Posted on 24th June 2019
Last year, the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland began planning new partnerships with Colleges and Universities in India. We were delighted to begin working on a pilot project with Ms. Laveena Vaz, Academic Coordinator at Russell Square International College, and this June we welcomed four excellent RSCI students on our inaugural Business and Culture program. Meet Raghav, Guru, Gaurav and Pranay from Mumbai.
We began the program in Dublin City, and already, the students observed how much less busy the city was than Mumbai. We spent a couple of days in the city, visiting the Financial Services Centre, the Epic Interactive Museum and the Dogpatch IT campus, Trinity College, and Dublin City Centre businesses. We then travelled to Donegal, – and if the lads thought Dublin was more spacious, they could not believe how beautiful and natural the Wild Atlantic Way coast was.
To help them acclimatise to the coastal environment, we sent them off in a landrover with Donegal Adventure Centre Instructor Caoife, who introduced them to the local landscapes and seascapes. To make sure they experienced the best of the Wild Atlantic Way, we put them in wetsuits and in to the ocean they went!
The students then were integrated with our U.S. Colleges, Fox Valley Technical College Wisconsin USA and Pitt Community College, North Carolina USA. Together, they participated in lectures and field trips which addressed topics such as shared narratives of Colonial History, Poverty and Famine, Independence, Civil Rights and Social Justice. Our students were surprised and stimulated by learning about the many commonalities between the Irish and Indian experiences through history, and the impact that these experiences have had on our culture, economy and politics. We had many illuminating conversations about the similarities and the differences between the three countries- Ireland, USA and India.
Our students also worked with another local educational institution in Bundoran, ID Languages. ID Languages host other international students from Europe and South America, and our boys joined their students for some workshops, including local cuisine, and video technology. Thanks to Arantxa and Phil for their collaboration.
By the time we said goodbye to the boys, they were practically locals in Bundoran – friends with everyone! We are delighted with the success of this project, and look forward to hosting many more students from Russell Square International, and from other institutions in India.