"Extraordinary things don't really happen to me," says Vagesha Sinha, student of FORE School of Management, New Delhi.
"Extraordinary things don't really happen to me," says Vagesha Sinha, student of FORE School of Management, New Delhi. That's the reason she was convinced that she would not be selected for the student program at ESC, Rennes. However that's exactly what happened and that too, at the right time for Vagesha. "For some strange reason, I was not getting selected for internships in spite of several companies coming to the campus. Then I heard that I got selected for the program and realized that I didn't have to rush with my internship," she says with a smile.
Vagesha's trip to France started with an adventure, which is an exciting part of travel in itself. She stayed with her aunt in Paris for a few days before heading to Rennes with the 11 students selected for the program. "Our luggage got misplaced and was delayed by nine days. I had to wear my bua's (aunt's) clothes while others had to shop," she recounts. However Vagesha made up for the shopping later on in the trip. Once in a lifetime experience after all, as she puts it.
After landing in Rennes amidst chaos, Vagesha was greeted with peace and calm all around the campus. Rather impressed with her surroundings and the learning ambience she says, "The campus was like countryside; so beautiful. There was a lot of greenery, people cycling and less traffic. There were three big canteens with plenty of place to sit. You could have a coffee and interact with students from all over the world." That was a learning experience in itself for Vagesha, who gained aplenty from stint of living in a foreign country.
Ask her about her day to day living in Rennes and she says, "Our days would be very busy whenever we had classes. We would come back after the lectures and cook. I don't eat beef and pork, while we cooked non-veg only once while we were there. That was interesting because people look at you as an alien if you are a vegetarian." However she adds that people there are more respecting to those of all nationalities and boys treat women right. It's something she would like to see back home in Delhi.
Vagesha seemed to have been impressed by the informal nature of the student-teacher relationships there. It's another thing she wishes would be replicated in India. "There was no hierarchy as such. It would be like an open forum where we would discuss things. Beyond the classroom we would talk about our futures as well. I made some good friends there; I have to say, French guys are very gentle," she says with a smirk.
While in Europe, Vagesha and her friends took the opportunity to see the stunning cities of Italy. It was another adventure filled trip that left her wiser and smarter while travelling. "We went to Milan, Florence, Rome and Venice. Everything was pre-planned but I lost my passport so had to go to the Indian consulate in Rome to get a new one. It was a breeze and that was only because I had duplicate copies handy. That's what you should do and be ready for whatever comes your way," she says like a seasoned traveller already.
After coming back from her trip, life seems to have come a full circle for Vagesha as she has bagged an internship. But what's more important for her is the personal growth she has gone through in this span of time. "Yes, I have gained a lot personally and I would recommend this exchange program to everyone. Now I am more open to things and look at situations differently. I got my internship because of this program and who knows what it can do to my CV," she ends on a promising note.