A new wave of global opportunities has presented itself through organisations like AISEC and the international exchanges and tie-ups that colleges arrange. Pooja Bhula gets students to share their experiences
St. Xavier’s College
Akshay Kohli (17), from St. Xavier’s College participated in the International Leadership Exchange Program (ILEP) that aims at creating global leaders, hosted by NYU Stern.
“The topic, Global business strategy for developing renewable sources of energy, was relevant to both countries, which made it interesting and interactive. Discussing the issue in a different setting gave us better exposure. I enjoyed working with HR’ites. The distinguishing factor was that we habitually put in a lot of effort for projects because our college grills us, whereas HR’ites are more chilled out.” says Akshay.
Now that a few full scholarships are available, even students from the evening college can benefit from the tie up with Stern.
Romit Mehta (20), another student of Xavier’s College attended the Havard Colleges in Asia Program (HCAP). Every year Havard University has a conference on Social Issues in which 10 Asian countries participate. Xavier’s is the sole participant from India.
“I surely want to return to Havard for further studies, you hear a lot about it, but, experiencing it is just something else. Attending lectures and the dorm interactions were fun. I also had a ball at MIT. They don’t check id’s so I attended a few lectures there as well. It was crazy at the engineering haven.” says Romit, smiling at the memory.
He was inspired by Havard Graduates who work towards social upliftment in developing countries, even though other jobs give them the chance to earn millions. The conference gave students an opportunity to meet new people and they now have a pan-Asia network.
Xavier’s has also tied-up with University of California Berkley for summer school.
AIESEC is one of the largest youth-run organisations in the world, present in 107 countries. It aims at developing leadership skills in students through global internships.
The selection process is simple; they check the candidate’s CV, take an interview on Skype and mail the confirmation to selected candidates. Companies from Brazil, Italy and many other countries also take part.
Ritika Bakliwal (19), from Jaihind College attended the 6-week conference at Venice on Micro Credit and Economics. The conference was hosted by Cafoscari University.
“Overall it was a great learning experience, we presented on micro credit and ethical branding in India. Other’s presentations were in English and Italian. Though it was difficult to understand the Italian ones, we got the idea.” says Ritika.
Many universities, interested in conducting seminars on post graduate education abroad and in having cultural exchange programmes, approached HR College. To get better organised, students suggested that the college should start an International Program Committee (IPC).
Alrica Alves (20), is an active member of the committee and went along with 19 other fellow HR’ites for ILEP at NYU Stern.
“The theme was energy and since I am from an accounts background, making a business proposal was a new experience. What I liked most at NYU was that the professors are open- minded and the opinions of the students are considered important too”, says Alrica.
She has also been part of the Study India Program that HR organises for several universities from UK such as LSE, Warrick and others. Activities such as Bollywood dance workshops, Dandiya workshop, Hindi movie night, visit to Choki Dhani, museums and cottage industries are arranged for them.
“All foreign students who come down expect to see slums and poverty, as is their perception of Mumbai. But when they see the pubs and the youth culture here they are surprised” Alrica observes.