Tag : knowledge

The disciplinary boundaries between the arts and sciences are set in stone in most Indian colleges, both literally and metaphorically. The pure sciences and related disciplines like microbiology, electronics and nanotechnology are typically housed in a separate building from departments like English, history and journalism. Once a student opts for a particular stream, he can bid farewell to studying subjects offered by the other. Very few colleges in India offer programmes that allow students to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries between the Arts and Sciences. And due to this narrow, streamlined mindset, many students hold misconceptions about a liberal arts education, even when they are applying to foreign universities.

Learning across disciplines can help you broaden your perspectives.

Broaden perspectives

Students who are inclined towards the sciences and related fields tend to eschew applying for programmes that offer a Liberal Arts education. However, the rationale for this decision is misplaced as one can avail of an excellent science education in a liberal arts college.What liberal arts entails is that a student takes courses across multiple disciplines while specialising or majoring in a subject of one’s choice. Thus, a student can major in chemistry but has to take a prerequisite number of courses across an array of disciplines ranging from anthropology to women’s studies, to philosophy.

Diversify

“But what is the point of taking

Consul General Phillip A. Min interacting with students at the USIEF-IIE Education Fair in Chennai.

 

“As we observe International Education Week, Phillip A. Min, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, writes about the power of intellectual exchange.”

This morning over 100,000 Indian students will wake up in the United States and prepare for classes, research and study. Years ago, I too found myself in a classroom halfway around the world from my home.

As a graduate student at the University of Washington, I took time off to pursue language studies and conduct research in South Korea. I remember fondly the kindness and wisdom of my professors, the friends I made from Korea as well as many other countries, and the adventures we shared as I explored the land my maternal grandparents emigrated from eighty years earlier. The year I spent studying overseas helped mould me into the individual I am today. It taught me to be resilient and self-reliant, and exposed me to different cultures and points of view. It also gave me a greater appreciation for my own country, which influenced me to eventually become an American diplomat.

My experiences as an American student, and later a teacher, overseas shaped my view of the world and my place in it. Today, as we celebrate International Education Week (IEW), I am proud to be one of millions who have benefitted from international education and exchange. You can be one too.

U.S.-India partnership

Every day, the U.S.-India education partnership grows deeper through the efforts of our governments and academic institutions. The Fulbright-Nehru programme, administered by the U.S.-India Education Foundation, has nearly tripled in size since 2009, with approximately 300 Indian and U.S. students and scholars participating annually.

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