Culture · Travelling

My Exchange Story to India – Preamble

March 2009

A message came to my inbox. It’s came from Marsiat Verawaty, Development Traineeship Manager 08/09 from AIESEC Local Committee Universitas Diponegoro. It’s written,” Congratulations! You had passed the selection to become an Exchange Participant!” (Actually I forgot her real message, but more or less the content of the message was like that :D )

Finally my dream to go abroad to see the whole world with my very own eyes comes true! And finally after twice I’ve been rejected by the AIESEC, now I’m officially an AIESECer! During the selection, I stated that I want to be sent in anywhere else in the whole world, but off course even though I said so I still had some preference about the destination for my exchange trip. My preference country was Russian Federation; because I really want to visit Kremlin and the Red Square complex which is according to my opinion those places were like a castle from fairy tales and I want to learn how Russia could grow so strong and in the relatively short time even after this country was suffered from collapsing in 1991. Perhaps I could take a good lesson from it and implement it in my country.

Moscow Kremlin

I only had about three or four months to have a match with AIESEC from another LC in another country. It was very difficult for to find a match in that country. So as I said before, I want to go around the world, anywhere its okay for me as long as it’s abroad! So they tried to match me with the AIESEC in Poland, Ukraine, even Turkey. But still, I didn’t get any match from them.

Time almost running out and I still didn’t match with any LC. Vera said that if the time runs out, “your form will automatically be rejected and you have to repeat the whole selection process.” which means that I will waste my money and I will pay for some extra money to undergo the whole same selection process.

Then, Vera tried to match me with AIESEC India, but still it’s difficult though to have a match with India.  From Bangalore to Jaipur, still no answer from them.

I got frustrated at that moment. But suddenly, without any wind or any rain (maksudku tanpa ada angin, tanpa ada hujan :P ) Vera told me that I already got a match with AIESEC in Chandigarh!

Open Hand Monument

Thank God finally, I got match with India. A country which I guarantee not many Indonesians want to visit because they said that India almost has no differences with Indonesia.

My father and my sister’s father in law ever been there and they didn’t give me the good impression about India. Even I think my father was trying to forgetting about his trip to India back then. My father had traveled to many countries such as US, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, UK, France, Belgium, and many more and he always told me a lot of story about his trip to those countries, but he told me a very few story about India. Actually, I little bit scared at that moment. But I already had a match with India, a deal which I could not refuse because I also agreed  that I wanted to go there.

So I ran to my best friend who always give me the best suggestion, critics, and answer if I ask him to give me some opinion or just have another sharing session with him, Aulia Sidki. He said that he always want to go to India, I wonder why he wants to go to India., so I asked him about his reason why he wants to go to India. He answered,” India is exotic place! There are many religions that you won’t see in Indonesia!”

Then I directly browse for Chandigarh in internet, and I found that this city is not too bad. This city is relatively new! This city was built in around 1950s in response to the need of new capital of Punjab-India. As you know, during the British occupation, India and Pakistan became one. But after they gained the independence from the british, these country were separated. India and Pakistan became a single independent country. As a partition occurred, it also had an effect to one of the province called Punjab. Punjab also divided into two parts, Indian-Punjab and Pakistani-Punjab. But the capital of Punjab, Lahore, is situated in Pakistan, so India needed to build the new one. So they built Chandigarh.

One more interesting fact about Chandigarh is, this city was designed by French architect Le Corbusier, and so European city style had a very big influence in this city. And the fact that this city is located 300 m above the sea level attracted me, because I live in Banyumanik and it also located around 300 m above the sea level so I thought that the summer in this city won’t be that bad. I also got the information that from July to September is the monsoon season, so rain will shower India so often.

Chandigarh was divided into many blocks and sectors

After I got his answer and those interesting facts, my worries were a little bit gone, but I still have some worries though, especially after I watch Slumdog Millionaire. Suddenly a thought was popped in my mind,” If I worry too much, how can I develop my self to become stronger and bolder in others people country, there are many experience and adventure you can get if you live abroad alone!” and then I challenged my self and then I said it to my self:

Yes, I Want  India To Become My Exchange Destination!!!

This is only an opening story guys! Wait for my next exchange story as I gathered my unforgettable yet exciting memories about my exchange in India. :D

.:Thank you AIESEC for making this great adventurous journey happens:.


3 thoughts on “My Exchange Story to India – Preamble

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