Deetya Shetty
Student life

An international experience makes a positive difference

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International student Deetya Shetty meets with the Saxion Diversity Officer and talks about an international experience makes a positive difference. No matter how big or small it may be.

Unspoken rules of the city

Mumbai is one of the largest city in the world. A city that never sleeps. Famous for her shops, sights and nightlife. Deetya grew up this buzzing environment. And yet she feels happy to call Enschede her home city for the coming four years. It did not take her long to discover unspoken rule of the city.
There are rules for the usual things like traffic, electrical plugs, insurances and taxes. There are also rules for riding your bike, which of course make total sense given the absurd amount of them in Enschede. With some help see found explanations unspoken rules that everyone seems to understand and follow. Rules that are more directly related to the social aspect of living here in the Netherlands. According to Deetya this makes Saxion a safe and inclusive learning and living community. A place to belong to.

Campaign against trash

In 2019 Narendra Modi, president of India, launched a Clean India campaign as the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary. People in the cities were having competition within each other. Because of that, people were implementing more cleaning habits. They were trying to keep it as clean as possible. The trash is were taken out constantly, and that's a good thing. So I guess competition wins, but it makes a huge difference.  Like in South India they are now implementing strict rules in recycling. Deetya discovered the same energy in the Netherlands. But she says it's also very different  because in the Netherlands people are more disciplined than a lot of people in India when it comes to segregation of garbage as they are concerned with their environment And they know the repercussions in terms of taxes or fines.

Some people have a very easy time to make friends, some have more difficulties. It would be a good thing to get students of different communities to mingle more with Dutch students.

Gender rights and flag parades

When asked if she has noticed the activities Saxion has been organizing around the Sustainable Development Goals, and the focus on Gender Equality, Deetya tells a personal story. In 2013 homosexuality was criminalized in India. In 2017, however, the right to privacy was declared as a fundamental right to all Indian citizens. Deetya says that on the 6th of September 2018 these rights were reinforced by the Supreme Court. Together with a female friend who was active in the LGBTI-community, they celebrated this milestone.
She noticed the many Rainbow flags during the INTRO-week. Indians celebrate Pride during the first week of September, just as Saxion does in the first week of October. “So I it's amazing to see this because it's very inclusive. It's good for many people to celebrate the freedom of expressing your gender rights. I know one of my friends who just moved to the Netherlands. He's a part of the community. And for him, the flag symbolizes there is a space for him to be discover and understand his gender identity. When asked of she feels at home with all different kind of genders at Saxion, she replies: “ Yes, I do. I've always been an advocate for the LGBTI-rights. I was active in an advocacy group discussing with students about what they know about homosexuality. Because  it's never really taught to us or are able to freely speak about it. In India many people still think it's unnatural or a mental health issue, which it's not.”
Last but not least Deetya had a suggestion on how to make her student life at Saxion a more fun experience. There is a lot of diversity among the international students at Saxion. Some people have a very easy time to make friends, some have more difficulties. It would be a good thing to get students of different communities to mingle more with Dutch students. Oftentimes times what I notice is that if there is a big event happening, that the Dutch students are on one side, the internationals are the other side. So maybe we can have something like a cultural fair or a game night where students can cook together and share food and experiences.  I think if you bring everyone together, they will end up talking to each other and make friends. That contributes to an unforgettable international experience.

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