Studying and skiing at Prague
“The experience of higher studies in a foreign country, with panoply of cultures, friends from a wide spectrum of origins, is something that should hardly be missed.”
While bagging the TOEFL Scholarship from among the nine across the country was a feeling yet to sink in, free air tickets offered to me for the destination of my higher studies was the icing on the cake.
Three months later, having completed the uncountable ‘things-to-do', putting together the ‘things-to-carry', having spoken to the ‘friends-and-relatives-to-call', I was finally ready to take my first international flight to Prague to pursue my Master's in Automotive Engineering at the Czech Technical University. Prague had been my choice as I did not want to choose the more popular destinations for my master's such as the U.S or the U.K.
The feeling of arriving in an unknown country for the first time, not knowing anyone can definitely not be described in a handful of words. It is an exotic concoction of emotions ranging from excitement and a sense of adventure to even fear and apprehension. Even miniscule and nondescript tasks such as purchasing groceries at a supermarket become learning experiences. You start learning the moment you step out of your flight.
The idea of pursuing higher studies in another country brings to the mind images of a charming international student atmosphere, cultural exchange, parties and a lot of fun. But, before long, it became clear to me that my course demanded a lot of hard work and that it was in no way going to be a cakewalk. I soon found myself spending 3 - 4 hours everyday after classes understanding gearboxes and internal combustion engines. But having been fascinated by automobiles since my childhood, I was not complaining at all.
It is great to be at a stage where studies are enjoyable and can be related to. I hope this leads me to a fruitful career where my work and passion would not have to be separate.
The stay at Prague has, however, not been “all work and no play.” Having arrived in a “cold country” with winter approaching, we were waiting impatiently for the first snowfall. The moment arrived finally in the afternoon on the eve of an examination when we were wrestling with the fundamentals of the subject on our notes and laptops. Seeing the snow, all attempts at understanding ‘Fluid Dynamics' were completely abandoned and we rushed out armed with our cameras.
Academics in Czech, like any other western country, is totally different from what we study back home in India. It's more of personal learning with assistance from the teachers and less of theory with concentration on practicals. We really need to do things to understand rather than mug up the formulae from the books to reproduce. But as any other hardworking Indian student I too got into the groove in no time, and I feel I enjoy studying this way.
Studying in a foreign country throws up some unknown underlying interests. I discovered that skiing was one. Trying skis on for the first time is like taming a wild horse; they have a mind of their own. The slope of about 200 metres took me almost an hour and a half to descend. After innumerable falls and a souvenir in the form of a knee that has swollen to the size of a basketball, I can proudly boast that I got the hang of skiing.
I realise that the experience of higher studies in a foreign country, with panoply of cultures, friends from a wide spectrum of origins, is something that should hardly be missed. As for the TOEFL scholarship, it remains a jewel of a memory.
MS Automotive Engineering
Czech Technical University, Prague
05/01/2017The deadine expires the 1st May 2017
Czech Technical University in Prague
16607 Prague 6
+420 224 352 499
Fax: +420 224 352 500
ITB – Institut Teknologi Bandung
Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Jl. Ganesa 10
Technische Universität Chemnitz Fakultät für Maschinenbau
Reichenhainerstr. 70, A016
+49 (0) 371/531 - 33794
Fax: +49 (0) 371/531 - 833794
HAN – Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen
Institut of Automotive Engineering and Management
NL-6802 CC Arnhem
+31 (0)6 55 20 88 19
Phone: +31 (0)26 365 82 15
CTU in Prague
Coordinator of MAE
IT Bandung | Head of Mechanical
Design Research Group
Andi Isra Mahyuddin
Coordinator of MAE
HAN in Arnhem
Masters program manager
Coordinator of MAE