Working & Living in Pune



 



 



US Embassy & Consulate:




C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex



Bandra East, Mumbai 400051



Phone: (91-22) 2672-4000



 



 




 



Travel Documents: In addition to a valid passport and an Indian visa, prior to departure, visitors to BJGMC must obtain:



  • Permission letter signed by JHU faculty and BJGMC Dean

  • BJGMC facility ID badge

 



Air Travel


  • Fly to Pune (PNQ) through Mumbai/Delhi/Chennai

  • Fly to Mumbai; taxi from Mumbai airport to Pune (2.5-4 hours depending on traffic)


    • 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 driver’s phone number (if you have an Indian phone number they will send you an SMS message with this information)

  • Fly to Pune through another country:


    • Direct from Abu Dhabi (Etihad), or Frankfurt (Lufthansa)

    • Qatar Airways to Mumbai (one stop in Doha, short layover)


 



Housing: Short-term



  • Deep Griha: An NGO based in Pune that has a guest house for their volunteers from other countries. In the past they have housed some of our visiting students and researchers. This is currently an informal relationship

  • AirBnB: A nice option for short-term stays (1-4 weeks). Recommended to identify flats in Kalyani Nagar or Koregaon Park areas. 

  • Facebook Groups (best to post needs ahead of time):


  • Hotels


    • Hotel Sagar Plaza

    • Courtyard by Marriott Pune City Centre

           

Housing: Long-term


  • Flat Rental with an Agent: If you wish to rent a flat in Pune, you will need to employ a rental agent who can help identify options; negotiations are conducted with the agent. You will be required to sign a lease. Options for monthly rent payment include cash in person, online bank transfer (if you have an Indian account), in-person bank direct deposit, or providing post-dated checks for the duration of the lease agreement. Leases often have a lock-in period of 10-11 months (negotiable), and should you leave early, you are responsible for the remainder of the rent due. Additionally, most agreements require advance deposit of 50,000 to 100,000+ Indian rupees. The lease agreement and a tenant agreement must be verified by police. Beware of agents who overcharge, show overpriced flats, and take advantage of foreigners. Try to find someone who knows a trustworthy agent, and always communicate to an agent a budget lower than what you are prepared to spend.

  • Flat Rental through a Landlord or Pre-established Roommate: Going this route requires networking and planning. Facebook is a good place to start (see short term options above).

  • DY Patil Housing: DY Patil maintains a guest house and the dean is amenable to providing free accommodation to international students. Hopkins medical students rotating at DY Patil usually stay there. Advance formal request is required, and visitors should plan to devote time working or doing a rotation there. The dorms are located on DY Patil campus in Pimpri Chinchewad (30-45 min from BJGMC/Sassoon)

 



Attire: Less formal than in US hospitals.


  • Men: Half-sleeved shirts and trousers/jeans. Jackets and neckties not common.

  • Women: Jeans/pants and a shirt/plain t-shirt are fine for short-term stays. Avoid sleeveless garments and form fitting clothing. For longer-term stays, consider buying kurtis (long patterned cotton shirts), worn over jeans or leggings.

  • Shoes: Closed-toe shoes are not required in the hospital. End of June to mid-September is monsoon season, so water-resilient shoes, such as Crocs or Tevas, are recommended during this time. The streets of Pune are not forgiving; sneakers are recommended, and formal shoes are rarely needed.

 



Also Pack:


  • Raincoat, sweatshirt/jacket for colder evenings in winter (November-January)

  • Head lamp and/or flashlight for power outages, which are common in the afternoon

  • Ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper (Pune is noisy at night and in the early morning)

  • Full-size copies of passport and visa (on single page preferably), several Passport size photos (these are required to get local phone SIM cards and other documents; additional passport pictures can be purchased in India as well)

 



Health (Vaccines, etc)


  • Visit a travel clinic; plan to bring malaria prophylaxis (Larium vs. Malarone), and Azithromycin or quinolone for traveler’s diarrhea.


    • Vaccinations:


      • Hepatitis A/B

      • Typhoid

      • Tetanus

      • Influenza (Fall and Spring)

      • Enough prescription medication

      • Allergy/cold medications

    • GI medications such as Immodium, Pepto Bismol, Tums, electrolyte replacements

    • Consult the CDC travel website

 



Banking and Insurance


  • Get travel insurance

  • Notify credit card and banking card institutions about your travel. International credit cards are not accepted by online businesses or by many local stores. ATMs and money changers are easy way to acquire local currency at good exchange rates, but check with your bank to see how much it and foreign banks charge for transactions.

 



Technology


  • Adapters: India uses 230 Volts, 50Hz alternating current as the power source, and has both Type C (and Type D outlets/connections (http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/map.htm)

  • Make sure phones are GSM capable (GSM 900/1800 MHz, 3g 2100 mhz) and network unlocked

  • Contact cell carrier about unlocking and international use; or use google to find a pay website for unlocking phone (~$20-30); or buy cheap flip phone on arrival ~$50

  • Vodafone prepaid - requires the least paperwork 



 



 




 



Required Government Documents



  • C-form (http://boi.gov.in/content/form-c); easily acquired from any hotel stay

  • FRRO Registration of Visa if your stay is longer than 6 months. Required to open bank accounts, post-paid phone plans, and almost always asked for when leaving the country after 6 months consecutive stay. There is a large fine and delayed travel if not registered. Not required for stays of less than 6 months (even if the visa is longer)

 



Internet 



  • BJMC has limited internet. Pathology museum has wifi, but it's slow and often unreliable 

  • Cell phone with 3g – Vodafone prepaid gives 3gb @ INR 650. Can tether/hotspot to laptop 

  • 3g USB dongles – purchase dongle, sim, and pay for gb (Vodafone again) 

  • Starbucks – has free wifi. You need an Indian cell number to receive the code

  • Landline broadband is an option if you are renting a flat

 



Ground Transportation



  • Rickshaws: Ask for “meter” when first approaching. Many will ask for set price; always negotiate lower. It is common for rickshaw operators to request an additional INR 20 (+/-) if the timing is inconvenient, if they have to travel far, or just because they know you are a foreigner. INR 40-80 is reasonable for ride from Sassoon to Koregaon park. Tipping is not  required.

  • Trains: Cheap option for travel to Mumbai or other cities. Pune station is next to the hospital. Easiest to purchase tickets in person at the station.

  • Buses: Tickets can be purchased online through Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation's Public Online Reservation System or by visiting travel agent shop. Reserve seat on an “A/C” bus if possible, since they are newer and nicer. Beware that 1x2 sleeper buses sell 2 tickets for one bed on the double side. Bring a sweatshirt and sleeping pills

  • Taxis:


    • Uber Mobile App

    • Wings Radio Cab: Online booking available, but best to make reservation by phone: +91 20 40100100. Timing often unreliable.

    • Ola Cab: Mobile app and/or call (language barrier may be issue): +91 20 3355 3355

    • Simran Travels, Apollo cab, KK travels for long distance (See above, under Flight information)

 



Dining Options Vetted by Previous Travelers



  • Indian: Vaishali, FC road; Copper Chimney, Koregaon Park; The Place, Camp; Dravida’s Bistro, Boat Club Road; Coffee House and/or Rama Krishna, Camp near SGS mall; Kalyani Veg: Opposite Gold Adlabs in Kalyani Nagar.

  • Italian: La Pizzeria, Koregaon Park; Dario’s, Koregaon Park. Both expensive.

  • Western/Continental: Mahlzeit, Koregaon Park Lane; Sigree Global Grill, Boat Club Road; Stone Water Grill, Koregaon Park; Cape Town Bistro, Koregaon Park Lane; Arthur’s Theme, Koregaon Park Lane

 



Banking Requirements 



C-form, a verified lease agreement, visa/passport, FRRO visa registration; INR 10k-20k minimum balance that can be refunded at closing



 



Personal Safety



India can be dangerous, and foreign women, in particular, attract attention. Women should wear appropriate attire, and avoid traveling alone. For all visitors, it is safest to travel in pairs/groups, particularly at night and when traveling out of town. Unwelcome remarks should be ignored. Never go to someone’s house/apartment/room alone. Avoid isolated areas. Be wary of accepting drinks from strangers. Take a taxi if it’s late and you’re alone, even if it costs more money.



 



Medical Emergency



For illness or injury, report to Ruby Hall Clinic (also has inpatient hospital, familiar with foreigners): 2 locations, in Camp area (across from Marriott) and in Wanowrie (closer to NGO). Rickshaw drivers know the Ruby Hall in Camp.



 



Fitness



Gyms are available in most neighborhoods at a monthly rate, as well as in hotels. Women must wear appropriate gym clothing: capri or full-length pants with loose fitting tops. No sleeveless garments. Most facilities will not let you wear street shoes into the gym—carry them in. Most gyms have lockers but you must bring your own lock.



 



Pune Neighborhoods



  • Camp: Sassoon/BJMC, Railway and bus stations, MG road shopping, markets, SGS mall 

  • Old/Central Pune: “Peths”, Laxmi road, temples, cheapest markets 

  • Boat Club Road/Dhole Patil Road/Bund Garden: Between Camp and Koregaon Park. Residential, restaurants, Wadia college 

  • Koregaon Park: Considered most foreigner friendly. Restaurants, bars, residential. 

  • Kalyani Nagar: Also foreigner friendly. Residential, close to big malls. 

  • Viman Nagar: Close to airport. Phoenix Mall, Inorbit Mall. Has some nice residential. 

  • Deccan Gymkana/FC road: Fergusson College, Pune University, restaurants, shopping, residential. 

  • Shivaji Nagar/SB road: Residential

 



Festivals



  • Ganesh festival: 10 days between September-October in the ‘old city’ (ask an autodriver to take you to the Mandai or Laxmi road area). Women unfamiliar with the area should go with a group of men if visiting during the evening. Evenings get crowded, even by Indian standards.

  • Diwali: Late October/Early-mid November

 



Activities and Sightseeing



  • Aga Khan Palace, Kalyani Nagar 

  • Hiking/trekking: Forts and Mountains 1-4 hours from Pune. Kalsubai Mountain, Rajgad Fort, Torna Fort. Call Simran travels to book a cab that will drive you out and wait for you to return (INR 2650 for sedan)

 




  • Meet with Indian PI/contact

  • Formally present what you have accomplished during your stay 

  • Review remaining work to be done on site after you leave, and identify the personnel who have agreed to complete the work 

  • Schedule regular Skype meetings on the status of your study for when you are back in the US

 




  • Tuberculin Skin Test (TST): Many universities request that you be tested for TB exposure upon return from India. An alternate is the interferon gamma release assay (blood test). 

  • Communicate regularly with your JHU faculty mentor and the India Research Team, particularly if your project results in an abstract or manuscript. You must keep the team in India informed of status and actively seek their input and feedback.

  • Check in with CCGHE to update this page and to provide feedback on additional info we can offer to help travelers enjoy their stay in Pune