Tamanna Oberoi | Country: Uganda, East Africa

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Student: Tamanna Oberoi
Country: Uganda, East Africa
Batch: 2020-2023
Program: BBA-IT

  • How has the online mode of education been accepted by you and your family?
  • To begin with, I don’t think we had a choice since everything shut down so we had to shift to an online system. Nowadays everything is modernized and tech-savvy so it was pretty easy to handle so it was accepted by both parents and students alike.

  • What problems have you faced in terms of having to study at odd timings due to your home and university being in different time zones? I believe there is a 2-and-a-half-hour gap.
  • Firstly, there was a problem with my meal timings. I would miss meals with my family because I would be studying and by the time I would be done studying is when they would all be done eating. Secondly, since these are 2 different countries, whatever happened here never affected India so when our semester 1 exams were going on, so were the presidential elections here and the president at that time shut down the internet completely and I had to miss my examinations for 3 subjects which I am giving now. There are a lot of other problems but you learn to deal with them.

  • How is education different in Uganda in comparison to India? How they impart knowledge to you and other things you find different?
  • Before I joined a college in India, I was told that education in India is all about just cramming. They don’t really teach you; you just have to cram and remember everything but I don’t think that’s really the case since I have finished a year here now. The major problem I faced was how we address our teachers here. In Uganda, we don’t address our teachers as sir/ ma’am but we say Mr./ Miss followed by their name. So, it took me a little while to get used to saying ma’am and sir but eventually it caught on.

  • What has been the most helpful source of support from the university for you?
  • So, there is this health and well-being department that the university has which constantly sends me emails about meetings happening all the time. It’s been really good to see that Symbiosis takes care of the mental health of their students and faculty seriously which is not very common among Indian universities.

  • How has the pandemic changed you overall as a human being and the effect it has had on your personality?
  • It’s given me a lot of time for self-discovery. I have learnt things about myself that I never would have had I not had so much time alone. I learnt how to cook and improved my singing skills more than I could imagine. I never thought I would ever be able to do these things. It’s given me time to build on my relationships with my family and siblings who aren’t really around. So, they came back home and the pandemic gave us time to rebuild everything.

  • What is one part of the Indian culture that you are excited to experience?
  • DIWALI! I’m so excited to come and see how India is during that time. We do celebrate it over here but it’s not as huge as it is in India. I mean the colors and the festivals, it’s all so normal here and I don’t know what that “Diwali excitement” is. That’s what I look forward to the most.

  • In what ways do you like to get involved with your university friends in this online mode?
  • If I’m being very honest, it’s very hard to make friends by only just communicating online. I mean you can make a friend with whom, for a week, you can talk about anything other than academics but then it all becomes so work-related and then you only contact them when you need something. I don’t even know how to answer this question because it’s so hard to make and keep friends this way.

  • What are the problems you think you might face in India?
  • I really don’t know because the people in India have a very different mentality compared to people over here. And the few times that I have come to visit my family in India, I’m always so scared, even to walk on the roads. I would always make sure that I would take someone with me. It’s also hard for me to communicate with people because of the difference in language and I would always ask my sister to translate for me. When people would figure out that I am not from India, they would try to cheat me out of my money. I’ve faced this problem a few times already.

    Submitted by: Manan Agarwal

    CURSOR 5.0 | VOLUME 3 ISSUE 2, JULY 2021

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