This February, 14 young Australians travelled to India, to participate in a two-week study tour program. The program was a collaboration between Generate Worldwide and Young Opportunities Australia, with the purpose of inspiring young Australians to travel to, and engage with India. During the tour, participants worked through a study guide that explored the themes of democracy and governance, social stratification and religion.
The tour began in New Delhi, where the group participants stayed with a local family. They visited the International LabourOrganisation, met with a development expert from BBC Media Action and toured grassroots development organisations, Kripa and Salaam Baalak Trust.
From Delhi, the group travelled by train and road to Amritsar, Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Agra. Visiting these regions offered an introduction to the cultural diversity of North India while visiting some of India’s most famous monuments. Throughout the tour, the group participated in moderated study sessions that enabled the group to critically analyse their experiences and observations. By harnessing purposeful travel in this way, the group was able to give meaning to complex development issues, rather than dismissing them as a problem or nuisance for travellers in India.
Participants were students or recent graduates from across Australia, and members of Young Opportunities Australia community. YOA Founding Director, Margaret Quixley, said, “The study tour was an opportunity for young Australians to increase their employability through international travel, gaining firsthand exposure to one of Australia’s most important regional partners, while developing critical skills required to compete in an increasingly globalised employment market.”
Young Opportunities Australia and Generate Worldwide also worked in partnership with RMIT University, awarding two full scholarships to Masters students to join the tour. One of these awardees, Megan Giles, is now writing her thesis on informed travel practices in post-colonial spaces after collecting data during her time in India.
The study tour was a remarkable opportunity for young Australians to engage with India in a way that offered them a structured learning experience that enhances their professional and personal development, and will continue as an annual collaboration between Young Opportunities Australia and Generate Worldwide.
For enquiries, please contact Erin Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0424 345 818.
The writer is Director, Generate Worldwide