Foreign Education

I am from India. After my graduation, I earnestly desired to go to foreign shores to receive an empowering education.
I always wanted to work in hotel industry. From my research I found out that Switzerland is known for hotel schools worldwide.
I filled some forms online in the hotel college websites that impressed me. Then I got a call from an agent of an institute calling
himself the counselor. On meeting him, he gave me a presentation of a private institute which was more than 40 ears old, deemed like university, world famous for its programs and alumni. It was all really impressive. All the people were giving big smiles and dressed up so well. Then my counselor proudly said "They find you an internship also and placements are very very easy globally", also in the kitchen they will teach you french food preparation. It all sounded like the Le cream de le cream. I said I don't know french and I am a vegetarian. The counselor assured me of English majority and great veggie food. Now the fee part was around 30,000 dollars (state-of the-art boarding plus lodging) which was very difficult for a run-of-the-mill guy like me. I started convincing my parents who finally agreed thinking its the ultimate investment for the career of our child. We took a loan on our house on which we live so as to finance my dream education. I was so upbeat when I went, I told all my family and friends I would be working abroad soon and the future is really bright for me. I was so excited and happy.

When I went to the course, I found the accommodation second class to a particular section of the people like Indians. Europeans and Americans had better accommodation in all ways. They were heard with more attention and given greater importance. The food for vegetarians was very limited and sometimes even yesterday's same food, and particularly on the weekends it was a big problem. But I concentrated on the course and topped it, got the best marks and received letter of appreciation right from the dean. But I took all this in my stride. In the kitchen - Craft based learning, they just gave us a formal walk-through of the practicals, like a guided tour for the whole semester. The chefs would prepare food for all and asked to cut salads or get the celery rosemary n thyme. It was very very obligatory, a complete formality.

In the second term, this reputable institute's city campus had closed and put us in under-graduate campus in a different city. We went there only to realize we are put into a dingy hotel room, a lot of Asians like me with completely new environs. Towards the second term, I met the placement officer who was an out and out yokelish and bounderish. She said on my face, we find it very inconvenient to place Indians. They don't dress too well and dont appear so good. I said whats wrong with us lot? and she didn't care to reply. She was showing great resistance in meeting us Indians, wouldnt give appointments, would be really snappy prejudiced and disdainful of us. She was a lady with clearly racist undercurrents who was quite open about it. I realized by the end of semester that she would not place me, a very bitter pill for me to swallow. I only had one thing in my mind - loan repayment.

Eventually I had no option but to return to India. I got a seat reserved just next day after my exam ended, avoiding the graduation ceremony and getting more worried about the my placement and future. I sent to an email to the a lady whose post was that of a 'students manager' (whose job was to assist students) informing my decision of leaving early. Pat came the reply that I would have to pay a fine of a particular sum if I leave early as early checkout fine (something less than 100 francs). I was so conscious with money that I never even bought a meal from outside the hostel, I never traveled anywhere while my friends were going places, I... I didn't buy a chocolate also thinking they are expensive and useless for me throughout my stay, I thought I should save every penny that I can and repay the loan. I confronted her but she ignored me like nobody's business. In fact she was very rude to me, she asked my name and exclaimed on hearing it "What? what was that!" and just shrugged me off like some s***

I just complained to a senior staff that nobody on earth charges money for checking out early, even in hotels there is a fee for late checkout so why me. The senior staff listen to me with patience and said she will look into the matter and I should meet the student manager next day. Up I went next day, only to see the student manager Sarah in her red funk, saying nothing again when meeting me. So I said can I leave early now? Not getting a reply again I left wondering the lady is mad. I however felt some reprieve.

Just after my last exam Sarah suddenly barged into my room in the hotel along with her boss after just a knock, some old bloke  partially crippled. I was sitting with my friends, they ordered all the friend to leave at once. They were very angry. Then they started accusing me of stealing some laptops from the dining hall.
I said why me, so they said "our strategically placed cameras saw you in the dining hall where the bags are kept", they went on "
either we call the police or we ransack your room", while the old bloke was uttering this in his raw voice, Sarah  was smiling
on his back and waving fingers on me, as if she was extremely satisfied now. I let them check everything and when they reached
the door they just brushed off saying "nothing found, sorry for that!..." I didnt have the courage to pursue the matter further. By next morning all my friends knew what happened. The housekeeper of the hotel came to me asking what the hell did I do...

I could never imagine even in Switzerland 's ostensibly best hotel school with such a big history and alumni base, such an incident could happen. I almost sank into depression after that, cried my way back to my country, and faced my parents like a loser.
On searching for jobs here I realize the 5 stars pay somewhat like 5000 dollars a year net in terms of annual salary with no lodging facility. I thought I have been completely duped and above that framed, humiliated and insulted so badly. I will never forget those eyes how suddenly and badly those people accused me of stealing things. I almost got on my knees and said I swear on my mother I have not stolen anything. They wanted to shock me, to put me on my knees, to plead to them. It was all pre-planned, to teach me a lesson I will never forget for the rest of my life and they were a roaring success. This all has disturbed me tremendously. I cant sleep anymore. Honestly this episode has done wonders for my mental health.
The problem is the more  I try to get this out of my system the more it sticks there and comes back with a bang.
Just have to take a pill for which also I have to ask for money to buy it.

While they were accusing me my fear arouse at that time that, the student manager has the keys to all rooms, so, she might have just placed a laptop somewhere and I will be behind the bars now. At least that didnt happen. The aftermath was that I lost my time, my money, my self respect and dignity and got a big loan on my head and lost the respect in my parents eyes. Plus lost the motivation and the desire to do anything. Got depressed, couldnt work for 1 year, was on medication, saw psychiatrists. And the worse part is its been more than a while and I cant stop thinking about it. The very thought of them comes to me all the time. I suddenly wake up in nights thinking what they did to me. It was all destined to happen to me. May be I just deserved it. I was born to face this.

This is a true story to the tip. I don't want any sympathies but life has been very unfair. I went all the way to make a career,
and I got back like a complete loser loosing even the little self confidence I went with. I started cursing them in my mind,
but then I thought I would go mad doing it and hence I have stopped cursing them and now I bless them. Destiny wanted
to make it happen to me and the devil like that student manager got the better of me, they got satisfied. My psychiatrist
told me there are sadists for real, they do exist. This must be the only joy in their lives. No point disclosing the name of the college really. I dont want to be another mess. This is the short and tall of it.

I just want to forget about it somehow but I cant - 24/7. I wish there was pill to forget such bad experiences. At least you can die in peace then whenever you shall. Otherwise these things keep on haunting you. Poor me!
rajsinghmail rajsinghmail
1 Response Jul 11, 2010

What was the name of the university