Published Date: 2023-03-22, Wednesday
Yugesh Upadhyaya Luitel, a Computer Science student from Kathmandu University, had the opportunity to attend the International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway (ISFiT23) in February 2023. ISFiT is the world's largest student festival, organized biennially by the Student Society in Trondheim, which brings together students from around the world for a ten-day program of workshops, discussions, and cultural exchange.
Mr. Luitel was among the 450 international students selected from over 3,000 applicants to attend ISFiT23. He was assigned to a workshop on technology and controllability, a topic that, according to him, piqued his interest due to its polarizing aspect that focused on exploring the question of whether technology is under control or controlling us.
Mr. Luitel shared that during the festival he was able to interact with students from over 120 countries, including those in his workshop from more than 20 different nations. He added that this cultural exchange expanded his vision of where his own culture stands in the context of the world and helped him discover a platform for fostering international cooperation. He expressed that having the opportunity to represent the country became a starting point for new ideas anddiscussions that limiting himself would have never presented.
Upon asking the highlight of the festival, Mr. Luitel answered that it was meeting the winners of theStudent Peace Prize, DOXA Magazine from Russia.
Moreover, another highlight of the festival, according to him, was the opportunity to experience Norwegian culture by living with a Norwegian family during his stay. He shared that even though he could never see the sun in Trondheim and the place did not know any physical warmth, the people he met and the Norwegian hosts he stayed with were very warm and welcoming. Their acceptance made him feel heard and understood, which provided him with a comfortable environment to discover more of what he already liked while also making him aware of cultural differences and the need to accept them.
Overall, Mr. Luitel felt that ISFiT23 provided him with an opportunity to broaden his understanding of cultural differences, expand his horizons, and explore a polarizing topic in the technological field. The festival truly lived up to its purpose of being a meeting place for discussion and debate, an arena where ideas are born, friendships are made, and valuable lessons are learned. According to Mr. Luitel, attending ISFiT23 was an experience that he will cherish for a long time.