“This phase was one of the most rewarding in my educational career for which i will eternally be indebted to SRM” said Mansa, a final year IT a returning SAP student going on to maintain that the Semester Abroad Program opened a plethora of opportunities which has enabled her to focus on her future as a worthy engineer and most importantly as a confident person.
Manasa was participating in the Semester Abroad Program organized by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology on August 12, 2011 in the honoured presence of Ms. Maureen Chao, Vice Consul of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai. The Vice Chancellor Dr. M. Ponnavaikko delivered the Presidential address.
SRMU wanted its students to compete with the best of the brains in the world and prove that its students are at par with students studying in institutions of excellence in India and abroad. Moreover it wanted to provide an opportunity for its students to pursue part of their studies in foreign universities, get international exposure thereby throwing open a wide range of opportunities for them to grab.
With this objective SRMU ventured into an ambitious program in January 2008 called “Semester Abroad Program’ (SAP) under which students were sent to prestigious universities in USA, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Japan, Korea and Australia to pursue one semester. After the period of study the credits earned there will be transferred to SRM and the students on their return continue their studies and graduate. Under this program, so far, close to 300 students have spent a semester in foreign universities.
The NINTH Batch of 58 students will be going in August-September 2011. The 45 students who had gone previously in Spring 2011 have returned after successful completion of one semester. The internal selection process for next batch has started and the selected students will be going in January 2012.
The Ninth batch of students will go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School, Harvard â€“ MIT Health Institute, Cornell University, UC Davis, University of Wisconsin â€“ Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin â€“ Madison, University of Dayton, University of Arkansas â€“ Little Rocks, Pittsburg University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, – all in USA, Birmingham City University, Lancaster University, Dundee University in UK, Umea University in Sweden, Technical University Chemnitz, Leibniz, Institute in Germany, HAN University in Netherlands, Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, University of Canterbury in New Zealand, La Trobe University in Australia. The Office of International Relations is targeting to send 300 students under the SAP in 2012.
In her address Ms. Chao said she was so impressed with the SAP students and that she can relate to these kinds of study abroad programs as she had been to India as part of a similar program 25 years back. “India ignited my passion to travel” Ms. Chao said expressing her dream to sponsor students in future since she believed that SAP will help countries connect and communicate across borders.
Vice Chancellor of the SRMU Dr. M. Ponnavaiko in his Presidential Address said that the students benefited through the SAP are “Blessed ones”. He briefed about the SRMU since its inception and explained the benefits of being part of such wonderful programs. He quoted the lines of his son who said that “we are made to learn in foreign universities while here we are being spoon-fed”. He asked the third year students to equip themselves with excellent communication skills coupled with technical capabilities as the selection procedures are extremely strict and merit based.
The Dean, International Relations, Dr. T.V. Gopal in his annual report said “To help reduce the burden on the parents of the students who opt or SAP, SRM announced scholarships and tuition fee waiver to deserving students and has been giving financial support to the tune of Rs. 15, 000, 000 (Rupees Fifteen Million) every year. Out of the 11 students who will be going to MIT during FALL 2011, 8 meritorious students will be offered financial support to the tune of Rs. 500, 000/- equivalent to USD 10, 000/- each student going to Cornell University and another to Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology receives a scholarship of USD 10, 000/- and USD 5, 000/- respectively”. He also said that apart from the SAP, Recently SRM Academy for International Programs (SRM-AIP) was launched to administer all the International collaborative programs like Dual Degree Programs and Twinning / Transfer Programs.
The event had three SAP and two faculty members as a part of the Faculty Abroad Program share their experiences.
Mr. Magesh, Assistant Professor, Department of IT, spoke on his research assignment in NEC, Japan. He mentioned that the FAP program has reduced the east and west thus making the globe smaller.
Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswamy, Head, School of Media Studies, shared his experiences on his teaching assignment at University of Central Oklahoma, USA. He said that FAP was a platform of exchanging different perspectives, exploring various teaching styles and enhancing a richer and deeper curriculum.
Ms. Chao distributed the scholarship for 10 students totaling UD Dollar 95, 000/- (Approx. Rupees 48 Lakhs).
Director, E & T, Dr. Muthamizhchelvan, the guiding force of the SRMU delivered the vote of thanks in which he recalled the VCâ€Ÿs travel across the globe in 2004, as part of the Portfolio of International Relations Office. He concluded by saying that the Management and Staff of the SRMU are striving hard to transform the “Teaching Institute into a Learning Institute” with a view to spreading the name and fame across the globe.
The program came to end with the National Anthem.