Ashish Dhingra, Huntington UniversityAshish Dhingra

Junior
Major: Film Production
Hometown: Chandigarh, Haryana, India

I first became interested in film when I discovered the power of the medium to entertain, inform and make people feel emotions. I began by making informative adverts for events at my school. Initially I was set on studying engineering, but when I realized I wanted to produce material with more of a narrative, I decided to pursue Film Production.

When I searched online for “top Christian film schools,” Huntington University was the first link that popped up. Huntington University provided exactly what I was looking for – a film track, a well-rounded education, a Christian environment, and a community that pushes me to grow. I never had the chance to visit any universities, so a scholarship from Huntington helped me make up my mind.

My favorite thing about the Digital Media Arts program is the access to high-end equipment, including cameras, computer labs and sound rooms. It’s also easy to communicate with the staff. They’re always willing to discuss your ideas and help you strengthen them. This program is unique because even though Huntington is a Christian institution, it doesn't hinder the film track in any way, which allows us to grow into competent filmmakers.

When the applications for the India trip came out, people joked about me going. When I was placed on the team, I questioned my decision. Why would I pay $3,000 to go on a trip to my own country? I thought that by growing up as the child of missionaries, I’d seen everything there was to see in India. Eventually, I convinced myself that God put me on this team for a reason. The truth is, I spent most of my time growing up in a boarding school, and I was kept in a bubble. As we talked about our experiences, I started realizing everything that had been going right over my head over the years.

Huntington and the India trip have taught me to be vulnerable, to be open, and to question more. My experiences here taught me to be a critical thinker – in my studies and as a Christian – which has helped me grow tremendously. I still can’t believe the strength of the community here; I have never seen such a loving and caring group of people in my life before. I’ve learned so much from everyone!

It’s uncanny how quickly the two weeks in India went by. The trip impacted me on so many levels, from the relationships I built with the team to the relationships I built with the girls at Home of Love. When I went, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but now I’m processing what God wants for me. I don’t have all the answers yet, but I’ve come back feeling humbled, loved and more trustful. Now, the best thing I can do is pray. No matter where I end up, I hope that my life can be used to expand God’s kingdom.