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2007.03.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO/UNL Students and Faculty to Visit India over Spring Break

Omaha - Omaha - Over spring break, between March 6 and 18, 32 predominantly University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and some University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) students along with seven UNO faculty/staff will take part in a life-changing experience. They will visit incredible India to learn first-hand about the impact and process of globalization.

The students will be exposed to Indian society, culture, history, business practices, government and have conversations with some of the emerging thought leaders from a variety of sectors of Indian industry.  This visit to India will also include a visit to UNO’s sibling university, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/) which is jointly hosting the trip along with UNO and infoUSA.

In fact, the students are covering only 80 percent of the airfare from Omaha to Delhi, passport and visa fees and travel insurance. All other costs--including a $200 subsidy per student, local airline travel within India, ground transportation, hotels and meals are being underwritten by a major grant from infoUSA and in kind sponsorship from some of the Indian corporate hosts.

“Even with better communication throughout the world, it remains vitally important to make face-to-face connections,” said Tom Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs at UNO and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).  “InfoUSA has done a tremendous amount to foster good will between Nebraska and India.”

In 2006, 50 students from IIT-Kharagpur came to UNO for a week of meeting on campus and with Omaha business leaders.  An infoUSA grant also covered the expenses associated with that visit, again, except for airfare.

“The students from here and the students in India understand that the world truly is getting smaller,” said Vin Gupta, infoUSA, Inc. chairman and CEO.  Gupta has been the driving force behind the two student exchanges.  “These exchanges are starting points for collaboration and dialogue.  I know they will pay dividends for years and years to come.”

The Nebraska student delegation consists of a number of first generation college students who represent a diverse group of 17 women and 15 men. The students are predominantly juniors or seniors and represent a wide variety of majors ranging from computer engineering, computer science/bioinformatics, construction engineering, architectural engineering, international studies, accounting, mechanical engineering, journalism, management information systems, chemical engineering, biology and sociology.

The trip will start on March 6, with stops in Bangalore, Mysore, Kolkata (Calcutta), Kharagpur, Delhi and Agra. There will be many opportunities to interact with Indian university students and faculty at UNO’s sister university, IIT Kharagpur, and also the Jaypee Institute of Information Technology (http://www.jiit.ac.in/), a privately funded university system near Delhi.

Students will also visit with corporate executives, government officials, historical sites from the Mughal and British era to the modern times, and experience rural and urban parts of India.  For example in terms of corporations, the group will visit emerging biotech firms such as Biocon (http://www.biocon.com) and the now famous Infosys (http://www.infosys.com) whose success across the globe is well-known. Tom Friedman, the author of the best-selling The World is Flat, featured Infosys and its leadership in his book. 

Other companies and organizations that will be visited by the delegation include the Infovision group (http://www.infovisiongroup.com/), Japypee Industries Limited (http://www.jilindia.com), and Chaterjee Biochem Limited.

The public can follow the Nebraska student delegation’s travels via their live daily blog/journal from India completely updated by students at http://unoindia.vox.com.  

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