Off Season Tourist - India Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
Two weeks in India, 2003 Notes from the Off Season Tourist
Introduction to the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
Where the Indian Students RAWK

Trio at Auditorium
Hanging out at the Auditorium, waiting for the rain to stop
The IIMC campus is actually not in Calcutta, rather it's located in Joka, a town about 25 km south of Calcutta. The students call the IIMC campus "Jokaland" - which recognizes that the campus is located in Joka, yet is a microcosm that is entirely separate from town. Concrete walls enclose the campus with one central gate serving as entrance and exit, and within the secluded walls, the IIMC students have almost everything and anything they need. The students sleep in hostels, and eat four meals a day at the hostels' mess halls. Each hostel has its own small retail shop, selling convenience goods such as snacks, personal care items and prepaid cell phone cards. Newspapers are delivered daily and magazine sellers spread out their wares every morning after breakfast. There are excellent multi-media classrooms on campus as well as a new auditorium that seats 1100 people. A basketball court, soccer field, tennis court and badminton net ensure that students have opportunities to stay fit.

Map of the Campus

Lake View
Indian Cormorants

The campus even has natural beauty with a series of seven lakes that are the heart of the property and attract many kinds of wildlife, including hundreds of Indian Cormorants that roost in the tree tops and dive for fish in the lakes. Given the complete self-sufficiency within campus walls, it could be possible to spend the two years at IIMC without even going outside of the gate. In fact, unless they're from Calcutta, many of the students know very little about the city, except for which are the best restaurants on Park Street (a popular locale in town).

JBS and Baro-C rock IIMC

The isolation of the IIMC campus is one of the principal factors that lead to the development of an intense sense of community among the students, through socialization. For 20 months everything is done in each other's company; from going to classes and eating meals, to playing a game of footer-volley or snooker in the hostel or having a concert with the school's band. Many times classes are even held at night or on the weekends, further adding to the feeling of "living and breathing" IIMC. The result is that by the end of the first year, most of the 250 students in the new fresher class will know each other, even if some only by name.

At this point, I'd like to give some advice to future/potential IIMC exchange students. Most of the pieces of information in this site you can take or leave, but if you remember one thing as important, I hope it's what I'm about to say:

Lovely Anita Group 1 Gagandeep Hira

The Indian students were by far the best part of my experience at IIMC, and incidentally the best way to get to know the culture and/or language(s). It's likely that when you're at IIMC, there will be dozens of other exchange students. You will likely spend all your time with the other exchange students, as it'll be easier to do as you're all being thrown together in same situation. Also, it won't be easy at first to get to know the Indian students, but they're worth the effort. If you spend some time by yourself, either eating in the mess or going to class, you'll find that you're more approachable to the Indian students than if you're always with the other exchange students.

I am NOT saying that there are no benefits to hanging out with the other exchange students. Some of the greatest friends I've ever made were other exchange students I met on programs abroad. Life puts certain people in your path for reasons, and I'm sure you'll make great friends. My point is that some of the Indian students I met are really special people, and that, as corny as it sounds, my life is seriously enriched by having known them.

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