CHANDIGARH: Three years after its foundation stone was laid, the hostel for international students and research scholars in south campus of Panjab University (PU) is all set to get its occupants. With world-class facilities, a separate hostel for them will provide international students their own territory.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 12 crore, the six-storeyed hostel with 40 rooms will be co-ed. The sixth floor, which would be reserved for research scholars, has 15 rooms. Each room will be two-seater with attached washroom and a kitchenette. All the rooms will be air-conditioned and refrigerators will be there in every room. Moreover, 10 rooms have separate dining area as well.
The hostel will have its own dining area and mess to prepare food suitable to the taste of international students. The parking of the hostel can accommodate 30 to 40 cars. Moreover, washrooms equipped with modern facilities and 24X7 water supply will be provided in the hostel.
“I do not like the idea of providing a separate hostel for international students. If they put me in a separate hostel, how will I connect with Indian students? The culture-exchange is mandatory for international students. I have been living here with other students for the last five years and that has taught me a lot about this country, specifically about Punjab,” said Roman Khan, an Afghanistan student of masters in public administration, who can speak fluent Hindi and usually visits villages of Punjab during holidays.
However, Roman’s friend from Afghanistan, Milad Sadat, who is pursuing the same course at PU, said that giving them a separate accommodation would not be a disadvantage for international students. “If it is the question of culture exchange, then staying with students from other countries will give us more exposure. I will be able to know about not just one country but different countries and their conflicts, culture and history.”
“The hostel is not coming up on the demand of students but it is just to build up the university’s infrastructure and also to have this facility for international scholars,” said Ramanjit Kaur Johal, dean of international studies, PU.
International students have been accommodated in general hostels. “For hostels, we pay Rs 12,000 fee per year of which Rs 6,000 is refundable. But the tuition fee for international students is higher than the Indian students,” said Roman.
The foundation-stone of the hostel was laid in April 2012 by then PU vice-chancellor R C Sobti.