Grant will help international student step out of comfort zone

Published on 5/10/2022 9:51:39 AM
By Alice Liang '24
 
From climbing up the Himalayas to paragliding across the Western Ghats, graduate student Sachin Bansal has a sense of adventure that can’t be suppressed. While he remains afraid of heights and getting into the water, Bansal sees travel as the perfect avenue for conquering his fears.

bansal-5-On-Nag-Tibba-top,-Uttarakhand.jpg“I do things that really surprise myself. I have a lot of phobias, but I also like to do adventurous activities,” Bansal said. “I just try a lot of things to get over those fears.”

Bansal is the most recent recipient of the Globetrotter Grant secondary award, that provides $2,000 to adventurous Texas A&M students. The grant is used to supplement a planned trip to any country outside of the United States.

As an international student, Bansal already travels between his home country of India and America every semester. When he heard about the Globetrotter Grant, he saw it as an opportunity to step out of his comfort zone and visit a country he’s never been to.

“The fear that I have is turning into something that pushes me to go places. I wanted to go somewhere that was as adventurous as possible. I’m going to Norway in the winter, a place that’s really cold and where the terrain is extremely mountainous.” Bansal said. “I’ve never been there, so it feels like I'm doing something that’s helping me grow and push back those fears.”

Bansal is also a nature enthusiast and enjoys exploring the outdoors during his travels. He has plans to hike to waterfalls, go ice fishing, and chase the Northern lights while in Norway. However, Bansal’s itinerary is not limited to experiencing the nature Norway has to offer. He also wants to experience the culture and meet the people who live there.

“Apart from facing the fears I have and getting to see the beautiful nature, another thing that inspires me [to travel] is meeting new people. When I go to a new place, I get to see a whole new different way of living. Even back in India, I saw people living life in different ways when I visited another state. They have a different type of food they eat, speak a different language, and have their own folk songs and festivals,” Bansal said.

bansal-4-Near-Gallu-waterfall,-Himachal-Pradesh.jpgWhether it’s walking the neighborhood of Bryggen or staying with an indigenous Sami family in their traditional lavvu, Bansal hopes to be in touch with the country’s people and make the most of his trip.

“Meeting people gives me a different perspective, and I get to experience their culture when I interact with them. Going to a new place like Norway and experiencing the culture, that’s what I feel is real traveling.

You can read more about Bansal’s winning trip proposal here: https://globetrottergrant.org/grant-winners/

About the Globetrotter Grant
The purpose of the Globetrotter Grant is to encourage international understanding through travel. The grant funds are intended to help college students experience landscapes, languages, food and drink, government types, and economic and social policies different from those in the U.S. The Globetrotter Grant is designed for an adventurous individual whose plans are not limited only to study abroad, but self-planned trips outside of a study abroad program or through independent travel of their own. Learn more at https://globetrottergrant.org/.