Teachers from abroad

Studying abroad has always been a desire for many Indian students. However, there are few teachers from foreign land, who have made India their second home and actually teach here.

“We just don't teach them, we also learn a lot from them,” said Dr John Patrick Ojwando, a Kenyan nationalist and a journalism teacher at the Garden City College. “The approach of students here is different from the students in Kenya. Here students are more focused, when they reach universities and other higher educational institutes.” He has been in the teaching profession for more than five years now.

“I am impressed with the students here. Compared to the students in the US, students here are much younger and are eager to learn,” says Sabra Ayres, who has come from the state of Virginia, to teach at IIJNM for a year.

India being a diverse country, students present a spectrum of challenges to these teachers. “In India, it’s more challenging, because of the vivid background the students come from,” said Joshela Wong, a Malaysian nationalist and a teacher of computer science. “You won't get bored here, because the students pose more challenges — to motivate them.”

“Being understood by students is very important. My accent of US English was not understood by many students in my first year of teaching. I was asked to repeat whatever I say again and again,” said Ralph Framalino, a Pulitzer Award finalist from California and a lecturer in investigative journalism at IIJNM.

“One thing I notice about Indian students is that they are eager to learn and try on new things. On the other side, they don't tend to think logically and critically,” he says.
Few days down the lane, all these lecturers wish to go back to their homeland, and they are assured that they will not go with an empty hand.

“There is great trust between me and my students and I am in constant touch with most of them. Trust and love are the things I wish to take back with me to my homeland,” says John. 

“I learnt a lot from India — how to be patient, the joy that you find in sharing with friends and being pervasive. I am impressed with India. Even if I stay here for the next 50  years, this country will be a challenging one to understand,” adds Ralph. He has been here for the past one-and-a-half years.

“My exposure to the students here, their philosophy of life have enriched me and this will help me to understand the Malaysian students also,” said Wong.

Being in Bangalore, almost all of them have picked the local language and few are even trying to get first-hand experience in Hindi.

“I can understand and talk a few sentences in Kannada,” says Wong while Ralph can only say ‘nasta aitha’.

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