Field Study In India: Travel & Housing

PAGE CONTENTS:  

INDIAN VISA  |  HOUSING  |  AIR TRAVEL  |  HEALTH  |  ITEMS TO BRING  |  COMMUNICATIONS & FINANCES


STEP 1: OBTAIN INDIAN VISA
In addition to a valid passport, the Government of India requires a valid visa, which can take some time to receive. Learn more here: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

 

STEP 2: SECURE HOUSING

SHORT TERM 

LONG TERM

  • Flat Rental with Agent: To rent a flat in Pune, you should employ a rental agent to assist you in finding options and negotiating. You will be required to sign a lease, and payment options can vary between landlords, and include monthly rent payment include cash in person, online bank transfer (if you have an Indian account), in-person bank direct deposit.
    • Leases can have a lock-in period of 10-11 months (negotiable) during which you forfeit the remainder of the monthly rent should you leave early.
    • Most agreements require an advance security deposit of 50,000 to 100,000+ Indian Rupees.
    • The lease agreement will need to be verified by police.
    • As is the case anywhere, beware of getting overcharged. Negotiate pricing you feel comfortable with, and beware of bait and switch. Try to find someone who knows a trustworthy agent and give a budget than you have.
  • Flat Rental through Landlord or Pre-established Roommate: Requires networking and planning. Facebook is a good place to start (see short term options above).
  • DY Patil Housing: The dean of DY Patil is agreeable to providing free accommodation in DY Patil’s Guest House to international students conducting work or doing a rotation there. JH medical students rotating at DY Patil have usually stayed here. The dorms are located on DY Patil campus in Pimpri Chinchewad (30-45 min from BJ/Sassoon) These arrangements must be set up in advance.

 

STEP 3: BOOK AIR TRAVEL

There are several itineraries from which to choose:

  • Fly to Delhi or Chennai, use a connecting flight to Pune (PNQ)
  • Fly to Mumbai, use ground travel to Pune:
    • From Mumbai: Taxi from Mumbai airport to Pune (2.5 – 4 hours depending on traffic, drop off at residence)
    • Cool Cabs: Specifically for transport to Pune; the kiosk is located outside the Arrivals Hall of the airport; 2400 INR for a one-way cab.
    • Simran Travels (INR 1950: Indica one-way): + 91 20 2615 3222
    • Apollo Cabs (INR 2150): +91 97 6986 4446
    • KK Travels: www.kktravels.com
    • Ask for the driver’s phone number (if you already have an Indian phone number they will send you and SMS message with this information)
  • Fly to Another Country:
    • Direct through Abu Dhabi (Etihad) or through Frankfurt (Lufthansa)
    • Qatar airways to Mumbai (one stop in Doha, short layover) or Lufthansa direct to Pune (one stop in Frankfurt). Use skyscanner.net or studentuniverse.com for cheapest booking.


STEP 4: FOCUS ON TRAVEL HEALTH

  • Obtain travel insurance
  • Consult the CDC website for the latest recommendations for travel to India: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/india
  • Make an appointment at a travel clinic to get:
    • Vaccines:
      • Hepatitis A/B
      • Typhoid
      • Tetanus
      • Influenza (Fall and Spring)
    • Malaria Prophylaxis (Larium vs Malarone vs Doxycycline)
    • Azithromycin for traveler’s diarrhea
    • Prescription Medications:  Enough to last through your stay
  • N-95 Masks: If you will be working on a TB project where you will have contact with patients, you must get fit tested for a N-95 mask, and be sure to bring several masks in your size. You can contact Hopkins Health, Safety, and Environment to schedule an appointment: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hse/respiratory_protection_program/index.html


STEP 5: WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING

Clothing Recommendations for Men: 

  • Hospital-wear: Shirts and trousers. Ties are not required.
  • Raincoat, sweatshirt/jacket for colder evenings in winter (November-January)

Clothing Recommendations for Women:

  • Hospital-wear: For short term stays, jeans/trousers and a shirt/plain t-shirt are fine for the hospital. Avoid sleeveless or clothing that is too tight. For long term stays, consider buying Indian clothes. Kurtas (long patterned cotton shirts) with jeans or leggings are usually what women wear in the hospital. Kurtas are available at shops across the city, at SGS mall, and at FabIndia, which is close to BJGMC.
  • Raincoat, sweatshirt/jacket for colder evenings in winter (November-January)
  • Fitness attire should be capri or full-length pants with looser fitting top. Sleeveless garments are not recommended.

Footwear: 

  • Closed toed shoes are not required in the hospital.
  • End of June to mid September is monsoon season; consider shoes that can last in the rain such as Crocs or Tevas for when you are not in the hospital.

Miscellaneous:

  • Site visit permission letter
  • Allergy/cold medications: heavy pollution = you’re likely to have some respiratory disease
  • GI medications: Immodium, Pepto Bismol, Tums, electrolyte replacements
  • Head lamp and/or flashlight for power outages, which are common in afternoons.
  • Ear plugs—nights and early mornings can be noisy
  • Make full-size copies of passport and visa (on single page preferably)
  • Obtain several passport size photos, which are required to get phone SIM cards and other documents locally while in India; additional passport pictures can be purchased in India as well.
  • Adapters: India uses 230 Volts, 50Hz alternating current as the power source, and has both Type C (and Type D outlets/connections (https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/map.htm). Adapters can be bought locally and cheaply at most corner stores.
  • N-95 Masks: If you are planning to work on a TB project where you will have contact with patients, you must get fit tested for a N-95 mask and make sure to bring several masks in your size. You can contact Hopkins Health, Safety, and Environment to schedule an appointment. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hse/respiratory_protection_program/index.html


STEP 6: TEE UP COMMUNICATIONS & FINANCES

  • Obtain local contact information for your on-site mentors.
  • Cell Phones and Sim Cards: Phones need to be GSM capable (GSM 900/1800 MHz, 3g 2100 mhz) and network unlocked
  • Contact your carrier about unlocking and international use, or use google to find pay website for unlocking phone (~$20-30), or consider buying a cheap unlocked phone if you cannot unlock yours
  • Notify credit card and banking card companies of travel plans. International credit cards are not accepted by online businesses or by many local stores. ATMs and money changers are best for acquiring local currency at good exchange rates, but check with your bank to see how much your bank and foreign bank charge for transaction fees.

 

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