For the first time, the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), Thiruvananthapuram, has collaborated with Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA, by hosting a team of students for a study abroad programme.
The week-long event, jointly organized by Purdue University and NISH, started on July 2 and concluded on July 7, enabling the students from the US to learn about the speech and hearing clinical services in India.
“The purpose of the programme is for the US students to learn about and experience speech and hearing clinical services in India and culturally be immersed in the Indian culture” said Dr. Lata Krishnan, Clinical Professor from Purdue University.
The team from Purdue consisted of two Purdue professors and nine students, of whom seven are undergraduates and two postgraduates. Each student from the US was paired with one NISH intern as her “buddy” (friend). The buddies had started e-mail communications in March 2018 to know each other before the meetings.
Throughout last week, the student buddies interacted with each other both at NISH for professional activities and in the evenings during social outings.
“It was interesting to see the similarities and differences of how we test children” said Madeline Kaiser, Purdue student, after a morning of observations in the Audiology Clinic.
“It’s been really fun to interact with students who are the same age as us and studying the same thing ,” observed Meridith Klinker, while Janelle Dean added, “I wish we could come back”.
NISH students were equally positive, saying it had been an exciting experience that a group of students from US had come to their campus.
“We were so excited about students from the USA coming to us, and to interact with them and have friendship with them” said Swetha Preman, NISH student. Sharing the same sentiments, Juhy Paily said “It was a very good learning experience for both of us, and it should be a great start for the coming years”.
“The week-long programme concluded with an outreach camp on Saturday, which took the students to a one-day camp at Pullampara near Venjaramood.
A total of 41 people underwent the hearing screening at the camp, organised with the support of the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) Department of Women and Child Welfare, Government of Kerala.
“Camps are conducted to raise awareness of local people regarding hearing disorders and the importance of early identification of speech and hearing issues. These camps are useful for both the students and the community,” said Saumya Sundaram, Clinical Coordinator, NISH.
“Let this be a pioneering study abroad program for all those programs that are yet to come and the hope is for our students to get an opportunity to study abroad and for the foreign students to study with us,” said Dr. K G Satheesh Kumar, Executive Director, NISH, Trivandrum.
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