Senior Dyuti Peddada’s experience at an Indian boarding school


Dyuti Peddada

At the Bangalore International Airport, senior Dyuti Peddada comes back from camp with her best friend. Peddada photographed moments that she could look back on to remember. “During camp, we couldn’t use our phones, so coming back from the camp and going to our dormitories, we were all excited. I took photos during the entire trip,” Peddada said.

With hopes of introducing her to her heritage, senior Dyuti Peddada’s father enrolled her in a boarding school in Bengaluru, India, at the age of 15. Peddada traveled 14,141 kilometers to Indus International School, where she was one of 30 students worldwide in her grade. 

Peddada and her mother moved to India. However, the school was a two-hour commute from their new home, so Peddada decided to live on campus.

“I was the new kid in a new country in a new school. It took a toll on me. The first few days [I faced] homesickness because I had never been far away from my parents, so I cried in my dorm,” Peddada said.

Monday through Saturday, students were not allowed to have cell phones. On Sundays, students had an hour of opportunity to use them. 

“I wish I could call my parents, but often I couldn’t because we didn’t have phones. So I had to find different ways to call my parents. I couldn’t watch YouTube. So I used a VPN, but that was on the risky side,” Peddada said.

Peddada adapted by easing her way into large friend groups she met through classes and her dorm.

“Since I was the new kid, it felt weird to interact with others since everybody had been together since [they were] babies. But, eventually, I [eased my way] into becoming close friends with a [larger group],” Peddada said. 

Despite getting help from her new friends, Peddada struggled with the school’s grading system. Instead of letter grades, students were graded on the International Baccalaureate system, an additional program aiming to increase intercultural understanding and peace. 

“[I] wouldn’t understand [the grading system] sometimes. [The teachers] left gigantic paragraphs describing what all you did, so it was stressful,” Peddada said.

Three years after arriving in India, Peddada’s father got a visa for her family to return to America after being denied. But unfortunately, the move proved to be more challenging than Peddada had anticipated.

When I came back to [America], I made new friends, but I didn’t feel as close to them as I did with my friends back in India. It felt different.

— Dyuti Peddada

“When I came back to [America], I made new friends, but I didn’t feel as close to them as I did with my friends back in India. It felt different. [Although] school work wasn’t as difficult when I returned,” Peddada said. 

Although Peddada’s first time being abroad in India was challenging, she misses what she started. 

“I wish I was able to keep my [long-distance] friendships. Unfortunately, after about a year or two, the friendships I made faded away, so when I returned to [America], friendships didn’t feel the same,” Peddada said.

Peddada values the independence she has gained studying abroad and looks forward to her future at Arizona State University.

“Now that I’m almost off to [ASU], I can’t be with my parents anymore, so I’ve learned how to provide for myself. Taking on [big responsibilities] and making good friends as I go has prepared me for what the future might bring,” Peddada said.