Early morning on Sat 22nd Feb 2020…a chilly day in Aberdeenshire as I set off from home to Aberdeen International Airport. Where was I going? To India, to talk with potential students from various schools, colleges and universities in three cities throughout the country.
Ever since being a child I have wanted to visit India – I certainly love the food – so I jumped at the chance of taking part in a week-long trip to the country alongside colleagues from the Business School, School of Natural and Computing Science, the School of Law and the International Office who were the fabulous team who organised everything.
Our flight from Aberdeen to London Heathrow nearly didn’t set off because of snow! 12 hours later I was in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) stepping out of the plane into 30°C heat…quite a change!
The first night in the hotel saw us meeting one of our alumni, then the day after we started on our Indian odyssey travelling to two schools (Legacy School and the International School Bangalore). The next day we visited Alliance University were some of us gave guest lectures and we met staff and students, then it was off to the airport for a flight to Hyderabad.
In Hyderabad we visited Ashoka Institutions campus where we got to inaugurate a two-day conference on machine learning through a traditional lamp lighting ceremony, then a campus tour to see their Entrepreneurship hub and how they are using technology to deliver parallel teaching around the globe…plus we had the chance to meet with their students. We then visited Sree Dattha Group campus to meet with staff and students and then packed our bags for the flight to Delhi…
Delhi saw us land the day after President Trump had left the city. The day after we visited the University of Delhi to talk with students about our degree programmes. On the day we visited they were at the start of a three-day celebration of their university where all classes were cancelled and the student societies and clubs came out to celebrate their university, which was really nice to see.
Our final day in Delhi saw us visit GEMS International School and then on to a Facebook Live session with the IDP Agency where we talked through our degree programmes and had people watching from all over the country. Our final stop for the day was with the Astron Institute of International Studies in Venkateshwar Hospital to talk with potential students as well as the staff of the Astron Institute.
It was an incredible busy but equally rewarding week in a country were the people are so friendly and above all else, the staff and students we met were incredibly appreciative of the advice and guidance we could give them during our short amount of time in each place. I also couldn’t finish this blog without mentioning the food – starting the day with idli, sambar and amazing pickles, then being offered beautiful food at each place we visited allowed us to get a true taste of India alongside the sights and sounds of this amazing country.