How Semester Exchange Programs help students shed their inhibitions

Two UPES students recount their experiences of their Semester Exchange Program to France

Mohit Gehlot, a student of M.Tech. in Renewable Energy Engineering, decided to make the most of the opportunities at UPES. As a teaching assistant, he taught B.Tech. students for a semester. He always was inclined towards research writing and had presented papers at several international conferences. But the most challenging thing he did, Mohit admits, was opting for an exchange program to France for Master (II) degree in Electrical Engineering.

Mohit says, “The exchange programme to France at Polytech Nantes was the most daring and exciting step I ever took. Studying in one of the most developed countries in the world was a challenge. I never knew that I had this strong capability of learning things until I went there. People were helpful and caring and I made friends and family-like relations in France. All the hard work during studies was compensated by a sightseeing tour to see the country and its magnificent beauty.”

The exchange programme to France at Polytech Nantes was the most daring and exciting step I ever took

Mallika Shrivardhani, a student of B.Tech. PSE final year, chose to spend her semester exchange in the heart of France. She says, “After finding about Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electricité et de Mécanique (ENSEM) and its vast Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical scope, I confirmed my choice for the semester exchange. Studying in France allowed me to live, experience and study in totally new cultures and markets. One of the greatest opportunities a student can be offered is the chance to study overseas before graduating from the university. Studying abroad gave me the chance to continue my education while soaking in the culture, customs, and education practices of a society that is different from the one I grew up in, India.”

But, why France? Mallika adds, “France is one of the most beautiful and refined countries in Europe. Perfect climate, amazing food, and rich culture attracted me towards this country. Besides, I knew that the technical and social advancements of France will help me become a better human being with a treasure of wide knowledge. Engaging with the locals was the best part.”

Mallika decided to pursue research as a career option. She explains, “It gives me great satisfaction in applying the knowledge, which I have earned till now, to develop further understanding and solving practical problems. For me, no other profession promises the creative satisfaction and intellectual independence that research does. 30 years from now, I want to look back at the accomplishments of my life and feel a sense of contentment and gratification because my work made a significant impact in my field. And if I achieve this goal, I will consider my career a success. Six or seven years from now, I see myself as part of a leading research group, contributing my bit to Power System Engineering.”

What about the challenges of living away from home? “It is an exciting opportunity,” explains Mohit , “that only a few students can access. Besides having a positive impact on my development, this also has an impact on my personal perspective.’’ For him, this experience provided him with an advantage in the field of work, as well as the possibility of being able to enjoy several opportunities from different places all over the world. This environment was also a perfect platform to enhance research skills,
Mohit signs off.

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