Australia India Study Tour

14 January 2013

Australian students get a taste of India

Twenty students from Australian universities will arrive in India this week on a journey of understanding.

The students, representing leading institutions, will travel to Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana during their ten day tour (Jan 17 – 27) which includes a debate at O.P. Jindal University on whether or not sales of Australian uranium to India will benefit both countries.

The study tour will expose Indian and Australian youth to each others’ view of the world. The Australian students will attend a forum at H.R. College in Mumbai, discussing with their Indian counterparts the biggest challenges they expect to face in their lives and careers. In Delhi, local students will share their knowledge of the capital with the Aussies.

Organised by the Melbourne-based Australia India Institute, the study tour is funded by the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Students agree to pay their own way to India, whilst the program pays for internal transport and accommodation.

Such has been the support for the scheme that some universities have provided travel scholarships for their students.

The 20 students are from the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of New South Wales, Deakin University, University of Adelaide, Australian Catholic University, and the University of Western Australia.

The students typify the multicultural heritage of 21st Century Australia.

They include:

*        Indigenous student Diana David, (University of Melbourne, Political Science)

*        Australian Red Cross volunteer Naomi Burchett (University of Melbourne, Arts)

*        Aerospace Engineering student and Afghan émigré Mohammad Doostizadah (RMIT)

*        Luke Wright, who studies criminal justice administration (RMIT).

*        Indian-origin student Neeshima Rao from Perth

*        Population health student Stephanie Enkel, also from Western Australia.

*        Development studies student Sophie Power

*        International relations student Katherine O’Connell Debais

*        University of Melbourne Chancellor’s scholar Philip Hilton

Other students come from the fields of nursing, arts, law, environmental science and economics.

The visit, which comes at a time of difficult debates about social issues in India, gives Australian students an opportunity to see for themselves the complex realities of a nation of 1.2 billion people.

Tour leader Hayley Bolding said the tour was a chance for students from both countries to get to know each other better after the damaging attacks on Indian students in Australia which strained relations in 2009.

‘Meeting face to face, they can make friends and learn more,’ Ms Bolding said.  


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