Grantees Experiences

We asked India4EU grantees to share their experiences. The scholars' testimonials are a fantastic way of getting a real insight into the benefits of taking part in a mobility exchange as well as picking up some useful tips.

  1. MBA Students in Italy
  2. Overseas Faculty Visits Amrita
  3. Parveen Kumar writes from INP
  4. India4EU, Scholarship, shocking, Suprise!
  5. Dr. Zeena S. Pillai - University of Bologna
  6. Finest Moments In Germany by Shobhit Sharda - Aachen University
  7. Dr. E. P. Sumesh Writes In From Finland …
  8. Kaustav Basu: PhD exchange students at INP

  1. MBA Students in Italy

    November 8, 2010
    School of Business, Amritapuri

    Seven second-year students from the Amrita School of Business recently embarked on a trip to the University of Trento in Italy. The students will stay in Italy for ten months, attend classes and complete project and field work. Then, upon their return, they will graduate with an MBA from Amrita.

    “The students were chosen as part of the prestigious India 4 EU* program,” informed Mr. Pradeep of the Center for Corporate and International Relations. “Five students were chosen from Amritapuri and one each from the Coimbatore and Kochi campuses.”

    These students will all study Economics. One of them will also obtain the Masters in Business Studies, the European equivalent of an MBA.

    “This is the first time that some of our MBA students are invited to spend their entire second-year at a foreign university,” commented Prof. Doreswamy, who taught some of these students. “We hope that they utilize this opportunity to its fullest.”

    The students certainly are beginning to. They are busy making Learning Agreements or study plans that detail what subjects they will enroll for, in discussion with their faculty back home. They are also beginning to explore research projects and internship opportunities.

    “We have already met many of the faculty and students,” the students wrote in. “We have also had a formal meeting with Dr Robert Napoli, the International Programs Manager.”

    In preparation for easier social interaction, the students are attending basic Italian language intensives. “We feel so good about learning this language that we are planning to continue by taking it to a higher level,” enthusiastically commented Ritu, one of the students.

    The students have also visited the nearby cities of Venice and Milan. While in Milan, they met Chancellor Amma, who was there as part of her annual European tour. “Amma asked us about our stay in Italy and whether we had adjusted,” shared Simi Pillai. “Amma was happy to know that we were cooking for ourselves.”

    Amma explained to the students that it was under tough conditions that one became complete. Perhaps Amma was alluding to some tough times ahead that a stay in any new country might entail. Students asked for Amma’s blessings so that they could complete their course successfully.

    Undoubtedly, as the days stretch on, this experience will prove valuable to the students, providing them much exposure to the wider world. Known for its excellence in didactics, research and international relations, the young Italian university that will be their home for the next ten months will surely see them learn some rich lessons, both for their lives and their livelihoods.

    We wish these students all the very best!

  2. Overseas Faculty Visits Amrita

    September 10, 2010
    School of Engineering, Coimbatore

    Dr. Eric Blanco is Associate Professor of Engineering Design at the School of Industrial Engineering, Grenoble Institute of Technology in France. He is also in charge of international relationships for his department.

    Currently in Amrita as part of the Erasmus Mundus student and faculty exchange program, Dr. Eric briefly spoke to the Amrita team regarding why he chose to come specifically to Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and his outlook on opportunities for collaboration.

    “I was drawn to the fact that Amrita offered two masters programs in mechanical engineering; both matched very well to the offerings of our department in France. Also, I found that many students from Amrita had come to Europe under the auspices of Erasmus Mundus, which indicated to me that the university was open to international partnerships.”

    Now that he had spent a few weeks here, what were his thoughts about Amrita?

    “I am impressed with the environment, the students and the faculty members. Teaching is of very high quality. The value system here is very strong.”

    What opportunities for working together did he see?

    “India is an important partner for many companies, so if my students had an opportunity to study here, that could be of great value to them. They would gain a first-hand experience of working in a global world.”

    “I recall what was emphasized at the recent SAEINDIA Educational Meet at Amrita, which I also had the opportunity to attend. The Vice President of John Deere had elaborated on the need to redesign products to meet requirements of Indian and other emerging markets, and I completely agree.”

    “Our new generation of engineers would need to design and build products for masses at the base of the pyramid.”

    What opportunities did this overseas faculty see for the Amrita students, to study and conduct research in his university?

    “Of course we would welcome Indian students to work with us in our research centers. We expect Amrita faculty members, post-docs or PhD students to apply to our university as well, in the next INDIA 4 EU program. We now even offer programs in English to Indian students and others in French technologies and culture.”

    Would he teach at Amrita during his time here?

    “My primary objective is to develop our partnership; unfortunately my time here is too brief to be engaged in teaching. I am in charge also of industrial partnerships for my department, and I will also use my time in India to build new contacts in industry.”

  3. Parveen Kumar writes from INP

    “Hi, I am Parveen Kumar from India. I have recently completed (July 2012) my master degree from Grenoble INP, Pagora Grenoble, France. Coming to France with Erasmus Mundus scholarship (India4EU project) and pursing a French master degree (Diplôme d’ingénieur), it is a dream come true. I feel very fortunate to have professors who are titans in their fields and fellow students who were very co-operative and supportive at university. It, I assure you, was a very rich and unparalleled experience in all respects and it added me a new dimension to my life. I am sure that this whole experience will help me to take my career to new heights. Finally, I thank you my professors, my colleagues, internationals relation office’s staff and India4EU project team and everyone who helped me during this mobility in France.”

  4. India4EU, Scholarship, shocking, Suprise!

    03 Wednesday Feb 2010

    Posted by sarath1302

    Today is one of the most Important day of My Life… <<infact things started happening from yesterday nite onwards>>

    So starting 4m Yest:

    evenin i was in my CAT coaching class.Suddenly My mob vibrated.It was a Msg,4m my classmates.It was like dis “u r selected for India4EU,Congrats”. i said WTH?Hw cme i get selected when ppl who wer more qualified than me had applied.

    Actually India4EU is a section of Erasmus Mundus Student Exchange Program. Its a scholarship program wherein students can go to abroad & study in the member unviersity. If a student get selected for this ,then he.she`ll be intimated by the consortium via e-mail.I asked my other collegeues to check their mailbox.

    V all checked ,but none got any intimation mail.Thn one of my collegue who was much interested to get selected called the Project Co-ordinator @ ettimadai and verfied the news.He said its true that result is being published.But thts just intimation from host University.Official Declaration will be only by 10 feb.

    he also added that only 2 students got selected from Amrita University ,Amritapuri Campus.In tht one is a girl n the other one i dont exactly remem.i doubt whether its from CS/IT.THis guy who called up was a CS student.He became desperate as Proj: Coordntr said he remembers well that the second person’s name was not the name of my collegue who called him.

    My other classmates came n started consoling him.To make him Cheer up we played pranks over one of my dear classmate Prashant Kumar, who eventually was a applicant for the same…

    The very next day ,during the Tea break ,he came to my class n congratulated me..I was Suprised by his action.He said “da i went to Placement cell n asked.The Second person is none other than U”..I was a bit suprised to hear this. By this time,my HOD came n asked”Sarath , u came to know rite?”

    I said : ”What mam?I didnt Knew”

    She replied : “U hv got through the selection procedures for India4Eu.U r one among the Two who has got from our Clg this time.”

    I was both suprised n shcoked.Knwing that i got selected was Really suprisin,As i didn expect this.But knwing tht i`m one among the only 2 who got from my clg was really shocking news for me…

    HOD asked me to meet the CCR Head.When i went n met him , he congratulated me n my collegue for our success.In between the conversation he asked: ”Hey what magic did u do to get this?”

    I asked : “I didn get u sir.”

    He replied: ”If my memory is right,thn u have got a CGPA of smethng around 7?”

    I told: “to be precise 7.77 sir.”

    He reply was like this “I asked becoz there were students who got a CGPA of more than 8 n 9.But still they selected u,dats y..May be bcoz they not just the CGPA …”

    I smiled..:-)

    This was sme thng tht i never have dreamt.Eventhough i applied, until i came to knw it 4m my HOD i didnt beleive i wud get through…

    Praise the Lord..Without his grace, i`m sure i wudnt hv got through..

  5. Dr. Zeena S. Pillai - University of Bologna

    August 5, 2010
    School of Arts & Sciences, Amritapuri

    As part of the India 4 EU program Dr. Zeena S. Pillai, Chairperson, Department of Chemistry, Amritapuri Campus, had the opportunity to work at the University of Bologna in Italy for two months recently.

    Considered as one of the world’s top research groups in the field of Supramolecular Chemistry, the group includes, among other eminent scientists, Profs. Vincenzo Balzani, Paola Ceroni and Margherita Venturi.

    What happens when one comes face-to-face with the author of textbooks one had used during one’s graduate studies? That was the question Dr. Zeena had in mind before meeting Prof. Balzani, who heads the research group.

    “I was so surprised to realize that he was such a nice, simple and down-to-earth person.”

    “While doing my Ph.D, I had read about University of Bologna, founded in 1088, the oldest continually-operating university in the world. Now years later I was working there!”

    “I have gone abroad to several places for research purposes, but this was a very special experience for me that I will cherish forever”.

    Dr. Zeena worked with Prof. Paola Ceroni on dendrimers that constitute a class of multibranched molecules that can exhibit a high degree of order due to their three dimensional architecture.

    “They consist of a core upon which radially branched layers, termed generations, are attached,” she shared. See Complete Project AbstractDr. Zeena was impressed to see the amount of attention being given to each and every minute detail and aspect of every research project. “The students also express their ideas and questions without inhibitions. At Amrita too, we try to make our classes more interactive and encourage students to express themselves freely.” she stated.

    Dr. Zeena found people there extremely helpful and friendly. “They have expressed their wish to collaborate with us on various projects,” she shared.

    “On June 23, before her return, Dr. Zeena delivered a talk about Chancellor Amma and Amrita University at the University of Bologna. “They were enthusiastic upon hearing about our young university and expressed their interest to visit the Amritapuri campus soon.”

    “It was a wonderful experience for me overall. I interacted with many pioneers in the field. I would say that India 4 EU and the Erasmus Mundus programs help encourage researchers such as myself. Many thanks to the coordinators, Dr. Krishnashree, Mr. Pradeep Kumar and Ms. Livia who were there to help me tackle all administrative details related to the program.”

  6. Finest Moments In Germany by Shobhit Sharda - Aachen University

    September 24, 2010 Shobhit Sharda

    Hey pals I have reached Aachen, Germany safely and with a glass of coffee and cold climate of Germany just thought of sharing some of the finest moments took place in past few days.

    Outside RWTH Main Building

    My flight schedule was Calicut, India to Dubai, UAE and Dubai, UAE to Frankfurt, Germany. From the day I knew that I will be changing my flight from Dubai, I felt quite sad that even though I will be landing at Dubai I will not be able to go out and visit one of the beautiful city in the world. But to my fate, I found lucky enough. My flight ( Emirates Airline ) on 26th August 2010 got delayed by almost 4hrs from Calicut Airport itself. So I missed my connecting flight at Dubai. Emirates provided me accommodation, food and travel free of cost in hotel( I guess it was 3 star ) in Dubai. No wonder why Emirates are best airlines in world. I stayed in Dubai for a night. My uncle’s (Alok Saboo) business is set up in Dubai so he asked one of his staff to show me Dubai and unexpectedly we saw most of the landmarks of Dubai in one night itself. Dubai is very beautiful. A big thanks to both of them.

    Well in the following days I have completed most of the formalities like registering at the STADTAACHEN ( city registration which is compulsory in Germany ), got my temporary ID, WIFI username password, library card etc. Currently I have only German classes ( A1 level ) which is one month extensive course and is compulsory for all the international students. Though I had learned German in my schools (7th STD and 8th STD), I must confess that I don’t remember a single bit of it. Its fun learning German in Germany.

    We had a city tour which was the part of German course. It mainly focused on exploring the city and German culture. Aachen is very beautiful and it consist of lots of fountains. The building structures and streets reflects the typical European culture in a truest sense. There is a dome which looks amazing in night and is awesome from inside. It has beautiful glass paintings and you feel extreme peace once you go inside. Aachen is also one of the historic place in Germany. Lots of stories and historic events are associated with it.

    There was also a trip organized to border triangle, which was again the part of German course. It is a place where you will be in three different countries simultaneously. This place is actually shared by Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Though I couldn’t visit the place, I heard that if you turn to one side, you are in one country and If you turn again in another direction you are in a different country. They sounded exciting and I will be visiting it shortly. My German classes will get over by 8th October( approx) and my semester will begin by 11th October. Once semester begins, I have no idea about my time schedule will be. Anyways I need not worry for now…


    We attended few get together ( more or less its parties) organized by INCAS ( an organization set up by the university to help incoming international students ). Every tuesdays there is a get together by INCAS. There will be tables arranged and you can just go, introduce yourself and get involved with the activities they are doing. The activities includes playing UNO, Moneyplay or discussion on ones countries, its clothing style, culture, dance forms, food, language, film industries etc. Must tell you that people here are very interested in bollywood movies. Sometimes some group of students represents their country. They tell others about their country, for example last tuesday students group from Chile represented their country. This get together mainly focuses on interacting with international students so that we can get exposure and know them, their way of living and culture. It will help us to increase our contacts that can benefit us later. They also organize regular trips to various places covering Germany and some times outside Germany too. Last saturday they organized a trip to HEIDELBERG (RHINE river banks). It was a proper trekking of nearly 25 kms. The place is extremely beautiful and there was wine festival being celebrated. Wine festival was followed by wonderful fireworks. It was the same day when we had a trip to triangle border also and I was unlucky to go none of the place as I was not well. But we do have few trips coming up in the first week of October and I hope I won’t miss them.

    RHINE River bank

    I and my friends went for the trekking to the nearest valley. There is a cafeteria at the top from where we could see whole Aachen city. The whole city looks amazing. We could see most of the landmarks of the city including the famous Tivoli stadium, Dome and many more. In fact we can see some parts of Belgium too. All together it was a great experience so far and anxiously waiting for lot more…

    Food is quite expensive here and so I have started cooking too. Just trying my hands on various dishes and I am proud that I did not burn anything till now . Actually I am hating pizzas and burgers, which is another reason for cooking. Thanks to my mother for teaching me and giving me come tips. Its a very pleasant weather as of now. But once winter starts ( some where mid October ) it will be very cold . Temperature is expected to go below -5 degree and it will snow too. It sounds exciting but will have to take some precautionary measures also and have to prepared for it.

    Well well well lots more exciting moments are left out in this post, will cover it in the next one….so watch out my next post….till then Auf Wiedersein…

  7. Dr. E. P. Sumesh Writes In From Finland …

    July 28, 2010
    School of Engineering, Coimbatore

    Seven faculty members from the Amrita Schools of Arts and Sciences, Biotechnology, Business and Engineering will be in Europe for upto 18 months in selected universities to work on research projects of their choice.

    Dr. E. P. Sumesh from Amrita School of Engineering at Coimbatore will spend 10 months in Helsinki (Finland) working on digital signal processing. Below is a report filed by him of his experiences abroad.

    I am working in Aalto (formerly TKK) University, Helsinki, Finland as a post-doc researcher as part of the India4EU program. My guide is Prof. Risto Wichman, Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics. In fact, Prof. Wichman started guiding me in my work when I applied for the program, and six months before the actual start date.

    The department here provides excellent opportunities in diversified areas in Electronics and Communications Engineering. Major areas of research in the department include wireless communication and signal processing.

    My research work explores the applicability of wavelets and multi-wavelets in multi-carrier communication techniques in a wireless environment. Currently, Fourier transform based techniques are commonly used. Wavelets and multi-wavelets have proved to be better than conventional techniques in a non-stationary environment.

    Applicability of multi-wavelets in this field is a research topic that attracting a lot of interest and is the topic of my research work here.

    During the first week of my stay in TKK, I had the opportunity to participate in an event organized by the department. Over half a day, some games were organized followed by a sauna bath and dinner. Right from the professor to the secretary of the department, everyone participated. All faces were new to me and I was really confused regarding who was a student and who was staff.

    Some more of my observations and experiences in Finland are as follows. The work culture here is very different. Everyone is focused and dedicated to work, regardless of position. Even in a bus, the driver greets every person with the same enthusiasm, regardless of whether it is morning or evening.

    Another point I observed is the helping mentality of the Finnish people. Many times when I asked for help, I would not only get the answer or solution, but also, the person would willingly accompany me and participate with me to get the job done.

    The Erasmus Mundus team in Amrita is really doing a marvelous job by providing an excellent opportunity for study and research in European countries. I wish to express my thanks to everyone in the team. Specifically the help and support rendered by Prof. Krishnashree Achuthan, Amrita University, Ms. Jenni Tulensalo, Aalto University and Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nair, Amrita University is remarkable.

    I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaithanya, Pro Chancellor, Amrita University for his constant support and encouragement. I am thankful to Dr. M. P. Chandrasekharan, Dr. S. Krishnamoorthy and Dr. V. P. Mohandas for providing me with the required support and documents during the entire process.

  8. Kaustav Basu: PhD exchange students at INP

    “My experience in the master exchange to Grenoble INP has helped be grow both academically and creatively. The experience of working with the researchers who are rated among the best in their respective fields helped me understand the research culture and motivated me towards research. The people in France in general are generous and helpful. The French culture is something one must experience to understand and the friends I made are for life. The international experience of meeting so many people from different parts of the world made me understand other cultures.

    I must also mention, at the beginning it was a little difficult for me with the heavy load of documentation. To add to that, I had to do a separate project for my home university so a heavy work load and the evaluation system is different from that in my home university.

    Finally, the fact that I am perusing a career in research is due to my stay in Grenoble INP. The programme helped me improve and develop a global perspective and I hope it is the same for students coming in the future. “