Jia Sharma, BA Mass Communication, Semester 3, Assam Don Bosco University

The term „virtual teamwork“ now belongs solely to us, as we have successfully completed our virtual exchange programme. I thank my mentors, Prof. Kaushik Bhuyan and Prof. Snezana Golubovic, from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to be a part of this rich and creative cultural experience.

We were initially excited, nervous, and a little confused about what to expect from the project, but everything became crystal clear when we had our first zoom meeting on September 18th, 2023.  Following the first meeting, we were divided into groups and held numerous brainstorming sessions to creatively explore the project theme of „Food, Diversity, and Love.“

Despite the fact that the entire project week was quite hectic and stressful, we enjoyed every minute of it and learned so much from our German friends in Frankfurt. It was enlightening and nourishing. Despite the fact that we were in different time zones, we were able to complete the task successfully.

I hope to see more of this type of collaboration and opportunity in the future.

Mamoni Begum, BA Mass Communication, Semester 3, Assam Don Bosco University

What an amazing journey with Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FUAS)! Despite the fact that we only met virtually for a short time, we learned the value of teamwork and made countless memories. We worked closely with students from FUAS this year on the theme of ‘Food Love and Diversity. This experience taught us valuable skills such as effective communication, teamwork, and time management. We went beyond our comfort zones throughout the week, guided by the unwavering support of Ma’am Snezana and Sir Kaushik, who inspired us to give our all in our individual group projects. I never expected to have such a fantastic opportunity to present our ideas on an international stage. Our time during the virtual exchange project was truly unforgettable.

Ashish Richard Binha, BA Mass Communication, Semester 5, Assam Don Bosco University

Today is your chance to create the tomorrow you want. The VirtualXchange Programme provided us with an excellent opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone and showcase our incredible talents. Despite time and language differences, we were able to overcome them. We brainstormed creative ideas and thoughts for artistically portraying the theme. This allowed us to learn more about one another. We learned a lot from each other from planning to execution. Even though I was the only male in the painting group, we stood out as a unit.

I’m grateful to project mentors Prof. Snezana Golubovic and Prof. Kaushik Bhuyan for providing us with such a wonderful platform, as well as to my teammates from India and Germany for enriching my experience. With this wonderful experience, I gained new perspectives, self-confidence, and patience.

Adrienn Puskás, Social Work,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

Although it would have been easier to work on a project in real life, our project week was an experience I didn’t want to miss. The virtual collaboration with the members of our music group went very well and we did a great job together. Of course, due to the time difference and language difficulties we faced some problems but we solved them all and at the end we were very satisfied with the results. I’ve learned a lot and I’m grateful to have met new people from another part of the world. So if you ever have the opportunity to do a project with people from different countries (even virtual), don’t be afraid and just do it!

Blossom Hazarika, BA Mass Communication,
Semester 4, Assam Don Bosco University

Planning, execution, teamwork, words like this were imaginable to me only inside spaces like my class projects or games. The IVAC Virtual Exchange Programme came as a package full of all the terms like teamwork, understanding and goals. Running approximately 4.30 hours ahead of my German teammates I realized during the Project Week that, everything is doable with seer conviction. My overseas teammates, though still strangers, helped me gain a little bit of more determination, self-belief, new perspectives and surely I leveled up. I’m grateful for the experience and thank Assam Don Bosco University and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences for the initiative.

Carla Seitz, Social Work,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

Hey my name is Carla and I was in the Video group. Three month before the Project started, I discovered my passion for filming and cutting. The whole process was really interesting and I had a lot of fun. Sometimes it was a little bit hard to communicate, but all in all it was a great opportunity for me to come into contact with another culture.

Tobit Minj, MA Mass Communication,
Semester 1, Assam Don Bosco University

It was a very wonderful opportunity and an experience to be able to collaborate ideas, thoughts, and words in the form of poetry that were merged and created in the form of an e-book and a video. The brainstorming sessions, short-listing of themes to write and encouraging each other to do the best was a cherished experience. The opportunity to know and understand each other’s culture was very overwhelming. It is something I will carry with me forever. The teamwork spirit shown my all the members of our group very commendable. Together we could achieve our targets overcoming all the challenges in the process.

Müberra Palteki, Social Work,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

The virtual exchange with the students from India creates a bridge between two countries and living environments. During that time, I was given interesting insights into the lives of the people there. Because of the time shift, the exchange was not as easy as we thought, but we have found a middle way to communicate with each other and bring cultures closer together. I found it very exciting to get to know another way of life visually. Both worlds of life are incomparable but each one has something special, something that makes it unique.
I would like to thank everyone who made this exchange program possible and look forward to further projects with the Indian students.

Bidisha Singha, BA Mass Communication,
Semester 4, Assam Don Bosco University

From the very beginning of the project week we had been planning systematically with each other. Our group comprised of five members and we didn’t face much difficulties while communicating with each other. Although we have different time zones we managed to finish our work as per the set deadlines. We also clicked pictures and had a fun time collaborating with each other. We hope to get more of this kind of collaborations with such cooperative members.

Menka Rolvering, Social Work,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

The IVAC Virtual Exchange Program was a really interesting experience. In the beginning I’ve been a little bit precarious how it would be because I’ve been looking forward to meet all the people in India. As soon as the project started I made the experience that the exchange with the Indian students was really wonderful. We had the opportunity to exchange our cultural way of lives and put it into a creative project. I’ve been in the video group, which was one of the largest groups, but the communication was going really good because we’ve split our group into four small groups to work much better with each other. Most of us had the opinion to put all four projects together into one video so we had the direct comparison between the different topics.

It was a really great project and I thank all of you that you were part of it! But still I’m very sad that we were not able to meet in person…

Nijwam Swargiary, MA Mass Communication,
Semester 1, Assam Don Bosco University

First of all I am grateful and glad to be a part of this program. Although I was nervous in the beginning but as the days progressed it became fun learning experience. I was a bit skeptical initially as it was a bit hard for us to collaborate, it was not that easy and we faced little bit problem with each other as there was language and cultural barrier, time difference and communication problem. But as we proceeded we got to know about each other, we got to learn many things and it actually went smoothly. By the end could achieve all the set objectives of our group.

Charlotte Fleißig, Social Work,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

Through this amazing project I‘ve gained so much knowledge in so many ways I have never expected. It was the first project ever I had to organize. I am happy I didn‘t have to do plan it on my own, but with my wonderful German and Indian colleges. The project itself was lots of fun.
Even though, especially in the beginning of the project, we faced some issues like language barriers, technical problems and the time difference. But we managed them as a group. Through the project I have gained some knowledge about the Indian culture, the way of living and many of structural problems that made me think about structural problems in Germany as well. In the end of the project we had the realization that not only we are connected through globalization, even the problems are somehow connected and affect one another. If we can solve one of them, we can solve so much more.

Manisha Bhowmick, BA Mass Communication,
Semester 6, Assam Don Bosco University

The virtual exchange program has been a very productive learning experience for me. I have learned how to develop my skill to co-operate and work together in a group. While working under the project I have come across different perspective of people belonging to different cultural backgrounds. We had different ice-breaking sessions during the virtual exchange program which helped us boost our self-confidence as well as helped us to know each other better.

Davide Azzaro, Social Work,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

The IVAC project brought me a lot of new impressions that I gladly took with me as a life experience. I’ve been a passionate DJ for over 25 years and live music all day. In my work as a social worker in a youth center with a focus on media, I have a lot of experience with music, video productions and various projects. In private, too, everything revolves around music. What has always appealed to me was a production with artists from parts of the world who are far apart from my location. With this project I fulfilled a wish that I had had for a long time. What I really liked were the hurdles we had to overcome. I work best under pressure. It was a chal-lenge for me and was very grateful for the work of my colleagues without whom the project would never have existed in this form. Due to the limited time that was set for the project, I am glad that I had very competent team members at my side who made up for my deficits. I am not used to submitting work. But with this project I learned to withdraw, to accept help and to get involved where it was needed. That was an experience and a gain in competence. I am very happy to have participated in the IVAC project. The cultural exchange with our Indian partners is also a broadening of my horizons. Above all, in this exchange I learned that on the other side of the globe, people have to overcome the same hurdles as we do. I am very proud that the song was created entirely from my own production. Every single accord is played with real instru-ments. I also had a lot of fun measuring and bringing the various tracks together. I can’t play any instruments myself. So I’m all the more impressed by the musical skills and lyrics. In the end, I was able to get involved spontaneously with the video, which was not planned to this extent. I would like to thank everyone involved for the great cooperation that contributed to the realization of this project, as well as our teaching staff who made it possible at all.

Sabreena Zeenat Hannan, BA Mass Communication, Semester 6, Assam Don Bosco University

Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to my Prof. Kaushik Bhuyan and Prof. Bernhard Kayser for giving me this golden opportunity to be a part of this rich, creative and cultural experience, the ‘VirtualXchange’ program for Project IVAC, Secondly, I would like to thank Prof. Snezena and Prof. Barzan of Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences for guiding us throughout the project week. Last but not the least, my deepest gratitude and acknowledgement goes to my dear friends/team members from Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Fra-UAS) who made this project possible.

On 18th January 2021, we had our first virtual meeting with students of Fra-UAS via Zoom and I was really excited as well as nervous for the meeting but it was nothing more but sort of an introductory session about each other as well as about the exchange program. It was not until 8th February when we had our second virtual meet where we got assigned to our groups for which we voted and got paired up with our German friends. Since, I was in the video group, which was one of the largest group in this program, I was in confusion of how will we be able to collaborate on a video project when the team itself is scattered across different corners of the world. The geographical barrier was the biggest hurdle to overcome. Well, the confusion cloud was cleared, when we had our first virtual meeting of the project week which was from 23rd March to 27th March. The moment we began brainstorming, throwing out ideas at each other, confusion was cleared and we as a team came up with a pretty solid idea, the ways we can approach the video project.

As a team, we maintained our meetings even through WhatsApp and these conversations were enriching, getting to know each other, as well one’s cultures, cuisines is at the core of this ‘VirtualXchange’ program. There were was also a time, the day before our ‘D-Day’ when we faced inconveniences and difficulties and went behind the schedule which added extra pressure on us but as a team we came out strong and gave our best and for that I am very much thankful to my team who gave their blood, sweat and tears to make this project a success.

Well in a nutshell, I would describe my entire experience in this ‘VirtualXchange’ as wholesome, enriching, and challenging and I look forward for more of these sort of collaboration.

Uddipana Choudhury, BA Mass Communication,
Semester 4, Assam Don Bosco University

They say that time and tide wait for no man and on the final day of our programme I was flooded with a wave of emotion.  It was a rewarding experience. I’ve grown during the duration of the project with my fellow students from Germany for they have shown kindness with a helping attitude. They were very co-operative and helped me come out of my comfort zone. It’s hard to have such opportunity to work with people so closed-knit that the people we are working with feels like a family although it was an online programme. We wrote poems on various topics and inspired each other and that actually helped us to come up with some good content. I hope there will be more such collaborations in the future.