Good news for all students who wish to study aboard as France is soon planning ways to boost exchange programme with India. Sonia Barbry, the Consul General of France in Mumbai fell in love with India when she was studying here as a teenager. She now wants more and more Indian students to study in her country and experience the culture. While talking about the students exchange programme Barbry said that while they want to focus on business relations, they also wish to increase the number of students going to study in France from India to reach 20,000 by 2025. Barbry who is working in India for the development of relations between the two nations is a strong believer in the students’ exchange programmes.
She said, "Both the countries have strong strategic partnership and now our focus is also on increasing the economic and people-to-people ties. We want more and more students from India to come to France and study," as reported by PTI. She added, "Till five years back, we had 3,000 Indian students, this year 10,000 students of Indian origin are studying in France, and our target it to increase the figure to 20,000 by 2025."
While recalling her experience as a teenager in India, Barbry said, "I came here when I was 18 and fell in love with India. I wanted to know more and then I made it a part of my profession. So we want students to get exposed to new culture." She further added that as a student she had to take a compulsory internship for which she chose India. She spend around 6 months in the country. After the completion of her internship here, she told her parents that six months were not enough and she needed to go back to India.
Sonia Barbry came back to India at the age of 19 and went to Varanasi. She lived here for 2.5 years and learnt Bharatnatyam (Indian classical dance), Dhrupad (a genre of Hindustani classical music), Hindi and yoga. She also taught at French at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and at the same time learnt about the Indian culture and traditions, and read scriptures.