Ankit Khandelwal: Denmark offers a chance to grow
This is a story about a 26-year-old Indian student who became an Youth Goodwill Ambassador of Denmark, and who is excited to see the current initiatives towards creating good relations between the two countries.
“Building trust among the two people of two nations can happen only by direct and continuous contact”, says Ankit Khandelwal who studied Master’s in chemical and biochemical engineering in Denmark in 2009-2011. He graduated from Technical University of Denmark under the Elite Master Student Scholarship programme.
Now back in India, Ankit Khandelwal is very enthusiastic about what he learned during his two and a half years in Denmark.
He is an official Youth Goodwill Ambassador of Denmark, and when he heard of the ‘Co-create Now’ project, he was quick to send his expression of support. He prefers to eliminate the role of third parties, which often leads bitter experience due to usage of false information. According to him, many time third parties just hide information and send people to other countries. The people don’t get what they expect and it turned out nightmare to many.
“Denmark presents various opportunities for an individual to grow and provide creative ways find new directions. It’s up to an individual to take initiative and utilize all those opportunities. Often people come from different country expects the same level of environment, which might not be good the case. Being an initiative taker and changing as per the requirements is the motto for staying happy in Denmark,” Ankit Khandelwal wrote in an e-mail to the Danish Cultural Institute, expressing support to its ‘Co-create Now’ initiative.
Along with his studies, Ankit Khandelwal was very active in learning about Danish culture and people, and he wrote his experiences at the official website of Denmark, www.denmark.dk. His blog was ranked fifth best exchange blog in 2012 among 239 blogs around the world, the only blog to be among the Top 50 from Denmark. The news was picked up by the largest circulated English-language newspaper of India, and he was featured on the website of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Many other news magazines followed up on the story later.
When Polina Chebotareva of the University of Copenhagen magazine University Post interviewed Ankit on the occasion of readers’ votes placing his blog as number 5 out of 239 in the world, he said: “Writing is just a hobby for me. I write as a way to express the way I see things. And I will keep writing about many things in future. I see normal things quite differently from others and somehow my style of writing represents a normal person. Securing fifth ranking gave me lot of confidence to continue writing in this way and continue representing a common person.”
And when asked to describe Denmark in a few words, Ankit replied: “This is the motto of my Bachelor University in India, but it describes my experience in Denmark best: For me, Denmark is ‘a place to learn and a chance to grow’.”
Freedom and responsibility
In one of the blog post Ankit wrote, “Land of Vikings Denmark has an open society, where everyone has freedom to speak. Taking initiative and becoming responsible for your own development is one of the key aspects of this freedom. So if you are coming to Denmark then try to develop this aspect to avoid certain basic problems, because someone has truly said, ‘Help is always given to those who ask for it’.”
Ankit is convinced that he will not be the only one experiencing this feeling in Denmark. Indeed, the way he sees it, he created a path for others to follow, and he expects to see many more stories like his in future.
After returning from Denmark, Ankit Khandelwal took a much needed break to do some of work he wanted to do from a long time. He is studying languages to enable him to communicate with more people in future: “I am undergoing language exchange through skype with people from Latin America, Russia and Europe. I am mostly helping them with Hindi and English and getting their help in my language learning. I am also actively involved in European policy discussions on the online groups, and taking management course online to fulfill my interest in that sector, especially sustainablity and environment.”
Ankit’s interest in European policies was cultivated during his studies in Denmark which took him to the European Parliament Open Days in 2011 to learn about EU’s policy framework and the EU 2020 Plan.
Ankit Khandelwal has recently started writing for Times of India, the biggest english newspaper of India, interviewing prominent Indians and persons of Indian origin. His first article was on Mr. Manu Sareen, who is a Minister in the current Danish government. You can read the interview here
About education in Denmark
One of the most notable things about the Danish education system is that it connects high quality education with an ability to question conventions and the conventional. Historically the open exchange of ideas has been central for Denmark to attain the wealth and level of research and industry of present. A lot of effort is put into inviting foreign students and international talent to Danish schools, as well as sending Danish students abroad.