Since our World Scholarship holder Arvid had to pause his studies in India and temporarily returnto Germany due to the current Corona crisis, he will tell us in his upcoming reports about his experiences during the beginning of his studies in India.
My semester abroad is getting closer and closer and I am slowly realising that for five months I will be separated from my family, my friends and my roommates. And I will have to build a completely new life for myself in the city of Bangalore. The panic rises briefly, but then fortunately once again the joy and the desire to experience something new triumphs over the fear.
I'm sitting on the train, just saying goodbye to my girlfriend and realizing how a lot of things will change. From now on it’s only Skype, speaking English and eating spicy food. I’m really doing this. In about 15 hours I will be in Bangalore. I gave up my backpack, buckled my seatbelt and I am now ready to enter the world's largest democracy with Air India. The time before India has been a real rollercoaster of emotions, coupled with a lot of stress. Any week several vaccination dates, examinations had to be taken, interim rent had to be paid and my girlfriend, or rather, myself, could not be left out.
On the plane I met a nice entrepreneur who told me a lot about Bangalore. Here are a few facts: The weather is constant year round at approximately 26° Celsius, 11.4 million inhabitants and an incredibly strong urban growth (inhabitant increase 2001 to 2011; 100%). When I then learned that my university, where I will study for the next months, is located on the outskirts of the city, about one hour away from the city center, pressed by heavy traffic, it hit me briefly. I imagined my semester abroad in the middle of the Indian bustle. Going to a bar or dancing is probably also part of it. Should I miss all of that?
I said goodbye to my airplane acquaintance and drove to the International Student Hostel on the campus GKVK. I received my room key and was positively surprised by my one-room apartment. A private bathroom, even if only with bucket shower, and even a kitchen and a balcony were included. So this is where I will spend most of my time now.
It will still take a good week until I will receive my so-called "kitchen tools". It will also take a few days until I can take my first course, because the registration, for which I had two weeks of time, became a real odyssey. Welcome back to the analog age. Nevertheless, the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) was elected the best agricultural university in the country. Later I was to find out what makes this university so special, but more about that in another report. But soon it became clear that a campus of this size with about 1600 hectares hardly fits into the city center and that is probably quite good, because Bangalore does not have anything like a city center. Everywhere in the agglomeration you can find shops, shopping streets, temples and sports fields. The campus functiones as a kind of oasis in the middle of urban chaos...
Arvid's report no. 1
Arvid's report no. 2
Arvid's report no. 3
Arvid's report no. 4: Arvid's studies in India
Arvid's report no. 5: Cultural Differences
Arvid's report no. 6: Community Service
Arvid's report no. 7: Goodbye