Study Trip for Engagement and Enrichment (STEER) India
By Clarence Chin
Year 4, Project and Facilities Management Major
Warm morning glow streams into corners of Taj Mahal
India is known for her diversified culture and a long history. So when I came to know that the NUS International Relations Office was organising a Study Trip for Engagement and Enrichment (STEER) there, I seized the opportunity. After all, I wanted to experience this country which is one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) countries.
STEER is a programme comprising talks, seminars and cultural activities centred on a specific region and aims to familiarise students with the diverse environment of a fast-evolving region through classroom-based learning and experiential site visits to companies, government agencies and university partners.
This was a good time to embark on such a trip as the University settled all the administrative matters. Moreover, the cost of the trip was partly covered. With the support from NUS, I could be sure that I was in safe hands and took the opportunity to learn and enjoy the experience as much as I could, without being hindered by worries.
This trip allowed me to immerse in Indian culture, developing an understanding of India's businesses and social enterprises. I gained insights on the dos and don'ts of doing business in India. For instance, I learnt to never do business in India without a trusted local partner or huge capital backing as India is ranked as one of the toughest place to set up a business in the world. There are also many legal restrictions such as foreigners are not allowed to register a company. However, there are opportunities for the brave.
Over the course of my stay, I took trains, visited temples and even had diarrhoea from eating street food. My adventurous streak led me to visit Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Darjeeling and Kolkata. Out, out, out from my comfort zone! But had a time of my life!