Stuck in IIT


Andrien is majoring in Energy Studies at the City University of Hong Kong. He is an exchange student in India and has been staying in Kumaon for the past 2 months, during lockdown, alone.

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I made a lot of friends at IIT since I’ve been here. We went to Kasol, and then Jodhpur and even squeezed in a Goa trip with my german friends after Minor 2 was canceled.

That night, we had a party in Kumaon, and I was sure all of them would be back in 2 weeks.


When I came back from Goa my german friends left India. I stayed because, for one, I knew what a strict place IIT was and I knew they would restart classes no matter what.

The students here had really shocked me when I first came here. Back home, the classrooms are usually completely dark with most students doing their own thing. At IIT, students have to actually focus. Some professors here, I know they speak English but I couldn’t understand them and even if I try to use google translate on my phone, they would say ‘Hey, stop using your phone’

Since the lockdown, every day seemed the same. Far from the exciting India trip, I had envisioned. My friends and I kept talking to each other and planning our next party in Kumaon so as to not get so depressed.


There are around 15 people with me - some local students, Afghanistani students, and some from Africa. Food is the usual although sometimes I order Zomato so I can eat something nice. My friends in Hong Kong joke about me never being able to come back. They tell me to stay in India and get citizenship and marry a girl!

My family is safe and life has resumed in Hong Kong, which is why I can’t understand why the corona cases in India keep blowing up even with a lockdown. But even with everything that happened this year, my time in India has changed my life. It’s also changed my attitude towards learning. I try to do something new every day now. I started learning Photoshop and Korean on youtube. My Kumaon friends, we kept planning about when we will meet again and party. That got me so excited and I kept hoping it would happen. I’ll be going home now and I won’t come back, and it’s just sad I will not be able to meet my friends again.


Written By @maria.1.6

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