Trip Preparation: Page 3 of 3

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.

 
PACKING & WEATHER
 
Packing is highly individual, and no single list will work for everyone. However, please make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, umbrella, rain-gear, flashlight, bath towels (preferably, an easy to dry travel towel), bed-sheets (or a sleeping bag liner, since it dries faster and is smaller to pack). The following additional considerations can help you pack wisely:
 
WEATHER IN INDIA: June and July are summer months in India. Monsoon rains start at the end of June or the beginning of July. Daytime temperatures in most of the places we will travel will be 100+ F (as much as up to 108 F). Night-time temperatures will be slightly less. During Monsoon days, it can be hot and muggy.
 
THINK ABOUT LAUNDARY: Lighter colors help you stay cool, but darker colors show dirt less; you might wish to strike a happy medium. Stress lightweight fabrics that can be easily hand-washed, can hold up to repeated washing, and do not need ironing. A key question for choosing clothes: How long does it take to air dry?
 
If you choose, a laundry service will be provided by the facilities owners (where you stay) at a reasonable cost. A washer man, or dhobhi, will come to the ISSJS accommodation every alternate day. He or she will take your dirty clothes for washing and will deliver them back to you after two days at a reasonable cost. Charges vary from location to location and for the type of service i.e. same day or three days. Please note that ISJS does not take any responsibility in the charges levied and the services rendered by the washer man.
 
PLAN TO BE PRESENTABLE: Plan to dress nicely. Clean, fairly conservative apparel is appropriate. Include one or two dressy outfits for evening outings. Pack clothing that is relatively new, both to be sure it lasts through your stay in India and because you will feel uncomfortably out of place if you wear ripped, baggy, or faded clothes. We can make arrangements for traditional kurta-pajama, salwar-kameez, and saris at affordable prices. You will find that dressing in Indian style clothing is the most comfortable option, in terms of weather and cultural appropriateness. Women scholars are strongly advised to avoid wearing low neck- sleeveless or transparent tops to avoid problems.
 
BE CONSERVATIVE: Some clothing that is common in North America would be considered provocative or inappropriate in India. If you wish to pack exercise clothes, pack athletic pants or shorts that extend to the knee. However, shorts are not cultural appropriate, so please avoid wearing shorts in public settings.
 
Clothing choice is particularly important for women. In some areas, exposing the shoulders or ankles is not suitable. Women tend to wear long skirts in rural areas, and although you may wear slacks without offending, in some rural settings you may feel out of place.
 
CHOOSE YOUR LUGGAGE WISELY: Pack what you can carry! Be selective. Decide what, and how much, is really essential to you. Try to get by with one large suitcase and a carry-on. Remember, you can purchase clothing and almost everything you need in India. It’s a good idea to bring an extra empty duffle bag in your suitcase in case you have items to bring back with you. You may also wish to bring a daypack/backpack for daytrips and class/research materials.
 
HEALTH & SAFETY
 
We request that you fill out the form in the applications materials (if you have not already done so) informing us of any physical ailments and/or medical conditions before arriving in India. Please also fill out the Emergency Contact Form, also available under the forms section.
 
The website of the Centers for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/travel provides extensive information and advice on immunizations and on staying healthy in India. Another good site is Travel Health Online at www.tripprep.com. It is important that you inform yourself prior to departure what precautions to take while living in India. Please bring all medications, toiletries, and mosquito repellents with you. You may always supplement after you arrive.
 
IMMUNIZATIONS: We strongly encourage you to consult with a travel physician or travel nurse well before departure to allow for enough time to complete certain immunization series. All program participants should get a Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid shot, as well as any other booster shots needed. A rabies vaccination is recommended but not required prior to departure.
 
Please bring your immunization record with you and keep it with your passport.
 
MEDICATIONS: Please bring your medicines, medical prescriptions (including glasses/contact lens prescription), medical equipment, and special dietary needs with you. Many prescribed medicines are available in India but may be under different names. You may also wish to bring medication for malaria, diarrhea. An antibiotic, Ciproflaxin, is available and is less expensive in India.
 
MALARIA PREVENTION: Summer months are breeding months for mosquitoes. Therefore, please bring mosquito repellant's and malarial medication with you. Malaria is a very serious illness. Your travel health specialist will recommend that you take a prophylactic (preventive) drug for malaria, probably beginning a week or two before you are scheduled to arrive in India. It is essential that you purchase and bring with you the necessary medication. Without medication there is a chance that you might become very ill fairly quickly and require hospitalization. While the medication cannot prevent you from contracting malaria, it significantly reduces the symptoms, allowing you time to seek medical attention at a clinic and facilities for a speedy recovery. In some cases, visiting scholars have experienced side effects from the CDC-recommended drug, mefloquine. Some scholars have experienced strange dreams or nightmares as a result of this type of malarial. A new medication, Malarone, is now on the market and may avoid the risk of side effects. Scholars have inquired about purchasing medicine in India against malaria. In order to be protected, you must take the medication prior to your departure. Also, bring your insect repellant! Repellent with at least 21% DEET will help ward against malaria-carrying mosquitoes. A new cream, Ultrathin, manufactured by 3M contains 30% DEET and has been recommended by health professionals as an alternative to aerosol sprays.
 
INSURANCE: All program participants must have travel insurance. Each participant must pay for his/her own insurance coverage. You must provide a copy of such insurance to the Student Affairs Coordinator. There are many international insurance options online. One relatively inexpensive accident and sickness program is administered by HTH Worldwide Insurance Services, Inc. at http://www.hthworldwide.com several previous participants used travel insurance from Travel Guard International at http://www.travelguard.com.
 
SPECIAL CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN: The feelings engendered by being female in what may seem an anti-feminist society have proved a difficult challenge to overcome in terms of experiential fieldwork and lived scholarship. It is important to remain aware of the cultural context at hand. Women might sense a feeling of over protectiveness by organizers of ISSJS India regarding curfew, places frequented, and friends. Please avoid close relationships /associations with unknown people. Roles are often defined by gender in many cultures, and you may elicit negative responses if you do not follow, or at least are sensitive to, the prescribed roles; moreover, foreign females may sometimes experience harassment even if they do follow the rules.
 
SEXUAL HARASSMENT: ISSJS Management does not condone any kind of sexual harassment. However, in Indian Society, perceptions about these incidents are not given the same kind of importance as in North American and in some other countries. Please be extremely careful about your own behavior with other ISSJS colleagues of opposite sex or even with the same sex. Slackness in such activities sends wrong signals to the administrators of the facilities as well as other Indians.
 
Do not tolerate behavior that feels threatening or disrespectful by colleagues, staff faculty members and even the ISSJS director. You must report to ISSJS director immediately for corrective action. Delay in reporting may not be considered as serious. When in any doubt, consult with an ISSJS staff member with whom you feel comfortable. Report any incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault immediately in writing to ISSJS India director immediately for corrective and punitive action.