| Students outside the Ravenshaw University.
Picture by Badrika Nath Das |
Cuttack, Aug. 3: Sinniah Dhanaxmi, a 23-year-old Sri Lankan studying in Ravenshaw University, believes adapting to a new social setting is the key to a smooth transition from home to living in a foreign country.
The campus is abuzz with complaints about hostel facilities and communication problems faced by foreign students.
Some foreign students, however, say they are not too bothered about the shortcomings.
“I feel quite at home on the campus,” Sinniah, who is in the second year in the postgraduate department of sociology, told The Telegraph.
“One of the reasons could be because I stay in a hostel inside the campus. So there is no question of searching for rented accommodation,” Sinniah said.
“Whenever, I go out, mostly along with friends, I take notice of the different social traditions, customs and habits in the city. In fact, I try to compare them with the other places in India where I have spent some time,” she said.
According to Laxmikanta Mishra, deputy registrar of Ravenshaw University, 72 foreign students were admitted in the first batch for 2009-2010.
“There are 72 students in the university at the undergraduate, postgraduate level and PhD levels. This year, we have received six applications so far,” Mishra told The Telegraph.
The students are from Afghanistan, Taziksthan, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Liberia. While the four of the five girl students stay in a hostel inside the campus, the rest stay in rented accommodation near the campus.
Erdeneckimeg Shonkar, a 23-year-old student from Vietnam, who is doing her second year MSc information technology and living in rented accommodation in Ranihat area, said she had not faced any major problem on the campus.
“There was some problem getting used to the food in the hostel. But it’s okay in my rented house,” Shonkar said.
Ratu Peroni, a 42-year-old undergraduate Arts student from Fiji, who is staying in a rented accommodation in Bajrakabati area, said he feels comfortable there.
“I have been living here for nearly a year and so far I haven’t faced any crisis. I don’t feel wary of my surroundings,” Peroni said.
Several students, however, had complained of accommodation problem.
The deputy registrar confirmed receipt of such complaints. “But there is very little that can be done to address these complaints, as the University had, in principle, decided not to provide hostel accommodation to the male students in the present set inside the campus keeping in view the varied nature of their culture and food habit,” Mishra said.
“Also they are receiving a monthly allowance of Rs 7,000 towards living and rental expenses. The amount is enough in a place like Cuttack,” the University official said.
“An international hostel could address the grievances of the foreign students,” said Anjan Kumar Khuntia, sports officer of Ravenshaw University, who has been assigned to look after the welfare of the foreign students living in rented accommodation.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) under the union ministry of external affairs after opening a regional centre in Ravenshaw University had started students exchange programme from Orissa. The ICCR was to follow up by constructing an international hostel in the campus.