Although the iconic iPod that gave them their name has long since died, podcasts themselves are on the up-and-up. Every year, more and more people are falling in love with this on-demand source of audio entertainment. This is leading to an explosion in the number of podcasts being produced– endless hours of audio-bliss await those bitten by the podcast bug.

Though podcasts as little packets of audio that gets pushed to your phone haven’t been around for that long, they tap into a long history of audio storytelling dating back to the 1930s when radios first became affordable enough for everyone to have access to. In a similar fashion, technological advances have made recording and producing audio stories a lot cheaper – while downloading the usually small files is a cheap source of news, entertainment, and distraction in even the most data-strapped economies.

What’s amazing about podcasts is that they come in a wide range of topics starting from anything to everything and that too absolutely free! Listening to podcasts can make your long commutes short, your solitary walks in the city won’t be boring anymore and household chores won’t sound monotonous either. If you’re listening to a really good episode, you’ll wish for more dishes to do just so you can keep listening!

Here’s our top picks of must try podcasts for any Indian student studying abroad- treats to your ears that are sure to make you a smarter, funnier and even kinder student

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The Indian Startup Show:

An interesting series of weekly podcasts hosted by Neil Patel & Friends featuring budding Indian entrepreneurs pitching their innovative ideas/products in context with challenges faced by typical Indian households and businesses. Narration of different ideas being brought to life from brainstorming, pilot and simulation phase takes you on a journey where game changers take risks to build the future of tomorrow’s self-reliant India. Inspiration and motivation to bring about a change isn’t just all you get to take away from listening to this show. Through the eye’s of an Indian student studying abroad this series will  also open your mind to embrace trial and errors on your way as you start to adjust to a whole new culture and learning environment.

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The intersection:

Shoutout to all the science geeks and culture fanatics out there! Padmaparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian bring life to series of science and culture infused medleys through anecdotes, interviews and original research in their narratives via Intersection. As their discussion steers from the culture lane to science junction and then traces its way back to India’s history, you will rediscover a newfound fondness for India and its roots as an international student. And what’s more? Incessant puns bring about an element of humor and make the geeky discussion more digestible

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This American Life

Ira Glass and the team behind this hour-long weekly show has been at it since 1995, telling countless funny, irreverent, surprising and authentically human stories along the way. Contrary to what the name suggests, the stories told are not exclusively about Americans – or exclusively American social phenomena. Some of their most memorable stories have been those focusing beyond the US borders – for example looking at the refugee crisis that has swept the world over the past few years. Through their exploration of the human condition, you’ll see yourself and your own humanity reflected back. As different as we may seem, there is always common ground to be found.

This team has also recently spawned two new podcasts that were viral sensations. In Serial, the team investigates a mystery per season, slowly unraveling the story of a murder accused in season one and a defecting soldier in season two. S-Town starts off as something similar, but it’s quickly revealed that there is much more to this journalistic investigation.

One of these stellar shows is sure to grab you – and not let go till you’ve binge-listened to the entire archive! There are so many different shows to explore, tap into the recommendations area of your podcasting app to discover new shows you may love. Enjoy showing off your newfound knowledge amongst your friends!

If you are interested in reading more articles on life as an international student, then click here.

About the Co-Author: Mustafa Sutarwala is an all-round creative marketing graduate from Amity University Dubai, and is currently working in Dubai. He's inclined to digital marketing communications and works as the Creative Ninja for SchoolApply.