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‘One can never feel homesick in Kochi’

After overcoming food and language problems, Gourav Arora came to appreciate the diversity of India in this city.

education Updated: Jul 09, 2013 15:57 IST
Rahat Bano
Rahat Bano
Hindustan Times

He wanted to become an engineer. So, when an opportunity to get into shipbuilding came knocking, Gourav Arora jumped at it. The Faridabad resident landed at the Indian Maritime University (IMU), Kochi campus, where he just finished a BSc degree in shipbuilding and repair.

Why did you choose to study at IMU Kochi and why this course? Did you have another study option? Had you thought about your study or career option/s while you were still in school?
I came to know about this course while applying for nautical science on the website of IMU. After reading about it, I searched more about it on the internet and got interested in this course. Building ships is definitely interesting. This course was only available at IMU Kochi at the time of my admission, so there was no other option than to apply here. I had the option of taking up engineering but then after a lot of thinking shipbuilding seemed to be better. In school, I had thought of doing engineering, shipbuilding being a form of specialised engineering. There was no deviation in my thinking.

Tell us about life at IMU Kochi.
Life at IMU Kochi campus is very different. Discipline is the base of life in IMU Kochi. But that does not mean that there is no fun. It is a very enjoyable place as I had a lot of friends from all over India. The teachers taught in the most interesting manner possible and made this very different field very simple to understand and learn.

How has the course, IMU Kochi and the city of Kochi turned out? Did all of them meet your expectations and how?
The course, IMU Kochi and the beautiful city of Kochi all turned out to be good as the end result was good. As IMU Kochi is in its establishment phase, there were some problems but all were solved. During the initial days we had food problems, since there was no separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Being a pure vegetarian, it was the biggest challenge for me to adjust in those circumstances...I along with my friends requested the management to provide a solution to our problem. I am thankful to them as they understood our problem and separated the food. Language barrier was the next hurdle to cross. I was totally new to their language and culture but with the help of my south Indian friends on campus I can understand Malayalam. Now I am familiar with the culture, the festivals being celebrated there. As it is said India is highly diverse and I, with the help of this course, was able to explore its diversity. Now I really feel happy at being a part of this beautiful journey of Kochi. The placements were good and most of the students landed good jobs. I have been selected as junior engineer in Excel Coating in Mumbai.

How is the city like for a student, especially an outsider in a profession?
Kochi is the most student-friendly city. It is in fact the best city I have ever been to. The travelling, food, entertainment, etc, are very good for an outsider. One would never feel homesick in Kochi.

What are the five things a visitor or student from another city must do in Kochi?
An outsider or any new student coming to Kochi should first go around the city, preferably walking. Places like Mattancherry Island, Fort Kochi and Marine Drive should be visited first. The government has declared Kochi a smoke-free city. It is clean, green and beautiful.

5 things one must do when in the city

* One should first go around the city, preferably on foot. The city is clean and smoke free
* Visit the Mattancherry Island which is ­surrounded by the backwaters of the Arabian Sea
* Visit Fort Kochi which is the first European township in India
* The travelling, food and entertainment are very good for an outsider. One must explore these
* Visit Marine Drive, a picturesque promenade in Kochi. It is built facing the backwaters, and is a popular hangout among the locals

First Published: Jul 09, 2013 15:54 IST