Bhubaneswar: Students from the San Diego State University, California arrived in India on January 04, 2020. Following a trip to Agra and Delhi, they arrived at Xavier University, Bhubaneswar (XUB) on January 08, 2020. The next day started off with a campus tour by the students’ team of International Relations Committee (IRC), XUB.

This was followed by a welcome session that saw opening remarks by Prof. Sutapa Pati (Dean, Xavier School of Sustainability (XSoS)). Dr. Zohir Chowdhury (Associate Professor, School of Public Health, SDSU) addressed the students about the SDSU Study Abroad Programme and the partnership between SDSU and XUB. A welcome address was delivered by Prof. Fr. E.A. Augustine, S.J. (Registrar, XUB), who also spoke about the role of Jesuits in higher education. The session concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Prof. Elizabeth Abba (Associate Professor and Associate Dean, IRC, XUB).

Post the session, the visiting students interacted with students from IRC as well as with students pursuing MBA in Sustainability Management from XSOS. The students then attended a session describing the culture of India and Odisha, followed by a session on Air Quality Monitoring by Dr. Zohir Chowdhury. The day concluded with a cricket match and a welcome dinner.

On January 10, 2020 the students attended a session on Sustainable Behaviour by Dr. Fr. Antony R Uvari, S.J. (Vice Chancellor, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar). Post this, the students witnessed a session on Geospatial Applications in Sustainability by Prof Vikrant Patil (Associate Professor, XSoS) and a session on Public Health by Dr. Sandeep Kumar (SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar). The day wrapped up with a yoga session, wherein the students participated with zeal.

The University has planned for a lot of activities and interactive sessions in the days to come. The students will be visiting Ekamara Haat for shopping, Dhauli for sightseeing and light show, Raghurajpur to learn about Patachitra/Palm Painting, among other places, before proceeding to Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB). At the XIMB campus, the students will be a part of various sessions and will also continue their visit to various places that showcase the culture and heritage of Odisha. The trip will end with a Cultural Night on January 15, 2020, post which the students will return to SDSU.

The visiting students have settled in and are participating in various events quite passionately. This initiative has given students from different backgrounds an opportunity to gain insights into various cultures that are prevalent around the world.