How about travelling to class in a top management institute on a rickshaw and broadening your horizons with new colours and scents, cultures and creeds? This is what awaits you if you spend a semester at the private university IILM in India.
Namaste in the home of chess, polo and yoga as well as the Seventh Wonder of the World, the Taj Mahal! This is where Oriental patience meets great improvisational talent, and German punctuality should not be the ‘be all and end all’ if you go to India. Almost 80% of the population are Hindus, society is very hierarchical and the caste system is not yet a thing of the past. The South Asian republic has more than 1.2 billion inhabitants, making it the world’s largest population after China. Over 100 languages are spoken in the 29 states, and 23 of those are declared official languages. The country is rich in tradition, colour, festivals, palaces, fortresses and religious architecture, and automatically conjures up images of cows on the roads, the extremely chaotic traffic, Bollywood, slums and temples. India also has a very diverse landscape, from the snow-covered Himalayas to the dry deserts and tropical sandy beaches in the south of the country.
The metropolis of Delhi in the north of India is a Union Territory and National Capital Territory with almost 17 million inhabitants. The majority of the population speaks Hindi, but English is widely spoken across the country as a language of communication and education. There is huge social inequality, with around 20% of the population living in slums. At 86%, the literacy rate is significantly higher than the 73% average for the whole of India. Delhi is hugely diverse: from the Red Fort or the Jami Masjid, India’s largest mosque, Humayun’s Tomb from the 16th century or the Lotus Temple to the huge shopping centres and beautiful parks, there is lots to discover. The metro has separate carriages for women and is an affordable and safe way of travelling around the city. With an annual average temperature of 25°C, however, you shouldn’t try to do too much in one day. New Delhi is one of Delhi’s nine districts and is also the capital of India and home to only around 250,000 people. The Rajpath, or King’s Way, runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the residence of the Indian President, to the India Gate war memorial, which looks like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Connaught Place is the hub of New Delhi, the huge financial, commercial and economic centre of the city where not just companies reside but also a shopping centre, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and an underground bazaar. Fun fact: Peter Plate from the German band Rosenstolz was born in New Delhi. The satellite city of Gurgaon has roughly 876,000 inhabitants and is the second-largest city in the State of Haryana, but belongs to Delhi’s metropolitan region. It is situated 30 km from Delhi city centre and is linked to New Delhi via metro. The city has undergone a dramatic development in the past 25 years, gaining more and more in significance. It is described as the “City of Lights” and is the financial and industrial centre of Haryana. Lots of wealthy Indians live here, leading to the construction of more than 20 American-style shopping malls as well as several private universities. Gurgaon is becoming India’s top city for education and wealth.
IILM is a private university and one of the leading business schools, with three campuses in the metropolitan region of Delhi. It was founded in 1993 and offers management courses at bachelor’s and master’s level. IILM is the only business school in India that is affiliated to the UN Initiative “Principles for Responsible Management Education” (UN PRME), which aim to establish responsible management training at universities. It is also accredited by the South Asia Quality Improvement System. The curriculum is inspired by top universities such as Wharton and Harvard Business School or the Yale School of Management. Exchange students have told us about the helpfulness and genuine interest on the part of other students as well as the good support provided by the university, including a service to collect students from the airport and bring them to their accommodation. In addition to lecturing, many of the lecturers work in industry, thus giving the students practical insights into the Indian market. Participants in the 12-week exchange programme can also attend a Hindi language course as well as company visits, sightseeing tours, seminars on Indian culture, tradition and cuisine. HSBA students can choose between the Lodhi Road campus in New Delhi and Gurgaon. Both offer a B.Sc. in Business & Management in collaboration with the University of Bradford. The Lodhi Road campus also offers a BBA programme in International Management and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with the Swiss Business School.
Gurgaon campus has student halls with CCTV, where a three-bed room costs EUR 275 per person per month including food and internet. There are no single rooms, but there is one building for men and one for women. The rooms are furnished, have a bathroom, air conditioning and the men’s buildings also have balconies with a wonderful view of the city. There are kitchens, washing machines, drinking water and common rooms (more information is available at http://media.wix.com/ugd/505b83_637516b03aaa4930a0795ca0c6e923ee.pdf). If you would prefer to live off campus or on the New Delhi campus, you should ask IILM for support. Any real estate brokers recommended to you by the university can be trusted, but you should still negotiate the commission. Make sure that you have air conditioning, because fans are not sufficient at those hot temperatures. It is not usual in India to live alone, so it is best to group together with other exchange students!