For Delhi boy Tom Benny Augustine, pursuing a degree in another city was always high on his agenda. Besides the long list of illustrious alumni that includes politicians, sportspersons, actors and journalists, the fact that it is one of the best colleges for arts and science courses down south attracted Augustine to Chennai’s Loyola College.
Augustine, who scored 85% in his Class 12 exams, wanted to study economics at Delhi University. “But 85% was not good enough to get admission to a college like St Stephen’s College or Shri Ram College of Commerce. The cut-offs at DU have increased dramatically in the past few years. So the next best choice according to me was Loyola. That is why I came here,” says the final-year economics student. Another reason to come to Loyola was “the desire to be independent which would also give me a chance to be in a city other than Delhi.”
With a strong focus on discipline, rigour and ethics, the college also emphasises co-curricular activities. “The faculty is highly qualified and diverse in their respective disciplines. They push us to do our best,” he says. There is focus on the holistic development of students at Loyola as the curriculum stresses upon personality development of students, along with imparting academic knowledge. “A lot of time is devoted to social awareness by way of the college’s outreach programmes wherein it is mandatory for students to help the marginalised sections. We visit the neglected areas of the city to help people with issues such as health, education and water. The fests and other co-curricular events are great fun and allow you to learn a lot,” says Augustine.
Coping with life in Chennai was difficult for Augustine initially. “You need to be fast in picking up Tamil as conversing with locals is a big challenge. Hunting for a place is also quite a task as the people here are a bit conservative. I stayed at the college hostel for the first two years. I shifted to a private accommodation with some friends recently and I just love this feeling of being independent,” he says.
According to Augustine, some of the things that one must do if they go to Chennai is to grab some quick lessons in Tamil, enjoy the food and visit the Mahabalipuram, East Coast Road and Marina beaches. “Be careful when dealing with auto drivers as they...charge you a bomb if you are new here. You must watch movies often as movie tickets are cheap here,” he adds.
* The beaches here are just amazing. Mahabalipuram, East Coast Road and Marina beaches are all great places to hangout. “I just love going to the beaches with my friends. They are so peaceful and great fun,” says Augustine.
* You must watch movies often as movie tickets are cheap here. This is a big bonus for young ­persons and those who love watching movies.
* The city gives you a lot of scope to be independent. “I stayed in a hostel for two years and then moved to a private accommodation recently,” says Augustine.
* The food is great. Besides south Indian, you get to taste other different cuisines too
* You need to be fast in picking up Tamil as conversing with locals is a big challenge
* Hunting for a place is also quite a task as the people here are a bit conservative
* Be careful when dealing with auto drivers as they are a bit rude and charge you a bomb if you are new to the city