On the morning of the 17th of March we took a break from our German crash course, to meet up in the lobby of the Hotel Management block of Christ University. We were joined by the students traveling to Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore as well. The presentation started with general instructions such as the appropriate conduct while traveling, as well as information about certain procedures to be followed in the airport while flying international e.g.immigration forms. This was very helpful as many students have not travelled internationally before and were therefore unaware of these details. They also gave us tips on how to pack for the trip.
This was followed by a country specific presentation with detailing for each group. We were shown the differences in the day to day culture, which was helpful as now we can prepare ourselves to live in our exchange partners houses and avoid any major issues and unpleasant surprises. The students were able to give us useful tips from their own experiences, so that we now know at least generally what to expect over there.
After a snack break we had the second session on dining etiquette.
There was a place setting to demonstrate to us the appropriate dining etiquette. The students told us about the different types of food we would find there, which made us all excited, because who doesn’t love breads and cheeses? An interesting moment, was when they asked for a volunteer from the group to demonstrate the right way to eat soup, he then asked us if that was correct, and of course we all nodded our heads, but turns out it was not! Such a little thing, that we never even notice! They showed us the different types of cutlery, plates and cups that none of us knew how to use, but now we do!
We then watched a short video, which was a brilliant way to sum up the whole session. After which we were led out and shown an actual place setting that had been arranged on a table, over which they shared a few more tips and tricks that they had come across during their travels. They concluded the session by telling us how important it was to be open minded and that we would have the time of our lives. When we headed out for lunch at the end, we were pumped up for our trip. We are all very grateful to these students, as they taught us things that will help us not only during this trip but when we travel for the rest of our lives!
Niti Singhal, I PCME H, Student Member of Indo-German Exchange Team