OTHERS

Living on the village campus

There are over 19,000 foreign students in Bangalore

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: In Bangalore, as in most metropolitan cities, students' hostels are not always located on the college campus. While colleges do provide the facility, they are usually at a short distance away. The setting up of a college transforms the surroundings, and facilities come up immediately to meet the needs of students, changing the area into what we may call a "village campus". This is especially true of colleges that are located on the periphery of the city or in outlying suburbs.

According to official estimates, based on the mandatory registration of locally resident foreigners, there are close to 19,000 students from overseas studying in Bangalore.

A number of these students opt to share an apartment or a portion of a house for reasons ranging from liking to cook their own food to avoiding hostel curfews.

Long-time residents of the area usually do not like the sudden change, but gradually accept it and try to make use the opportunity as well.

In what was once a quiet residential locality where you could only find houses and trees, cyber caf�s with photocopy and scanning facilities crop up. The affordable "sagars" and "darshinis" give way to more suave and expensive bakeries.

The village campus reminds us of the "American dream" which the late Arthur Miller brings forth in "Death of a Salesman." Everything is created and so is the history of that place.

Solidarity

Foreign students have another whim, regular meetings with their people. The solidarity and sense of citizenship among a nation is deeply felt when one is away from his/her native land.

And the country's independence day serves the perfect occasion to meet up and rejoice.

An aspect that most foreigners find difficult is adapting to Indian food. "Less spicy" or "no chilly" normally accompanies their orders at restaurants.

But some say that years of living here has helped them get acquire a taste for Indian food, and many have lost the longing for their native food.

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