The Study Abroad Case : Personal Experiences

Studying abroad is a huge responsibility. And if I may, its just the studying; the “abroad” part is fun actually. Anyways I wanted to do this blog to actually pen down my experiences while “studying” abroad so that prospective people might have some idea before they join the “graduate community”.

 

1. Its f**kin’ expensive

That might evoke a “duh!” from you but it’s quiet different when you actually end up paying a euro for 6 tomatoes. Oh yeah! “Bite me!” was my first reaction as well! The point I’m trying to get across here is that living anywhere but India is expensive, so you might want to keep tabs on your spending and download that “Splitwise” app.

There’s a positive note to that point though. You start understanding that money needs to be spent wisely. You understand that earning money is a tough job and how hard your parents have worked to get the money and send you abroad. Living frugally (make note, I say “living”, not “survive”!) brings out another dimension in you. Valuing the money, every cent, makes you relish every single piece of that tomato you’ve put in your Biryani. Trust me.

Many times, I’ve eaten some stuff I made, horribly cooked “mix veg” for example, just because I’d put in money to buy those veggies and then cook them. I think of the money (hard-earned!!) I’d be wasting if I just throw it away. This point may be a bit over the “frugal” line for many of you, but I’m as cheap as you get. :p

 

2. I’m Indian, I’m gonna ace that course!

The most wrong “duh!” you’d have ever thought! Many people start off the journey thinking of how they’re gonna take the university by storm because, “duh! We’re Indians. Nobody studies more than us. We know more than Americans/Europeans.”  Buying into this philosophy is the first mistake you make. You’d have been a 100% correct if those Americans/Europeans you’re referring to are the ones shown in the dumbass comic flicks that you watch during your undergrad. In most cases, you’ll find out, you’re probably on the lowest rung in your class! You need to work as hard as everyone.

 

3. It might be a “party school”, but you better get your ass on that assignment.

So, you’re going to that Party School? Oh, you’ve seen all the “I’mSchmacked” vids on YouTube? Oh, you’re excited? Wow! I’ve got some good news and some bad news for ya buddy.

Good news: It’s a fuckin’ awesome party place with all the booze and people! Those videos are true.

Bad news: It’s not for you!

No, that’s not racist. It’s just that there’s a reason why your course is a MASTERS course and not BACHELORS. Over the course of your masters, your idea of rocking Friday night will change, not like you had mind blowing weekend parties at your undergrad place, but you get what I’m trying to put here. You better get your ass on that assignment that’s due on Monday. And unlike your undergrad, it’s not something you can indefinitely postpone (How I miss my DCE days! *snobs*)

 

4. Balancing acts.

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to widen your horizons and your perspective, or atleast according to your Statement of Purpose, it is. While there’s no doubt that you have to slag your ass off during your course, you must remember that this IS your last time at a university (unless you want to pursue a PhD, in which case, you have all my best wishes, kindly get off this blog. Thanks.)

You have to make sure you divide your time in such a way that you make the most of your time. Yes, study, but also, take out time to do other things. Explore the country, meet new people, make friends, get Schmacked! This time isn’t gonna come back! Try out things you’ve always wanted to. This is your last chance possibly (hey, PhD people, get out!).

 

5.

I’m gonna leave that heading out blank since I’m not very sure about it. Feel free to fill in yours’. Anyways, I’m going to talk about making friends, both international and desi. It is important to have a good mix among your friends. It is as important to have friends from your own country as it is to have friends who are NOT from your country. I’ve seen many people, who wish to be in THAT group. However, in times of dire needs, in times of homesickness, it is your people who lend you a shoulder.

That being said, I am in no way questioning the commitment of your OTHER friends. They might me great people and sometimes even better than your countrymen. It’s just that, it feels much better to get drunk and shout “oh b******d!” with the buddy who speaks your language than to “Fuck You!” with internationals! I hope you get what I’m trying to say!

On the other side, you need to make friends from other countries as well. It is really really really important. Learn how they work, how they think, how they approach a problem. Sometimes, it would be entirely different to how you respond. It is fun, sometimes frustrating, but nonetheless, it is a much required learning experience. It is partly what you pay those gargantuan amounts of money for.

 

Should I write the heading conclusion as well? Meh!

CONCLUSION

Feels better now. So, in conclusion, I’d say.. It’s your last opportunity (you’re still here, aren’t you? Bloody PhD people). Your last chance to study, to have crazy fun, to explore, spend your dad’s money!! You’re abroad, in the US or the Europe, you’re at a place where many can only dream of going to. Make the moments count.

All the best!

The Indian Mentality

The recent furore about Delhi Gang rape caught the attention of people worldwide, asking for better security for women. Multiple nationwide protests as well as stingy remarks on the current state of security of women in India from people across the world only piled up more pressure on the government. People have nowadays started blaming the “government” for all the ill will in the society. And though the government has failed on its part to provide safe cities for the fairer sex, I feel this issue is a broader one that not only puts blame on the administration but also on the people of this nation.

When the news of Delhi Gang Rape flashed across the television screen for the first time, I let it go, for these news had now become more common than ever. It was only later when the brazen issue was highlighted in detail that I came to realize what evil this nation has become. And upon closely following various national events and the same repetitive statements issued by our leaders I was deeply ashamed and frustrated at the state of affairs in our country. Ashamed because I have been taught to call these people as my brothers and sisters. Frustrated because I find myself helpless in getting the country out of this quagmire. A girl was brutally raped, damage that was done to her was beyond ones imagination, both physically and psychologically. And all our ministers and leaders could do was to send condolences to the grieving family. Some even putting the blame on the girl herself. Doctors were trying hard to save her. And I fail to understand why. What would the girl possibly live for? Her dignity that was smothered? Or the respect? Which wouldn’t had been given to her in this callous society. A girl who has been raped is considered a taboo here, a black spot on the family. The person who did it would be tagged gunda or stud by many. I simply fail to comprehend this.

The MENTALITY of the people in this nation has been damaged beyond repair. All these people can care about is themselves. Their good, their happiness, their security. They are not ready to help others in need but expect others to pick them up when they fall. And when they dont see it happenening, it further strenghthens their resolve to be nonchalant about everything that is not related to them. This cycle continues indefinitely. And this is exactly what bothers me. That ailing person in need is your fellow countryman. And if not for country, let it be for humanity. Help the person out. Even if he has been bad to you, why do you become bad by not helping him.

It is not in the capacity of smaller person to forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of learned and wise man.

Why I have been writing this now? Well, the recent turn of events around riled me up so much that the anger has reached its pinnacle now and if I could I would have been shouting and bursting my brains. The Kolkata market fire happened, and what I heard from our not so honourable ministers was “the death toll could rise. We are investigating. Our condolences to the deceased’s families. Compensation blah blah.”. Same was the case during Hyderabad blasts. They spoke of all the deaths ever so coolly. And why would they have to worry. Their family was safe, being provided the expensive Z type security. These bastards were elected to safegaurd us. What do they do in return? If not for their country, what are these people living for? They have one job to do for which they are paid laced with bribes. And they cant do that. People are right to blame these skunks.

While what I have further noticed is people indulge in castigating the political parties and their agendas during elections. “Its a rotten system. You just cannot change it”. These cynics demand of a revolutionary party and reforms that would put this country back on track. And when Arvind Kejriwal came up with this same agenda of the mango man by forming a AAM ADMI PARTY, people term it is as a publicity stunt. I just dont get this form of cynicism.

For once if I could, would want to ask the people of this nation, putting the PM along with the common man, WHY? Why this attitude.Why this nonchalance? Why this Mentality? If only we could work together doing what we are supposed to, the ministers do their job, the sarkari office karamchari does what he is alloted, wouldn’t we make a fabulous country? Help people. Help them, whenever you can, wherever you can. The only thing hat you are going to get is a blessing and a promise of help. Be good to the world, the world will be good to you.

I know all of this is utopic. But then striving hard for something is actually what humans are known for. Let us build a new nation with contributions from everybody.

I’ll leave you all with this video. Do take out a few precious moments of your life to watch it!