When teenager Lily Loeffler got to know about an opportunity to visit India for the first time, the young student from the UK was elated. Loeffler and 149 other students from across UK are currently on their trip to India as part of the British Council’s Generation UK-India Study India programme.
The students and graduates arrived in Delhi last week to learn about and experience living, working and studying in India. “This visit has been a very enriching experience for me. I learnt more about Indian history, especially after going to the Taj Mahal and parts of Old Delhi. It has inspired me to go back and learn more about Indian history, culture, art, architecture and heritage. I want to specialise in Indian history and go in for research in this field,” says Loeffler, who is an undergraduate history student at the University of Edinburgh.
The programme is divided into three parts – teaching assistantships, work placements and cultural immersion placements. “Nearly 1,200 students have visited India in the last five years and the number is expected to go up to 25,000 in the next five years. The Generation UK-India Programme encourages internationalism and is a great opportunity for youngsters from the UK to come and learn about India,” says Rob Lynes, country director, British Council India.
The two-week engaging placement gives participants an opportunity to explore contemporary India with a chance to interact with Indian students, universities and businesses. The participants were in the Capital and currently in Mumbai visiting a range of institutions including Delhi University and IIT Bombay.
For Alice Bowers, a civil engineering student at Coventry University, the experience has been one-of-its-kind. “Visiting India is one of the best experiences of my life. I am going to take back a lot of great memories and learnings from here,” says Bowers. Sosha Bronfman, who is studying geography, politics and international relations from the University of London, calls it “an explosion of experiences.” “I would like to come back to India and work here,” she says.