Tuesday 1 December 2015

University students in India

​​Three students from the University of Northampton were successful in securing placements on the Generation UK-India summer immersion programme, which is run by the British Council giving students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture.

Ashleigh Wise, Alysha Burrell and Jack Miller were amongst the 500 successful UK candidates to undertake placements after submitting written applications expressing their interest in India and demonstrating why their skills and experience are relevant for the desired placement.

Ashleigh, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Textiles for Fashion in July, won a place on the Make in India programme and spent two weeks visiting Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Delhi learning more about India’s manufacturing economy. She said: “This was definitely an opportunity not to be missed. I feel I learned a lot from this programme as I visited fashion designer’s houses and studios to learn more about the country’s handcrafted textiles, manufacturers and new technologies. It is also a great asset to my CV and my future career in the fashion industry.”

Third year Economics student, Alysha took part in the Study India programme and spent two weeks visiting Delhi, Mumbai and various other places, such as the Taj Mahal, the Bombay stock exchange and Dharavi, the largest slum in India. She commented: “My study trip to India was very intense, with some very early starts, but it’s been the best experience I’ve ever had, including the 17-hour sleeper train from Delhi to Mumbai! We experienced a lot of different cultures such as visiting a Sikh and Hindu temple. In the mornings I did Bollywood dancing and Hindi language classes. ​​

“I decided to participate because firstly I love travelling and secondly India is one of the fastest growing economies and is going to be vital in other countries development the same way that China has been. I find the whole economic development aspect fascinating as I am studying Economics. This was also great as I saw how many manufacturing hubs in India make things for Western companies.

“This trip was an amazing experience. It will help me in my future career by making me more employable as it has given me a new cultural perspective as well as an international perspective, which is important in this increasingly interconnected society.”

Jack, who recently completed a joint honours degree in Business and Economics, participated in the Digital India Programme. He spent 16 days visiting the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay and Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Bangalore, Twitter HQ, Bombay Stock Exchange, the British Council in Mumbai and numerous start-up incubators.

He said: “Visiting India was an unbelievable experience and I’m now genuinely considering India as a base and a market of any business that I do. I had the opportunity to network with various angel and seed investors from both the UK and India and I made some great contacts with budding Indian technology entrepreneurs.

“We also took part in lots of cultural trips too and these changed my perception on India as there was nowhere near the level of poverty I was expecting. Everyone we met was friendly and genuinely interested in talking to us.

“I would urge anyone who wants to start their own business to experience the start-up scene in Mumbai and Bangalore and I’ve taken so much away, mainly the ‘frugal innovation’ concept. I decided to take part in the programme because I’d researched India as part of my dissertation last year. It was also the perfect opportunity to help with my own tech start up, focusing on cyber security, which I’m working on in Cambridge as part of its university incubator project.”

Generation UK-India aims to promote international experience and build engagement and trust between the UK and India through immersion, study and work placements and teaching assistantships. The British Council is working with partners to support up to 25,000 young people and professionals from the UK to gain experience in India by 2020.

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