For students of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, the experience of travelling with their teachers for an exchange programme in HEIG-VD in Yverdon Les Bains, Switzerland was an opportunity not to be missed. Student exchange programmes are all about understanding new ways of learning, often seeing things from diametrically different points of view and broadening one’s horizons. This programme seems to have lived up to all that and then some. The Swiss are known all over the world for their punctuality and that’s something the students of Jaipuria experienced first-hand. Everything, from trains in the country to the itinerary of the visitors, moved with clockwork precision. Their exchange faculty member from HEIG-VD University, Ms.Laurance Larghi, took the importance of timeliness to a whole new level, prompting Prof. Anurag Singh to comment, “There’s Swiss time and then there’s Prof. Larghi time.”
However, the lesson of always being on time as professionals wasn’t lost on the students. In fact, they realised that, “Time is the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose”, said Geetika Goyal. This understanding set the tone for the trip, and the students decided to make the most of their time on the exchange programme.
Students and faculty from Jaipuria Noida were charmed by the warmth and hospitality of the Swiss. They were made to feel at home during their trip to the country and got to experience the much talked-about Swiss hospitality. Over time, the students were also impressed by the emphasis on the environment in the country, a message they have brought back home with them.
Switzerland has been an advocate for world peace for a long time and takes pride in its neutrality. Students learned a lot about that during their interactions on the programme. Whether it was getting new perspectives on long-held opinions, or something as simple as noticing parents walking on the roads with their babies in prams for complete convenience and control, students had many eye-opening experiences throughout the trip.
They also developed an insight into Swiss culture, which is a mix of several European cultures. While the three main languages spoken are German, French and Italian, the cultural diversity is immense and proved to be fascinating to Jaipuria students.
The students learned a lot about the world beyond India through a whole new culture, but they also kept a focus on the experiential learning of work-places in a foreign country. They noticed that everything worked with precision and utmost efficiency and also realised that the Swiss give a lot of importance to work ethics and quality. And according to the students, that makes for the perfect work environment where people can find the right balance between their professional and personal lives. Now that is something this group of students hopes to manage in their future careers too.
Jaipuria Noida, Batch of 2012-2014