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INTERVIEW | International Students - Part I

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DTU Times interviewd international students from Mozambique and Somalia about their experiences far from home in DTU.

INTERVIEW 1 - The following students from Mozambique were interviewed: Lucinda Manuel (EE), Yúnasse Premugy (SE), Enzo Cossa (COE) and Emerson Madiba De Alcides Sebastiao (CE).

Why did you choose DTU specifically over other colleges and why your specific branches?

DTU is among the top institutes available to us under our scholarship. Since it is one of the best universities, we joined DTU. Since I like electronics, Software Engineering was the right choice for me.

Even though DTU is also considered one of the best technological universities in India, it is also in the capital of this country which itself comes with its own perks. I chose Computer Engineering because I have always been amazed by electronics and its circuits and the technology surrounding it. Also, my prime role models which include Steve Jobs and Elon Musk inspired me to pursue this career.

How does the Education system at your place differ from the one here?

The education system in India is more complex, not only with respect to teaching but also the curriculum. For instance, we started learning matrices as a part of our curriculum. But even though I had studied the basics of matrices back in my country, the way I learned it here is very different even though the topics are the same.

What I have realised after studying here is that Indian students can study a lot in a very small time. When we finish studying one topic, most of our Indian friends are done with about five topics. I find it very fast-pacing. It becomes difficult for us to cope sometimes because it is all part of a huge process for us.

India has great Engineering Institutions, with which they also have great technology. It is a little tough for us to catch up, but eventually, with time, we will get used to it.

How did you find the teaching pattern?

DTU does have great teachers, and most of them speak Hindi, which we don’t understand. An international student could have the same query in class as an Indian student. But then again, Hindi does happen to be their prime language. I don’t blame them for being fluent in it.

Students are supportive and helpful. We have a lot of fun in class.

Did you find any stark cultural differences and how did you find adjusting with them?

We haven’t visited a lot of historical places. I have only been to the Lotus Temple. Even though it was a great experience, I didn’t like the fact that we weren’t allowed to take pictures.

Mozambique is very different, both in terms of culture and food. We are still getting used to all the changes we have to deal with, and it is not as easy for us to have fun like the others. We are still adapting.

What are your future goals and how do think studying here helps you achieve them while you live so far away from home?

An international curriculum always helps you understand a new culture and new language which is already a bliss. The international education we are getting in India, which has all the technological giants, will definitely help us in our overall development as a person.

Did you attend our recent college fest, Yuvaan? How are fests like these different from the fest at your previous institutions?

Our overall experience wasn’t as great as the majority of events were in Hindi. We didn't quite understand them; we only attended for the good food.

There are a lot of fests and holidays in India. Fests back in our schools in Mozambique were lesser in number and hence we had lesser holidays.  

Any interesting stories that you'd like to share?

Earlier a lot of people would look at us and think we are very different and probably stare at us and ask for pictures. Even though it was weird and intimidating at first, now we just laugh it off and actually try to make conversations with them.

How do you find the food?

The food here is okay, except it is very spicy and has a lot of masalas. We eat beans and chapati with juice at the Canteen sometimes. Earlier we would spend a lot of our money on KFC food.

But we understand that we’re here for four years and will eventually have to adapt to Indian food and eat it like it is our food.

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Interview 2 - The following students from Somalia were interviewed: Ibrahim Abdihakim (IT), Muhsin Abdi Mohamud (SE), Mohamed Ali Mohamed (SE) and Abullahi Salad Mohamud (COE).

How does the education system at your place differ from the one here?

There’s a huge difference between both the education systems as the level of education is very high here. The quality of education at our place is much lower, which is why we came here. I also find the curriculum to be very different. Even though my curriculum was in English, one of my friend’s curriculum was in Arabic. Hence he finds everything very complicated and it is difficult to cope, especially for him and many others like him. But we believe that skills are very important, regardless of what field we choose. Hence, no matter how much we study, knowledge is endless.

Did you find any stark cultural differences and how did you find adjusting with them?

There are a lot of cultural differences. One of them being that most Somali women don’t wear sarees or only wear sarees at weddings, while women here wear sarees in daily life.

Did you attend our recent college fest, Yuvaan? How are fests like these different from the fest at your previous institutions?

We have only had one graduation fest back in our respective schools in Somalia, but we haven’t attended any fest on a scale as big as this.

What are your future goals and how do think studying here helps you achieve them while you live so far away from home?

I wish to attend a lot of computer workshops as I like programming. I like working on Java as a programming language while I find C very easy. I also wish to learn Python. Through achieving all this, I wish to give the women in my family a good life.

How has your overall experience been?

Studying in a foreign country leaves us a lot of things to explore, not just in terms of academics.

How has Delhi winter been treating you?

Delhi Winter makes it difficult to get out of our rooms. We mostly end up missing our morning classes. Also, summer is also very hot, and we are left sweating. Somalia temperature is normal for us. We are still adapting to this climate.   

Any interesting stories that you'd like to share?

The food here is really spicy and sometimes it is difficult to cope. We have survived on bananas for around 2 weeks during the beginning of the year. Even then, all of us really love Chicken fried rice and we can perhaps call ourselves semi-Indians.

Posted by Parangat Mittal

@thesciencestudent