Meet Victor from Spain, an exchange student in the Department of Computer Science – Electrical Engineering. With the International Day around the corner, hear this International student recount his experiences in India and IIT-M.
What led you to choose India for your Exchange program among all the countries available? What expectations did you have before you came here?
Honestly, I did not have any time to build up any expectations. I initially planned on going to France and my friend, Fernando planned on going to Belgium. Then, in the final hour before the submission of our applications, I came across this university in India among the options and for some reason it intrigued me. So, Fernando and I searched a little about India and we were like, ‘we need to go to this place’. And there we were, running around to change our applications last moment. In fact, our parents didn’t know about it until we submitted the form. It was a last moment choice and I am glad I made it. In the few weeks that followed, I searched about what things I could do in India and how I can fully enjoy the vastness of this country. It’s an ongoing mission 😉
You have been here for over 2 months now, how has this country treated you?
It has been absolutely amazing. I remember the moment I stepped outside the airport, there were like 10-20 cab drivers asking me to come along with them and I was like, “Damn, this is going to be one crazy trip”. And it has turned out to be no less. The campus is so amazing, one feels so connected to nature. People have been really helpful to us, especially the I & AR team. India is like a continent of its own. The diversity that one would get by making Europe into one country and all the countries as states, is the diversity India has to offer now. So many different languages, different cultures. It’s astounding. You probably won’t be speaking the same language as another person from a few hundred kilometres from your place. This place is also so historic, with all the events happening and being colonised to now being the biggest democracy in the world. It’s totally mind-blowing.
How different is the academic system here and back at Spain?
Very Different. Very, very different. There is a lot of emphases put here on practical knowledge, you have so many labs, workshops and other things that you can take up. Also, back in Spain, we had just one final exam with the whole syllabus at the end of the semester. I surely prefer the Indian system in this case. Also, the students here are so smart which is expected knowing how successful Indian engineers are throughout the world. All this creates a really nice environment to learn, not just from books but also from the people around you and the opportunities provided here.
Tell us more about the trips you have made since you came here?
Every single trip I have made in the last 2 months has been memorable. On every single trip, there was so much to learn and so much to enjoy. They have all been crazy. I have made trips to Bangalore, Kodaikanal, Puducherry, Sri Lanka and Nepal. I personally loved Bangalore as a city and in Kodaikanal, we were lucky enough to be allowed to meet some prominent Tamil directors and poets. We went to see the Annapurna and the Himalaya ranges. We couldn’t see the Mount Everest since it was covered by clouds. The Goosebumps you get when you look at the beautiful scenery there is a once in a lifetime experience and I am so glad I made that trip. The lake and the mountains add up to give you something that I couldn’t possibly even imagine. These trips will always remain very close to my heart.
What do you intend to do once you are back to Spain?
Well, I’m in my final year. My dream is to open a technology company which sorts some of the problems of the common man but that’s a little far-fetched right now. In Spain, you are considered a top engineer only after you have done your Masters and you have 2 options there, a general master or a specialised one. I’ll probably choose one of those two and see where life leads me ahead.
If you could summarise your trip to India in one word, what would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. I guess it would be Rewarding. I don’t think I could have made a better decision than to come to India and experience the infinite amazing things that it has to offer. Every trip I made has taught me something new and made me a better person than before. And I have noticed this so often in our campus that if you put in the effort you are sure to get something good out of it. That excites and motivates me. It’s been the most enjoyable 2 months of my life and I wish more of the same.
To meet with and get to know more interesting students from around the world like Victor, attend the International Day on 31st October 2018. Join us in celebrating the amazing cultural blend, IIT Madras is and to immerse yourself in the cross-cultural beauty of the campus.