In less than 48 hours my plane will land in Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi… and that is insane!
Other than the fact that a flying piece of metal will take me to another corner of the earth in less than 8 hours, the idea of me living in India for an entire year is pretty mind-blowing. I’ve heard many things about what to expect in India but I’m sure it will be nothing compared to what I actually see once I step my foot on the land of Maharajas. 🙂
“And what about the preparation?”, you ask? Yep, you do need to prepare a few things in advance.
Pretty much everyone needs a visa to enter India. And because there’s no Indian Embassy in Lithuania, you will have to use the BLS International Visa Services. It’s almost impossible to get the Employment type visa; good thing there’s an AIESEC Internship visa, but even then you must provide 8 different documents, including:
- Application form, filled in online and printed out
- Copy of return ticket or reservation (one-way worked worked fine for me)
- Letter of internship offer from AIESEC Lithuania (saying you’re an official Exchange Participant)
- Student acceptance note (stating that you accept the AIESEC traineeship)
- Organisation acceptance letter (stating that the company accepts you as an AIESEC trainee)
- An official letter of invitation from Indian company or organisation
- Copy of the certificate of in-corporation of Indian company or organisation
- Letter from AIESEC India with the information about the internship (I provided the job description of my traineeship)
You take all of these documents, your passport and a 5x5cm passport photo, and hope that you will get your visa approved. And you must do it at least 30 days in advance before you leave the country – fun times, right? Although if you’re going to India only as a tourist, you will get away with fewer documents. 🙂
Give at least 30 days for that as well because very often you’ll need a vaccine booster 4 weeks after the first one. I have some friends who went to India without getting any vaccines but even they admit it was a a crazy move.. 😀 Anyway, you should take it seriously to avoid any problems in the future, especially if you’ll be staying in India for a longer period of time (as I will). I’d say, you should at least take these vaccines:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B (OR you can get the Twinrix vaccine for BOTH Hep A and Hep B)
- Yellow Fever
- Tetanus; poliomyelitis; diphtheria; MMR;… – most of which you got as a child/teenager
There are no vaccines against malaria and it all depends on where you’re travelling to. Some say it’s better to buy the anti-malarian drugs once you’re in India as the local doctors will know better about the most effective ones. In any case, don’t forget to bring some anti-mosquito repellent with you!
You can either buy it at home or get in India. I will have insurance for three months and will get the full insurance for the rest of my journey once I’m in India – that’s a recommendation I got from a friend. 🙂
Do take some medicine with you and don’t forget the prescriptions. It’s better to have some drugs that are proven to work on you than experiment with some new ones, I guess.
Black bread, meat sausages a.k.a. skilandis (I hope it won’t get confiscated, hah!), some chocolates, a few bottles of Green Nines and mead, Lithuanian flag bracelets, magnets and key-holders, belts with traditional Lithuanian ornaments… – that’s some of the things I could come up with. Rule of thumb, having some extra souvenirs to give away is always a benefit. 🙂
Always bring additional copies of your passport. You will also need a lot of passport photos for anything you do in India (such as getting a phone card), so bring some extra photos with you. Some also say you should bring a few things from home which would help you feel good once the culture shock begins, while others say it doesn’t work at all. 😀 I will have some family photos and sugar cubes with me, just in case.
If you still don’t know what to pack, here’s a very thorough article for you: Packing Things for Studying Abroad.
Aaaand, that’s pretty much it!
Did I forget or would you add anything to the list? 🙂 If yes, let me know in the comments below!
Next time you hear from me, it will be from crazy India.. 😉