What should I wear in IIT Bombay

The IITB Experience Studying at IIT Bombay


1 The IITB Experience Studying at IIT Bombay Stephan Seyboth Ilango Sriram Id: iitb experience.tex, v / 07/0610: 25: 31spsExpsps 1

2 Contents 1 Foreword India The IIT Bombay Preparation When to go and When do I start planning? How do I apply? What should I do before I go to India? Where can I find more information? Contact person Arrival at the IITB The first day How do I find my way around the IITB? Where can I find more information? Contact person Living at the IITB The Campus The Hostels Essen - The Mess Sports Shops, Nightlife Where can I find more information? Contact person Studying at the IITB General information technology courses Where can I find more information? Contact person After returning home Recognition of academic achievements Where can I find more information? Contact Person

3 1 Preface First things first: Our stay at the IIT Bombay in India for the autumn semester 2003 was a unique experience in every respect. This report is based on our experiences from this semester. Since we were the first TUM students to go to the IITB, an above-average amount of personal work was required. But it was definitely worth it and future generations will certainly have it easier. In our opinion, a semester abroad at the IITB offers a unique combination: a world-class university in a highly interesting country and all in English. So if you want to get out of the Europe / USA mainstream without having to take five years of language courses or spend time at a mediocre university, we can warmly recommend the IITB. All information in the following is of course without guarantee. They refer to our experiences in the autumn semester 2003 and are therefore possibly no longer up to date. This report should serve as a starting point for your own research, not as a finished cooking recipe! 1.1 India To adequately describe the India Experience is simply impossible. In any case, India is one of the most impressive countries I have visited so far. At the beginning you are totally exhausted, in the end you don't want to leave. You can't expect the comfort and easy life from Europe, but the enormous friendliness of the Indians easily compensates for that. Even if most Indians have one of the 16 official or approx. Unofficial national languages ​​as their mother tongue, you can actually always get away with English. We discussed for a long time who to recommend a trip to India and who not. Imho India is a safe travel destination in which everyone can find their way around after overcoming the initial culture shock. I wrote the following (with links to a few pictures) shortly after my return and hopefully catches some of my experiences. Otherwise, I recommend a travel guide to get you in the mood, e.g. Lonely Planet India. Sers Everyone, five months of studying at one of the top universities in the world in one of the most exciting countries. Four months of traveling all over the subcontinent. That makes nine amazing months in INDIA! An assault on all your senses, a plethora of colors, smells and sounds, spicy (!!!) curries, almost daily festivals, shops, cows, merciless buses and colorful lorries competing for your attention in the streets, chatting for hours with fellow passengers that have just been complete strangers in sleeper class ... From high tech cities to complete urban chaos, from bone shattering rides on local buses and flatulent camels to the comforts of the Shatabdi Express or even a hired car with driver (!), from 3

4 bazaars almost too packed to move to deserted forts, from pilgrimage sites to backpackers hangouts, from beaches and tropical jungles to the heights of the Himalaya, India has it all ... My pictures are probably as feeble an attempt as my words at capturing The experience, but see for yourself. You can find a selection of the mere 3000 snaps I took at seyboth / albums / So now I m back home in Germany. It s been almost a week since I arrived but I still haven't adjusted. In fact I ve barely been able to catch my breath with all the things to do after being away for nine months. I also catch myself once in a while wondering why no one here is striking up a conversation while riding a bus or what a bad day people must have had to make such grim faces ... Guess that s the India withdrawal syndrome. I ll try to suffer it as long as possible :) On the other hand, there are the comforts of home, very dear after such a long time on the road, and my precious friends and family here. To those of you who I met during my stay at IIT and during my travels, thanks for making this an experience of a lifetime. The world is not such a big place and if you happen to come by my little corner of it, please do drop me a note. To my friends here at home, thanks for not forgetting me and hope to catch up with all of you soon. There are lots of stories to tell. And beers to drink. until then, Stephan 1.2 The IIT Bombay The IIT Bombay is one of seven Indian Institutes of Technology. These universities are the absolute elite forges in India in the technical field and it is the dream of many Indians to study here. If you have always wondered where all the IT Indians come from, this is the place! So studying here is not for wimps. If you get along well at TUM, you shouldn't have any problems at the IITB. Bombay is one of the largest cities in India with millions of inhabitants (depending on who you ask and how you calculate). The campus is about 30km or 2 hours north of the city center between two lakes and a national park. But that's still within the city limits! Bombay is just big;) It's quiet and green on campus, but the long way to the center is annoying. The IITB is a campus university based on the American model, i.e. everything from lecture rooms and labs to hostels and cafeteria to shops and sports facilities is within walking distance. 4th

5 2 Preparation 2.1 When to go and when do I start planning? The application deadlines are sometimes quite early, so you should start planning about a year in advance! Unfortunately, the semesters at the IITB are a little different from ours. Lecture times and exams are: Autumn semester: mid-July - early December Spring semester: early January - late April The exact dates can be found in the Academic Calendar on the IITB website. We have decided on the autumn semester. That means we didn't have a summer semester vacation, but we did have a good 4.5 months backwards which I spent very well traveling through India :) 2.2 How do I apply? The TUM has a cooperation with the IITB as part of the LAOTSE program. You apply through the TUM International Center. If the IITB is still not listed, ask. The application deadline for the LAOTSE program is the year before you leave! The LAOTSE program does not give you any financial support, but the US $ 6,000 (!) Per semester tuition fees for the IIT are waived and you do not have to take any further entrance exams. You have to apply separately for financial support, e.g. At the DAAD, be careful, the application deadline is for the following year! I had a scholarship from the Bavarian Ministry of Science, Research and Culture through the International Center. I don't know whether this is offered on a regular basis, but definitely ask about funding opportunities at the IZ. 2.3 What should I do before going to India? The following list is certainly not complete: Visit the student advisory service. Decide when to go. Imho the autumn semester is better than the spring semester. However, the winter semester is more valuable at TUM, as only a few lectures are offered in the summer semester. 5

6 Apply in good time! Get and read travel guides. Apply for health insurance abroad for larger items such as return transport. Normal doctor visits and medication are very cheap in India! Necessary vaccinations, possibly malaria prophylaxis. e.g. get advice from the Tropical Institute. Apply for a visa at the Indian Consulate. You actually need a letter of invitation from the IITB, but we also did a less official document. No visa will be issued upon entry, anyone who has not applied for one before will be sent back! Flights to India are often fully booked, so book early. If possible, you should be at the IITB about two weeks before the start of the lectures. Tell the contact person at the IITB when and how you will arrive exactly so that they can prepare the hostel etc. for you. 2.4 Where can I find more information? Internationales Zentrum der TUM ausland / index de.tuml Internationales at the Student Administration Office for Computer Science TUM Website of the IIT Bombay Website of the faculties at the IIT Bombay Travel Guide India, e.g. Lonely Planet India Tropical Institute Munich Contact person The following contact persons were helpful in our preparation and application: Simone Fröhlich, International Center TUM Wannee Wongmontrisuk, International Center TUM Carola Kneppeck, Advisor for International TUM 6

7 Dr. Angelika Reiser, Student Advisory Service TUM reiser / reiser.html Sandhya Kutty, Office Dean of Alumni and International Relations IITB Prof. Sivakumar, CSE Faculty Advisor, siva 3 Arrival at IITB 3.1 The first day ... or rather the first night. Flights from Europe usually land in Bombay in the middle of the night between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m. The best thing to do is to ask if someone can pick you up from the airport. If not, definitely take a state prepaid taxi (see travel guide), stay cool, don't get ripped off and don't believe the driver's word and insist on being driven to the IIT, even if the whole of Bombay happens to be under water;) Up In any case, make sure that someone at the IITB knows that you are coming and that you know where you have to go. The campus is pretty big and wandering around in the monsoon in the middle of the night isn't as cool as finding your room right away. 3.2 How do I find my way around the IITB? The best thing to do is to contact the Office of the Dean of Alumni and International Relations as soon as possible, see contact person. You should be in contact with them by now anyway. For us it was Prof. Banerji and Sandhya Kutty. Both were very helpful and well organized for the fact that the office was newly established. We had an introductory event with the other exchange students and a few students and professors from each of our faculties. We also received a list of things to do. Fellow students, professors and of course the International Office of the IITB were always available for support and questions. Among other things, the following things need to be done: Open a bank account for fees. The first contact with Indian bureaucracy :) Registration and payment of semester fees. That was Rs (around 200 euros). The hostel is included. Registration for hostel and mess (cafeteria). Meet with the student advisor to choose and register your courses. Hopefully it will work out for you from Germany. 7th

8 Registration with FRRO, the registration authority. Mandatory within the first 14 days of arrival. Get a bike. :) Have passport photos taken. You need about pieces for the bureaucracy, but it costs next to nothing ... All in all, it took almost two weeks until we had settled in and were really ready to go. If there is a problem, ask, ask, ask. Everyone is very helpful and the opening hours of the administration are much longer than here. 3.3 Where can I find more information? Website of the IIT Bombay Travel Guide India, e.g. Lonely Planet India 3.4 Contact person Sandhya Kutty, Office Dean of Alumni and International Relations IITB 4 ​​Living at the IITB 4.1 The campus The campus is quite large and, by Indian standards, green and quiet. The IITB is organized like an American campus university. In other words, everything that you need for daily student life is actually summarized on campus: hostels to live in, mess to eat, lecture rooms and labs, sports facilities and even a few shops. If it gets too much for you outside, you can withdraw here and take a breather first. However, despite the two lakes and the national park that surround the IITB, there is nothing comparable to an English garden. There is no such thing as sitting outside in the grass to relax in India. Because everything is summarized on the campus, as I said, it is quite large. It can easily be one to two kilometers from the hostel to the lecture rooms or to the main gate. You should definitely get a bike. For the equivalent of around euros you get a passable new one, used ones are much cheaper depending on the condition. If you want to get out of the campus and into the city center, you have to be prepared for a bigger action. You ride bike 8 for about 15 minutes

9 to the campus gate, then about 20 minutes with the rickshaw to the train station and from there about 1 hour with the local train to CST. The latter can be very full and a trip is definitely part of the Bombay Experience;) But then you don't have to do it every day ... From 0:40, there are no more trains. Because Risckschas are banned from the city center, you have to take a taxi. Alcohol is officially banned on the entire campus, so you have to smuggle in alcohol at parties. Coming back drunk isn't a problem though. Smoking is not a problem, only around the main building there is no smoking. 4.2 The Hostels We stayed in Hostel 4 for the first two weeks. It is one of the old hostels. These are popular with IITBers because of the better community and more familiar atmosphere. You can also expect to be visited by a panther in Hostel 4! The old hostels are also cheaper near the faculty buildings, etc. However, you usually have to compromise on comfort. Double rooms are the norm and paint often peeled off the wall. After the short stay in H4, all exchange students were moved to the new hostels H12 and H13. These futuristic new buildings are much larger than the old hostels and are also a little further away at the far end of the campus. You get single rooms here, which are small and spartan but nice and in good condition. Once a week there is even a cleaning crew who scrubs and dusts the rooms. Laundry can be left in the house for a small fee and washed. Where else do you have such luxury as a student? 8) In addition, both hostels have several large terraces with a view over Powai Lake. Here you can celebrate parties or ask yourself what the guests in the five star hotel next door pay per night for this view (US $ 119). Speaking of parties: there is strict gender segregation at the hostels. The girls have their own hostels and mutual visits are only allowed with registration and until 21:00. If you have your girlfriend / boyfriend to visit, you can rent a room in the guesthouse. This restriction does not apply here, but the rooms are not available for a longer period of time and the costs are not covered by the semester fee. So hard times in this regard ... All rooms on campus have a LAN connection. When we were there, however, only http (s) and ssh into the Internet were allowed, VoIP programs were not possible. However, this communication could be used from the internet cafes outside. 4.3 Dining - the mess Every hostel also has a mess, the cafeteria. Usually you have to register and then get a card. The costs are then billed at a flat rate per month. 9

10 There is food four times a day: breakfast, lunch, Tiffin, dinner. Tiffin is like five o'clock tea with more food. A facility that you learn to appreciate very quickly. However, the selection is not very large and takes a lot of getting used to. Anyone who thinks they can extrapolate the kitchen of an Indian restaurant in Germany to the measurement is wrong. Most of the Indians also had nothing good to say about the mess ... Fortunately, there are regular extras in the mess that you can buy in addition to get some variety or meat again. At H13 there is also a Night Canteen, where you can fill in until 4:00 in the morning. This is important because at the IITB you usually work at night. If you are sick of everything, you can either go to the Gulmohar on campus or one of the restaurants in front of the campus gates or in Hiranandani Gardens. In addition, there are all pizza services from Domino to Smokin Joe's to Pizza Hut, which also deliver directly to your room. But be careful: pizzas cost almost the same in India as they do here. For those who eat out all the time, life becomes very expensive (at least by Indian standards). The best thing to do is to ask around for the exact details and what's up to date when you're there. 4.4 Sport You can let off steam in the IITB when it comes to sport. The campus has a swimming pool, several weight rooms, badminton and squash halls, soccer, field hockey and of course cricket fields, karate, yoga and lots of other courses. However, with everything one has to get used to the IIT morality. What is taught in class continues in sport: if you only come to soccer training 4 times a week, you will be asked whether you are serious, when you show up in normal swimming shorts in the swimming pool, you are told quite nicely that you would like to leave, this is a swimming club where you train and you shouldn't give the impression that you are lazing around. Even with football, it wasn't about letting the ball run smoothly and setting up a game, but only about stress races, but they can't be taught ... In terms of sport, however, you are more superior to Indian students as long as you don't follow them holy sport cricket dares. At the very prestigious cross-country run we have 3 Germans e.g. the places 2-4 bagged.The fitness equipment is also designed in such a way that you need almost all weights when you work out, but there are also free weights. By the way, in Hostel 13 the table tennis table and weight room are already integrated, so there is no way to overcome! For every sport there are also competitions, where you usually have to take part. You are only allowed to participate if you also train every now and then, so you should think very carefully about what you want to do, taking into account the temperatures and, above all, the 100% humidity that prevail in autumn, that makes you close at first manage / sweat, but if you have got used to it, it works ... 10

11 4.5 Shops, ... The Indian shops can be divided into 2 classes: Expensive shops as we know them here: Tag Heuer, Lacoste, Swatch, Nike, Levis, Mango, ... almost all of the larger brands are represented and sell their goods at pretty much the same price that you pay here. The other type are shops or open kiosk stands where you can get items almost for free, but which are often no longer worth anything. So you have to search and rummage, then you can very well find what you are looking for. The magazines' shopping guides often help; in Mumbai, the Bandra district in the west of the city is best for shopping. South of it there are also 2 large shopping centers, the MNCs are located in Crossroads, and right next door there are cheaper but usable items, the price of which is a matter of negotiation. For Europeans, the starting price is so high that you should bargain down 75% to 90%, sunglasses that are sold at 2 euros are offered to Indians at 5 euros and Europeans at 15 euros, so always say no-no boss, over there you get the same for ..., and run away, they run after you anyway and lower the price from meter to meter that you run away. The latter is a serious problem in the Colaba tourist district! Everyone runs after you and wants to sell you giant balloons or something similar that can haunt you for an hour or more. There are also small begging children romping about here, often speaking in German and French. begging to get something bought, you shouldn't go into that, firstly, a pack will rush on you and even as a rugby player it is difficult to escape, and on the other hand, it is socially bad if you support organized begging, since the children of course you Will beg for life if they earn more from it than from normal work. In individual cases this may not be the case, but as a foreigner one should consistently ignore beggars !!! Grocery shopping in India is very pleasant. All items have the M.R.P. (Maximum Retail Price) and therefore cost the same everywhere, regardless of whether you buy it from the street stall opposite or from the Heiko supermarket in the Hiranandani district (2 minutes by bike from the main gate of the campus). We mostly went shopping there, you get things that you are used to and don't want to miss, such as long-life milk and cornflakes, because otherwise you only get Indian, second-class, varied cafeteria food all day long. Fruit is part of life in India and is therefore dirt cheap. It is sold on small stalls on every corner, you should preferably eat peelable fruit such as bananas, oranges, mangoes, pineapples and the numerous Indian fruits, which are unknown here, or wash the fruit with care. 4.6 Nightlife This is probably the most difficult chapter. A normal IIT student has no nightlife, as he usually studies until after midnight and invests the remaining time in sports, eating and watching movies. The real nightlife is also far away from the IIT and relatively expensive, so that only the very wealthy 11

12 Indians can afford. IIT students tend to go out to eat in nearby Hiranandani, order from various pizza delivery companies or crash in the pub directly across from the campus entrance. You shouldn't accept that! Even if clubs are very hard to find and they are in town, of course they are! The first port of call will probably be to explore the Colaba district in the evening, from there a train also leaves at 0:40. Otherwise you have to dig deep into your wallet and take the 1-hour return trip with a taxi for 6 euros or from Bandra with a rickshaw for 3 euros. Most of the clubs are actually hotel clubs that are also open to other guests, but it is better in real clubs, in our time The Hawaian Shack, Onyx (each in Bandra) and above all Velocity (Mahalaxmi) were quite acceptable. Getting information about nightlife is very difficult, in our time the web was still useless, but the Cosmopolitan (Indian Edition) helpful and just walking into a club and asking people about other clubs. You pay about 15 euros minimum consumption at the entrance, couples (male + female) together pay around 10 euros, quite strange, but it only gets really strange when only couples are allowed on the dance floor (Avalon Club). So to get to know girls, you have to work hard! There are also cinemas, Hollywood films are shown in the south of the city, but you should definitely not miss being fascinated by the Bollywood films. You can understand the films perfectly in Hindi or take a local student with you. Bollywood films help you immensely to get used to the local life and you notice that you have settled in at the latest when you start crying for the first time in your life in the cinema, although you don't understand the language, laugh yourself to death for hours at the same time, and after that 4h cinema experience is so mentally saturated that you just want to go to bed. 4.7 Where can I find more information? Website of the IIT Bombay Travel Guide India, e.g. Lonely Planet India 4.8 Contacts Your fellow students! Sandhya Kutty, Office Dean of Alumni and Inernational Relations IITB 12

13 5 Studying at the IITB 5.1 General Since we mainly attended courses at the Faculty of Computer Science, at the IIT Computer Science and Engineering, or CSE for short, we can only really say something about that. As far as we know, what has been said here generally also applies to events in other faculties. However, there may be deviations in individual cases. So please check again yourself in any case! In general, the level of the courses and the students are high. So you learn something. Most of the students are very motivated and also very proud to study Computer Science at the IITB. After all, they got there through a very tough selection process and for most of them a lot more depends on a successful degree than for us. There are around 50 students per year. The classes are small compared to those at TUM. This has the advantage that it is much more interactive to work here. Of course, that also depends a lot on the lecturer. Professors are regarded by the IIT students as absolutely respectable persons. Many are even really afraid of attracting attention and being badly graded. In our experience, however, this is totally unfounded and all of our professors were very nice and helpful. There are two types of events at the CSE Department. Lectures are generally given by professors and primarily convey theoretical content. These are supplemented by labs where you can program or otherwise practically implement something in the computer hall. There is no practice run. The grading at the IITB is relative to the other students and is imo quite opaque. In addition, the questions in the exams take getting used to. Some of these are very difficult, but you are not expected to solve them completely. Even to get the top grade! There is usually a mid- and end-term exam for lectures. In addition, there are occasionally small unannounced exams (quizzes), project work and, less often, homework. Similar to internships at TUM, tasks for independent processing are assigned in the labs. 5.2 Computer science events At the IITB, the two-tier study model applies, i.e. there is a Bachelor and Master degree. For the students there, the curriculum is pretty tight. However, we were relatively free to choose which courses to take. That was not limited to courses of the CSE department, which e.g. could be interesting for the minor or general fundamentals. At this point it should also be noted that Master Level courses are not necessarily more difficult than the Bachelor courses. The CSE Department at the IITB is much smaller than at the TUM. Hence 13

14 it is also not surprising that there is less choice of events. Similar to the TUM, most of the events are offered either only in the autumn or only in the spring term. A more detailed overview can be found on the CSE Department Home Page. But be careful: just because a course is listed does not mean that it will be held in a certain semester! In any case, we didn't manage our schedule until we were already at the IITB. But then it worked out perfectly and the whole procedure should work better by now. You should definitely contact the student advisory service at both TUM and IITB, where it is the Faculty Advisor. There is an IIT-wide slot system; all faculties adhere to it except for the management and IT school. Organizationally, you can therefore attend all courses that take place in different slots. The timetable, which course will take place in which slot, is unfortunately only posted on the web a few days before the start of classes, or in many faculties only on a notice board. We visited: CS447 Operating Systems CS495 Operating Systems Lab CS451 Distributed Systems CS601 Algorithms and Complexity CS633 Database Modeling and Design CS317 Database and Information Systems CS387 Database and Information Systems LAB CS331 Theory of Computation MG656 Management of International Business All these courses were from Level and content comparable to the events at TUM and highly recommended. Of course, in contrast to TUM, at the IITB you will also be tested on the material at the same time :) 5.3 Where can I find further information? Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IITB CSE course list Contact person Dr. Angelika Reiser, Student Advisory Service TUM reiser / reiser.html Prof. G. Sivakumar, was something like the student advisor at the IITB siva / 14 for us

15 6 After your return 6.1 Recognition of academic achievements For the main course in the diploma course you can in principle have elective internships or the SEP recognized. At TUM, you cannot be examined through lectures from other universities. Since there is no agreement between the IITB and TUM regarding the recognition of academic achievements, you have to take care of it yourself and it will be decided on a case-by-case basis. In order to have an internship recognized, it is best to get the form provided for this from Mr. Herzog. This then goes to the lecturer whose internship is most similar to the event attended at the IITB. Everything else is then a matter of negotiation with the lecturer. In general, however, you should be able to prove that the event included at least 100 hours of work, has a high practical content and is similar in content to the internship at TUM In principle, any event or combination of events from the same area that meets the above requirements is eligible for recognition! With the former one should not forget that full hours are taught at the IITB instead of the 45 minutes that are usual here and that the semester is considerably longer at 19 instead of 14 weeks. With regard to the second point, you may be able to make use of the special regulation in the area of ​​theoretical computer science and have a training certificate recognized, which replaces an internship. See the FPO. We didn't have a SEP recognized, but it should run something similar. And in the basic course or in the bachelor's and master’s degree, everything will be completely different anyway. In general: try to get the recognition regulated as early as possible. Usually you should do this before you leave. However, this was not possible for us because we did not even know in advance which courses were really being offered. 6.2 Where can I find more information? Study / Examination Regulations for Computer Science Contact Dr. Christian Herzog, Secretary Diploma Main Examination Dr. Angelika Reiser, Student Advisory Service TUM reiser / reiser.html 15

16 Carola Kneppeck, consultant for international TUM professors according to the course catalog 16