Culinary arts, fashion photography, nanotechnology... the avenues are broadening. Here is a peek into the options available the world over.
“It is ginger without the pungency and without this, you can't make Thai curry. It doesn't grow here so the Thai curries you get here might not be very authentic,” explained Rishiram, a chef instructor in Singapore, showing a piece of woody ginger to a group of culinary enthusiasts at the The Hindu Education Plus International Education Fair held here recently.
The working of a professional kitchen is very different, filled with jargons and processes, and authenticity of recipes are very important, he further explained to them, implying that one may not be the best chef even if he makes the tastiest of delicacies.
For students of catering like Dassarath, toying with the idea of going abroad for a certified course in culinary arts, this session might have just been an eye-opener. “Hotel management courses here offer just about a year of exposure in culinary training. I want to know more about authentic recipes,” he said after the session.
Interactive sessions with counsellors, education experts and university officials at the fair had not just the spices necessary to make authentic indigenous recipes but also offered insightful assistance to help students wishing to study abroad. Universities from Canada, US, Singapore, Holland, Dubai, Germany, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, France, Switzerland, Latvia and other European countries participated in the two-day event. Over 3,000 students, many accompanied by their parents, visited the fair. There were not just ones fiddling with confusions of ‘I have a job. I might go if I get a good scholarship,' but also those who had made up their minds to pursue a course abroad.
For instance, Nanditha an engineering student from Sai Ram College of Engineering said, “I studied four years of electronics and now I don't want to work in the IT field. I have come here to know about research options in nanotechnology.”
While computer science, marketing, management and bio sciences had many takers, with more and more students inquiring about research options in different countries, other courses are not far behind. Madhusudhan, seen at the fair was looking out for options in photography in France and Germany. “I want to pursue photography that deals with fashion narrative, but in India the options are very limited. Even the art, craft and business of fashion photography there is very professional.”
For those interested in product designs, officials at Birmingham University were present at the fair, advising students on how to build their portfolios. “There are excellent fashion creations in some of the portfolios but students do not know what to highlight the most,” said Sundaralingam of the University.
Seminars on admission formalities and visa counselling procedures were also organised at the fair to acquaint students with the processes, often considered cumbersome. “There is so much of an overload of information on the internet and most of them are through agencies. I have come here to find out who are the credible ones,” said Ashok Saveetha, who was looking for genetic engineering courses in US. For a few such as Ashok's sister, Nivetha, a class XII student, officials at Russian Centre for Science and Culture explained avenues of medical education in Russia.
“The fascinating thing about Russian medical colleges is that all of them are really old and have been in existence for so long,” said the student.
Many professors turned up at the fair too to initiate tie-ups with certain universities and rope in a few as partners for some video-conferencing sessions. “Also, it is only through these fairs that universities get to know what is the trend like, what are students interested in pursuing and how much are they willing to spend. It helps us design our curriculum,” said Suganya Dheenadayalan of London Metropolitan University.
Universities in Latvia have opened doors for students from other countries and claim to offer education at the same price as self-financing colleges in India.
“There are nearly 37,000 students in our campus and the exposure to cultures and technical areas is massive. Students here should definitely make use of this opportunity,” said a Latvian university representative.