The internship in Thailand, helped her mingle with a diverse international community, writes Alice Padmini Albert.

The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) is a worldwide non-profit and non-political organisation which has membership from more than 84 countries. It has been instrumental in the exchange of over 7,000 students of science, engineering and applied arts for undergoing paid internships abroad. IAESTE, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg, provides students the opportunity to work under experienced mentors who can provide commendable technical experience, gain insight into different cultures and strengthen the bonds among host countries.

Travel and living

IAESTE KU of Karunya University, Coimbatore, is a chapter of the international body of IAESTE in India, which provides Indian students this opportunity and likewise creates a prospect for international students to carry out projects, travel to scenic destinations and enjoy the warmth and diversity of Indian culture and cuisine.

I was privileged to be chosen by IAESTE KU India and IAESTE Thailand to take up a three-month internship at Mahasarakham University, a public university situated at the northeast region of Thailand, where, in addition to getting the wonderful opportunity to work as an exchange student, I was able to carry out my master’s project work in the field of entomology at the insect cytology and evolutionary biology laboratory in the faculty of science.

My internship in Thailand was rewarding, and nothing can parallel my experience of getting to meet new people and enjoying the company of a diverse gathering from Cambodia, Serbia, Spain, Croatia, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil. As an activity of the “F1 Leadership for A Change,” I was able to interact with students from the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Generous people

The facts and figures portrayed about Thailand and the general opinion that people have about it is misleading. In fact I hold in high regard the “Land of Smiles” because of the overwhelming encounters I have had on setting foot in that country and wonder why things back home were never this way. The people in general are calm, generous and helpful, the transportation facilities are extremely convenient, comfortable and safe for women travellers and the Thai cuisine is scrumptious.

Becoming a member of IAESTE has bestowed upon me umpteen privileges, from discovering a whole new world filled with amazing possibilities to meeting wonderful people from around the globe who have had a meteoric impact on my life.

The writer is pursuing M Tech in Biotechnology at Karunya University, Coimbatore.