"India Program Handbook"
Brown-in-India Program Handbook 2009-2010 Table of Contents Introduction …………………………………………………2 India …………………………………………………3 Your Advisors in India …………………………………………………5 Pre-Departure Information …………………………………………………6 -Getting a Student Visa -What to pack? -Health information -Medicines -Insurance -Weather -Recommended reading -Pre-departure check list The Program …………………………………………………12 -Program calendar -Landour Language School -Program costs -Refund policy -Dismissal policy -Other costs and expenses Arriving in Delhi …………………………………………………18 -Let the OIP know -Contact the US Embassy Housing …………………………………………………19 -St Stephen’s apartment -Lady Shri Ram apartment College Life …………………………………………………22 -Academics -Starting out -In and around college Around Delhi …………………………………………………28 -Cultural resources -Shopping and eating-out -Places and festivals you should not miss -Transport -Communication -Safety -Money and banking Traveling Around India …………………………………………………34 A Final Note …………………………………………………35 -1- Introduction This handbook is designed to assist you with the process of preparing for your journey to India and participation in the Brown-in-India program. It will serve to answer questions about what to expect. An India guide book, on the other hand, will offer you more specific information about the country itself. The “Lonely Planet” guide is geared towards students traveling on a budget as are “The Rough Guide” and “Fodors”. We at OIP would like to emphasize that programs in developing nations require enormous flexibility, openness to change, and a willingness to expect the unexpected. We emphasize this because past Brown-in-India students have read these same words, and have reiterated upon their return that these aspects were important to a successful stay in India. Students who opt for this program must understand that this is not “Brown University transplanted to India,” it is Brown at St. Stephen’s College or Brown at Lady Shri Ram. The academic experience differs distinctly from the Brown or another American university experience. As you read this handbook, we urge you to ask yourself, “Is this something I want to attempt?” “Can I accept the opportunity to develop an awareness of a different culture?” An intercultural experience is an emotionally intense and profoundly challenging experience for the participant. If you have any questions or concerns about anything now or while you're away, please contact our office immediately at the numbers/e-mail below. We accept collect calls from students abroad so don’t hesitate because of cost. If it’s an emergency and not during normal business hours at Brown you can call Police & Security at (401) 863-3322. They can reach one of us at all times – ask them to contact the staff of International Programs at home following their emergency procedure directions from our office. Brown University Office of International Programs Box 1973 Providence, RI 02912 tel 401-863-3555 fax 401-863-3311 email OIP_Office@brown.edu Enjoy India! -2- India India is one of the few countries in the world today where the social and religious structures that define national identity have remained intact for at least 4000 years. This despite invasions, famines, religious persecutions, political upheavals and many other cataclysms. To describe modern India as a land of contrasts would be to state the obvious. There are many countries which would qualify for such a description in terms of ethnic, linguistic, religious and geographical variants, but few can match the vast scale and diversity to be found in India. Change is inevitably taking place as modern technology reaches further and further into the fabric of society, yet essentially village India remains much the same as it has for thousands of years. So resilient are its social and religious institutions that they have absorbed or repelled all attempts to radically change or destroy them. Even in fast paced modern cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, what appears to be a complete change of attitude and life style is only surface gloss. Underneath it all, the age old verities, loyalties and obligations still rule people's lives. There is possibly no other country where religion is so inextricably intertwined with every aspect of life. Coming to understand it can be a long process littered with pitfalls, particularly for those educated in the Western liberal traditions with its basis in logic. For those people, "Indian logic" can almost seem bizarre, convoluted and even exasperating. Yet, in its own way, it encompasses a unique cosmology which is both holistic and coherent as well as being fascinating. India was the birthplace of two of the world's great religions (Hinduism and Buddhism) and one of its smallest (Jainism). It's also home to one of the world's few remaining communities of Parsis, adherents of the faith of Zoroastrianism. Islam is among the major religions of India and it plays a large role in shaping the religious landscape of Delhi. Christianity, too, plays a role, although more so in Landour (where you will be doing your preliminary Hindi course), Goa, Mumbai, Kerala (South India) and the North-Eastern States. The modern state itself is a relatively recent creation born out of a people’s desire to throw off the yoke of colonialism. Even the mightiest of India's ancient civilizations did not encompass all of modern India, and today it is as much a country of diversity as of unity. You may have heard said that there are many Indias. In terms of ethnic origin, -3- language and geography, that is undoubtedly true and it sometimes bedevils efforts at creating a national consciousness. Yet, ever since Independence (1947) India has remained the world's largest democracy. -4- Your Advisors in India Program Site Coordinator: Mr. Samar Grewal Samar will coordinate off-campus aspects of the program; from organizing airport pick- ups to showing you around Delhi, assisting you with travel arrangements, health emergencies and answering all your questions about Delhi and Indian life. You will be meeting with Samar periodically (he will also conduct periodic inspections of the apartments on a mutually convenient day). If needed, he is also available for one-on-one meetings. Do not hesitate in asking for more assistance. Contact information Samar Grewal: S-351 Panchsheel Park New Delhi 100 017 India Samar Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Student Program Assistants Brown also employs student program assistants from your respective colleges. The students help each group (LSR & St. Stephen’s) settle into Delhi and college life. Their role is multi-purpose, ranging from picking you at the airport, helping you to get mobile phones, answering questions about your College and helping you make sense of society around you. Program assistants often help you settle socially into Delhi as well as guide you around Delhi’s markets, restaurants and clubs. Having someone fluent in Hindi assist you is wonderful, not only does it help you get around better, it also gives you someone with whom to practice the language. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions; the assistants are there to help you, so get to know them as much as possible. If they are unable to help for any reason, do not hesitate to contact Samar. Foreign Student Advisor The Foreign Student Advisor at St. Stephen’s is Prof Bikram Phookun and for Lady Shri Ram is Dr Gopa Sabharwal. They will be your advisors for all matters related to their respective colleges. Any academic or administrative concerns should be brought to them. You will need to let them know your choice of courses and agreed-upon syllabi early on in the first term. -5- Pre-Departure Information Getting a Student Visa For US Passport holders you will need a student visa to stay as a student in India. Citizens of other countries should check directly with the Indian Consulate regarding entry requirements. The Indian Consulate has recently outsourced the Visa application process to an organization called: “Travisa Outsourcing.” It is your responsibility to verify the required procedures/documents with this organization, to apply, and to secure your own visa prior to your departure. It is strongly advisable to start this process as early as possible; however, you may have to wait a bit before you receive the following items from Brown: • a letter of acceptance from your host college in Delhi (St. Stephen’s or Lady Shri Ram) • a letter of financial support and program participation These will be sent to you as soon as possible and you should have plenty of time to procure your visa before you depart. Please direct questions to Travisa Outsourcing at: website http://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/ tel 212-754-9900 Past participants have said that this service works very fast. If you have any questions or concerns after inquiring with Travisa Outsourcing, please do not hesitate to contact Brown’s Office of International Programs at 401-863-3555. Consular Information Embassy of India 2107 Massachusetts Avenue N.W. Washington, DC 20008 tel 202-939-7000 OR Consulate of India 3 East 64th Street New York, NY 10021 tel 212-774-0600 -6- What to Pack? Regular clothing will be appropriate, keeping in mind to dress in a culturally sensitive manner. Shorts and skirts above the knee and low-cut tops are not advisable for Delhi wear. Most students at college, especially at St. Stephen’s, wear western garb; so do bring a varied selection of Western clothing. However, DO NOT over pack because there are Western stores in India (Lee’s, Pepe, United Colors of Benetton, etc) and markets such as Sarojini Nagar are full of left-overs from companies such as Zara, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch and the like. In addition, you will be buying Indian clothing that will both help you blend in on the streets of Delhi and that is better suited to wear in the Delhi heat (i.e. light cotton). If you choose to partake in Delhi’s nightlife, do bring a few going-out clothes. Shoes are not so important (except for men in some clubs); flip flops suffice and fancier footwear can be bought as well. You can bring your jewelry and make-up if you like; however both are cheap and plentiful in India. The electric current is 220 volts (same as in Europe) so you'll need a converter if you bring appliances. Alternatively, you can purchase appliances in the US that take both 110/220 volts. Make sure that you know what voltage your appliances can handle so you don’t ruin them by accident. It’s advisable to bring your own laptop to write papers and to connect to the internet. Do not bring a surge protector, they are provided in the apartment and all have sockets accessible to both American and Indian plugs. Make sure that you use the surge protectors; the power can go on and off at random sometimes. Packing checklist: a) 2-3 pairs of jeans(though these can be uncomfortable in summer)/trousers, 2-3 skirts/shorts, 4-5 shirts/tops, 2-3 going out shirts/tops, 2-3 light long-sleeve shirts, 1 sweatshirt. b) One fleece jacket. A winter coat is unnecessary but a warm jacket is very useful c) Underwear, bras, a few pairs of socks d) Basic first-aid kit with topical antibiotic cream, gauze, tape, aspirin etc. e) Alarm clock (battery operated is better for traveling) f) A folding umbrella. If you want, a rain coat as well though an umbrella suffices for the monsoon rains. It will rain in Landour but very little in Delhi. g) Money belt h) Basic toiletries if you’re partial to your brand. Ladies, tampons are not easily available in India, so bring enough to last the whole time. i) Sunblock j) 1 or 2 passport photos (you'll need them for IDs, Foreigners Residents Registration Office). Passport photos are much, much cheaper in Delhi. You will need 10 or so overall and it is better to save money and wait to reach Delhi to get a whole bunch made. k) Insect repellent and after-bite (especially useful at the beginning of the monsoon) l) 1 pair of sturdy sneakers. You will need them for at least one trek, and when it gets cooler. m) Flashlight n) Daypack or some sort of backpack with supporting hip straps. This will be very useful when traveling. -7- Health Information You should consult a travel clinic, such as Miriam Hospital Travel Clinic (be persistent—they tend not to answer the phone!) here in Providence, as soon as you can before leaving for India to discuss shots and medicines needed for travel in India. You should also consult your own physician if you have any specific concerns about your personal health situation. In the OIP Resource Library we also have other books about health issues in developing countries which you may consult. The Center for Disease Control publishes a list of all the vaccines and health precautions it recommends for those planning a stay abroad. The CDC website is http://www.cdc.gov/ Malaria is present in some parts of India, including Delhi, and you should consult the travel clinic about malaria medicines. Some medicines have different side effects so make sure you discuss all your options with a reputable travel physician because regular general practitioners may not have the expertise to discuss options for malaria medicines with you. If you decide to take Larium, you can save a lot of money by buying it in India. The pills are $7 each in America and will cost you only a few rupees in India so we suggest buying just enough to last you for the first two weeks, i.e. till you’re able to get to a pharmacy to buy some. It is possible to contract malaria even if you do take medication but it is easily treatable with proper medication and is not life threatening if caught early. Also remember to discuss with your travel physician which medication to take if you do contract malaria, so that when you are talking to an Indian doctor you know that he/she is giving you medication that’s compatible with whatever you’re already taking. Be consistent in taking your malaria medication. Frequent stopping and starting only weakens your system. It’s advisable to avoid street food for the first month or so and to be careful of which restaurants you frequent. Program assistants are really helpful in pointing out where to eat-out in the first few months. It may be difficult to abstain, but remember that your system (physical, mental and emotional), is already going through so much (coping with the changed environment, people, climate etc) that eating food which has not been cooked very hygienically is an unnecessary risk in the beginning. Vegetables should not be eaten raw unless you or someone you trust has prepared them, since they could have been washed in contaminated water. Water should be boiled before use in cooking and you should use filtered water for drinking and washing fruits and vegetables. Bottled water is sold everywhere and is safe to drink. Both apartments are equipped with water filters. Bring with you packets of re-hydrating salts or Gatorade mixes in case you get diarrhea. Multi-vitamins are also helpful in case of longer-lasting Delhi Belly. HIV, as in many parts of the world, is present in India. Please protect yourself if you are sexually active and bring condoms with you from the USA. We would not suggest using condoms manufactured in India (though you do get Durex here). -8- Medicines It is strongly recommended that students bring enough prescription medication for their entire stay. In general, medications cannot be sent via international mail. Prescription drugs have the additional problem of brand name-changes from place to place. Make sure all medication is labeled clearly and keep it in the original containers which show the prescription number. Bring a copy of your prescription along and make sure it is clearly written and indicates the generic name of the drug (this will mean more to an Indian doctor if you need to explain what you are already taking). This will also facilitate customs clearance into India because customs agents have the right to confiscate medications as illegal drugs unless you can show they are prescriptions. In some cases a physician in India may not fill the prescription provided by your U.S. doctor without first conducting an examination and confirming the diagnosis. Most over-the-counter medicines are available in Delhi, where they cost much lesser. If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, it is a good idea to bring both an extra pair and your prescription. Contact lens solutions may have different ingredients in other countries even if it is the same brand name, so bring enough solution with you for your entire stay, especially if you have sensitive eyes. Insurance Be sure to consult your insurance provider for coverage overseas and remember that most places ask for payment up-front and then expect you to get reimbursed from your insurance provider. Contact your health insurance provider for reimbursement forms, and please take these forms with you when you go. This will save you time since you won’t have to write to the office here in the USA. You are responsible for knowing your insurance policy and claims procedures. If you are carrying Brown student health insurance, reimbursement forms are available at the Office of Insurance and Risk in the Brown Office Building. If you have any questions regarding Brown student insurance, you can call or write to: Cheryl Moan Brown University Office of Insurance and Risk Box 1848 Providence, RI 02912 Tel: 401-863-1703 Email: Cheryl_Moan@brown.edu -9- In addition we provide you with a Brown Travel Assistance Plan which covers evacuation and repatriation as well as some other services. This plan is provided by International SOS (http://www.internationalsos.com) and the contact numbers in case of emergency are: If calling from Call Alarm Center in At this number U.S. or Canada Philadelphia, PA 1-800-523-6586 Call collect: 1-215-942-8226 Mexico Philadelphia, PA Call collect: 00-215-942-8226 South and Central America Philadelphia, PA Call collect: 00-215-942-8226 Europe, CIS, Africa London Call collect: or the Middle East 44-208-762-8008 Asia, Australia Singapore Call collect: or the Pacific Rim 65-6338-7800 When you contact them you must reference the Group membership # 11BSGC000031 The services provided by International SOS range from telephone advice and referrals to full-scale evacuation by private air ambulance. The SOS network of multilingual specialists operates 24 hour a day, 365 days a year from SOS Alarm Centers around the world. However, International SOS is NOT health insurance. Requests for reimbursement for medical care received while abroad should be submitted to your health insurance provider. You will also be given a wallet size card with important information on how to access International SOS services. Please carry this with you at all times in case you need emergency assistance. REMEMBER: In case of emergency, contact the site coordinator as well! Weather June and July are among the hottest months in Delhi. The temperature will be between 110 to 118 degrees F. and even the nights don’t cool down very much. Delhi is very dry at this time. Landour, though, will be delightful. It is at an altitude of 7,000 feet and has perfect weather similar to fall in North-Eastern U.S. The monsoon arrives in Landour before it does in Delhi – usually around the third week of June. It gets to Delhi around mid-July accompanied by a fall in temperatures and rising humidity. It is unbearably sticky until October. The constant heat can seriously drain your energy and you'll have to take the rest and fluids that your body demands to help you stay healthy. - 10 - Beginning in October it starts to get cooler and dryer and November is usually the start of the Delhi winter. It is not a northeastern U.S. winter but because there is no central heating and buildings are made of cement, they retain the cold. Room heaters take away the chill. The day temperature by December will be high 60s-low 70s. The nights can dip to the low 40s. If you are staying for the year, you’ll see the temperatures increase in March. By the middle of April, Delhi will return to its July temperatures. Some books recommended by previous students for reading before you leave: Dalrymple, William City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi Mistry, Rohinton A Fine Balance Roy, Arundhati God of Small Things Rushdie, Salman Midnight’s Children Sainath, P. Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts Sutcliffe, William Are You Experienced Tharoor, Shashi India from Midnight to the Millennium Tully, Mark No Full Stops in India Pre-Departure Checklist o Prepared myself: That means having read this handbook and other appropriate OIP publications like the current editions of “The FAQs of Study Abroad” and the general “Study Abroad handbook” and being mentally prepared for the challenge. o Also read some of the above books related to India. o Met with my concentration/major advisor to discuss any credit that I want to count for my concentration/major. At Brown, General credit transfers automatically. o Checked that my passport is valid for 6 months past the last date I will be in India. o Checked with the Indian consulate about documents required for my country of citizenship. Take to India ALL documents I had to take to the consulate o Have had any medical, dental & vision check-ups as recommended o Health insurance information (policy number, reimbursement procedures and forms, list of medical items covered); Proof of insurance with dates of policy o Medication or prescriptions you need, unless you are sure that the medication is available in India. (Bring original prescriptions with you when you travel). o Gave the OIP and the Delhi staff my travel schedule for my arrival o Any personal, meaningful item that helps me relax, get centered (favorite music, family pictures, diary, sports gear, posters, teddy bear, clothing ...) that can fit in a suitcase! Don't bring too much stuff!! You won't need it and it will just cost a lot to mail it back home. One suitcase ONLY and preferably not too big so you can carry it by yourself! - 11 - The Program Students in sarees Brown’s exchange program with St. Stephen’s and Lady Shri Ram Colleges sends students to St. Stephen’s and LSR and receives faculty from both colleges. As an exchange program, Brown’s program in Delhi differs from some other study abroad programs in India which have study centers and living quarters, and provide their own courses. Students on the Brown program take Indian college courses, independent studies with professors (only at LSR) and follow the normal academic schedule of their chosen college. Brown’s program in Delhi immerses you in an Indian academic environment with the local students. This program works best for those who have specific academic goals which they feel they can achieve in Delhi or for people willing to work to give their general interests specific and focused content. Since Brown-in-India students do not take the regular exams, the content of the readings and the papers have to largely be determined by the student in conjunction with the professor (within the limits of St. Stephen's or Lady Shri Ram's curriculum), which makes having a specific focus necessary for the experience to be profitable. - 12 - The Brown-in-India program provides a required course in Hindi and 3 other courses. Hindi is very useful in Delhi, and you should be ready to devote some amount of effort to learning it, in order to get the most out of the whole experience. Knowing even the most basic of Hindi will make it easier for you to build a life in the city and explore it. Bargaining with auto drivers, shopping, ordering food, asking for directions… everything is made easier in proportion to how much Hindi you learn. People who are not interested at all in learning Hindi would probably have a better time on a different type of program. At LSR one of your courses may be an Independent Study Project specially arranged for your particular interests (Independent Study is not offered at St. Stephen’s). Depending on the professor and your topic, you may be able to continue your research after returning to your home institution. Students interested in dance or music classes may be able to arrange instruction with a private tutor. Please check with Samar as soon as possible for assistance in making arrangements. These classes would be considered outside the normal Brown in India curriculum and would not appear on your official Brown transcript at the program’s completion. Visiting students, unlike local students, may take courses in more than one subject area, but should be careful to arrange these so that the total course load adds up to the load of a matriculated student. To make this clearer: You could, for example, take a IIIrd Year course in Philosophy, a Ist Year course in History and a IInd Year course in Economics, adding up to the normal load of 4 subjects (including Hindi), or substitute an Independent Study Project for one course if you’re attending LSR. However, previous Brown-in-India students recommend that if you are interested in philosophy and economics, you take two courses in one of these subjects rather than one in each. By doing so, you will be amongst the same group of students for two courses, rather than in three separate groups. This will make it considerably easier to meet and befriend local students. Also, this may make your class schedule easier to organize. When taking classes across different departments, you need to be careful to arrange your courses in such a way that the time of one course does not clash with another. You will have to actively structure your courses with the help of the Foreign Student Advisor and your professors in the first two weeks of your time at the college. This is extremely important since the regular Indian student appears for exams only at the end of the academic year and Brown program students are examined at the end of their stay. You will have to structure your academic priorities prudently. Class schedules will be posted on one of the general notice boards at the beginning of term. Regular classes are held from 8.45am-1pm Mondays thru Saturdays at St. Stephen’s with accompanying tutorials sometimes stretching out till 2.30pm. LSR classes run from 9am-3.30pm Mondays thru Fridays (Saturday is a holiday at LSR). Afternoons at both are devoted to extracurricular activities including theater, debating, sports and academic clubs. If you’re thinking of taking any science classes which involve labs, be aware that the facilities at St. Stephen’s are not currently on par with American universities. For this - 13 - reason taking science courses is not recommended. If you are interested in taking non-lab sciences, you should inquire as to availability and quality through the Study Abroad Office. Program Calendar The program begins in mid-June, with the Landour language program. Once the college academic year starts, you will be following the normal academic schedule. Arrive in Delhi: June 10-11, 2009 Travel to Landour: June 14, 2009 Landour program: June 14-July 12, 2009 First Term commences: July 15, 2009 Break: October 1-15, 2009 Second Term commences: October 16, 2009 Classes end: December 22, 2009 Break: December 23, 2009-January 6, 2010 Third Term: January 7, 2010-March 20, 2010 (Last three entries approximate. Final dates to be confirmed) Landour Language School The Landour Language School, where you will study Hindi, takes it’s name from a suburb of Mussoorie, a popular North Indian hill station. The school was established over 80 years ago and the courses there are based on all those years of experience. The teachers are carefully selected and trained by a system of examinations and have each fifteen or more years of teaching experience. You will have three hours of language classes every day, usually in the mornings and early afternoons. The rest of the time is for you to study and explore Mussoorie. While at Landour, you will have 4 classes (2 grammar classes, 2 reading and writing classes). Your group will be subdivided into smaller groups, with each group having the same 4 teachers in the same sequence each day. Teachers may overlap between groups. Students have rated this as the most beneficial language-learning experience on the program and have encouraged future students to take advantage of it. The pace of the Hindi class later on in Delhi will be slower; and most local students may be more inclined to speak with you in English. - 14 - Mailing Address at Landour: Valley View c/o Gambhir Singh Landour Cantonment Mussoorie Uttaranchal 248 179 India tel 0091-135-263 1385 Mussoorie, also known as “The Queen of the Hills”. sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet, offering spectacular views of the mighty Himalayan peaks on one side and the Doon Valley on the other. It’s a breathtaking experience, viewing the valley of Dehra Doon at night with its twinkling lights. Mussoorie connects to the rail head of Dehra Doon via 22 miles of twisting hill road, originally made for bullock carts. The British developed Mussoorie as a popular hill resort to escape the intensely hot summers in the plains of North India (which means you’ll need cool weather clothes for Landour). Mussoorie still contains many reminders of the past. The library just below Savoy Hotel is well over 100 years old. There are ruins of antiquated breweries and old cemeteries with interesting gravestones dating back to Mussoorie’s early years. It is also known for its boarding schools. In the crowded city markets, which you can get to by taxi or a short walk down the steep main road, you can find an amazing collection of shawls. Not far from Valley View (the house where you will be staying) is a cluster of stores named Char Dukan (Four Shops) where you can access the internet or savor local fare ranging from chocolate pancakes to paranthas (Indian pancakes) and momos (Tibetan dumplings). You could spend entire afternoons walking among the deodar (Himalayan cedar); trees that have witnessed the entire history of the land, from the days when Mussoorie was home to but a few shepherd huts and the cattle that grazed on the Mansur shrub that would later give the place its name. - 15 - Program Costs In order to help you budget appropriately for your academic experience in India we have created a cost information sheet that is available on our website and included in your pre-departure packet. Airfare and living costs are based on our best information but these can change quickly with exchange rate fluctuations and price changes. For the most up-to-date cost information, please visit www.brown.edu/OIP/costs Refund Policy Any expenses that have been incurred by Brown on behalf of the student (i.e. host institution fees, prepayment of orientation housing etc.) once the student has made a commitment to the program (in writing and/or by submitting the program deposit), will be the responsibility of the student and charged to the student account. If a student withdraws from a program during the first five weeks from the start date, he or she is eligible for a refund of Brown tuition payments based on the schedule below. Brown is not responsible for indirect costs paid directly by the student, including, but not limited to, passport fees, vaccinations and transportation costs. Withdrawal prior to the start of the program 100% Withdrawal within the first 14 days 80% Withdrawal between days 15-21 60% Withdrawal between days 22-28 40% Withdrawal between days 29-35 20% Withdrawal after day 35 No refund available The same refund policy applies for students who leave because of a medical or family emergency. A student who is suspended, dismissed or withdraws while under investigation for misconduct, will not be eligible for a tuition refund. Students who choose to withdraw from a program abroad and, subsequently, enroll at Brown during the semester that corresponds to their semester abroad will be responsible for all costs incurred by Brown up to the time they withdrew from the program. If a student withdraws from a program, the deposit paid to confirm his or her place is not refundable. For housing or fees paid directly to the host institution abroad, the refund policy of that institution will be in effect. Dismissal Policy The Office of International Programs in consultation with the Site Personnel and the Program Faculty Directors at Brown reserves the right to dismiss a student and require that they leave immediately if in our judgment the student behaves in a manner which - 16 - endangers him/herself, others on the program or the program’s continued operations. Illegal drug use is grounds for immediate dismissal. Other Costs and Expenses Upon arrival, you will be required to pay a Housing Security Deposit of the equivalent of about US $150 in Indian Rupees. The deposit will be refunded to you in a check from Brown University after you have returned and the Site Coordinator has had a damage inspection of the apartments and received the final telephone bill. While installation and rental are paid for by Brown-in-India, actual usage charges for internet and phone connections will be borne by you and your flat-mates. - 17 - Arriving in Delhi Let the OIP know your flight information You must let the Office of International Programs at Brown know the details of your flight into Delhi by sending at email to Adrian_Doyle@brown.edu or a fax to 401-863- 3311.This is necessary so that we can notify our site-coordinator who will then have a program assistant pick you up from the airport in New Delhi. Contact the US Embassy “All American citizens residing or traveling in India for more than 30 days or who are planning travel in disturbed areas are encouraged to register with the Consular Section. Through registration, the Embassy or Consulate General can know more accurately the number and location of American citizens, should any emergency arise. It also enables a Consular Officer to locate an individual in the event of a family or business emergency back in the United States. The registration card requests information on the local and permanent residences, next of kin and passport information. These cards can assist in the replacement of a lost or stolen passport.” As you can tell from the quote above, taken from the official guidelines for American travelers in India, registering is not just a bureaucratic formality. The Embassy has medical facilities and can help in cases of legal or bureaucratic problems. In addition to the help of the Site Coordinator, they can be especially helpful if you are caught in a tight spot while traveling. Remember to keep a photocopy of your passport, a copy of your Indian visa, as well as a copy of any credit or debit cards you have, separately from the actual documents. It’s a good idea to give a copy to the Site Coordinator and to leave a copy with someone in the USA too. - 18 - Housing The apartment you will be staying at in Delhi has been subleased to you in order to put you amidst Indian city life in a safe and convenient location. St. Stephen’s Apartment Brown program students studying at St. Stephen's College will stay in an apartment in the neighboring Civil Lines area, one of the oldest settlements built by the British in the capital city. The apartment is part of a block of flats owned by a single family. This, coupled with the security guard housed at the entrance gate and connected to each apartment via intercom, allows for greater security. The apartment consists of 3 air- conditioned bedrooms with attached bathrooms and all the required basic furniture, a living-cum-dining room with TV (cable, though you will need to pay to buy balance) and a fully-equipped kitchen. The address is: A9, 7 Raj Narain Road Civil Lines Delhi 110 054 tel 0091-11-2393 8012 Houskeeping A male cook, Shankar, comes in twice a day and prepares Indian lunch and dinner. This is simple fare and not very spicy but it can be spiced-up according individual taste and he can also prepare some western dishes such as pasta. There are a number of take-out places in case you have special food cravings. Shankar’s wife, Rita, helps with the cleaning of the apartment. Food and supplies For basic supplies, there are two main stores nearby: The Exchange Store and Suman’s Department Store. Fruits and Vegetables are normally purchased by Rita from vendors around the neighborhood. For more interesting grocery options, students can visit Khan Market or INA Market, which are closer to Central Delhi. The student assistants will guide you to all the above once you move in to the apartment. Laundry The apartment has a washing machine (no dryer) which is easy to use. You can iron your clothes at home too. There is also a neighborhood laundry person who charges Rs 8 for a shirt and Rs 5 for trousers. Transportation The college is 10 minutes by autorickshaw from the apartment and the fare is roughly Rs 20-25. You can also get there by taking the Metro to the next station outbound (the - 19 - closest station is a 10 minute walk from the apartment) and catching a cycle rikshaw from there for Rs 10. Changing money Most banks will change traveler’s checks (including Punjab National Bank next to Oberoi Maidens nearby) but for more efficient service you should try the Thomas Cook and American Express outlets in Connaught Place (Central Delhi, inbound on the Metro). To withdraw money using a debit/ATM card, the best places to go to are the Citibank branch (near Exchange Stores) or the bank on the St. Stephen’s campus. Mail The closest post office is on the main Delhi University Campus block and the most efficient/well-stocked one on A-block in Connaught Place. Internet Besides at the apartment, St. Stephen’s has an internet facility though it is often crowded. There is also a internet ‘café’ opposite Parmanand Hospital, a two minute walk past Exchange Store. The rates are usually INR 30/hr). Kamla Nagar Market near college also has a number of options. Lady Shri Ram Apartment Brown program students studying at L S R stay in an apartment close to college with similar facilities as the St. Stephen's apartment. The address is: E-346, Second Floor Greater Kailash Part-I New Delhi 110 048 tel 0091-11-2924 8191 Houskeeping Shukla, the lady who cooks and cleans at the apartment, makes simple fare, not very spicy and perhaps a little bland for some. But she does make Chana Masala (chick peas), Dal Mukhni (Black lentils), Kidney Beans, Egg Parantha and a Carrots & Peas vegetable dish quite well. Food and Supplies Shukla, the lady who comes to cook at the apartment, will buy vegetables and fruit for you and she usually gets good prices but it is also fun to practice your Hindi with the fruit/vegetable sellers and you can buy things she does not usually buy and make, such as broccoli. Students have enjoyed getting to know Shukla and have even sometimes enjoyed informal cooking lessons! If you get a craving for any special food, you are not too far from two of the more up market South Delhi shopping areas (GK1 M-Block and GK1 N-Block Markets) with a large variety of dining options. Even Kailash Colony - 20 - Market and East of Kailash have a few eat-out options; the student assistant for the LSR Program will guide you to them. Shopping M-Block and N-Block Market are both walking distance from your apartment, as mentioned earlier, and great for slightly costlier clothing – both international and Indian. Nehru Place shopping complex offers a post office, every kind of bank, textile shops, computer goods wholesale distributors and sweet shops. Lajpat Nagar Central Market (nearer Central Delhi) is a large, vibrant multi-purpose market with a focus on clothing, textile and wedding-related merchandise. You will also have our share of American-style malls, especially with Select Citiwalk and DLF Place further south. Ask your student assistant to help you find your way to any of the above. Laundry The apartment has a washing machine (no dryer though: “air-dry” is hot enough!) which is easy to use. You can iron your clothes at home if you choose to but all South Delhi neighborhoods have a local Dhobi to whom you can give your clothes for ironing. Transportation LSR is 5 minutes by auto rickshaw from the apartment and the fare is about Rs 15.You can also get there by taking a cycle rickshaw for Rs 10. Don’t let the drivers intimidate you. Use Hindi as much as you can since they are used to bargaining with tourists. You can stand your ground and walk away if the price doesn’t seem right; this sometimes works to lower the prices. Changing money Most banks will change traveler’s checks. But for more efficient service you should try Thomas Cook and American Express outlets in Connaught Place. To withdraw money using a debit/ATM card, the best places to go to are ICICI Bank and ABN Amro Bank (main GK1 M-Block Market road) and HDFC Bank (GK1 B-Block). There is a bank at LSR under the main stairway and the teller there is usually happy to give you change for a 500 rupee note (4 100s and 10 10s). This is very useful because auto rickshaws won’t usually have change for you. Mail There is a post office at R block in GK 1. Letters take a week or two to reach the U.S. Internet Besides at the apartment, LSR has an internet facility in the library but you have to sign up in advance and you can only use it for ½ an hour. There is an internet ‘café’ in Kailash Colony market as well. - 21 - College Life Academics Semester-long Hindi language course The Hindi course that students take during the semester/year is held independently of the colleges and arranged by the Site Coordinator. You will receive a month of daily intensive preliminary instruction in Hindi at Landour, soon after your arrival in India. Upon your return to Delhi, you will attend class three days a week, at your apartment for St. Stephen’s students and at The East West Language Institute for the LSR students. Further details will be given upon arrival in Delhi. St. Stephen’s College St. Stephen’s College is one of the oldest and most reputable colleges of India. Founded in 1881 by a Christian mission, it remains a Christian institution although over half its students are non-Christian. There are about 1,200 students currently studying at St. Stephen’s, of which 300 live in on-campus housing. St. Stephen's offers degrees in the following subjects: Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Sanskrit , Physics, and Chemistry. Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) LSR is one of the premier institutions of higher education for women in India. It was founded in 1956 by Sir Shri Ram in memory of his wife. Though it sits in bustling South Delhi, the 15 acre campus ground afford it some calm. The college emphasizes the - 22 - humanities and social sciences. The urban village of Zamrudpur is a stone’s throw from the college and LSR students interact with the villagers in numerous community development projects. There are about 1,500 students currently studying at LSR, of which 300 live on campus housing. LSR offers degrees in the following subjects: Commerce, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Statistics, English, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Sanskrit, Journalism. The Indian college system St. Stephen’s College and Lady Shri Ram College are a part of Delhi University and are therefore governed by DU norms. These norms and regulations are applicable to all the colleges that constitute Delhi University. The Indian college system is based on the English educational structure and functions with what American students might perceive as certain ‘rigidities’. Students are not allowed to switch majors after applying, most of the courses in their three years are fixed and are within their major department, and marks are determined by a standardized set of yearly exams. Students take all their classes with students of the same year and subject. They are also required to pass exams in 2 subsidiary subjects, which are usually taken in first year, leaving students to focus on their degree subject for the remaining two years. The faculty is strong in many departments of both colleges, with many professors doing research independent of the college. Foreign students do not work within the exam system and their grades are determined by the professors. Starting Out Academic tips In the beginning, the Site Coordinator will help you set up an appointment with the Foreign Student Advisor at each college. This advisor will be giving you academic advice about registration and can help you find your way around campus. You will have to actively structure your courses with the help of the Foreign Student Advisor and your professors in the first two weeks of your time at the college. This is extremely important since the regular Indian student appears for exams only at the end of the academic year and Brown program students are examined at the end of their stay. You will have to structure your academic priorities prudently. If you’re thinking of taking any science classes which involve labs, be aware that the facilities at St. Stephen’s are not currently on par with American universities. For this reason taking science courses is not recommended. If you are interested in taking non-lab sciences, you should inquire as to availability and quality through the Study Abroad Office. Since visiting students, unlike local students, may take courses in more than one subject area, they need to be more careful in arranging these. Since students belonging to particular departments spend more time together, you might lose out on building your own social base if you spread your classes out too thin. Classes may also be cancelled or - 23 - moved (either because teachers don’t show up or because the students organize mass ‘bunk’ days), so it’s important to make sure your classmates have a phone number to reach you at and that you are in the loop. To make this clearer, if you are interested in philosophy and economics, you should take two courses in one of these subjects rather than one in each. By doing so, you will be amongst the same group of students for two courses, rather than in three separate groups. Logistically too, the class schedule may be easier to organize. When taking classes across different departments, you need to be careful to arrange your courses in such a way that the time of one course does not clash with another. You might find that the syllabus gets going more slowly than you are used to. This is because Delhi University Colleges only have one final exam in April. Because you’ll be working outside of the standardized exam system, you’ll need to actively work with your professors in the first two weeks to structure course assignments. Don't expect anything to happen too quickly, so plan ahead and leave enough time to get hold of the professors. It will help if you prepare questions that they need to answer or bring from your home university a copy of a class evaluation sheet. The student/teacher relationship at LSR and St. Stephen’s is more formal than at American universities, but it depends greatly on the individual professor. In the beginning it is a good idea to be formal until you get to know your professors and what they expect. Most professors do not have offices or regular hours, so you’ll have to be persistent. Your best bet is to ask fellow students in that subject how you can reach the professor. You can leave notes for professors in mail boxes in the staff room, and when possible it is a good idea to get your professors’ home phone numbers. If you approach them early, most of the teachers are cooperative and flexible with the courses. Grading The Indian system of grading works as follows: 60% and above First Division 50% to 59% Second Division 40% to 49% Third Division 39% and below Fail However, over the years Brown-in-India has developed a flexible system to enable professor and student to arrive at different assessment criteria depending on the length of the student’s stay (6 or 9 months) and the nature of the course taken. Seek the Foreign Student Advisor's help in putting into place the alternative assessment structure, since it is important that this is clearly established within the first term. This involves clarifying meeting times, types of assignments due, assignment dates and lengths, etc. After the first week you should let the Foreign Student Advisor know what courses you’ll be taking. Be especially aware that teachers take a very long time to grade everything. You should talk to the teacher often and as early as possible about evaluations for your courses. It - 24 - can be a bit difficult getting the teachers to write comments or give grades for essays, because they don’t normally work in that manner. Student ID card If you brought passport photos from the USA, you’ll only have to drop them off at the office and fill out a short form. If you didn’t bring photos, you can have them made near campus. The student assistants will help you with this procedure should you need any. Library cards The library will issue you books against your Student ID. The system (number of books at a time, late fee etc) differs between the two colleges, so please ask your student assistant if you need any clarification. In and around College Medical care The St. Stephen’s dispensary is open on Tuesdays and Fridays at 1:30. The doctor, Dr. Ramesh Gupta, can take care of small problems and can give referrals for larger problems. Mr. David, Dr. Gupta’s assistant, lives on campus, and can also write referrals. LSR has an infirmary on campus where you can go for minor health problems while you are in college. In case of any serious health problems inform the Site Coordinator immediately and (s)he will arrange medical care for you. Campus banks You can open an account at the Extension Counter of the Syndicate Bank at St. Stephen’s College or at the Punjab National Bank located in LSR. This allows you to write checks, transfer money from the US and cash traveler’s checks. Sports facilities At St. Stephen's there are playing-fields with soccer nets, tennis courts, basketball courts, a gymnasium (though don’t expect a gymnasium as you know them, the equipment is very basic), handball courts (you need to bring your own balls and gloves), and a badminton net. There are ping-pong tables in the Junior Common Room for the less athletically inclined. At L S R there are facilities for the following sports: basket ball, table tennis, tennis, judo and athletics. Note The soccer field facility at the St. Stephen’s campus is not available for the year of ’09-’10. It has been leased out to the government as a training field for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Interested students will be informed of alternate arrangements upon arrival. - 25 - Student organizations At St. Stephen's there are sign up sheets for many of the student organizations at the beginning of the year, and these organizations post regular announcements on the bulletin boards in the main hall. Three basic places to look for announcements are the departmental advice boards, ‘Today’s Engagements’, and dedicated notice boards. The Societies or Hobby Clubs are good places to make friendships. Here you will find students who might share your particular interests and with whom you can do things. The Hobby Clubs/Societies put up their activities on the Notice Boards, so you should have a look at these regularly to keep in touch with what is happening. Some of these are: Philosophical Society, Economics Society, Photographic Society, English Literary Society, Planning Forum (they discuss issues of policy), Fine Arts Society, Gandhi Study Circle, Sanskrit Hindi Sahitya Sabha (Sanskrit and Hindi Literary Society), Hiking club, Shakespeare Society (English Theatre Society), History Society, Social Service League, Informal Discussion Group, Wild Life Society, Music Society and Cine Club. St. Stephen's also has a tradition of Chess and Bridge. It is up to the individual student to make inquiries and seek partners. At Lady Shri Ram a strong facet of intellectual life is provided by the Department Associations. They attempt to take the disciplines beyond the confines of the University syllabi, using lectures, film shows, discussions and occasional workshops to raise issues marginalized by the mainstream. There are also many societies and clubs at LSR. A few examples are listed here: The Women’s Development Cell: (carries out community development projects on broadly feminist lines through guest lectures, discussion forums, study camps and work with voluntary agencies). The Hive (art club), The Dramatics Society, Dhyana: (holistic health and meditation) Photocopying There is a machine on campus at St Stephen’s and one at LSR outside the top floor of the library. Other libraries If you don’t find what you need in college, you can look in the following libraries: Alliance Française American Library British Council Library Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS) Delhi School of Economics Library: It is on the same street as St. Stephen’s, on the Delhi School of Economics campus. Max Muller Bhawan Library: Strong collection of German Indology. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) - 26 - Public Library: Past students have found this library (close to the Mandi House Metro stop in Central Delhi) to be useful. Their selection is quite good, especially in history. They don’t charge an entrance fee, allow photocopies, and don’t permit check-outs. So if the book is in the catalog, it’s there somewhere. UNFPA Library Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) World Bank Library - 27 - Around Delhi Delhi is the capital of India, built and rebuilt seven times by numerous invaders, which means a long history going back a few millennia. St. Stephen's College is situated in North Delhi, very close to Old Delhi (also known as the walled city or Shahjahanabad), the capital of the Mughal rulers who preceded the British Raj. The English ruled India for almost two hundred years, until 1947. In 1911 they moved their capital from Calcutta (Kolkata) to New Delhi, which they built next to the old Mughal capital. Today, while the two most recent Delhis have more or less merged into each other, certain differences remain. New Delhi, situated to the south of the old city, is fairly modern. It is spread out, with particularly unique residential areas comparable to inner city suburbs. Its main attractions are the well-planned diplomatic and government enclaves, the latter designed by the English architect Edwin Lutyens (including the Presidential Palace, South and North Blocks, Parliament House and Connaught Place). Old Delhi on the other hand has a different charm. The narrow streets of Chandni Chowk, for instance, are named after the products they sell. Life in Delhi, like all cities in India, attracts both modern and traditional elements of Indian life. As a city, you will be struck by its history, vibrancy and uniqueness. Cultural Resources One of the best things about the city is that there is a wide array of festivals, performances and visual art options available to its residents all year-round and what’s more, most of these are free. You will receive at your apartment, subscriptions to Time Out Delhi and First City magazines which should keep you up-to-date on the goings on around town. Supplements in Times of India, Hindustan Times and The Hindu newspapers list cultural events on a daily basis, besides which you can also check with the following institutes for their programs: Alliance Francaise India Habitat Centre (IHC) India International Center (IIC) Kamani Auditorium Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institut) National School of Drama Sahitya Kala Akademi The Attic Triveni Kala Sangam - 28 - Shopping and Eating-Out Most residential neighborhoods have a central market where you can get all you need to get by on a daily basis. But in case you want some variety, here are some other markets (mostly in the Central to South Delhi region) to which you might like to go: Connaught Place (food and retail, mid-to-expensive) Dilli Haat (food, handicraft and textile from different regions of India) Greater Kailash M-Block Market (multi-purpose, mid-to-expensive) Greater Kailash N-Block Market (dining and clothing; mid-to-expensive) Janpath (small shops selling an array of different handicraft items catering to the tourist market; also very close to Jantar Mantar, an 18th century astronomical observatory) Khan Market (book shops and variety of dining options; mid-to-expensive) Lajpat Nagar Central Market (garment, textile and household goods) Sarojini Nagar (export surplus garment market) South Extension (retail and jewelry; mid-to-expensive) Sunder Nagar Market (brass, antiques and jewelry; upmarket) Some tips In the expensive Connaught Place shops the prices will be fixed, but along Janpath and in Sarojini Nagar Market, one can bargain without hesitation. Mentioning that you are a student living in Delhi is likely to help too. For buying presents though, it’s best to hold off until the end of your stay, when you have a better idea of how much things should cost and your Hindi is better so you can bargain better. Eating-out India has an amazing variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. Contrary to popular belief, all Indian food is not hot and spicy. Delhi boasts of restaurants that serve food from various parts of India and around the world catering to different budgets and tastes. If you get homesick and feel the need for certain American food products, INA Market is good for almost anything (including turkey around Thanksgiving time). A typical sweet shop in Delhi - 29 - Places and festivals you should not miss Blind Relief Association for the summer cloth bazaar and the week-long fair during Diwali (the Indian festival of lights), which is great for buying Christmas presents. Chandni Chowk for its amazing paranthas and the spice market in Khari Baori Crafts Museum for live demos of Indian handicraft being made (also has a store) Dilli Haat for handicrafts, momos and Nature Bazaar (usually held towards the end of the year and great for the best craft and textle from around India) Hanuman Mandir for the Tuesday evening bangle market Humayun’s Tomb is the mausoleum of the second Mughal-era ruler of India. The expansive complex has been beautifully restored very recently Jama Masjid (go with a guy and you can climb the tower and get a great view of Delhi) Jantar Mantar Lodi Gardens, specially at sunset and for picnics in early winter Lotus Temple of the Baha’i Faith Mehrauli Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site houses the Qutab Minar (a 240 foot watchtower built in 1199) and numerous other structures of note National Gallery of Modern Art National Museum for its permanent exhibits on Ancient Indian history Old Fort Red Fort is the impressive structure from which the country’s Prime Minister delivers his speech every Independence day. The fort and the mosque (Jama Masjid) and walled city (Shahjahanabad) the fort faces, were all commissioned by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan (he’s responsible for the Taj Mahal in Agra too) Humayun’s Tomb Transportation There are five modes of transportation in Delhi. In descending order of cost they are: taxi, auto-rickshaw, the metro, cycle-rickshaw, and bus. By law the price is meant to fixed on all but the cycle rickshaw, but in reality only bus and metrop rates end up being non-negotiable. The most efficient way to travel is the Metro, which can take you to a limited number of destinations across town (a few lines are still under construction in many parts). Auto rickshaws are a convenient and economical too and you will find them just around the corner outside the apartment. Taxis are most viable when you travel in a group or have - 30 - luggage. These are found at fixed taxi stands, the telephone numbers for which you will receive when you move into your apartments. You might have to settle on a rate before getting into a taxi or an auto rickshaw because though rates are meant to be fixed by meter, operators often refuse to turn them on and you have to haggle for a good price. If you do get an operator who agrees to go by the meter, make sure the meter is turned on and set to zero. Be alert to make sure the driver isn’t going around in circles to inflate the fare. Remember that every rickshaw-wallah/taxi-wallah is required to carry a copy of the standardized fare list (some will offer it to you immediately at the end of the journey, others you have to ask to see it). The Night Fares (always more expensive) are on one side/in one column of the fare list and the Day fares on/in the other. Make sure you’re reading the right one (Night fares are used between 11pm and 5am). Also remember that there are surcharges for luggage and extra stops. It’s best to avoid taking local buses, more so in peak traffic hours and at night. Women are sometimes harassed on buses, which is why a few rows of all Delhi buses are reserved for women only. Women can ask any man seated in any of those rows to give up his seat. Some women in Delhi will not go on buses if they are mostly empty or have no women on them in order to avoid harassment. If you do decide to travel by bus, please go with an Indian friend who speaks Hindi (especially for female students). The student assistants will get you Metro maps and autorickshaw/taxi rate charts and help you find your way around the city and its transport system. Communication Phone calls Local calls cost about 2 rupee for 2 minutes. All calls are billed at a minimum of 2 minutes so that when you call out from the apartment, you are being billed continuously. It is advisable to use your cell phone for most of your local calls. As far as long-distance calls are concerned, remember that all of India is on one time. The time difference between Delhi and the USA (EST) is 9.30 hours ahead. Plan calls accordingly and don’t forget adjust for daylight saving time. To call India from the United States, the country code is 0091 and Delhi’s city code is 011, so a direct call to a fixed-line number would be to 0091-11-(eight digit number) and to a cell phone would be 0091- - 31 - (10 digit number). To call the USA from India, you would dial 001-(area code)-(phone number). Long distance phone calls from India are expensive; you cannot make these from your apartment phone. Most students call from their cell phones or STD/ISD booths that dot every neighborhood market. Cell Phones The program assistants will help you set up your cell phone connections. After you get your connection going, you will receive a call from the service provider asking to verify your personal details, as they are required to do so for reasons of national security. While getting a connection is straightforward, you must remember to request a verification call-back in the English language at the time of purchasing one. Prepaid local rates amount to about $10/month, unless you are traveling outside city limits, in which case there will be additional roaming charges. If your cell phone gets stolen, it is advisable to request the help of a student assistant or program coordinator: phone companies are sometimes more inclined to help out when speaking with a native Hindi speaker. Mail Foreign Air Mail rates are Rs 25 for a letter, Rs 11 for an Aerogram and Rs 8 for a postcard. Inland postal rates are Rs 5. Postage Stamps are available only at post offices, which are located in every residential area around town. These are open from 10am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Saturday. Letters mailed to the States take about a week or two to reach their destination so anything urgent should be sent through speed-post, courier or FedEx. Past students have reported that at the post office, after you have handed in your stamped letters, the stamps are sometimes ripped off by someone and the letters thrown away so the stamps can be resold. To prevent this from happening, make sure you ask a post office staff person to ‘cancel’ the stamps (by rubber stamping them) after you've put the postage on. Watch and make sure it’s done so there’s little incentive for any wrongdoing afterwards. Internet An internet connection is available at all Brown-in-India apartments, though the wireless router has to be set up and security-enabled before you arrive. Once every few weeks this might give you a bit of trouble; the student assistants can help you set it straight. SAFETY Like all cities, Delhi has its safer and less safe areas. The best advice Brown can give you is to get safety tips from the friends you make in Delhi. Of the places in your immediate neighborhood, it is advisable not to go to the area known as The Ridge (a strip of forest near St Stephen’s) as it is isolated and dangerous. For men, Delhi can feel safer than many American cities. However, the safety concerns of women in Delhi need more attention. Female students are advised not to give out their cell number or be too friendly to strangers (male) because some gestures you might not think much of in the States are interpreted quite differently in India. Giving - 32 - out your phone number to men can easily project the idea that you are open to constant romantic advances. Please also avoid wearing revealing or overly tight clothes. You will have a better idea of what sticks out once you’ve seen the way women typically dress in Delhi. As a general rule, try not to travel alone at night; but if you do end up doing so, have your friends take down the license number of the auto rickshaw/taxi and let the driver know that they have done so. Remember to ALWAYS check that the apartment door is locked before leaving the apartment and be watchful in general. This goes for everyone on the Program. Dating Dating is not recommended in Delhi; gender roles are not what you are used to. This information is not to discourage you entirely, but to inform you that in all likelihood you may face issues of immaturity and dishonorable intentions with men and extreme conservativeness with women (behaviors that may be taken lightly in the States can be interpreted as signs of serious intent in India). Money and Banking In India, the unit of currency is the Rupee (Re, plural Rupees – Rs). One Rupee is divided into 100 Paise (p, singular Paisa). There are coins designating 50 Paise, Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 (though the 50p coins are mostly out of commission now). The rate of exchange varies but at the time of printing it was in the high 40s to 1 USD. Remember to bring your debit/ATM and credit cards along. ATMs are widely available throughout the city, often at walking distance from wherever you find yourself. Please check with your banks to see if you will be able to access money through an ATM machine in Delhi and how much they charge per international transaction. Most shops, hotels, and airlines accept credit cards. Before you leave, make sure that you check in with your bank to warn them that you will be living in India. You should also find out what cash withdrawal fees apply to your card in India. Some banks charge significant fees for cash withdrawals abroad. Also, bring 100 USD in traveler’s check in case something happens to your ATM card. This way you won’t be stranded without money while you wait for the problem to be sorted out or for a new ATM card to arrive from the States. There is a branch of the Central Bank of India at the Ashok Hotel that stays open 24 hours a day and is very convenient for changing currency and travellers checks. For LSR students specifically, money can be changed at the Park Royal Hotel and for St. Stephen’s students at the Punjab National Bank next to Exchange Stores very near the apartment. Remember to always change money with authorized moneychangers only and avoid bringing large sums of cash. - 33 - Traveling Around India There is a two week break in October from around the 1st to the 15th. This is a wonderful opportunity to travel around India. However, before embarking on such a long trip, go on a smaller weekend getaway to get used to what it means to travel here. For example, Independence Day weekend in August is a good time. Remember to always travel with your passport or Residency Card; without which you cannot check into a hotel. Also, Delhi is very different from the rest of India. Women outside big cities like Delhi, don’t usually wear western clothes. So, if you are planning to travel, try and wear Indian clothing. It might also be more comfortable for you. Trains The main mode of interstate travel in India is the railway system. There are three main stations, two in New Delhi, and one in Old Delhi. You can buy railways tickets at the station, on-line, or through a travel agent for a small fee. If you are unable to get a ticket at the station you could try using the "Foreigner's Quota", which, as the name suggests are certain train tickets that are reserved for foreigners. For overnight train rides it is advisable to be extra careful of your luggage and valuables. Use a lock to fasten your luggage to your seat while traveling or sleep using your backpack as your pillow. Buses Your shorter trips could be done on buses, which run regularly between Delhi and neighboring cities and are quite inexpensive. There are both government-run buses and those run by private companies. These range from the standard non-airconditioned variety with minimal seat cushioning to semi-deluxe and air conditioned deluxe coaches. The Volvo buses are usually the most comfortable and therefore the most expensive too You can get information on these from the Delhi Tourism Centre or from the two Inter-State Bus Terminals – the bigger one near the St Stephens apartment (known simply as ISBT) and another smaller one at Sarai Kale Khan in Southeast Delhi Flights Lately, India has had a surge in no-frill cheaper air travel, making flights a more viable option at times (specially over longer distances). These flights can be booked online, at airport counters and sometimes through travel agents. Some no-frill airlines are: Air Deccan, Spicejet, Indigo and Jet Lite. We also have three regular airlines: Indian, Jet Airways and Kingfisher (these are generally nicer but more expensive). Much of the above information can be obtained in greater detail online from the relevant websites (like indianrail.gov.in and irctc.co.in for train enquiries). For additional help, you will be provided with a Lonely Planet India at your apartments to help you plan your trips (please do not take these out of the apartments). You can also go to any big bookshop to pick up more area-wise guides like the Outlook 52 Weekend Guides etc. Your site coordinator can guide you if needed with any of the above. - 34 - A Final Note The Brown-in-India Program offers you an excellent opportunity to conduct your own research. It is possible to meet and interact with academics that you would not have the opportunity to work with at Brown or your home institution. The Brown-in-India program is not suitable for those who need a very structured course schedule and externally supplied academic direction. At the beginning of the India sojourn, students attending St. Stephen’s and LSR sometimes experience frustration with the pace of academic life. However, by the time that they leave, they’ve not only adjusted to a different academic system but almost all of them have felt a marked personal growth. On the Brown-in-India Program you will be challenged by a completely different system of time, truth, attitude, humor, ethics and much more. We view others through our own cultural lenses so it is important to understand that what you encounter in another culture is not right or wrong, but often just different. We live in a culturally diverse world and India offers you experience-based culture learning. We leave you with a few observations made by past students. See you soon! “I really would recommend staying the year. As someone who did not, I found that I was just beginning to get really settled and comfortable at school and in Delhi when I left. Obviously this happens in degrees, and I was reasonably well settled a month in, but it was only by the end that I could actually envision myself living there independently without the expectation of coming back to something, and that was a nice feeling.” “Because of the huge degree of autonomy that you are granted on the Brown program, what you get out of it really reflects what you put in.” “If you are looking for an experience of rural India, this is not the program for you. But if you are interested in Indian politics or arts and culture, Delhi presents great opportunities to come into contact with the cream of both these worlds. Being thoroughly a city person (I grew up in Washington D.C.) I found it fascinating to live in the cultural and political hub of India. There are always cultural events going on if you want to take advantage of them – from classical Indian music and dance, to experimental theater and cutting edge documentary films, it’s all there.” “Overall, the Brown program is extremely well structured and thought-out, so that you feel very sheltered from many of the difficulties of day-to-day life in India for someone who is not used to the ‘system’. This is wonderful, especially at first when everything is very disorienting anyway, since you can spend your time getting immersed in the culture rather than freaking out over little things such as finding safe food and figuring out how to call an electrician to repair the air- - 35 - conditioner. In addition, the Site Coordinator is always there to provide guidance and help, even on little issues that you may feel confused about. I had a great time, and feel that I had adequate stimulus provided by the program as well as plenty of time to pursue my own interests and to travel around.” “I found the professors to be generally accessible and willing to talk to students. This was not quite universal though, and there was a definite divide between faculty who truly respected their students, and those who did not. However, I would not say this was the prevailing attitude at the school, and other faculty members were extremely inspiring.” “LSR gets a lot of great speakers, much like Brown, and the girls put on performances that range from really quality (dance, music) to just having fun. The camaraderie was fantastic and something I haven’t experienced in any other academic setting I’ve been in. It really is a wonderfully supportive community. The professors were also all female, which I think added nicely to the support and role models a women’s college is supposed to provide – and is particularly important in India. Overall the school’s ideology is very progressive and feminist, and it was very exciting to me (as someone who identifies with both those things) to watch some of the girls’ ideas transformed as they were exposed to perspectives outside of their sometimes more traditional and very conservative upbringings.” “I would really recommend choosing one subject of study so you attend class with the same group. Most students socialize among their subject group in breaks between classes, either on campus or sometimes they rush off en masse for lunch or a Hindi film. That is largely how social dynamics are organized and would make it easier to make friends – If you’re on a different schedule from everyone you can’t really participate in that. This was suggested in the handbook last year and I sort of shrugged it off, but it’s really true.” “Make the most of the time you have. Remember that everything is a good learning experience. I’m not the most outgoing person but I had a great time and made great friends in college and with other students in the program. I even consider the coordinators my friends. They are great people who are ready to talk to you and hear what you have to say. Overall, whatever difficulties I may have had are overshadowed by all the good new and interesting things I experienced and learned. India is outside of any comfort zone you’ve ever had. Don’t fight it; go with the flow and be willing to talk and get involved. It’s worth it! Enlarge you’re comfort zone.” - 36 -