STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM ARCHIVES
In philosophy, empiricism is a theory that states knowledge comes primarily from experience. And to experience the richness of a diverse country, one must eat the food they eat, wear the clothes they wear and dance to the tunes they dance to.
Indians and French are similar on many grounds. The one worth mentioning is that we’re both big on gastronomy. In India, it’s all about variety — of dishes, of spices, of regional specialties, of elaborate platters a.k.a. thalis. In France, it’s all about pairing the right foods — wine and cheese, wine and main course, main course and sauce, liquor and dessert. With the result that we spend considerable amounts of time in the kitchen and at the table. And yes, guilty as charged, during lunch breaks at work/otherwise.
IMI Bhubaneswar, home to students from a mélange of cultural diversity, hosted a student exchange program in collaboration with Rennes School of Business, France. It was a three month exchange program where six students from France travelled all the way to IMI Bhubaneswar to experience the nuances in cultural diversity and celebrate the similarities between the two countries. During their sojourn at IMI, French students were exposed to the same curriculum as followed in IMI (classroom teaching, presentations, exams and industrial visits). In fact they were also a part of the annual cultural event Phronesis 9.0, where they represented team IMI and won laurels. Indian students were as exhilarated as the French, to welcome the latter during celebrations of Lohri and Holi. It was a reciprocity of language, culture, food and above all; love.
The six French students (Fatine Azim, Cyril Chollat, Romain Payet, Sara Salhi, Ambre Faucon and Leslie Lefevre) collectively expressed their desire to visit the country again while their Indian counterparts expressed avidity in playing the host in future.
Here’s what some of the French students would like to share:
“Being a part of IMI Bhubaneswar for three months was a great pleasure. In fact coming to India was one of my childhood dreams. So the fact that I experienced this with wonderful people around, made me love this trip even more. What I liked the most about this college is the capability to stay inside the campus and share our daily life with other students. This gave me an opportunity to get involved with the Indian culture and meet new people, who I can now consider as my good friends. Though the school program may be considered as tough when you compare it to the French system; but I took it up as a challenge. The overall experience has been over-whelming and I’ve fallen in love with the Indian culture.”
“This trimester at IMI Bhubaneswar has passed rather quickly for me. From the beginning we were very well received by the professors and the students. I experienced a friendly atmosphere that reigned in the establishment, Indian students were close in their relationships. Above all, they were warm, caring and didn’t have any reluctance in trying to gel with us; which was very appreciable. Some habits were disrupted; the food of course, the surveillance of the institute, accommodation, distance from the city center and etc. Others are getting close to France like the courses I thought would be taught differently but to my surprise group projects, schedules and other activities were the same. It was indeed an enriching experience that made us discover how a business school works in a culture that’s so different from ours.”
“What I have learnt from my time in India is, that people are very welcoming, respectful and friendly. They are always there for you and make you feel at home. IMI Bhubaneswar is a quality school, with values and ethics worthy of the name. I was very excited to come here and now I don’t want to go back.”
With this student exchange program IMI Bhubaneswar has just reaffirmed its motto of ‘Shaping global leaders for tomorrow’.
On behalf of the college we would like to wish our French mates all the very best for their future endeavors and it was a pleasure having them here.