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Foreign Ties: a Conversation with an Exchange Student in DU

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Did you know that the University of Delhi offers a Student Exchange Program? DU Beat recently got in touch with Dominik, an exchange program student from Austria who’s currently enrolled in Hindu College, University of Delhi. Read on to find out all about this program from a candid conversation with Dominik and his journey so far.

Applying to Attend Delhi University

A history student from the University of Vienna, Dominik is currently enrolled in Hindu College as an exchange program student. Talking about his experiences while applying for the program, he says, 

“It was a long process. It took me six months to get everything through. It could have taken even longer if I hadn’t begun on time.”Dominik

The University of Delhi is in a partnership with the University of Vienna under which students and professors from the two universities are given the opportunity of an exchange program, post a rigorous selection process. In stark contrast with Delhi University’s generally ignorant and secretive nature surrounding the student exchange program, Dominik talks about his home university’s efforts in helping him contact a previously unresponsive DU.

“Getting in touch with the University was the hardest part. My home university professors would constantly email on behalf of me and helped me get in touch with Delhi University. This followed extensive research on available courses and colleges.” Dominik

A mandatory prerequisite for the program is a language proficiency test. For Dominik, he was required to submit his English language proficiency test scores. The next crucial stage involves several rounds of interview sessions with professors and exchange program officers, who evaluate the student’s overall suitability for the program. The important documents which are essential to be kept handy are a motivation letter, CV, cover letter and academic transcripts. 

“It’s so hard to get anything done, get a signature or a stamp. They send you back and ask you to come back later, and there’s no actual reason for it.” Dominik

University Culture

The conversation further delved into life at university and the cultural aspects of it. Dominik shares,

“One thing that’s great about the university culture here is that you are really close to your professors. They know your name, they really help you out, you have their phone number. This is something which is unimaginable in Austria.”  Dominik

He further emphasised on the attendance system in Austrian universities, saying, 

“One thing that’s really different in Austria is that we don’t have an attendance policy, you have a choice whether to attend classes, so there’s a lot of freedom and time to pursue other things that way.” Dominik

Academic Contrasts

The selection of your course is a crucial step involved and conducting extensive background research before applying is a good idea. Dominik shares his personal experience of going through hundreds of answers posted on websites which eventually helped him make the choices. Availability of a certain course or paper also plays an important role, since unlike Austrian universities, Delhi University has a pre-structured curriculum. Discussing academics, Dominik adds,

“In Austria, you can choose amongst various different courses and you have the option to decide which course to study in which semester. In the framework of sixteen credits, you can build your own course so to say and try out what suits you best.”  – Dominik

Speaking of his experience of studying history in Delhi University, he comments,

“You can learn about colonial history from the victim’s side, and not from the oppressor’s side. You can feel the emotions still attached to this history, so it’s really interesting to learn from this perspective, and break free from the Eurocentric point of view of history.” – Dominik

Words of Advice

“Don’t give up. It’s a long process but it’s so worth it. There’ll be bureaucratic hurdles; all this hard work and problems will be forgotten and you’ll only have nice memories then.” – Dominik

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Sigy Ghosh

[email protected]

Read Also: DUSU Establishes DU’s First Foreign Students’ Cell

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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