Priti Bhartiya is a doctoral student in Humanities from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India who visited Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2022.
“Movement is the essence of life for any human being. As water if it doesn’t flow, it stagnates. In practicality this is the best learning from my stay in Madrid. Now here I am writing about my experiences, worries, anxieties, hope and unknown future. In the beginning of my journey I was a little bit overwhelmed because I was missing my home, friends & family. But gradually I started exploring new cultures and meeting new people. Fortunately, I made new friends who introduced me to their culture and tradition. I was surprised to know that all human beings shared the same qualities and emotions all across the world.”
Priti’s thesis focused on Iraqi migrant literature and while in Spain she made good progress in her research.
“During the collection of material on this subject I met a couple of authors who gave me insights of Iraqi society, war, women, politics, Saddam Hussein’s regime and its impact on the Iraqi youths. I was surprised to hear their childhood stories and their migration to new places in difficult scenarios. I felt their longing and grief for their people and land. Hopefully I will share their stories and experiences through my work and it will be published in upcoming months.
My experience with mentors and professors was engaging, friendly, and they treat their students as friends. It was very welcoming to discuss anything with them wholeheartedly. They were welcoming, encouraging, idealistic and motivated.”
Priti also remembers:
“When I was searching for other students and research scholars like me, I met some other exchange students and full time students on UAM campus . Meeting them was a great experience because we shared similar fear and uncertainty towards the future. Discussing their future plans and life journey was inspiring to me. On top of that, learning from each other’s experience and aspirations was the best thing to take away.
I traveled within Spain and specifically to the surrounding area of Madrid. I have visited libraries and museums where I have encountered contemporary art and modern thoughts in form of painting and sketches in the Prada museum of Madrid which considered as national gem of Spain and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía where I witnessed masterpieces focusing on feminism, dreams, the Spanish civil war, and most notably, Picasso’s “Guernica.” Rotating exhibitions span the globe and touch upon thought-provoking, conversation-starting topics.
Spain has beauty and nature, modern and classical architecture, lively atmosphere to breathe and live, natural landscape, mountains, rivers and rich history. The resistance of the people brings change in their thoughts and opinions. It encourages us to accept all differences and challenges, differences, and beliefs. It influenced me to see the other parts of the people so I have visited some beautiful cities and beaches like Barcelona, Ibiza, Canary Iceland and Toledo.
During my travels and while residing in Madrid I have developed some basic knowledge of Spanish language, which eventually helped me to initiate the conversation with local Spanish people.
Now when I recall going back to my country and thinking what I have learned so far from this program I would say I have developed more tolerance within myself towards others to accept their differences and embrace them. And I believe that it is a beautiful thing to do when you surrender yourself because you don’t lose anything but earn something valuable.
Now at the end of the mobility I am extremely grateful to the Erasmus programme who has gifted students like me and many other scholars with such an opportunity to grow personally and professionally.”