David Baker

Senior

Denver, Colorado

Philosophy Major, Anthropology and Sociology Minor

David studied abroad in Bodh Gaya, India, to explore his interest in Buddhist Studies.

What inspired you to study abroad?

I pursued study abroad because I have traveled with my family yearly since I was born. These trips tended to be in developing countries in South America and Asia, so I knew I had a strong interest in traveling to that part of the world. I had been to India when I was quite young, but given the interests that flourished in college, India became an extremely fascinating place to me both personally and intellectually.

How has the experience benefited you?

In terms of immediacy, learning how to meditate and actually practicing regularly has made me calmer and happier, which is hard to judge in terms of value. I got to earn credit learning almost entirely about what I am interested in, which is hard to beat. Also, I met a fair number of good contacts for future opportunities, such as jobs, traveling/teaching programs, and education.

David Baker learned how to meditate while in India

What was the coolest part of studying abroad?

Just living within sight of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya and being in such an amazing place made everything we did -- no matter how seemingly normal -- an adventure. The independent study part of the program is also amazing because it provides the opportunity to travel around India and Southern Asia with just a couple of people, which is a truly unique experience. At the same time, I had a manager, mentor, and team members who were incredibly helpful and understanding when I got stuck or needed a little help.

What did you learn from your experience?

I have no idea how to sum up what I learned in the program. It changed my perception of so many different things that it is hard to generalize. The thing I would say I am the happiest to have learned, though, is proper meditation techniques from extremely renowned individuals.