IT is a passage to India set to build bridges between Edinburgh University students and one of the world’s rapidly emerging superpowers.
A unique educational voyage will take 85 students and ten faculty members from the Capital to join hundreds of counterparts from the University of Delhi and Kings College London for a week-long train journey through north-west India.
As well as Delhi and Punjab, the train will travel to locations including Amritsar, the spiritual home of Sikhism, Ludhiana – the industrial hub of north India – and Chandigarh, the country’s first post-independence city.
Funded with the help of £50,000 from university coffers, Edinburgh students participating in College on Wheels will undertake projects, write book reviews and keep diaries of the journey.
The travellers, who paid for their flights and visa costs, said the journey would help them understand the country.
Nicole Turner, 19, who is about to begin the second year of an MA in English language and history, said: “We’ll be setting up links. When you’re on a train for a whole week, you get to know and understand people.”
University bosses said it was important students from the Capital and elsewhere could build connections.
Professor Stephen Hillier, vice-principal international, said: “As a leading international university, Edinburgh wants to encourage its students to visit other countries and cultures so that they gain a better understanding of the world and come back enriched both personally and professionally.”