As the board exams and entrance exam results are released, there is only one thing every ex-12th grader is thinking about: “Which college should I join?” If you’re wondering whether Manipal should be on your list of colleges to consider, this article will hopefully answer the questions that are probably on your mind right now.
“What branches are offered here for engineering?”
MIT offers a ton a branches, from Computer Science and IT to Biotechnology, whose allotment largely depends on your MU-OET score and the subsequent rank. You can have a look at a list of all the branches available, along with their course outlines here.
“Is the syllabus set here really very tough? I’ve studied in the CBSE board all my life and the whole idea of a private university-issued syllabus sounds scary.”
Don’t worry! The syllabus of the first year of your engineering is pretty much like a more specialized version of your 12th standard syllabus. Also, the syllabus is set in a CBSE-competent theme so you’ll have no problem getting used to it.
“My rank is over one thousand. Can I still apply for any other scholarship(s)”?
Sure. There are a few other scholarship schemes associated with MU other than the merit-cum-means scholarships, like the AICTE and a few others that are branch or person specific which you can find put by visiting the university website, or by asking the officials associated with that branch of study in the college.
“What if I want to study/do part of my studying abroad?”
ICAS is a twinning program that allows you to spend two years in Manipal and two years in partner universities all over the globe. On completion, you will receive a degree from the foreign university.
There are also organizations in the college (AIESEC and IAESTE) that help you obtain internships abroad.
“Do we get any choice in what we study or are we stuck to a fixed curriculum?”
Over the four years you can take two open electives and six program electives. Open electives (which are offered in the fourth semester and the sixth semester) are courses that you choose outside your department. You can study a course from any one of the other engineering streams, the humanities department or the science and math departments. The sixth semester open elective can also be at a different college under the university. You can see the list of open electives offered last year here and here. The program electives are courses that you choose from within your own department. They allow you to focus on areas of your branch that interest you more. You can also obtain a minor specialization by choosing four courses in the same field.
MIT is also in the process of introducing the option of having majors and minors, just like most international curricula have. For those who have not heard of this, it means that you can major in a particular department (for example. mechanical engineering) and also have a minor in a different department (like political science, or history). This is going to be a really amazing change, as it will help us to achieve a more multidisciplinary approach to our education and a more diverse outlook towards our own careers.
“I’ve registered for an engineering course at MIT, Manipal and I’ve never really been to south India before. I’ve heard that it gets really hot there. How is the weather in Manipal throughout the year”?
Since the college is located in proximity to the Western Ghats, you will experience some extreme monsoons in the odd semesters. The temperature here ranges from 26-40 degree Celsius. The previous year, alas, experienced a delayed and scarce monsoon, which also led to a slight water shortage problem in the local areas nearby. The even semesters however, will be a little windy and mostly humid, and if tolerating heat is not your forte, it is recommended you take an AC hostel room as it can get moderately challenging. In comparison to other parts of the state, Manipal is still less hot and sticky. With many scenic spots and pretty beaches close by, you will find more reasons to spend your bright evenings here making some memorable moments with your new friends.
“I’m from Mumbai/Chennai/Bangalore/Delhi/Hyderabad/Kolkata and I’m used to having all the amenities a big city offers. I’ve heard Manipal is a small town. Does that mean giving up easy access to all the shopping and restaurants I’m used to? If I leave something important at home, will I have trouble finding it in Manipal?”
Not at all! Manipal is a small town, true, but it is a campus town. This means that most of the town’s facilities are designed to cater to students. It has KFC, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Café Coffee Day and a ton of other restaurants that have excellent food. Some of them have been reviewed by us. It has an INOX which features most of the major English and Hindi movies along with the local Kannada ones. There are departmental stores that stock almost anything you might possibly need, clothing stores (such as Reliance Trends and Fab India), bookstores and gift stores (like Hallmark). There are lots of salons (including L’Oreal) and gaming places too.
The best part is that because it’s a small town, all these places are never more than ten minutes away. Even if there’s something that Manipal can’t provide, most online sellers (Flipkart, Amazon, Jabong, etc) deliver quickly to Manipal. The much larger town of Udupi is merely a five minute bus ride away and has plenty more stores, including a Big Bazaar. If a mall is what you’re looking for, Mangalore is only around 90 minutes away by bus and has two decently sized malls to fulfill your shopping needs.
“I don’t like spending too much time indoors and I usually go out a lot with my friends while at home. Will staying in a hostel mean that I will be restricted from going outside?”
Manipal is a very safe town and the hostel curfew reflects it. In the MIT hostels which also house SoC, Architecture, and DoC students, first years have to return by 9:30 pm. The senior girls and boys have a curfew of 11 pm. As long as you return to the hostel before the curfew, you can come and go from the hostel as you wish. You have plenty of freedom to go around in Manipal and to take day trips to nearby places.
“What is the general mind-set of the students in the college? I want to know if I’ll be able to connect with my peers.”
While it’s not good to generalize too much or stereotype, it’s safe to say that students in Manipal are open minded and laid back. This is not a campus where you will find political or religious divides. You’re more likely to hear an argument about Apple vs Android (with background commentary from a pedant who insists that it’s iOS vs Android, since Apple is a company and Android is an operating system) than a debate about BJP vs Congress. Whatever your beliefs, people are most likely to be accepting of them, without much air of judgement.
“I have to admit that I like the luxuries of home. I’ve heard horror stories about living in hostels and eating in college messes. What are the facilities like in Manipal?
Moving to a hostel for the first time is always difficult. The homesickness, learning to adjust with a new roommate and the responsibility of living on your own are all difficulties that need to be overcome. However, in Manipal, the hostel rooms are well-maintained, spacious and comfortable. You can check out the list of hostels available for freshers here and here. The mess food is of a decent quality (better than what most college messes offer) though it does get monotonous after some time.
“I’ve never lived on my own before and I’m scared to move so far away from home. How will I manage without the support system of my family and friends?”
The entire faculty in Manipal is rather friendly and approachable, and as you get accustomed to the hostel life and make new friends, you’ll soon find yourself belonging to a home away from home. Every semester, you will also be assigned a teacher guardian whom you can approach for any issues you may face while in college. There are also a number of student counselors available in campus around the week to help you through whatever problems you may feel burdened with.
Projects and other College activities
“I’ve been doing a lot of extra-curricular activities in school. Will I be able to continue these in Manipal?”
MIT has a plethora of student clubs to help you continue with your hobbies. Whether your interest lies in drama, fashion, sports, quizzing, astronomy or photography, you’ll find a club in Manipal that caters to you. There are also clubs that perform social service and technical clubs for every branch. Most of the clubs conduct regular activities and send students to participate in various college fests around the country. You can find a comprehensive list of all our technical and non-technical clubs here and here.
“I’ve heard tons about how amazing college fests can get in engineering colleges, from my siblings. How are the scenes in Manipal during fests?”
You’ve heard that right! MIT has two annual fests: Tech Tatva and Revels which are the technical and cultural fests of the college, held in the odd and even semesters respectively. In addition to these, there is Utsav, the university fest held in the even semester. You can not only participate but also organize and plan the fest. First years can be ‘volunteers’ for both fests and get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. Most of the other colleges have their own fests that you can visit too. KMC, for instance, has Vibes and Verve, while WGSHA, the hotel management college, holds several food festivals around the year.
The cultural fests usually end in a bang with renowned musicians and performers performing on the last day of the fest. We had Farhan Akhtar performing live at MIT in Revels ‘15. Revels ’16 saw not just one but six different visitors including The Local Train, Sorabh Pant and Nucleya. The ProShow lineup for last Revels included artists like Sahil Shah, Lagori, Anish Sood and Benny Dayal. These festivals are a great time to bond and make new friends, with excitingly challenging events and competitions that keep you on your toes, and is a great opportunity to flaunt your talents and polish your capabilities. Grab a glimpse of how performances at MIT can be:
“I heard that some students from IIT Mumbai launched a satellite. Does a private college like Manipal give opportunities like that?”
Yes, most definitely. From Parikshit, MIT’s very own student satellite team to Formula Manipal, you can choose from a variety of student teams that are currently using resources they have at their disposal to build and work on new prototypes. Information on some of Manipal’s serious technical teams is provided here.
“I’ve read all about the students groups like formula one and Solar Mobil at MIT that are achieving great new levels that are associated to MIT and I’ve always aspired to do something of that sort on my own. Will my ideas also get a platform of that sort”?
Why not? The university has great schemes that help upcoming student start-ups in their ventures. The Innovation Centre at MIT, Manipal also caters to the students’ curiosities by providing opportunities to work on projects sponsored by world renowned companies at the state-of-the-art labs of the college. MUTBI, Manipal’s business incubator organization, facilitates entrepreneurial skills by offering funds, advice and legal aid. You can read more about them here. If your ideas are good enough to make the cut, your business plans will also take flight with a nurturing environment that has helped many before.
“I hear there’s a new director at MIT now. Has he made a lot of changes?”
We’ll let you in on a secret. Our new director is kind of really cool. He’s one of the most open-minded people you could possibly find in Manipal. Let’s say you have the idea for a cool new start-up, or perhaps a new college club? You can approach him directly, and rest assured that your work will be done. He is immensely understanding and loves to interact with us students, find out our grievances, and tries to come up with innovative ways of improving quality life at campus. In short, we’re really lucky to have him.
You can find out more about his plans for our college in the interview.
Last, but not the least, Manipal is an absolutely beautiful place to live in. From waterfalls and rivers to beaches and hidden coves, we’ve all fallen in love with the natural beauty present here. And so will you, once you choose to come here.
– Shriya Atmakuri, Debrup Dutta, Shantheri Kamath and Tejal Khullar for MTTN