Created in 1980, the Alliance Française of Hyderabad boasts a large community of alumni with about 2,000 students attending its French classes every year, many of whom go on to study or work in France or other French-speaking countries.
In 2020, the AFH will celebrate its 40th anniversary in a city harboring a three-century old history with France. This history is one of friendship as well as excellence in the fields of education, technology, art, culture, science, and business and the AFH is proud to be both an actor and a facilitator for these relations.
The Hyderabad-France Alumni brings together personalities who studied/taught both in AFH or/and in France, as well as those who worked in France and now reside in Hyderabad. It aims at reconnecting with each other, sharing quality time, and writing our common history.
A true opportunity to build our Francophile community.
The Hyderabad-France Alumni also aims at:
– promoting the mobility and facilitating the relation between our two countries,
– promotion of various fields of expertise resulting from the past and current exchanges in the fields of higher studies, sciences, arts and industry.
We are planning to hold two gala events in 2020: in March and in November celebrating the birth anniversary of AFH. In order to expand this forum, please spread the news about the Hyderabad France-Alumni and get on board with the concerned persons in as many fields as possible by becoming member of AFH and joining the Alumni.
Stay in touch with the Alumni network
- Join the AFH Alumni Facebook group.
Portraits of Hyderabad-France Alumni members.
AFH Students’ Journey #1 | Meena Reddy
“I lived with my family in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a city close to Paris when I was 7 to 17 years old. Thus, this is in France that I have learned French. I love France. I went back three times, and every time, I visited my house. I really like French culture and speaking French. It became my life-long passion. I started teaching French to Indian engineers who were going to France to work in a French company. Nobody could speak English in France at that time, in the 1960s. When I went back to India in the mid-1960s, I started to teach at the Centre culturel français until it closed in 1969 and at Osmania University. In 1974, I passed a certificate of French proficiency at the University of Mumbai. In 1979, I went back to France to complete a 3-month teacher traineeship in Sèvres, thanks to a University Grants Commission scholarship. Later, I got a PGTC, the Post-Graduate Teacher Certificate. Since the creation of Alliance Française of Hyderabad in 1980, I have been working here. It will be 40 years next year.
If I would describe my experience with AFH in few words, I would say that teaching French is my passion, and I continue to enjoy teaching everyday with genuine enthusiasm. It really became my life.”
AFH Teachers’ Journey #2 | Uma Sridhar
“I started learning French during my graduation and it soon became a passion. I started teaching at AFH in 1988. I was 21 and I remember most students in my classes were much older than me! I also enrolled for a Masters in French at Osmania University, followed by an M.Phil. in Translation at the English and Foreign Languages University (back then it was CIEFL), while I continued to teach French. Working at the AFH was a great experience. I was part of a creative and dynamic team of teachers, worked as translator and interpreter, organised the students’ music club, participated in cultural events, and many other things. The BCLE office at the AFH organised teacher training workshops that kept us updated on latest teaching techniques.
The first time I visited France was for a stage long at CREDIF in Paris. This was followed by five years in France with my family when my husband, a Francophone himself, got a job in Paris in 2001. It was like a dream come true: a complete immersion in French culture in our favourite city! It was a wonderful opportunity to travel and to explore French food, art and culture, and it sparked my interest in intercultural studies in which I did my PhD eventually.
I had another stint at the AFH in 2005 as Deputy-Director for four years, where I was in charge of the administration and the cultural activities as well as handling the translation bureau. This was again a very rewarding experience. I was able to meet French artists but also get acquainted with the vibrant cultural life of Hyderabad itself as we also organised programmes in collaboration with local talent. In 2008 I was selected to appear in the Indian team for the Francophone edition of the French TV programme, Questions pour un champion in Paris! Ten years ago I joined the faculty of the EFL University, where I work as teacher and researcher in the areas of French language teaching, Intercultural Studies and Translation.
Learning French has given me an exposure to a whole new world: travel opportunities, a rewarding career and friends for life.”
AFH Teachers’ Journey #3 | Madhavi Mangalara
“My association with Alliance Française of Hyderabad dates to 1994, when I started pursuing French studies at the age of 17. My first French class at AF was so inspiring that I instantaneously decided to become a French Teacher at the Alliance Française. Post Diplôme Supérieur in Literature and Civilization, I attended a rigorous one-month teacher training at the AF Madras, and achieved my dream of becoming a teacher at AF in 1998. Ever since, my journey as a Teacher, strengthened by a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching French as a foreign Language from University of Avignon and a Masters degree from EFLU, never stopped throwing at me diverse opportunities both at the AF, the Corporate world and now as an entrepreneur.
A certificate in Business Translation from the Alliance Francaise of Paris opened new horizons for me as Translator and Interpreter wherein, I had the privilege to head the Cellule de Traduction at the AF – Hyderabad, streamline its operations and ensure sustainable customer satisfaction. I am honored to be nominated as one of the top three Translators in Hyderabad in 2004 by the then Director of Alliance Francaise.
I worked as a Translator in the Corporate World (Accenture and Capgemini) and had worked on several prestigious Interpretation assignments: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-resident Indian Day) organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, India, the Metro Rail Project and Urban Mobility in India with Metropole de Bordeaux. As a freelancer interpreter, I had the opportunity to work with delegates from Ministries from Francophone Africa and World Bank to name a few. My translation experience has opened new avenues of learning and has equipped me to be a multi-domain translator with specialization in Finance, IT and Pharmaceutical Industries.
At one point, out of passion for academics, I paused my professional life to pursue higher studies in Management from a Leading Business School in France (EDHEC, Nice), which offered me the possibility to lead Finance Operations offshore for IBM France and work with key stakeholders including Senior Leadership such as CFOs.
I am still passionate about French and have not stopped learning…
For me, French was, is and will be a game-changer.”
AFH Students’ Journey #1 | Vaishnavi Korupuri
“I’ve reached Toulouse on 4th September, 2019 and it’s been great so far. I love the city. It’s very peaceful around here.
The French I’ve learned from Alliance Francaise has been very helpful to communicate with locals regarding directions and in supermarkets for prices and other basic stuff.
The biggest advantage about studying in France is exploring different culture which also leads to different style of education as well. There are no question banks and important questions here, and the lecturers in France are genuinely interested in teaching. We can see how passionate they are about their job.
I will surely recommend people to study in France. The education here isn’t just budget friendly but also worth every penny we are paying.
All I would like to say is, France is a beautiful place with a lot of student benefits as well. Everyone, either a student or not, one should explore this place.”
AFH Students’ Journey #2 | Arijit Goswami
“It was nothing less than a paradise – the countryside of Chantilly. I still vividly remember the beautiful sunny morning when I visited my company’s corporate university at Les Fontaines and the splendid castle-styled building welcomed me to an amazing journey in France.
I was a part of a delegation that was flown down to France for corporate training and for networking with the senior leadership of the organization. However, outside the rigorous training hours, I and a few friends squeezed out time to explore the mesmerizing countryside. French people are certainly some of the sweetest people on the earth and their lifestyle is amazing. What surprised me even more was their sense of discipline and respect for traffic rules, where every driver had utmost respect for pedestrians.
Even the interactions with French people in the countryside and in Paris a few days later were quite pleasant. However, I still found that knowing French language could make the interactions even more enriching. That has been one of my motivations to learn French from Alliance Francaise. I am sure that conversations in French will make my experience in France much more fulfilling the next time I visit the awesome country.”
AFH Students’ Journey #3 | Zainab Alikhan
“During summer holidays in high school, a few friends and I signed up for a beginner’s French course at the AFH.
What followed was possibly the most delightful and effective classroom learning experience I had (or have) encountered. This magic stemmed from the combination of a vibrant organisation that brought to life the broader French culture, alongside a highly talented teaching staff (rock on Uma, Soumya, Hina!), excited to infuse their passion of the language and culture into the classroom of students.
These teachers made a language full of exceptions seem entirely logical and intuitive. Overnight they converted at least one day-dreaming high school back-bencher into a bright eyed AFH front-bencher.
I went on to sign up for three more levels back to back, and these short four months paved the way for much richer future connections, adding French food, culture, friends, music and film to my life.
A huge thanks to the AFH for paving the way for this richness in my life!”
“My name is E. Nithin Kumar, currently pursuing M.Sc. in Disaster Management and Environmental Impacts at IMT Mines, Alès, since October 2019. Alès is one of the most beautiful and oldest towns in France in Occitanie region. Moreover, the cost of living is less compared to other regions in France.
I learnt French language at Alliance Francaise Hyderabad which has been really helpful. Not only the language but also they taught us French culture which really helped me in interacting with locals.
My suggestion to students who are interested in doing their higher education in France is to learn French language at Alliance Francaise. Campus France guided me with the choice of colleges in France according to my field of interest. I recommend France for higher education because it is highly budget friendly with a great international exposure.
IMT Mines Alès where I am doing Masters, is one of the best Institutes in France. We are 11 students of 6 different nations. The diversity helped me in understanding different people & their culture. The teaching method is completely different from India. Our professors are from International Red Cross, UNESCO, Total, etc.”
AFH Students’ Journey #5 | Sakshi Kakkar
“I am in Montmarte, Paris and as I walk down the meandering roads from Sacre Coeur, I see a beauty I have never seen before: a sunset and endless canvas-art tumbling down the street. Beautiful artistic renditions of Le Tour Eiffel, Musee du Louvre and La Seine painted with a free hand in vibrant, abstract, personal styles. Looking at so much art makes me feel overwhelmingly liberated through the expression it depicts. I understand the art’s sentiment, its language, its origins. And because I speak the language of the artists who must have painted this, I feel I am home, with people I know, in a country I have never lived in before!
The local grocer is my fast friend, the ticket vendor trusts me to learn more French and do well in it and almost daily, I receive appreciation to converse in French.
This is how I love to sum up my short stay in Paris, to me, the city of art.
An experience close to my heart was to have bought a refurbished Moliere play from a stall put up by the river Seine. As it now lay on my desk, I am a proud owner of a piece of the French history. I read it out loud, now and then, and try to produce the epiglottal sound of the French ‘r’ to perfect the french accent.
A big thank you to Alliance Française to help me get a formal education of the French Language. I absolutely love the teachers, culture and the vibe at AF.
Here, I am a French student forever!”
AFH Students’ Journey #6 | Raghav Prakash
AFH Students’ Journey #7 | Sai Deepak Singumahanthi
“My name is Sai Deepak Singumahanthi and I was a student at the Alliance Française of Hyderabad between 2004-2007. I was a Hotel Management student and I had taken up French as an additional skill to enhance my resume. But once I started learning the language, I fell so much in love with it that I went onto complete my Advanced Diploma (the highest level was called the Diplôme Supérieur back then).
Learning French was one of the best choices that I had made both personally and professionally. On the personal front, I had people from diverse backgrounds as classmates. This not only helped me enrich my thought process during the classroom discussions but I also made some friends for life. At the Alliance, in addition to teaching the language, due emphasis is also given to knowing the culture, history, lifestyle , economy and other factors. This really helped me to have an open mind which paid me rich dividends during my travels for work and pleasure.
On the professional front, I chose French language as a career option. I worked mainly in the Oil and Gas industry for a French seismic exploration company and got to travel to different countries and had a chance to meet people from various countries. I also participated in the Language Assistant Programme which has left me with a lot of fond memories.
Looking back, I am so glad that I took up French and I owe a lot to Alliance Française of Hyderabad and to all my wonderful teachers (Mme. Rekha, Mme. Manjula, Mme. Shanti, M. Sunil, Mme. Madhavi and Mme. Manisha). “