Frequently Asked Questions

TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION FOR INDIA

Every ISSJS participant will need to have a passport that is valid for the entire length of his or her time in India. The United States has recently started requiring passports for all travel to Mexico and Canada. The result is that there are more applicants and longer waiting periods for passports. For more passport information please visit:http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html Please allow at least two months for the passport application process. Before leaving for India please make several copies of your passport. Leave at least one copy with a friend or family member in case your passport is lost or stolen. While in India keep a copy with you, along with extra passport size photographs in a separate location from your passport. These precautions will allow the U.S Embassy in India to replace your passport as quickly as possible in case the same is stolen or lost..

TOURIST VISA

All participants are expected to pay for their own visa fees. Each participant should get a Tourist Visa.

The visa application process depends upon the participant’s country of origin. For E-Visa please visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. These instructions are based on requirements for the participants from United States. Participants should apply for visa for India as early as possible. Those who wish to apply for Student’s visa from North America, please fill the form completely as placed at visa authorization form and email to admission@isjs.in for getting it recommended from the Mangalayatan University with whom ISJS has an affiliation? When all the visa authorization forms are received, they will be sent to the Indian consulate office which you intend to go for visa.

In case you wish to apply for a tourist visa, you can apply directly to Indian consulate closer to your place of stay. Please apply for visa only for the duration of the program. Extended VISA & stay is strongly objected to by local authorities (requires special registration etc. for which ISJS is not responsible).

You will then make the visa application with the Indian embassy most convenient to you and attach the above form for visa. It can take up to several weeks for processing, although rush processing is usually available for an extra cost. Visa Application Forms can be downloaded from the Indian Embassy website under Visa Services. Make sure that you are using the correct consulate jurisdiction over your state. (i.e., if you live in Los Angeles or Denver you would send your passport to the Indian Consulate of San Francisco). A list of consulate jurisdictions is available online. This is the Indian Consulate website for San Francisco http://www.indiacgny.org and for New York http://www.cgisf.org. At these websites you will be able to download and fill out the visa form for India, as well as redirect yourself to the correct consulate needed for your location. For scholars from other countries, ISJS India office can send an admission letter to you which will facilitate your visa application. Please contact Dr. Shugan Jain email: shuganjain1941@gmail.com for such letter. You can then approach the Indian embassy and get your visa approved.

DEPARTURE FROM INDIA

 The last date of your study program will be indicated on your admission letter. A formal ceremony to hand over the certificates of completion of studies will be handed to you on the last date. After this ceremony, program participants should return home to their respective countries of origin that night and ISSJS will assist you to go to airport to catch the flight by most economical and safe mode. All participants will leave India from Delhi only. Extended stay beyond the program involves serious legal and administrative problems which are beyond the control and scope of ISSJS. ISJS extends hostel facilities from the date of start of the program till 03:00 P.M on the last day of the program.

Still if you plan to extend your stay (at your own expense), please note that ISSJS facilities will not be available for use by you. So please make your arrangements of stay, food etc in advance. More information will be available in India as the Summer School comes to a close.

JAIN DIET

Part of the ISSJS program in India is to experience the Jain way of life. In addition to studying about Jainism, it is important for you to follow the Jain dietary system, as well. Such dietary restrictions are based on the principles and practices of non-violence, non-possession, self-control and strenuous efforts to achieve worldly and spiritual objectives. It is not a requirement that participants be vegetarians, however, we strongly request that you stay vegetarian the duration of the program.

Due to religion-cultural reasons, all meals will be Jain Vegetarian, which excludes eggs. At some of the institutions, you may see an absence of root vegetables. In addition, many Jains do not eat after sunset. In the instance that we encounter Jains who follow this practice, please kindly respect this request.

The consumption of alcohol, drugs of any kind, and smoking during the summer school session is strictly forbidden.

TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING & DRINKING

 • Avoid eating in restaurants with poor hygiene or buying food from street vendors. Make sure that all food is well cooked. Avoid uncooked fruits or vegetables unless you can peel this you.

• Wash your hands frequently. Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer is a good option when a sink is not available.

• Drinking tap water is not recommended in India. Drink boiled, filtered, or bottled water. Soft drinks are usually okay, but beware of juices that may be diluted with water. Never drink any drink that contains ice unless it has been made from boiled or bottled water. In addition, make sure plates and cups are completely dry before eating off of them.

• There will be sufficient purified water available at all ISJS locations; however, several previous participants brought portable water filter pumps called First Need Water Purifiers that screwed onto their water bottles which can be seen at  http://www.generalecology.com. Scholars with filters always had their own water on hand no matter the situation.

• Drink at least two liters of purified water each day. Hydration is an important part of keeping yourself well while in India.

MONEY MATTERS

PLEASE NOTE: All ISJS dues are payable in US$ or EUROs only either prior to your departure from your home country or on the first day of arrival at ISSJS. Please note:

    Non payment of fees and other dues may result in serious consequences.
    SJS dues are not accepted in Indian Rupees.
    ISJS accepts only US$ (or Euros) cash or travelers cheques. No personal cheques will be acceptable.
    ATM machines in India dispense only Indian rupees and hence you may face serious problems in paying to ISJS if you rely on the same to clear ISJS dues.

CURRENCY:The unit of currency in India is the rupee. At present there are roughly 60/- to the US dollar. ATM machines, banks, and money changers will be available at most of the places. In particular, Citibank is located all over India. In the past, participants have opened Citibank accounts in their country prior to departure, so that they could withdrawal cash without accruing ATM fees. Please note that ATMS have restrictions in the amount of money you can withdraw in and also dispensing Indian Rupees only.
 
Many shopkeepers also accept major credit cards. Make sure you bring your bank account and credit card account information with you, as well as customer service telephone numbers that can be used internationally. It is also helpful to set up online payment options with your credit cards and banks in case you need to pay your bills during your time in India.
 
MONEY IN MULTIPLE FORMS: You will want to carry your money in multiple forms: Traveler’s Checks, Credit Cards, and Debit Cards. In case ATM machines are not available, exchanging traveler’s checks or using your credit card can be an easy alternative. Take cash in $20 -$50 bills to facilitate easy exchange. Money orders, cashier’s checks, and certified checks are extremely difficult to cash in India.
 
MONEY BELT: The type that can be worn under your clothes is the most secure. Keep photocopies of your passport, visa, insurance, and emergency contact information, traveler’s checks, and extra ATM/credit cards in your money belt. Because it is very hot in India during summer months, keep your documents in a zip lock bag inside.
 
In addition ISJS India has prepared a HANDBOOK FOR STAY IN INDIA for scholars to help them make their stay comfortable and rewarding.