ISFIT 2011: I hope you have the time of your life

I present myself as a proud participant of the International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway 2011. In the words of Oscar Levant,

“Happiness is not something you remember, but something you experience”

The surreal delight and the exciting experiences this journey brought me, can never be forgotten.

My odyssey began with a simple ISFIT invitation letter on the college notice board and an application process. Fate, however, had much greater plans for me. The affirmation of the application saw me as one of the 450 students selected for the event from the entire planet. A privilege and honor I bestow to my college.

Friends, ISFIT 2011 was a life changing experience, certainly one of the best times in my life. I have always aspired of making a positive difference in society and I could not have asked for a better motivational experience than my time in ISFIT 2011. I was a complete stranger when I stepped foot in Trondheim with students of diverse cultures, languages and lifestyles all around me. But the intellectual aura encompassing the event actually bonded all of us for one ultimate aim: WORLD PEACE.

The event was marked by informative sessions regarding environment and health by highly esteemed individuals including her Royal Highness, Mette-Marit, Dr. Douste-Blazy, the former minister of health, culture and foreign affairs in France. Our workshops were both informative and extremely fun. We formed groups of five and designed walls according to the theme of the workshop, and to my delight, the wall I worked in, was appreciated a lot.

And to add to the entertainment were the daily concerts and the circus, which left the audience in absolute awe. The enthralling atmosphere, the fascinating performances, the extravagant settings and the ever so vibrant audience is a part of my memory that can never fade away. From the Workshops to the social events, ISFIT was a perfectly planned and executed event that left all the participants with the desire to return next year. And, such was the impeccability of the entire atmosphere that it is not only the prominent events that I cherish, but all the little things and the adventures I had that bring a never fading smile and open a doorway of memories.

Waking up late, rushing to catch the bus, entering the workshops and feeling the same hospitable and familiar atmosphere, GOSH, will I miss this time or what??

And yes, I did happen to introduce the bhangra to a lot of unaware students in my workshop. It was part of representing our culture through dances and performances, another aspect of the diversity of ISFIT.

Apart from all the fun and joy, the highlight was the walk of peace. Every single participant in ISFIT marched the streets of Trondheim in solidarity with candles in their hand spreading across a message to the entire world, that all cultures are united in a quest for a peaceful world and that the ever so vibrant youth, shall not go down quietly, but struggle against every obstacle put in front. The march was marked by peace prizes to dedicated people as the students gathered around in a harmonious setting.

Furthermore, the cultural diversity that made me feel so alienated at the start, was actually the best part of ISFIT, my interactions with people from completely different cultures and traditions have changed me as a person. It took me a mere 10 days to make friends; friends that I will never forget. My interaction with them taught me a lot about cultural diversity and the peaceful message all of them bring. Such was the friendly atmosphere, that the end of ISFIT brought tears to our eyes. Tears of joy, that I got to spend ten of the best days of my life in Norway and tears of sadness, that my journey ended there.

Nevertheless, ISFIT 2011 was a perfect event, one that I shall never forget. I will also urge my fellow students to apply for ISFIT next year and have the time of their lives.

By Xarlish Amjad, Campus Ambassador for Roots College International (Pakistan)

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