Sapna Jarial, New Dehli, India
Name: Sapna Jarial
Lives in: New Dehli, India
Period in Germany: June 2005 to September 2006 (Leipzig and Berlin)
Educational institutions: interDaF e. V. am Herder-Institut at Leipzig University, Humboldt University of Berlin
Germany is a country of ideas that is why Germany was my destination. I was selected for the DAAD Sandwich long-term fellowship. At first I studied German language at interDaF e. V. am Herder-Institut at Leipzig University. Then I joined the department of Resource Economics at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where I learnt a little bit of resource economics theories and the techniques for making a multimedia on dairying.
‘My favorite place in Berlin was Unter den Linden where the University is located’
I am currently working as a Special Project Scientist for Livestock Systems Research in the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which is one among the 16 centers of Consultative Group on Intentional Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi (Kenya) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). My location is in New Delhi and my role is to coordinate research outputs from Nepal, Bangladesh and India for two projects: Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia and Enhancing Livelihoods through Livestock knowledge systems. Apart from that I am involved in institutional engagement and partnership development.
My plan is to gain expertise in mixed-crop livestock farming systems, and agricultural development with internationally recognized experience in African region. I am highly motivated to contribute, create, learn and build on the global knowledge of livestock pastoralists, and understand their indigenous technical knowledge in sustainable conservation regions like West Africa.
I wish to generate such a knowledge that could bring impact on the ground. I also wish to use expertise by a serious engagement to bring research evidence to influence policy and contribute in change.
‘The only constant is change is my philosophy which takes me through all the ups and downs of life‘
Learning new languages and reading philosophical books is my favorite activity in spare time. When I look back on my time in Germany, I think of my friends – and easy money transfer to any part of the world, unlike in my country where the money transfer to conferences through banks is a longer process. Sometimes I missed my family, especially my parents. It is common in Germany to be in a relationship and to have kids without marriage. That was a strange concept for me.
My stay in a foreign country broadened my perspective, changed my way of thinking, gave me openness, and enhanced my confidence. Fun and freedom, well organized, open and broadminded people with cleaner cities, non-honking drivers, cheap weekend tickets, doner kebab, football mania – that is what comes to my mind when I think of Germany.
‘My advice for the future alumni: live to the fullest and make the most from your time in Germany’
Online networks such as the Alumniportal Deutschland bring about collaboration, learning opportunities, vibrant technical community, exchange of information, forming new friendships, and re-connecting with the old ones worldwide. Alumniportal Deutschland is a great initiative and helps me to keep in touch with other Germany-Alumni. I wish it continues as a lively vibrant platform as it is now.