Culture Exchanges

Our CEA Experience – Spicy and Life Changing (The Colombian Version)

By Adriana, Daniel, Sergio and Angela

The journey began in New York where we got the opportunity to stop for two days and enjoy a nice long bicycle ride all over the city. Then, a 16-hour flight to get to, literally for us, the other side of the world.


When we got to Mumbai, we took an Uber, and not knowing how to communicate with the driver, we got to Tata Institute of Social Sciences at 1 am. To our surprise, Gayathri, the lead organizer of the conference, was waiting for us with a big smile. We had not expected such a warm welcome. The next couple of days, besides the workshop and the conference, we made and enjoyed the warmest relationships with the other students who had come from all over the world.

We got together with people from very different cultures; we all have one big thing in common- we all want to progress, to enjoy life without stereotypes, to make our voices heard, and to contribute to the improvement of our society.


An important outcome of the conference, for me, was that it opened our eyes… we realized the importance of social work in engineering. Critical thinking is something we would like our university to pay more attention to, along with the engineering lectures. We need to become more social in order to understand how to bring happiness and dignity in the society.


Another great and important outcome of the conference was definitely the relationships we made! It is still hard for us to understand why we miss the people we met in the Conference so much even when we got such little time to share. But, we believe that the friendships we made go way beyond India and can sustain through online communication until we see each other again. We remember the food, the rain, the hot sun, the TISS campus, our time in and out of the campus, the cultural show, and the people, with a lot of love.


Besides the week we spent in Mumbai, we got the opportunity to travel to some other places in India. We traveled to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur Jaisalmer and Bikaner in Rajasthan, to Agra where we saw the Taj Mahal, and then to New Delhi from where we flew back home. That was an amazing experience! Sometimes when our families and friends ask about the trip, we can’t even find the words to describe it. Maybe we felt these emotions, all at the same time: Love, peace, rush, warmth and cold, extremes, opposites that collide, empathy, passion, colors…


We are so thankful for the experiences we had in India, it has helped us grow in ways we did not imagine. Next year, we are pretty sure that Colombia is going to be a great host for the 4th version of the conference. We hope we can see a lot of the people we met in India, and welcome new people!


About the Author

Adriana Escandón Meza

Adriana is 20 years old. She lives in Bogotá, Colombia and is proximate to receive graduation as an Environmental engineer at the University of Los Andes. She attended the 3rd CEA conference at TISS, India along with her friends Daniel, Sergio and Angela. She is part of the Editorial board of the Critical Edges Magazine, thanks to this amazing experience.

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