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Swati Mantri

A small, coherent focused group (with 10 participants of various nationalities) like the one we had , formed the essence of this particular summer school. The small group added to the benefit of the quality of discussions and lecture we had, giving everyone an opportunity to participate enough in the lectures. The lecturers gave the students ample room to the participate actively, motivating us to bring the best to the discussion table and giving us an opportunity to engage deeply with the course instructors and fellow acquaintances on the varied topics covered, thereby making the environment intellectually stimulating. The schedule of the summer school involved lectures of such nature that as participants we used to look forward to the forthcoming lectures scheduled in the second half of the day or sometime later. Last but not the least the student conference which we had in the end of the summer school was a very relevant part of the school. As a research scholar the feedback I received and the questions that I had the opportunity to face strengthened my research question and find more grey areas where I need to perhaps work.

I specifically enjoyed the limited yet the far- reaching scope of the topics discussed like changing nature of religion, perceptions towards religious conversions, citizenship, democracy and development, etc., in a given space. Lecture on one particular topic opened the door for many other sub-topics but beholding the crux of the matter. The flexible, dynamic nature of the discussions which followed in the one week long class lectures and  the presentations both by the students as well as the lecturers made the short duration of summer school pass away in a blink.

This summer school for me personally provided a fertile platform to critically engage with developments in India. Firstly, It was an enriching experience to not only learn about my own country from the few lecturers that we had from Indian Universities, but also hear from my fellow summer-school participants (Students) about their ideas, perspectives on such topics. The vast array of thoughts and questions helped me learn more about my own country. It helped me see possibilities of knowing what is already known to me from a completely fresh perspective. Hence, helping me build my own research interest and develop some crucial questions for my own research work. Before applying for the summer school here I had checked the website for the same and I would really affirm the fact for any future participant, that the summer school which I had the opportunity to participate in, definitely was research driven and gave me new food for thought.

Secondly, a summer school of such nature which brings together participants, both students and teachers from diverse cultures, nations exhibiting different academia vigour , helps everyone learn from each other. It has made me realize and equip myself with new tools to look at various problems, adding more energy to my curious questions. Also, the summer school gave me brilliant opportunity to foster long-term scholarly networks, after the summer school the discussions and exchange of ideas hasn't ceased. And this shall hopefully help me in own academic endeavors.

Groningen, as a lively university city, as it is popularly known was a surprise package for me. The university-tour conducted by the summer school for the participants on the first day enthralled me by its rich historical facts and beautiful architecture. The ambience of the city was doubly- energy packed because of the University's 400th midnight birthday celebrations, that I was lucky enough to witness. The rich academia culture that the hallways, libraries and the classrooms echoed off, made me wish take a course there and absorb it for some time more. Not to forget the exciting market place bubbling with cafes where one could hang around for a conversation or just laze around enjoying the beautiful view of the Martini tower. The city in my view offers a perfect combination of good music and cultural activities along with some serious academic practice.

The testimonial will be incomplete without mentioning the gorgeous spread of lunch that we had every day to restore our think-tanks for the second round of stimulating lectures that we had.

Swati Mantri

Swati Mantri
Swati Mantri
Laatst gewijzigd:30 november 2016 16:48