Exchange Diaries  

By International Relations Cell

Outbound Diaries 2019

Soumya Yadav | Civil Engineering

Southern University of Science and Technology, China

Research Area: IoT Architecture

What was your research topic? What was your project about and who was the Prof. you worked under?

My research was based on IoT Architecture. It was a government-sponsored project titled ‘Water quality measurement and Monitoring system’, concerning the water pollution in Maozhou River. I had to calibrate sensors and develop a data pipeline so that the data from the sensor channel is received to the server. My secondary task was to develop a website, more specifically, a dashboard to generate an alert if contamination value is found above the threshold.
I worked under Prof. Jiping Jiang.

How did you apply for FT?

I devised my strategy to obtain an FT in the winters. I gathered information about possible opportunities from my friends. You need to apply to the universities in the Southern Hemisphere, i.e. in Australia and New Zealand where they experience summer at that time. China is also one of those countries that accepts students for FT during winters, so I applied in these countries and got shortlisted for two internships.

Why do you think FT is important?

We all know the fact that when we graduate from college, we’re going to face the external world and things won’t be the way we want. FT gives us a platform and puts us into those circumstances where we won’t be familiar. For me, the major setback was the language barrier. The professor was not well versed in English. Nevertheless, I worked on that challenge. You get to learn adaptability, making acquaintances and collaboration. The key thing is you get to see the world from a different and a unique perspective.

From where did you get the motivation? How did it all start?

Actually, I like to travel a lot but the key idea was to grab a chance to showcase my skills, and further improve on it. I was inspired by my friend’s FT at the end of his second year. Seniors also influenced my decision upto a certain extent.

What was the role of CG?

The professor was more interested in the projects I did. I had already worked on a project ‘Wave Height Forecasting’ with professor Saud Afzal, from my department, which was relevant to the field of study Prof Jiping Jiang was interested in. All I can say is that CG may prove to be a hurdle but it doesn’t matter as long as you have the right skillset.

How would you describe a typical day in the city in which you did an internship?

I was staying in a beautiful dormitory outside the campus. I used to get up early. The journey to the University was either through a cab or by foot. In the first half, I work from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm. During this time, the Professor usually gives me the updates or some inputs if required. During lunchtime, I use the mess service there. I must say initially the food tasted bland, however with time, I acquired the taste of Chinese cuisine and developed a certain liking towards it. In the afternoon, around 12, we get a one hour break after lunch. Most of my colleagues used to sleep in their cabins while I preferred to have a walk around the campus. We work till 5 and then have our dinner at 6 PM. Post dinner, I consult with the professor regarding the updates of the project. On my way to the dormitory, I usually stop at a 24*7 shops to grab some instant noodles.

How did you manage your expenses?

The break-up of my expenses is as follows:
Airfare cost was covered by the professor. Housing expenses were deducted from my stipend. I got a free punching card from my professor that had access to the mess food. Apart from that, I got some money beforehand which covered my weekend trips and food expenses. In addition to it, Professor Jiang used to give us quite a lot of treats as well!

How would you describe your overall experience?

The overall experience was awesome. I got to learn a new culture, their working methodology and research culture as well.

What advice would you like to give to our fellow KGPians who aspire for FT?

It’s always a good idea to consider going for an FT because you get to learn new things which you might not necessarily experience around you and that broadens your horizon to think.