Setting sight on new horizons

Setting sight on new horizons

CULTURAL EXCHANGE

Though they really miss their loved ones when they step out of the country for an internship or a student exchange programme, they feel such trips help them become more confident and learn more about themselves.

With a number of universities in the City encouraging their students to be a part of exchange programmes, students feel such trips are highly needed as they are a real eye-opener.

Samiksha Jalan is a second year student who recently went on a cultural exchange programme to Denmark, Germany, Belgium and France. During this trip, she not only learnt more about the lifestyle of the people out there, but also got an opportunity to visit a few colleges.

“You can’t help but compare their lifestyle to ours. Both have their own pros and cons,” she says. “The student fraternity over there is given a lot of independence and these countries are far more technologically advanced,” she adds.

One of the biggest lessons she learnt was to take care of herself in a foreign land. “Usually when you go abroad with your parents, you don’t bother about anything as they are there to take care of all your needs. But here, we all were on our own. So from figuring out the process of immigration to communicating with the locals, there were so many things I learnt while I was on this month-long trip,” she adds.

Many students feel that the teaching methods used abroad cannot be applied back home. Says Navin, a third year student, who went on a student-exchange programme to Singapore, “Over there, the students are provided with highly advanced infrastructure and technology. But they don’t share a warm relationship with their teachers like we do. So a trip like this always has its ups and downs,” he adds.

There are also those who go on such trips to gain experience and exposure. Bhavya, another second year student, wanted to work abroad to get some experience. So when she got a chance to intern with a company in Seattle, she immediately took it up as it was an opportunity she didn’t want to miss.

“I always wanted to go abroad to pursue my higher studies. So I felt gaining some work experience would give me an extra advantage when I go for higher studies in future,” she explains.

Though she lived with a colleague, Bhavya had to figure out her way around the place, do her laundry and even shop for groceries. “I learnt how hard it is to live by yourself in a foreign land. Over here, things are simpler. But out there, you are all by yourself. This experience has made me far more confident and independent,” she adds.

Even Shwetha, a student, who went to Los Angeles for an internship, feels that such trips help one gain confidence and independence. “It’s more of an inner journey. Going abroad on your own makes you realise your strong and weak points. That’s why I recommend at least one such trip to all students,” she adds.

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