Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2019

Heera Singh | Civil Engineering

University of Alberta, Canada

Research Area: -

Duration: 2 Months

How did you apply for your FT?
I did some research projects in my department in the respective field. With the help of the research papers that I used to read during my projects, I got the professors’ details with similar research interests. So, I started emailing professors with similar research interests as soon as I was done preparing my cover letter and CV. When I got the confirmation from my hosting professor, I started applying for my VISA and tried to remain in touch with him.

How was your overall experience?
My overall experience was very good and quite knowledgeable. I got a platform to improve my soft skills and I also experienced intercultural exposure by being in a different country. It was a wonderful experience of carrying out research work in a different kind of environment. The project that I carried out was also very good.
How did you manage your finances?
My hosting professor helped me in covering the expenses of a room and helped me in accessing the university restaurants for food. I incurred travel expenses.
How was the University of Alberta in terms of research and campus life?
The project that I carried out was very good and had a lot of industrial applications. What I liked the most about the hosting university was their openness to promote the exchange of ideas between departments. The project on which I was working involved the collaboration of more than one departments so I got a lot of exposure during my stay.

Can you tell something about their system, that you found really interesting, and can be implemented here in IIT Kharagpur?
The openness to promote the exchange of ideas between departments is something that I found really interesting. I think we should promote this culture here in KGP as well.
What was your motive behind going for an FT?
I previously had an industrial training, so I applied for an FT for getting a different kind of exposure to working on a research project in a different university. It is very important to interact with people of different cultures, people who work in a different environment. Not only does it help in improving your skills, but it also provides an insight into how to think from a different perspective. So, I applied for an FT in order to get these exposures.

What is your suggestion for juniors who want to go for an FT?
Start applying as early as in August and September or the latest by October. Instead of mailing randomly to different professors just for the sake of getting an F.T., please keep your focus on the topic that you are familiar with and you have actually done some work in that respective field. Make a good cover letter and CV which focuses on your strong points and your research interest.