“It was an unforgettable experience… to sit in the lecture halls of world famous universities, to listen to and interact with the best professors…” shared an excited Mrunal Karnik as she recollected her memories of the educational trip to Europe organised by The Economics Club Mumbai
Mrunal was one of the students from the central suburbs of Mumbai who embarked on a 11 day fascinating and intellectually stimulating journey to the best universities in UK and France - University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of London and Sciences Po) - and to global educational hubs of Cambridge, Oxford, London, Paris and Amsterdam.
“Through this unique trip we aimed to provide students an exposure to the best educational opportunities and a chance to experience life in global cities, to stimulate appreciation of diverse culturals and above all to encourage students to dream big and to fuel their ambitions!”, exclaimed Shobhana Panikar, Co-Founder of The Economics Club Mumbai who had been planning this ambitious trip for years, along with the President of the Club.
Visit to Shakespeare Birth Place- Stratford- Upon- Avon
This trip has encouraged students to set ambitious goals and has increased their self-confidence and belief that their dreams can come true. Students came to know about the immense possibilities of inter-disciplinary studies offered by these universities. The sessions with academicians and students gave them insights into the teaching learning process and expectations from a student. There is a lot of emphasis on independent learning, critical thinking and research. Also one gets exposure to global ideas and regional expertise as academicians and students come from different parts of the globe and enrich classroom discussions with their diverse experiences and knowledge.
The Economics Club Mumbai has been working towards improving the quality of teaching and learning in economics and social sciences and humanities in Mumbai. It has also been encouraging students to think like leaders, to question and challenge, to explore their dreams, to travel and study at the best institutions in the world and to contribute towards creating a better tomorrow for India.
Our students with senior faculty members of University of London
The Economics Club Mumbai put in almost a year of planning and preparation into organising the trip. Shobhana who is also the Research and Communications Manager for the Club contacted leading academicians and administrators in the best universities in UK and France to organise interactive sessions which give the students an opportunity to interact with leading academicians, researchers and students, to experience the academic environment, to learn about study opportunities, to get insights into student life and to get their queries answered. It was difficult to co-ordinate dates keeping into mind multiple examination and admission dates of University of Mumbai and examination and holiday dates of international universities. Also before leaving for the trip, the students went through two months of comprehensive weekly training on universities and cities that they were to visit.
Also it is interesting to note that the trip aimed to provide this opportunity to students from the central suburbs of Mumbai as the organiser felt that often these students get less exposure to global opportunities unlike their counterparts in South Mumbai or in Western suburbs. Also 47 out of the 50 students who travelled were girls, thus encouraging girls to believe that nothing could stop them from achieving their dreams.
Executive Director Olivier Guillet speaking to our students at “SciencesPo” -School of Management and Innovation- PARIS
VISITS TO UNIVERSITIES…
“As a country marches ahead on the path of growth, how can we monetise the environmental costs and impacts,” asked Dr. Toke Aidt, University Reader and Director of Studies in Economics at Jesus College, one of the most prestigious colleges of University of Cambridge, as he gave students a feel of an introductory lecture in economics. Dr. Aidt also spoke about study opportunities and student life at Cambridge. “I was excited to meet Dr. Runde, Professor of Economics and Director of Faculty at Judge Business School, which is ranked among the top 10 business schools in the world. Besides it was inspiring to hear him say that it was possible for all of us to study at Cambridge and that we just need to sharpen our skills and believe in our abilities… he told us about the academic and non-academic skills required to study at Judge Business School,” shared Sarvesh Kadam of Elphinstone College.
On 04 May 2018, the group headed towards the famous city of Oxford, known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires.’ Students met Dr. Alex Pryce, Head of Student Recruitment and researcher in Literature at University of Oxford, who made a presentation on studying at Oxford and encouraged students to pursue courses offered by University of Oxford across the world and to then apply for a study programme in Oxford. “It was a dream come true to attend a lecture at Corpus Christi College, one of the oldest and academically one of the most highly ranked colleges not just in University of Oxford but in world!” shared Tannishtha Nair, student at Sophia College. Dr. Pryce then took the students for a short tour of the University.
After a seminar at SOAS( School of Oriental and African Studies)
In London students visited University of London (UoL), the third oldest university in UK and the largest university by student enrollment numbers, on 3rd May. Some of its well-known colleges include London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), University College London (UCL), SOAS, King’s College London and London Business School. Mr. Chris New, Deputy Head International Foundation Programme at University of London and Mr. Chris Jenney, Head of Teaching Institutions and International Liaison, University of London International Programmes, spoke about University of London, its member institutions, worldwide degrees and international programmes. Dr. Mary Stiasny, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) of University of London and Chief Executive of the University of London's International Programmes, inspired the students with her motivating words and even posed for photographs with students. Dr. Stiasny has held several key roles, including Director of Education and Training at the British Council and Pro Director, Learning and Teaching and International, Institute of Education, University of London. “Having just started off my teaching career, it was inspiring for me to meet Dr. Staisny who brings with her a lifelong commitment to providing access to quality higher education and a solid foundation in training and teaching tomorrow’s educators!”, acknowledged Janhavi Naik, a French teacher. Dr. James Abdey, Assistant Professorial Lecturer, Department of Statistics, London School of Economics & Political Science, and Dr. Lynne Roberts, Head of International Foundation Programme spoke about studying at LSE and LSE-led programmes worldwide. Saumya Nair a student of V.G Vaze College shared, “I was glad to hear Dr. Abdey emphasize that for undergraduate degrees one need not necessarily come down to the UK, one could pursue an LSE-led programme run by a partner institute in any country across the world, ensure that one gets a decent grade and then apply to LSE for a Master’s degree.”
Dr. Toke Aidt with our students at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, London
Mr. Mark Coddington, International Student Recruitment Officer the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) introduced students to the SOAS experience and what it’s really like to study at SOAS. He spoke about the world-class teaching facilities and the diverse, inter-disciplinary and wide range of programmes offered by SOAS. “SOAS is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East”, states Shobhana Panikar, the Research and Communications Manager of The Economics Club Mumbai, an alumna of SOAS and LSE, who helped co-ordinate the University Visits in London. “Diverse faculty bringing in diverse viewpoints and perspectives, the inter-disciplinary and pluralist approach to studying economics, the policy focused approach which enables students to understand and engage in national and global policy debates and the context and region specific focus makes studying economics at SOAS is a unique experience.” shared Dr. Satoshi Miyamura, Senior Lecturer, Director - Teaching / Learning & Teaching Co-ordinator, Department of Economics. Students also interacted with Thomas van der Molen, a Masters and Research student at SOAS, who took the students for a walk around the Bloomsbury campus. Students also visited the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).
A visit to Basilique du Sacre Coeur de- Paris
On 07 May 2018 the group visited Sciences Po, a premier University ranked among the best in humanities and social sciences. Around 47% of its students are made up of international students representing 150 nationalities. Sciences Po is especially renowned for its programmes in Public Policy, International Affairs, Urban Governance and Journalism. “Sciences Po aims to create leaders and encourages students to ask questions and to think critically”, emphasised Dr. Olivier Guillet, Executive Director of Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation in his motivating presentation. Nupur Tamhane, student of Ruparel College stated, “It was a relief to hear that it was not mandatory to speak French to study at Sciences Po and one could pick up French while living as a student in Paris”
Shreya Modak, from Ruia College highlighted, “It was very thoughtful of The Economics Club and Sciences Po to invite Sharan Banerjee, an Indian student studying at Sciences Po and Shreya Parikh, an alumna to shared their experiences of studying at Sciences Po and living in Paris. Interacting with them was inspiring and someday I too hope to study at one of the best universities in the world.” Shreya Parikh, a doctoral student at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and a former economics student at Sciences Po, emphasised that Sciences Po played a critical role in shaping her skills as a social sciences researcher. Sharan is a Masters Student of International Economic Policy and an Eiffel Excellence Scholar at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po and has got accepted to Columbia University for his Ph.D. Sharan, who completed his undergraduate studies in Economics from Presidency University, Kolkata, shared that while he also had offers from LSE, Oxford and Cambridge, he chose to study at Sciences Po as he believed it offers the best programme in economic policy. “It was very generous of Sharan to take an extra session with us on making strong applications and writing statements of purpose which stand out.” shared Anuprita, Vaze College. The visit was organised and co-ordinated by Sophie Collet, India Representative of Sciences Po.
Dr.Jochen Runde, Dean Faculty, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, interacting with Economics Club Members.
UNDERSTANDING OF HISTORY, CULTURE AND ECONOMY…
London which is home to over 100,000 international students from over 200 different nations and is the first choice for most international students looking to study abroad was the obvious choice as the place to start the educational tour! After London, it was obviously the ancient centres of learning in UK and Europe i.e. Cambridge and Oxford. Next came Paris, a key destination for international students and Europe’s major centre of finance, commerce, fashion, art, music and cinema. Last but not the least, the students visited Amsterdam, one of Europe’s leading financial and cultural and intellectual centres.
Members of The Economics Club, Mumbai leaving for an educational trip to Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Paris.
In London the group visited Greenwich, the location of the prime meridian, to understand how time is determined at the Royal Observatory and then visited Canary Wharf, home to some of the world’s biggest banking and insurance institutions, to discover the origins of London’s financial centre. Students also explored historic monuments, art and culture associated with London including the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster Abbey, London Eye and change of guard at Buckingham Palace. In both London and Oxford students were excited to discover Harry Potter locations. . On the way back from Oxford a visit to Stratford upon Avon, which is Shakespeare’s birthplace, is a must. At Stratford-upon-Avon students visited the house and museum, where the brilliant poet and playwright, William Shakespeare was born. “Students were transported to the Elizabethan era as they walked through the traditional Tudor era house imagining how people lived during that era and watched enthralling live performances of Mark Anthony’s speech from Julius Caesar and scenes from Romeo and Juliet in the courtyard.”, beamed Dr. G. S. Panikar. In Paris the group cruised along the Seine River to the iconic Eiffel Tower and ascended to the summit to capture unrivalled views of Paris’ metropolitan sprawl and also understand the history, the design and architecture of this magnificent tower. After observing the panoramic views from the Eiffel Tower, they moved towards the historical monument the Arc de Triomphe to understand spatial politics and design of the city and walked along one of the most famous streets in the world, Champs-Élysées, known for the France’s annual Bastille Day military parade.
Our Students interacting with Mr. Sharan Banerjee, a doctorate student at Sciences Po.
“Anne Frank’s story has inspired millions of young people across the world. Anne Frank, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust, maintained a diary in which she documented her life while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Visiting Anne Frank House and imagining life under Nazi occupation was such a moving experience. The visit did indeed have a profound impact on the students”, shared Ashwini Nawathe, history teacher and archaeologist as she recalled the visit to the Anne Frank Museum on the first day in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is one of the world’s most sustainable and eco-friendly cities in the world. Infact around three-quarters of the city cycles around! Komal Maroly, who was part of the trip shared, “Our students were thrilled to cycle around like locals and were pleasantly surprised that it was possible to create an environment friendly city and way of life!” After delving into Holland’s history and environment friendly lifestyle, the group travelled to the outskirts into the old-world charm to visit a local cheese and clog making factory and a traditional windmill.
“We tried to create an experience that allows students to imagine what it feels like to live in these global cities and to provide opportunities for them to experience the local culture… and The Economics Club Mumbai provided exceptional educational interactions with eminent scholars at the best universities… It is indeed a joy beyond measure to see how thrilled and inspired the students were!” shared Mark Alexander from Happy Miles, the travel partner for the trip.