Bring some home-made spices and your favorite pickles (make sure they
are sealed very well, and store them in your hand baggage, otherwise
they'll leak). The Indian Store located in Terre Haute, carries almost every variety of packaged pickles/spices, in addition
to most other things you might need, but a few home-made varieties are
not a bad idea.
Utensils: Bring a
medium sized pressure cooker or a pressure pan, as these are quite
useful. If you are serious about cooking, a few steel vessels and
spoons are useful too. A spare safety valve, gasket, and sealing
ring are good with a cooker.
Bring all the cooking skills you can. This is more important than
you probably think (yes, we know mess grub was bad, but try making
it yourself!) See cooking for more details.
average summer temperature is around 30 degrees C. In winter it
dips to around -10 degrees C. Night time temperatures are around
15 degrees and subzero degrees C respectively. Campus clothing is
casual. T-shirts and shorts are most commonly worn in summers.
Bring jeans and winter jackets for a mild winter. Formal clothing
will be required only while interviewing for an internship or job,
and during formal presentations/conferences. Please don't forget
to bring along some traditional Indian clothing for festive and
cultural occasions. Traveling outside school is either by bus or
good pair of leather shoes is practical, as they are much cheaper
in India. A pair of sneakers (sports shoes) and slippers are a
good idea to get you by the first few months. You can always buy a
good pair here later. In winter you will have to wear closed shoes
with a good grip on ice. Open shoes are comfortable in Fall and
you have any special medical needs, be aware that specialized
medicines can be bought in the U.S. only with a prescription, so
you would need to see a doctor. Otherwise, just bring small
amounts of common cold/ headache/ indigestion tablets. These are
easily bought here as well, although it will take you some time to
learn the names.
"not" to Bring :
that runs on 220 Volts, you can't even plug it in, leave alone
expect it to work.
Any winter clothing other than a sweater.
Do not carry
electronic goods, they are cheaper here.
Do not bring fresh plant products such as fruits, vegetables or
meat products, you'll have trouble at customs. Pickles are ok, and
its safer to answer "No" when you're asked about fresh
fruits and vegetables.
Gifts for people unless they are authentically Indian and of good
Too much formal clothing. Most people dress casually and
For Women, excessive jewelry. Again, same reason as above, it
isn't appropriate for daily wear, but good only for special
A Truckload of spices - you get everything you need here.
Note on cooking :
probably the most useful skill to acquire while in India. Eating
out often is not practical, because of the effort (often not
within walking distance), the cost (an average meal in a
restaurant is around $10 - 15), and the fact that it takes some time to
acquire different tastes. It is often a welcome break though!
Also, there comes a time in everyone's existence in America when
one is absolutely tired of cooking. The better cook you are,
the later this will happen. And yes, you will feel at times that
you were better off eating commons grub. Most students cook
regularly, so ensure you know the basics for a simple meal, and
then learn specialties if you have the time and motivation.
commonly available all season are Potatoes, Onions, Green peppers
(Capsicum), Tomatoes, various kinds of beans including green
beans, Chana, kidney beans, and others. Cauliflower, Cabbage,
mushrooms, are also available easily. All kinds of meats are
kinds of dals are available at Indian stores in Terre Haute and
Indianapolis. For those more ambitious, there are a number
of on-line recipe books you can find on the internet. Whether
you're looking for new ideas, or just a "Indian grad.
student's cookbook", many of these are floating around on the
to expect after coming here :
students prefer to stay in family housing in groups of two, in
order to lower their expenses. Single/Double bedroom apartments
(furnished/unfurnished) are available around the university.
Unfurnished apartments will include a refrigerator, a cooking
range cum oven, and other fixtures.
Furnished apartments will throw in furniture (sofas, drawers etc.)
as well. Family Housing is provided with a telephone connection
rent per student ranges from $175 to $ 260 on a sharing basis.
Upon your arrival, ISA will try and accommodate you along with
other students in an apartment. Please bring along bedspreads,
cushions, utensils (a pressure cooker, a few pots and pans and
some ladles), plates, spices, cook books etc.
If you eat mostly at home, food would run around $100 a month for
supplies, plus the cost of eating out.
The comprehensive health insurance costs around $600-700/year
depending on your age. While
its a lot of money, medical costs are prohibitive and can ruin you
if you are ever hospitalized without insurance.
Get used to walking, as you will have do a lot of that, at least in the
beginning. Public transport is available, and
while its useful to go to a few specific places. Bus schedules are
every one hour, taxies are expensive (and not
available on the street, you need to call for them). Making
friends with people who own cars is a good idea. The temples are
not accessible by bus, so you'll have to go with someone who is
The Foreign Student orientation is very useful - you get many
useful tips, and make many friends.
Its common for unknown people to smile at each other, and say
things like "how are you?" or "how's
going?" even when they pass you on the street. These don't
mean much, and are often just an artifact of social etiquette almost any answer is fine. Especially for women (well, guys too),
don't misinterpret a smile or a trivial question from an unknown
member of the opposite sex.
Days are very long in summer. Even in August, it won't get dark
until after 8:30 PM. The downside is that in winter its dark by 5