Ingunn Håberg, a student from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) participated in the Study in India Program at the University of Hyderabad during the fall semester of 2017.
“My experience by taking a semester in Hyderabad has been amazing. I have enjoyed every second of it and wished that I could have stayed even longer. The staff at Tagore international house has taken good care of us. Also, the staff at SIP, especially Ms. Ilika has helped all of us if we had any questions or worries. I can’t really say that I have experienced any problems with SIP. When it comes to the different courses, I preferred the ones I took directly at the University. The professors where nice to us and provided great lectures.
The experience by staying at campus has also been amazing. Some of the Indian students, as well as some of the international students, have become really good friends. There is also a lot that are happening all the time at campus, so there was never a boring moment. Cooking outside, bonfire in the night, dancing in the streets, playing volleyball and other sports etc. So once again; I have really had the time of my life this semester, and I would definitely recommend people to be a part of this program.”
Mr. Das, who has been running the Tagore International House at the University of Hyderabad for 13 years, highlights the human-orientated approach of the facilities:
“Our goal is to create a very hygienic environment where students can eat, study and relax without having to worry about falling ill.” The ‘adaptation phase’ to the new environment usually lasts around 2 weeks, during which students’ get accustomed to the Indian lifestyle. Mr. Das doesn’t expect anyone to get accustomed immediately, but he encourages students to do some background research from home to ease the process. Tagore International House does not have a curfew, but the no-visitor-rule of the house is enforced thoroughly (family member visits and such are an exception for which students should apply for a permission beforehand). Tagore International House provides bed sheets, linen, towels etc, and cleaning is done as often as the resident wishes (usually once a week). The University main gates are manned round-the-clock, and all who wish to enter should have a permit to do so (a student ID card for example). The cafeteria of Tagore offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, which are all safe to eat and of the superb quality.”
Ingvild Slagstad, a student from the University of Bergen, is participating on the Study in India Program in the University of Hyderabad’s spring semester of 2018“The reasons for Ingvild choosing Hyberabad and SIP is that a friend of hers spoke highly of the place, combined with the desire to experience something entirely new as well as the various math courses Hyberabad offers. She did not know what to expect of India because she never had been there, but the reactions from her friends and family were negative with India being portrayed as a very dangerous place. Upon arriving, Ingvild noticed that the people were nice, the campus was clean, the food was delicious and safe to eat and that everything seemed to be working well. It was safe to walk around and Hyderabad offered a various range of western activities (western fast food,, movies, etc) which made it feel more homely. A quick visit to the doctor proved out to be a hassle-free, efficient and a safe experience altogether. The Tagore International House where she is staying offers good WiFi, a very clean environment along with a fantastic food selection (although the breakfast is a bit too American for her taste) and a spacious common area and a balcony for sunbathing.
What she wish she had known beforehand: The “Integrated Studies Department” really offers a bit of everything – students should check its offering if they want to study different subjects. Also, be careful to check the courses for the right semester, and not mix fall/spring semester courses together because they have different selections. For the math department, exam dates are unknown at the beginning of the semester and the professor lets the students know the dates “at a later hour”.
People in India are very friendly, so if you have any questions whatsoever, ask away (by email, facebook message, etc). People usually respond quite quickly with helpful instructions, even ‘big shots’ like department overheads offer their help upon request. For every Nordic person, studying in India is very cheap and money should not be an obstacle at all. Living in the Tagore International House is a good way to save money and enjoy delicious Indian foods for lunch and dinner as well as socializing with fellow exchange students.”
Dr. Manasi, who is in charge of the summer program, wants students to be careful during their free time.
“This is not the Nordic countries, Indian environment can be dangerous if you do not take precautions. Mosquito repellent, protecting from the sun, taking care of what you eat, avoiding traveling at nighttime and drinking plenty of water are all very important to remember when traveling in India. At first the cultural shock in India to people from the Nordic countries can be big because of all the noise, people and different smells, but if one has positive mindset and has read about India beforehand, the accustomation to India should not be that difficult. Students are encouraged to come forward with any possible problems they might have during their time in India so that appropriate help can be provided. The ISEC campus is a peaceful oasis in comparison to the bustle of the city, so it is a place where students can also enjoy the clarity that they’re used to in the Nordic countries.”.
Especially when traveling to more rural areas of India one has to be even more careful than in the safe ISEC campus. Students should also inform about any symptoms immediately to figure out the cause of them.