Four students Ms. Aheibam Preetibala, PhD student in the Department of Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, Ms. Seema Gorur Prasad, PhD student at the Centre for Neural, Cognitive Sciences and Ms. Soraisam Bidyabati, Ph.D. student of Centre for Earth & Space Sciences and Ms. Sanjana Krishnan, PhD student at the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) visited the Freie Universität, Berlin during April 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017 on an ERASMUS+ mobility program.
Ms. Aheibam Preetibala, joined the Centre for Development Studies (ZELF), Workgroup Prof. Kreutzmann, Institute of Geographical Sciences. During the mobility period she worked on Ph.D. project titled ‘community dynamics and natural resources.’ She presented a paper in the 22nd Humboldt India Project Workshop organised by the Department of South Asia Studies, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Also presented a poster on the PhD project in the annual event of Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, 2017 as part of the ZELF team.
“My stay in Berlin has been a great learning experience, not only in terms of academics but self-growth also. The exposure and experience of working in a different academic and work culture have been an enriching one’’ says Ms. Aheibam Preetibala.
Ms. Seema Gorur Prasad, PhD student at the Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, got a good opportunity to spend a few months in Berlin as part of an Erasmus + program. While she was in Berlin, she worked in the visual perception laboratory located at Charite Medical Hospital which is affiliated with Free University and Humboldt University, Berlin. During the stay, she completed a study, which examined the influence of unconscious information on voluntary behaviour in human participants. She learnt a new technique known as continuous flash suppression, which is widely used in research on unconscious cognition. Since Berlin is host to several scientific institutions, she got the chance to attend some interesting talks on a wide range of topics. Mingling with several other international students also provided me with first-hand knowledge about different cultures.
“In sum, my experience of living in Berlin was fulfilling, and she is thankful to her supervisor and the Office of International Affairs, University of Hyderabad and to the Freie Universität, Berlin for providing this opportunity”, said Ms. Seema.
Ms. Soraisam Bidyabati, Ph.D. student of Centre for Earth & Space Sciences, had the opportunity to study one semester at Freie Universität, Berlin, under Erasmus+ Program during April-September 2017. She got the chance to work for the Paleoclimate study in the last millennia in Northeast region. She was provided with the most updated version of highly classified data and infrastructure in the Institute.
“I was exposed to many new experiences which helped me build up my career and, mingling with people from different cultures, was quite an experience. This program adds not only in shaping up my career but also in dealing with many unknown possible consequences occurring in day-to-day life. It has made me stronger than before”, said Ms. Bidyati.
Ms. Sanjana Krishnan, PhD student at the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, joined the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie University Berlin (FUB) under Erasmus+ program during April-September 2017 says, “Erasmus+ program in Berlin, is by far the best cultural exchange, where one can work, learn, contribute and build networks, making the best use of time to broaden horizons”.
“I was able to work closely with the supervisor at the FUB and also present my work at the Humboldt University, while also making networks at the TU and HU for furthering my work. All in all, six months in Berlin was an enriching experience, personally and professionally. A word of advice – ‘If Berlin happens to you, make the best of it’, she added. Sanjana is thankful to the office of International Affairs, University of Hyderabad and Freie Universitat Berlin, to make this happen.
Since 2016 the Office of International Affairs at University of Hyderabad has been sending four research scholars who are in their third or fourth year of study cutting across the disciplines to the Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2008 and extended in 2013; Students Exchange Agreement signed in 2014 and based on Erasmus+ Agreement that was entered in 2015. Till date eight students have availed this opportunity from the Departments of Plant Sciences, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics in the School of Life Sciences; from the Departments of Anthropology, Political Science in the School of Social Sciences; from the Department of Communication in the S.N. School of Arts and Communication; from the Centre for Comparative Literature, in the School of Humanities; from the Centre for Earth and Space Sciences in the School of Physics and from the Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences in the School of Medical Sciences.
The students who have returned this year highlight their experience which goes to show that international exposure is of utmost importance for all students to gain. They are thankful to the Office of the International Affairs and Prof. Aloka Parasher Sen, Director, International Affairs for facilitating such opportunity for students of Social Sciences and Humanities as well.