From The Campus: Harvard Students Visit Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s College For Spring Conference 2024

From The Campus: Harvard Students Visit Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s College For Spring Conference 2024

St. Xavier’s hosted Megan Yeo, Taylor Fang and Ryan Xia, students from Harvard College, Boston who were visiting the Spring Conference 2024. The Harvard delegation was in Mumbai until Sunday.

Sharvani VardeUpdated: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 03:20 PM IST
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Harvard Students Visit Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College | File

In collaboration with Harvard, Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College organised a Spring Conference in the second week of March. St Xavier’s hosted Megan Yeo, Taylor Fang and Ryan Xia, students from Harvard College, Boston who were visiting the Spring Conference. 

The Harvard Undergraduate Asia Program (HUAP) committee planned a week full of speaker sessions, excursions and workshops during the Spring Conference. The theme of the HUAP 2024 was “The Path Less Travelled”.

HUAP is an exchange conference between Harvard and selected colleges across Asian Nations including St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. This program was founded to foster a mutual interest and understanding between students from Harvard and other top universities across Asia.

The speaker sessions were held on March 11, 2024. These sessions briefly covered topics like lifestyle, entertainment and expression, art, psychology, entrepreneurship and career guidance, media and entertainment and environment through economics.  

The Spring Conference 2024

The Spring Conference 2024 | File

The Professional Speaker Sessions

Deepak Chawla, a professional speaker, mentor, and novelist, conducted the first session. He spoke on “God Setting v/s Goal Setting”, summarising the need to opt for the lesser-known course of action and how that has made a significant difference in his life. His talk mainly focused on encouraging the audience to follow their passion.

The speaker for the second session was Namita Bodaji, a professional dance and yoga instructor. This session took place on March 12, 2024. She started her session with a graceful dance performance. Addressing the attendees, she encouraged the audience to think about what their true passion is and motivated them to go for it. 

The second session for March 12 was chaired by Ishita Mehta, owner of IMWIP. Her talk focused on achieving a dream one is passionate about and how to find positives even at the nadir.

Exchange students At Gurdwara.

Exchange students At Gurdwara. | File

The next session took place on March 13, 2024, at Sunil Padwal’s studio in Lower Parel. Padwal is an Indian painter whose creations explained more about art and expression and how to encourage oneself to create more.

Parveen Shaikh, a psychologist at Mpower, chaired the first session on March 14. She spoke about her journey with mental health and how she overcame the obstacles in her way when she opted for the career she wanted. She also stressed the importance of finding purpose in what people want to do.

Tanuja Gomes, entrepreneur and co-founder of Furtado School of Music, held the second session for the day. She tried to explain to the audience to normalise rediscovering their career paths and how switching careers is alright.

Speaker Sessions at St. Xavier's

Speaker Sessions at St. Xavier's | File

Various Other Activities Planned

Apart from the speaker sessions, there were various workshops and excursions planned for the Harvard delegation. Hindi learning workshops, Yoga workshops, and cooking workshops are among the few that the students highly enjoyed.  Through these workshops and excursions, the core team at St Xavier’s planned for cultural assimilation, providing the delegates with new experiences and letting them navigate what they like better. The core team took the students for a Mumbai tour, a temple visit and street shopping. 

Megan Yeo, Taylor Fang and Ryan Xia, students from Harvard College, Boston

Megan Yeo, Taylor Fang and Ryan Xia, students from Harvard College, Boston | File

Students Share Their Experience

In a candid chat with The Free Press Journal, the students shared their Mumbai experience. Megan said, “This is definitely an experience we’ll cherish forever.” The other two students, Ryan and Taylor, echoed similar sentiments.

Exchange students with St. Xavier's students

Exchange students with St. Xavier's students | File

St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, has been a part of the Harvard Colleges in Asia Program since 2003 which is an exchange programme between Harvard and selected colleges across Asian nations. This programme was founded to foster a mutual interest and understanding between students from Harvard and other top universities across Asia. It’s a platform for student exploration and development, connecting the world’s future leaders and strengthening international relationships of tomorrow. 

The Harvard delegation was in Mumbai until Sunday.

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