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My experience in India, some key points in brief

Winter tour, Mall Road, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, 24 January 2018.

I am a Cambodian student in the Centre for Indo-Pacific Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, under ICCR Indian government scholarship. Before that, I also did my undergraduate and post-graduate in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi from 2007 to 2012.

Recently, I was requested to make an expression about my experience in India and I want to share it here as well. With my long term in the subcontinent, I believe I am in a good position to testify my experience in studying in India, land of incredibility and diversity with a potential to become a great power in international politics.

Here, I'd like to make some key points based on my own experience in India. First and foremost, I have to say that I have enjoyed studying and staying in India a lot especially in the university campus among thousands of local and international students with vibrant student activities including an international food festival, hostel night, cultural performance, political debate and other political activities, and of course, enrich academic interaction.

Second, another point I want to make here is that Indian universities are among the top global ranking. And special to them is that 99 per cent of professors or lecturers, I can say, are holding a PhD degree and are highly qualified with international standards and years of experience in research and teaching.

Third, to be honest, initially, we had some food problems, but gradually we can adapt it, and finally, we like it. Chicken, biryani, curry, and tandoori, and mutton curry are among my favourite Indian dishes (South Indian food). I also like many of the Indian vegetarian foods, sweets and desserts. In addition, Northeast Indian and Tibetan foods are particularly similar to our Southeast Asian foods.

Fourth, moreover, 'Incredible India' is a popular slogan in the Indian public diplomacy reflecting the country's cultural diversity, historical heritage and ancient civilisation which definitely inspire us to learn and discover more about it. Due to cultural and geographical diversity, there are so many places of tourist attraction in India around the seasons. 

Beautiful snowfalls (Shimla, Kullu, Manali and Kashmir), fine breaches (Goa, Mumbai and Chennai), marvellous hill stations (Dalhousie, Chamba, Dharmshala and Kasauli), fascinating deserts (Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Great Rann of Kutch, Little Rann of Kutch, Ladakh and Spiti Valley), amazing world heritages (New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) all are available for visitors to decide based on their favourite destination.

And most importantly, India is Buddha's land. As a Buddhist, I felt so blessed to visit the sacred Buddhist sites in various parts of India, including Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar, and also Lumbini, Nepal.

Last but not least, India is a rising power with the potential to become a great power in the global arena. With the young and second-largest demography in the world, the fastest growing Tech Hub, the steadfast economic growth, the stable political process and the world's largest democracy, military power with nuclear capability, and one of the world's oldest ancient civilisations conducive for soft power projection and benign regional power, I believe India is conceivably emerging as a great power in the foreseeable future.

I thank ICCR and government of India for such a wonderful opportunity, and I hope my experience will inspire more students to come and study in India from Cambodia, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

Thank you and namaste. 

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