Tips from DAAD IndiAlumni members:

Everyday life

  • Dress according to where you are. Big cities and smaller villages have different cultural contexts.
  • In India you have to be prepared for the fact that Indians want to protect you excessively with good advice. So don’t get too unsettled by the people who recommend you only to take a taxi, to eat in good restaurants, etc.
  • Plan not in detail! Have a plan, but also be spontaneous. It always comes differently than you think.
  • German plugs fit into Indian sockets if you insert a pencil into the third hole.
  • A sleep mask and earplugs cannot do any harm.
  • As a foreigner you will be looked at and requested for pictures. If it gets too much you can always politely deny.
  • Open your heart for Bollywood, cricket and sweet tea, your time in India will be wonderful!
  • Buy local clothing. Buy grocery from the street vendors. You don’t have to go looking for a supermarket right away.
  • Get involved with the culture, i.e. also: try to establish & maintain Indian acquaintanceships next to your “fellow outgoings”.

Tips for eating

  • Don’t drink the water from the tap.
  • Take it slowly with the spicy food.


  • If you wear contact lenses, take plenty of spare lenses and solution with you.
  • Try everything out and don’t be afraid of diarrhoea, diseases etc. It is safe to eat even from street side stalls.
  • To buy mosquito repellent on site, India simply has the best remedies.
  • In the beginning it can be a challenge to buy the easiest things. Therefore, take tampons and the first set of emergency medications with you in your suitcase. But don’t panic! Medical care also works well in India.

Information sources

  • Not too much preparation, everything is different anyway than you read it and think, “get used to it” and integrate yourself as much as possible.
  • Read no Forums, 1000 guides, reference books! It will only confuse you. Make your own experiences, they are worth 1000 times more!

Road traffic

  • In India there are no traffic lights and mostly no sidewalks. The traffic is massive and chaotic. If you want to cross the road, stretch your arm out and work your way forward slowly. No one will stop completely for you.
  • Don’t always believe the rickshaw driver that he knows where he’s going! Best to follow it on Google Maps the first time.
  • Ordering a pre-paid Taxi from the airport makes the start easier.
  • Obey the traffic rules – means: the smarter one gives way… but sometimes you don’t get to cross the street.
  • Do not be afraid of taking public transport! It can actually be a good experience.