It may be the educational standard or the expense of attending a foreign institute. Whatever the reason may be a lot of NRI students choose to do college in India every year. Reputed institutes like NITs have admissions via exams like SAT for non-resident students. These exams are more straightforward compared to highly competitive exams like JEE but usually demand higher donations. Indian Education is one of the best you can get. Some parents also prefer Indian colleges so that their son or daughter may, for once experience the Indian lifestyle and culture.
If you are planning on moving to India for graduate studies, especially if this is your first time in India, here are a few things you should keep in mind, these are:
1. Culture and Language:
India, with a population of over 1.35 billion, covering 29 states, 7 territories, speaking 23 different languages, unsurprisingly is home to a very diverse culture. You are most likely to share your room with someone from an entirely different background. Having a decent knowledge of Hindi might come handy as the majority of Indians speak or at least understand the language. Feel free to strike up a conversation and make acquaintance. Be sure to talk politely and be careful not to hurt anyone’s cultural sentiment.
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The best decision would be to enquire with your college about the hostel facilities they provide. If the accommodation provided is not satisfactory, the next best choice would be finding a family-run stay where you could be a paying-guest. Make sure that the place of your choice has a stable electricity connection and an uninterrupted water supply. The location should preferably be close to your college, the city, a hospital, and also check for any network issues.
3. Road Traffic:
Road traffic in India is quite rough and unpredictable. Careless drivers and busy roads often lead to accidents. Be extremely vigilant while crossing paths. If you are planning on taking public transportation, keep in mind that you may not get a seat as buses usually carry more people than there are seats. The same with trains and could be unhygienic and ill-kept. Though not recommended, if you are planning on driving, you’ll soon realize that government rules don’t matter and lane discipline is practically non-existent.
Indian food may look all exotic and delicious, especially street food. If you have a sensitive stomach, please stay away from them, at least initially. It is best if you stick on to your mess food or try to find some home-cooked meals. Also, it is imperative to keep a note of the ingredients that you may be allergic to and avoid them at any cost.
5. Money Management:
This is perhaps something significant to master. Since you are away from home and will be responsible for handling money matters up to an extent, you should keep it in check at all times. Keep a note of your expenses. If you give the slightest hint that you are not a resident, everyone from rickshaw drivers to shop owners may take advantage of your ignorance. Make it a practice to confirm the balance you receive after each purchase, also learn the fares for rickshaws, so they don’t charge you more. At college, don’t fall prey to others who may loot you for different things just because you are an NRI and is ought to have a lot of money.
6. What to carry?
The climate in India varies drastically across states; therefore clothes to carry much depend on what part of India you wish to stay in. Wherever it may be, keep in mind to choose modest clothing so that you respect the Indian culture. Make sure you bring with you all documents you may need for academic purposes and identification. Carry any medicines you may require as it could be unavailable in your locality. If you are carrying any sort of electronic gadgets, make sure that they are compatible for use in India. For example, smartphones bought from the US may not work with Indian sims as they may be locked. Another common issue is the difference in Power Voltage.
The country you hail from may be using a different voltage system, and therefore using devices built for those specifications in India may damage your device. To resolve this issue, you may consider a step-up/step-down voltage converter. Investing in a voltage stabilizer might also be useful since voltage variations are not uncommon in many parts of the country.
Indians are kind-hearted and helpful. Though you might take a while to adjust to the new circumstances, there is nothing to be worried about. After all, this is your homeland, and you are always welcome.