself. The goals I set have been useful in seeing the progress I have made in India. LE.

I learnt that I can get along with people better than I expected; as someone who generally likes their space to be alone, I was nervous about being with everyone 24/7, however I really enjoyed and will now make more of an effort to meet new people. I feel I adapted quite well to situations, e.g. when we were told about teaching, I initially panicked but then managed to work through it. I feel the character strengths report was quite accurate, but the personality verifier less so I am not as analytical as I previously thought. RR.

Throughout the trip I have faced many different challenges. Me being a very outgoing and laid back character I struggled initially enforcing discipline with teaching. However, as the week went on, I became confident with controlling large classes while still having a friendly relationship with the kids. My mind-set has also changed dramatically. I always knew about the inequality and competition within India. However I have found this important eye opening and hard hitting knowing that the children I have built relationships with won’t have the same chances as me, and as a result I want change. TL.

My self-evaluation of my personal development from undertaking the teaching assignment and volunteering assignment

The Teaching assignment made me plan well for the lessons. I was able to handle the challenging situation at the school. I very much enjoyed being with children and sharing things with them. I really loved them. AG.

My confidence level has improved. I was worried before as how to do the teaching assignment but when I was given the opportunity then I worked hard and planned the lessons and prepared it well. I could deliver the teaching well. BT.

During both assignments my confidence grew as I was very nervous when we first met the orphans but by the last day of teaching I was able to stand up in front of children older than me and teach them a lesson I had only ever seen once before. BF.

During my volunteering assignment I found that I was astounded by the fact that the girls were so shy about periods. I really felt so rewarded when they finally openly talked about it with no issues or shyness. Both volunteering experiences made feel so good inside as I taught children things that would help in the future. I loved teaching in the rural school in Tamil Nadu - all the children were very eager about their learning and were very excited to see us. CC.

I enjoyed the teaching experience, I have explored my potential much more than before. I became aware of myself more while doing the teaching experience and the volunteering assignment in Bangalore. CM.

Through the volunteering I have found a real sense of achievement in knowing I have given young girls new and important life skills. I have also seen how I work quite well with children. With the teaching I saw I was capable of being responsible for myself and others and how to command the attention of a room and keep control. EH.

Both assignments brought out my real personality. I was able to understand my potentials. I was aware of my strengths and weakness. I loved these two assignments. Awesome. I will try to be less lazy and also more thankful. ES.

I rely on extensive prep before an activity to be conducted and was confident. I now trust myself to leap into situations. I learnt the first step to teaching a large classroom. I was able to take myself one step ahead in all the activity I did. I feel I have personally grown much. AB.

I grew in confidence during the trip in India especially in Yelagiri while teaching. Thought of new and interactive ways to teach the kids and I succeeded in that. I loved the children at Yelagiri. I learnt from them to appreciate things and smile always even during struggles and difficult situations. CG.

I learnt that I can handle difficult tasks on my own without the help from anyone else. I was very much involved in the chicken rearing thing. I took leadership for both project. I took initiative and did everything I could. I enjoyed and had a lot of fun while doing the activities. DE.

The best part of the trip was in the rural school especially the teaching. Changed the direction I am taking as my gap year to go back there to be a more rewarded and appreciating person. I know now that I will come back to India because of my teaching experiences in the rural school . FJ.

I loved teaching children at the rural school, though at the beginning it was difficult to handle and then later I devised a plan to teach better which worked well. I loved to do the chicken rearing project at the rural school. I worked as much I could. I could see people working tirelessly in the hot sun and earning for day to day life - this touched me so much. JF.

Teaching the children at the rural school and the chicken rearing the best part of the trip. Gained confidence in talking to a large crowd. Gained more confidence and taking a higher value from teaching and building the chicken coop. TD.

Building relationship with students at the school and realising the similarities between us. Teaching: I learnt that I am good in spontaneous situations if something isn’t working in class and can adopt to change where need be. I learnt that I prefer having meaningful conversation with older children rather than just play with the younger kids – as nice as the play is. Volunteering – very happy to do whatever job is required - happy to go with the flow. I can pick up skills quite quickly e.g.: using the iron rod to tie wire. I learnt I have more patience to be able to get the job done correctly rather than quickly. Building the mesh was nice for me to think how people worked hard for day to day earning. HS.

I believe my teamwork and perseverance has definitely improved where I have become more resilient to difficult situations. My love for learning has improved; I value my education so much more and my love for teaching. IS.

The end part of the time in the rural school, where we all found a real deep care for the children and the difficulties in their lives. The main thing I learnt from the volunteering assignment is that I had to push myself. The teaching assignment, however, was very enlightening for me. I found the time with the younger children at the start far more challenging than I was expecting, and surprised myself realising that resilience is something I still need to work on. However I went solo while teaching and I think that really helped me step out and be brave. By the end of the week I was a lot more positive with the younger children and learnt not take the kids constant pleas to go outside. LT.

I enjoyed the volunteering assignment a lot as it was completely different to anything I have ever done and I feel that it really helped my proactivity and teamwork skills. However, the teaching was my favourite part of the trip. Initially I found my timetable slightly scary but once I had planned I loved teaching the children and I feel this really improved my confidence and I felt as though we left a real impact. It also helped me to adapt more easily as well as developing my perseverance. LE.

From this experience, I have learnt that I can adapt quickly to situations so long as I control my initial panic. I also learnt that I prefer to plan ahead rather than make things up as we go, although I am open to adapting a plan on the go. I learnt that I sometimes enjoy taking the backseat in a team and not leading - the chicken farming was instrumental in this. RR.

My self-evaluation of my personal development from experiencing India.

A great opportunity to have fun, take risks and see India which they should take if they can. I have learnt to be more confident and take more risks as it is really fun. I have learnt to be less stressed and enjoy life. Smile and be happy more as many of the children at the orphanage and school were so friendly even if they didn’t have much. I will take more risks and be more confident. AD.

An eye-opener, powerful and touching. I feel more prepared for dealing with tricky situations and taking my initiative to think of solutions quickly and effectively. I also feel more aware of the outside world away from Europe in a completely different environment. I am going to be aware of people’s circumstance. I am going to appreciate what ever things I have. AL.

Amazing. I fell I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone a lot e.g.: teaching, food and am proud with how I’ve coped. I will be grateful for what I have. BT.

An eye opening experience to remember. My confidence has grown which will help me throughout my life. I have discovered new talents which will prove useful when in a work environment. When we first met the orphans and children I could have put myself in more and tried to push myself further out of my comfort zone. Appreciate what I have and not to take anything for granted. BF.

A very insightful and meaningful trip. More educational and grounded trip than relaxing one. I found that this India trip has really brought a reality into my life, which I have never experienced before. Befriending girls and boys from both the rural and Bangalore schools has really made me realise that happiness costs nothing. I have gone from a normal 17 year old to a girl that has seen and experienced things that others go though. This trip showed me the contrast between rich and poor people and that happiness doesn’t cost anything. I will definitely go home with a more resourceful attitude as I remember the children in the rural school being so happy with so little, family, friends or wifi. CC.

Amazing - one of the best experiences I have had. A really good fusion of sight-seeing and development activities meaning you get a good insight into Indian culture. I have matured and will go back to England with an exciting new experience. I have learnt the importance of friendships and family. When visiting the orphanage and seeing girls who had minimal materialistic possessions, I realised that the most important things are hope, faith and happiness. I need to smile more and appreciate everything - take every opportunity. I feel quite proud of myself for pushing myself out of my comfort zone I have really learnt the power and the importance of giving time. It really showed me to be grateful for everything I have. The girls at the orphanage didn’t have many materialistic possession but they made up for it in love and hope and faith. The experience has been really rewarding. I think I will be happy in England, knowing I have made friendship with girls in India and excited for the future to be united with them. CM.

Very eye-opening to a different culture and a once in a life time trip. I think I have become more relaxed and open to meeting new people from different walks of life. I am also happy to step back from a leadership role and be part of the team. Furthermore I have seen how my presence can have a big effect on others giving me more confidence and self appreciation. I have learnt that having a lot of stuff does not mean you will be happy and to worry less. I think I will be more stress free about little things. EH.

Amazing and eye-opening. I have taken leadership roles more willingly and have a better understanding of how different types of people work and interact in a group environment. I think I should now aim to practice these skills in front of others and not just my friends. I have learnt to be more grateful and discovered a sense of perspective. ES.

I had a great experience and loved every moment of it. I realised that I am more patient than I thought I was especially when I had to control the standard 1 and 2. Also I realised that I work best in a team and that I really enjoy leading a team and helping everyone get through a situation. I have learnt that I should appreciate everything I have and thank my parents more. EB.

The trip was extremely fulfilling. I believe we made a difference. The programme was not just a picnic but a learning journey for me. I have learnt many things through the Indian culture, people and children. I love India. TL

Inspiring. Made me question things that happened around me. I learnt to be thankful. I have learnt to take failure not letting my targets as a stepping stone towards success. Reflecting and setting targets for the next time I do an activity helps me improve. Things around me will motivate me to find my own success though the pursuit of appreciation. AB.

Eye-opening and a great experience. Being more appreciative. Change the way I act and think. Again I became more confident as the trip progressed. CG.

A transformative experience. I will appreciate what I have. I learnt to be calm when people annoy me. DE.

A diverse and challenging trip that expanded perspectives and concluding in very rewarding personal achievements. A wider perspective on the world, a greater appreciation for my own advantages. Personal success in the teaching, organised much better. I love the place, the atmosphere, the people, it’s vibrant. I sometimes feel that I really connect with and would look to incorporate into my own life. FJ.

Great and insightful into the culture and contrast of India. The experience in India has affected me tremendously. The various culture has made me to reflect and appreciate things around me. The children have taught me to be humble. JF

Inspiring and life changing / best experience of my life. Make me appreciate my belongings. Experience different cultures and helped me adapt my teaching to the different cultural values. TD

A fantastic variety of Indian culture from cities to villages with opportunities both fun and meaningful. The orphanage taught me about appreciation for those around me and truly inspired me to work/help at an all-girls orphanage – the strength and community shown was beautiful. I have learnt about severe alcoholism in India and the poor treatment of woman – it’s certainly sparked a drive in me and I have learnt never to settle for something that is unjust. HS.

An unforgettable experience and a trip that I have gained so much from. There have been cherished memories. My bravery and confidence has improved so much. Coming on the trip has improved my independence. My gratitude for everything I have. Whilst I have been in India I have reflected on greatly. IS.

An eye-opening experience which impacted the whole group. The key personal development I think I have had via the trip has been a great awareness and realisation of the reality of the lives and families in other parts of the world. The interaction with the women self-help group really hit me, and I think that was the first moment when I wanted to grab a microphone and get up and speak out. Being more grateful is definitely a development too. We have an escape from the sexism, toilets, bucket shower and heat, but for millions of people this is the everyday reality. One of the boys spoke about turning dreams into reality for the children which is a resonating message for us all, and the way other members of the group were impacted has really taught me to expect the unexpected. The concept of ‘jugaad’ is also going to come home with me. I have also learnt a lot more about the reality of the lives of women and definitely has given me food for thought. I am going back with the desire to change and be very grateful for what we experience in England. I will be more aware of the world and have wider perspective from now on. LT. Amazing experience that has taught me a lot about Indian life and culture as well as being a lot of fun. Experiencing such a different culture has been really eye-opening and I have learnt so much about the culture which has been so interesting. I feel this has taught me to go with the flow more and adapt and also helped me get to know lots of lovely people. I feel the trip has had a big impact on me and I will definitely never forget it. Be more grateful of what I have and the opportunities I get and I feel I am more confident. LE.

Life changing and eye-opening; we learnt a lot about ourselves during the two assignments. I feel that I have discovered a passion for culture and art, as well as history. I loved experiencing new things and felt excited by the new environment. I have learnt to communicate more efficiently and sensitively with others to make things run more smoothly, and I feel I have been open to meeting new people (which I did not expect as I thought I was quite stuck in my habits). My patience has improved greatly, as well as my teamwork and communication skill. I will be more grateful for what I have in the future and more aware of the realities of those who are less fortunate. RR