Culture

 

Learning

 

Leisure

 

Community engagement

 

Physical demand

 

  • All meals included Yes
  • Free beverages No
  • Persons per room 2-4
  • Wifi in public areas Yes
  • Laundry facilities No
  • Safety box No
  • Lockable rooms Yes
  • Hot shower No
  • Private bathroom Yes
  • Western toilet Yes
  • Bed linen Yes
  • Towels No
  • Mosquito protection No
  • Fan Yes
  • Air conditioning No

Program & Schedule

This is an Eco - travel project that lets you visit 5 distinct states in India in a month. Letting you experience everything from its amazing culture to its sublime cuisine by travelling through a cross section of this vast sub-continent. Keeping with the values of our organisation, this program is environmentally friendly.

This travel tour starts from Goa which boasts of pristine beaches and Indo-Portuguese culture and into the ancient temple kingdom of Hampi to marvel at its stone architecture and ancient cultures. From here we go down South to the backwaters of Kerala and hike in the tea plantations of the blue mountains as it is called. Travel to the Southwestern part of Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu to visit magnificent ancient Hindu Temples and also witness ancient form of dancing. Your tour then takes you to North of India to the foothills of Himalayas in Sikkim where you can help the local Himalayan communities by teaching at local schools and in renovating Buddhist Monasteries.

You will have the most memorable experience visiting local markets, tasting various Indian cuisine, temple visits, nature experience and taking part in community service in many ways will be the norm for these 21 days.

The program also focuses on a variety of community engagement projects. You will have the opportunity to work alongside local people at our renovation projects at our community schools and also take part in environmental initiatives.

We encourage our participants to take the initiative to build, renovate and beautify Buddhist monasteries or public schools as most of the schools in India and community centers are not very attractive, do not have the learning atmosphere and excellent infrastructure for children. We are working to make such type of centers attractive with children friendly aspects.

Activities

  • Cleaning and dusting the walls, ceiling , scraping off the old paint
  • Apply base color (once or twice as per requirement)
  • Plan out the required drawings as per requirement of the class
  • Draw and paint animals, alphabets, colors, fruits, vegetables, body parts , tables, rainbow, shapes etc
  • Gardening (eg. teaching children to grow a vegetable garden)
  • Cleaning the classrooms
  • Handover the beautified classrooms to children/ community
  • Carpentry (fixing doors, windows or any wooden installations
  • Setup rainwater harvesting system at remote villages
  • Build basic toilets for underprivileged communities in remote rural villages
  • Building play structures for children
  • Constructing tanks for easy access of clean drinking water at the slums
  • Construction of clean and hygienic toilets
  • Construction of cooking stoves as the slums
  • Setting up solar panels at the slums as per-requirements

What’s included

  • Airport transfers as per the policy - Airport Pickup in Goa
  • Presence of a dedicated program coordinator throughout your travel, at the projects and facilities- Logistical management support in case of emergencies
  • Authentic Indian meals and European (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for the duration of the entire program as per the meal plan - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation at hotels, home stays, and at our accommodation facility - Shared accommodation.
  • Local transportation to all venues
  • Entry fees to all places
  • Extensive pre-departure information

What’s Excluded

  • Personal expenses such as table drinks, room service items, laundry, telephone calls, tips, portage at hotels or airport, bottles of water during your road travel etc.
  • Any additional expenses caused by or liability for disturbance in trip program due to circumstances, weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots etc.
  • Liability for or insurance against injury, loss of life, accidents or loss of goods.
  • Our program does not cover any liability and does not insure participants. Participants must have appropriate insurance before joining the program.
  • Any camera fee where applicable.
  • Visa application.
  • Any service not specified above

A few things to consider while you are with us

  • The participants are requested to be back at the center or guest houses by 22:30 everyday
  • Participants will not be entertained to hire any vehicles on their own
  • Consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited at all our Centers
  • Respect and adhere to our code of conduct
  • Our staff is there to support you and to guide you and make your trip memorable, we request you to kindly follow their instructions at all times.
  • You will not be allowed to bring outsiders inside our centers, guest houses or hotels
  • Please provide your mobile phone number during the time of booking, as this will be useful for us to contact you at the Goa Airport as this is quite a crowded airport, and we would not want to lose you!

Aims & Objectives

The aim of this program is to bring you closer to the authentic India from the south to the north. Through different projects and activities, you will get to truly immerse yourself in various diverse culture, ancient architecture, different customs and lifestyle.

Schedule

Week 1

Day 1: Monday

After your arrival at Dabolim Airport in Goa on Sunday. Upon arrival, our coordinators will receive you at the airport and transfer you to our base in North Goa which is about 45 minute drive.

This day you will be introduced to your fellow travelers and other participants working on various social projects. Begin with an orientation session which will take you through Indian culture, do’s and don’ts as a traveler in India, and safety precautions during your travel. We then go out to visit the famous colorful Goan market and visit the North Goan beach to watch the sun go down the Arabian sea.

Day 2: Tuesday

Today we begin our day to visit old Goa, the part which was previously a Portuguese colony. Admire the beautiful Portuguese architecture and visit the beautiful spice plantation hidden away in the mountains and enjoy some great spread of Indian food in the pristine location. Later in the evening, we go for a Bollywood movie.

Day 3: Wednesday

Today you will learn cooking Goan food and visit the beach for a few hours.

Day 4: Thursday

Today in the morning we will give you a hindi language class,teaching you few word which will be helpful for you through your travel in india, in the afternoon after lunch you will go and visit the fort Aguada before taking an evening bus to Hampi on a journey back in time, ruins of an ancient Hindu kingdom and an world UNESCO heritage site.

Day 5: Friday

Check into a beautifully located guest house close to the river Tunga. We then go on a bicycle tour of this ancient kingdom to visit amazingly carved temples and witness breathtaking views of the kingdom. In the evening, experience Yoga at Sunset on a hill overlooking the mountains.

Day 6: Saturday

Begin your day with Yoga at Sunrise and meditation and go on a coracle ride in the river Tunga and witness this kingdom through another perspective. This evening, we depart to another destination called Mysore which was the capital of South India centuries ago.

Day 7: Sunday

Check into a beautiful guest house and visit the famous Mysore Palace and an impressive Indian temple situated on a hill. In the evening we visit the Palace light illumination.

Week 2

Day 8: Monday

Visit the famous Mysore Devaraj Urs market and taste a spread of south Indian food. We then visit a silk factory where you can witness the making of silk saree.

This evening we take a bus to the backwaters of Kerala.

Day 9: Tuesday

Arrive in the morning. After breakfast get an Ayurvedic massage and later check into a boathouse. Here you will cruise the whole day in the backwaters, and enjoy dinner on the boat and an overnight stay in the boathouse. You will also get a chance to visit markets along the backwaters.

Day 10: Wednesday

Later in the morning, we depart to Munnar also called the blue hills of tea plantations, one of the biggest in south of India. Munnar is a hill station in the Western Ghats located in the state of Kerala. Munnar, a hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, is set within rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the 19th century.

Witness traditional art of Kalaripayattu and kathakali dance at Punarjani traditional village. Stay overnight at a guest house situated in the mountains overlooking the plantations.

Day 11: Thursday

Departure to Madurai.

In the morning, we walk through a nature trail through the tea plantations in the mountains of Munnar. And enjoy the beautiful landscape.

As the third largest city of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is a city known for its historical and cultural significance, the first association with the city being the acclaimed Meenakshi Amman Temple. In fact, the city has been constructed in the form of a lotus around the Meenakshi Amman temple. An ancient city with a rich cultural and architectural heritage, it is called the ‘Athens of the east’; but Madurai, arguably, has as much as history as Athens itself. The Greeks traded with the then Pandya kingdom from the 3rd to the 10th century B.C.

Day 12: Friday

Madurai. Sightseeing in Madurai where you will visit 3 iconic temples, witness a Carnatic music and take in a temple concert in this ancient city.

Day 13: Saturday

We take a flight to Bagdogra and by road to Gangtok the capital of Sikkim.

Sikkim is a small state in northwest India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape including India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kanchenjunga. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.

Day 14: Sunday

Rest Day in Gangtok, Sikkim. Evening we go to explore the town of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.

Week 3

Day 15-19: Monday to Friday

Help in renovation activities at the Buddhist monastery of Sikkim

Day 20: Saturday

A day for you to relax and go on shopping if you choose to.

Day 21: Sunday

Departure

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:                -

Maximum age:                -

Minimum English level:        Basic

CRB required:                On Signup

Passport copy required:        On Signup

Resume copy required:        No

Required qualification:        None

Additional Requirements

  • Due to the length and active nature of this program, a decent level of fitness is required.
  • This program should be booked at least 4 weeks in advance.
  • Participants below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
  • Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Living & Location

A route takes you from Goa to Hampi and then we head south towards Mysore. We travel down again to Kerala and towards the east to Chennai. From here we travel to the North eastern region to Sikkim.

About Goa

This tiny state along the west coast with distinct culture absorbed from the legacy of its colonial past. The evidence of the 400–odd years of Portuguese rule is still apparent in the people's dress, language, religion and cuisine and in their music, a fusion of the plaintive fado with the lilting rhythms of local folk songs. Today, Goa is one of India’s most popular holiday destinations, with its idyllic beaches, lush paddy fields, coconut plantations and villages dotted with pretty white-washed churches and grand mansions. Goa’s friendly, easy-going people go out of their way to make visitors feel at home.

About Hampi

A UNESCO world heritage site on the south bank of the river Tungabhadra has inspired many architects, travelers, explorers, archaeologists, scholars, traders and many more through the centuries and still is a traveler's paradise. Hampi boasts of evocative ruins of Vijayanagar or the “City of Victory”. The capital of three generations of Hindu rulers for more than 200 years. The site, which comprises the Sacred and Royal Centres, has a superb location with rocky ridges and granite boulders acting as natural defenses. This is the first place on a traveler's bucket list if you are ever in Southern India.

About Mysore

Situated among the fertile fields and skirted by wooded hills, Mysore was the capital of the Wodeyar rulers, who were governors of southern Karnataka. Today, Mysore is an important cultural centre, with the largest university in Karnataka state. It is also renowned for its ivory work, silk weaving, sandalwood incense and carvings.

About Kerala

A cruise along the backwaters is one of the most enchanting experiences that Kerala offers. Explore this labyrinthine network of waterways, which weave through villages set amidst lush vegetation offers glimpses of Kerala’s unique rural lifestyle, where land and water are inseparable. The most popular backwaters tour is from Kollam, situated between Ashtamudi Lake and the Arabian Sea, to Alleppey on the edge of Vembanad Lake.

About Madurai

One of South India’s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Minakshi Temple. This ancient city on the banks of the Vaigai river has over the centuries been a rich repository of Tamil culture. Some 2000 years ago it hosted the famous Sangams (gatherings of writers and poets), which were to provide Tamil literature with some of its most enduring works. From the 7th to 13th centuries, it saw art and trade with Rome and China flourish. Today, religion and culture remain a vibrant part of the city’s daily life.

About Sikkim

An area of unspoilt natural beauty, framed by snowcapped Himalayan peaks, Sikkim has only recently been opened to visitors. Sikkim is an bowl consisting of rivers, tranquil monasteries and villages, forests of rhododendron, yaks grazing in meadows filled with alpine flowers, charming rural markets, and superb views of the world’s third highest peak, Mount Kanchendzonga. Gangtok the capital of Sikkim reflects this tiny state’s extraordinary ethnic diversity. In the crowded city which spills precariously down a ridge, Lepchas (the region’s original inhabitants) live alongside Tibetans, Bhutias, Nepalis and Indians from the plains. Through Now full of modern structures, Gangtok’s “Shangrila” aspects can still be experienced in pockets of the city and in its alpine environs.

Along the route you will have overnight stays in hotels/guest houses, busses and trains. More information can be found inside the schedule.

Food Arrangements

Mostly Indian style dishes (vegetarian and chicken) will be served during the trip.

Facilities

Along the route - but not at all times - there are ATMs and small local stores. Please make sure you have enough money with you before starting the trip.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

You’ll be on a busy schedule.

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Sikkim

Quick Facts

Name:                Republic of India (Bhārat Gaṇarājya)

Population:        1.252 billion

Capital:        New Delhi

Language:        Hindi, English and 22 other officially recognized languages

Currency:        Indian Rupee (INR)

Time zone:        UTC +5:30

Country Information

India is known for its pyramid-like temples, its colorful streets and it’s crowded cities. This country represents the most vivid and large culture in the world. From the golden triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra to the coast where Ayurveda medicine was born, India offers a 360 degree journey through the most magical lands. Known for being the second most populated country in the world, India will show you the faces of thousands of Hindu gods in its very vast collection of temples all throughout the country. The land of colors and smiles is ready to take you on your next adventure whether road tripping or helping out in local communities, this sub-continent will amaze your senses. India will shift the way you see the world.

With over a billion citizens in this large country, India’s literacy rate is around 60% for women and 80% for men. Their principal language is Hindi and English is also commonly used in major cities. Delhi, the capital of India, is what many would call the real deal when travelling through the country. It is one of the biggest and most populated cities in the whole world with up to 25 million citizens. Delhi is known for its amazing cuisine and its new modality of “street food”, which means restaurants with every specialty you can imagine are available to you all throughout the city! Chennai is another of the biggest cities in India, known as the “Detroit of India” for its automobile industry. If you are looking for a quieter spot Kerala is the centre of lifestyle, art, architecture, language and literature in all of the country!

POINTS TO REMEMBER

Do’s:

  • Do always carry a copy of your passport and other identification cards.
  • Do carry a personal first-aid kit, a tube of mosquito repellent, sun lotion and always bottled or filtered water. Do consume as much fluids as you can.
  • Be civil with the local transport, especially with tuk-tuk.
  • Do be aware that water is used instead of toilet paper in India. However, you need to buy some toilet paper in big cities or big towns as it is difficult to get in small places.
  • Do try to be clean and neatly dressed. Decent western clothes or Indian clothes are preferable. Your cloths can be loose but should not be too revealing, as this might draw unnecessary attention. You are liable to be judged by your appearance and will be treated accordingly.
  • Do try the traditional Indian food! If you find it difficult to get used to it, you can stock up on tinned food, biscuits, fruits etc… after arriving here. But always wash the fruit before eating it.
  • On long train journeys avoid buying food on the trains or platforms. Buy your train tickets well in advance before your travel.
  • In the non-urban areas, food is eaten on the floor, sitting cross legged. Shoes/sandals should not be brought near the place of eating. Neither is cutlery used – only the fingers of the right hand are. Hands should be thoroughly cleaned before and after the meal.
  • Do keep in touch with our coordinators during the all time of your stay and inform them about any changes, illnesses or leaving times from your project.
  • Do be hospitable, friendly and kind. It costs nothing.
  • “NAMASTE”- folding your hands together in a praying gesture is the traditional form of greeting. Women usually use this form of greeting while men usually do also shake hands.
  • Do expect the unexpected.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t go out without informing your coordinators. Always tell them where you are going to, whom you are going to meet and when you are expected to be back. Don’t come home late.
  • Don’t consume alcohol or smoke in the house or at project sites. Smoking is strictly prohibited at project site. Don’t make use of any items in your project / house without obtaining prior permission. E.g.: international telephone calls.
  • Don’t stay secluded – spend enough time with other participants. Always try to socialize and play an active role in the day-to-day affairs. Also help with the daily household chores.
  • Don’t enter the house with footwear. This is just the case in some households.
  • Don’t hitch hike. It is not safe to hitch a ride from anyone at anytime. Avoid always.
  • Don’t give your address or telephone number just because people ask for it. Before you give your address to someone, make sure you want to remain in touch with them.
  • Don’t accept food or drinks from strangers on trains or elsewhere. Try to travel with someone, so that you can watch out for each other. But if you travel alone, don’t lose sight of your belongings. Take only as much money as you need and don’t take out your money belt in front of people.
  • Don’t visit any stranger’s home alone.
  • Don’t publicly display your emotions at the project site or in public places (kissing or hugging, etc.). This is not accepted in the Indian society.
  • Don’t force your culture on others, always be ready to accept and learn. Your learning experience in India will depend on your will to adapt.

***Try not to become paranoid after reading all these tips. Everybody in India is not out to cheat you. It pays to be cautious but use your own judgments and instinct.***

Gastronomy

India as a country is already very various and the same can be said about the food. Every state and every region is having its own dishes and ways of cooking, it even differs from religion to religion. The main differences you can see in the food from the north and the south.

The basis of an Indian meal usually is rice (in the south) and wheat in form of a special flat bread (in the north). Generally this is eaten with Dhal (lentils), Sabzi (vegetables), fish or meat and chutney. After the meal you can choose between the lots of different Indian sweets.

A thali is the all-purpose Indian dish. This product of South-India is also found in other parts of the country and consists of a metal plate with a number of small metal bowls filled with a variety of curry, vegetable dishes, a couple of papads, puris or chapattis and a mountain of rice. Thalis are consistently tasty rather cheap and 100% filling.

Many coastal areas have excellent seafood freshly caught and cooked in many different ways. But one will also find that every region has its special preparation for chicken, being it tandoori, kebab and so on.

Chaat is the general term for snacks, besides that India shares a huge variety of sweets that can be found on every corner and which are extremely sweet for a foreigners taste. Believe it or not, there is no such thing as curry in India; it is an English invention to cover the whole range of Indian food spicing. Spices are blended in a certain combination to produce Masala in various mixes.

Despite typical Indian food a great selection of foods from other parts of the world can be found here. The Chinese and Thai influence blesses us with marvelous dishes in a number of restaurants all over the subcontinent. Also found are continental restaurants which are becoming increasingly popular in all major cities. And sometimes even a taste of Europe can be enjoyed here such as an Italian Pasta restaurant, a French pastry or a German bakery.

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

Passport & Visa

Your passport should be valid for at least minimum 6 months after the return date for issuing a Visa. Regular Tourist Visas are given for either 3 or 6 months at the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate. Your purpose of visit should be TOURISTIC, nothing else. The visa is given from the date of issue and not from the dates you mention in the application. Extension of this visa in India is not possible. This can only be done in Indian Embassies that are located outside India. All visitors must have a return ticket. Upon arrival, please give a copy of your passport, visa & your air ticket. It will be kept safely in our office, so that it could help you in case you lose the originals.

Departure Tax

Most participants choose to depart from India by means of flying. The departure fee at the airport is included in the flight ticket so you will not need to cover this fee.

Health

Vaccinations: All updated information about vaccinations is available at: www.who.org (The World Health Organization’s website). There is no compulsory vaccination to enter India. However, it is recommended to undertake the following: Diphtheria, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid. Please consult your doctor and the above-mentioned website of the W.H.O. for updates and special warnings.

Allergies: Please inform us of any allergies you may have, so that the team leaders and coordinators are prepared and special arrangements can be made for you.

Insurance

You are required to subscribe to a health or travel insurance before arrival to India. It should be valid for the entire period of your stay outside your country. For more details, contact your sending organization.

Departure

The participants will have to arrange for their own transportation costs from our Center to the airport or to their next location as per their travel plans.

MONEY

The national currency of India is the Rupee.

***Kindly check the exchange rates on Google as the prices keep fluctuating***

How to access your money in India?

Currency Exchange:

You are allowed to bring up to 10,000 US Dollars into the country (without having to declare it at the customs office upon arrival).

All moneychangers in India accept US Dollars, Euros, and G.B. Pounds. Please be aware that some of them take a commission for the service. Always check before exchanging any money. The official exchange rates are available on all major newspapers daily.

Credit/Debit Cards:

Most major cities and tourist centers accept credit cards, with MasterCard, American Express and Visa being the most widely accepted. Cash advances on major credit cards can be made at various banks. For details about whether you can access home accounts in India, inquire at your bank before leaving. Credit cards are accepted at almost all top-end hotels and at many mid-range ones, however, only a handful of budget hotels/restaurants/shops accept them.

At ATMs: be aware that your bank is likely to impose higher charges on international transactions, so once in India it’s generally more economical to withdraw large amounts of money than make lots of small transactions. Always check in advance with your home bank whether your card can indeed access banking networks in India and if so, what the charge per transaction is and whether they have schemes to minimize these.

Money Transfer:

If you run out of money it can be transferred in no time (at a charge of course) via Thomas Cook’s Money gram service or at Western Union, both of which have branches throughout India. To collect cash, bring your passport and the name and reference number of the person who sent the funds.

COMMUNICATION

Many parts of the country have good communications infrastructure. You will be able to easily send and receive emails and call internationally through the many internet cafes and WiFi enabled shops in India. You can also use a mobile phone. If you bring a mobile phone that is SIM card compatible you can get a SIM card and an Indian mobile number for approximately US$5 which is great for keeping in touch with other participants and also home. Both International and local/long distance calls can be made. NB: The country code of India is +91. You will be guided on this during your orientation.

GETTING THERE & AWAY

If possible try and book as far in advance as possible. Often airlines will offer cheaper seats on the first few seats sold to encourage sales.

Also get quotes from two or three local travel agents. Sometimes travel agents can get special offers from airlines which are better than the airlines are offering on their website.

India has several Airlines flying in and out of the country. Airlines include; Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Air France, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Air France and Oman Air . Comprehensive travel agents in your home country will check all these options to find you the best deals.

EXPECTATIONS

Please read the following text before you start meditating about your expectations:

(From a participants: a message to all other participants…)

“Your Expectations are your worst enemy?!”

What do you expect from your India experience?

  • To learn about a new culture?
  • To eat good food?
  • To take part in a political and/or humanitarian act?
  • To receive support and to help others?
  • To work within a dynamic team?
  • To change the world? Or simply to have fun?

However, if these expectations are not met, how will this make you feel? Disappointed? Frustrated? Useless? Or just let down?

Imagine having NO expectations, meeting your new experience with an open-mind…. Will this enhance and enrich your experience? YES! It will give you the freedom to be accepting. It will give you the chance to discover and for you to enjoy your wonderful personal experience as an open minded, wide-eyed person.

Some people say to participate in social work is a completely unselfish act. Is it? Is it not about self-discovery, learning and exchange? To live within a different culture and work alongside local people could this be a unique experience for you? Should we as people from the developed world enforce our views and ways on the developing countries? Should we say ‘our’ way is better? Or should we learn, assist, train and experience? And should this exchange happen for both parties, the participants and the local community?

So finally, does this cultural experience enable us to then teach, inspire and enthuse others, either at home or on our travels? As a participant you have helped in producing an end result, whether it is helping to build a wall, painting boats, teaching English or contributing to Eco Tourism in a village. But, is the process you go through to achieve this aim just as important as the end product? Maybe even more so?!

Our Lives are all individual journeys. The chance to choose the social path is a great opportunity! To discuss and interact with like-minded people from different parts of the world means self-development for all. To venture into this experience with an accepting, open-mind will help us leave and live as adaptable, developing human beings. And so, the environment enables this memorable exchange to take place.”

What we expect from you:

We expect all participants to have read and understood this profile. Be on time and stay the entire length of your travel, SO PLEASE PLAN ALL THE PERSONAL TRAVELLING AFTER OR BEFORE YOUR TIME WITH US. Quitting your program before the end of the program term can cause a lot of inconvenience to the the travel plan and the people involved in it.

All Participants should:

  • Co-operate with us by adapting to your new culture and for your security
  • Show interest and responsibility during your program
  • Adjust to the way of life at our center (house) or project
  • Realize that the living conditions are many times different than at home (sometimes no warm water due to power failure/air-conditioning/ easy access to international phone or internet/ easy transportation at all times, mosquitoes…etc)
  • Be open minded, flexible, leave prejudice behind, and show initiative
  • Understand that a lot of time will be spent with local people who do not speak English (very well). Participants should make an effort in trying to communicate in the local language; this shows your interest (and patience!).
  • Be creative. Share your thoughts and ideas for the work, discussions, the project, and the work
  • Only English is accepted when others are around, even if they do not join in on the conversation
  • Your appearance should be presentable at the project. In many cases, a “dress code” is mandatory: long sleeves and pants, no extravagant or minimal clothing.
  • Behavior and dress code should be culture sensitive, especially while in the village or schools.
  • Cleanliness is very essential and is mandatory.

Moreover, and most important: Being with us means that you are part of a community of participants from all over the world. Your daily enthusiasm, initiative, and the will to improve (the project, the lifestyle and the learning that comes with all contacts between people) are expected. We learn by doing, only by taking initiatives and therefore sometimes making mistakes, we learn.

What you can expect from us:

As a participant, what you can expect is:

  • An Airport Pickup and transfer on arrival
  • A comprehensive orientation
  • Transportation
  • Your Basic Board & Lodge is taken care of (food and accommodation)
  • Feedback Sessions
  • A well experienced tour guide available during an emergency and at all times for support and advice
  • a contact person to assist you during the program term
  • You can also expect to meet with many young people, have fun, experience, exchange and learn a lot
  • Have a safe stay in a foreign country and enjoy the fruit of several years of experience in the field of travel
  • A certificate of participation at the end of our program

Fun

You will have loads of fun by

  • International mix of participants: you get the chance to travel with people and make friends from all over the world
  • "At home" experience at the accommodation
  • Explore interesting destinations
  • Wholesome programs with lots of enjoyable experiences
  • Working with welcoming communities
  • A wide and exciting range of activities
  • Opportunities to relax and energize

Personal Growth

The program will create a better version of the participants by:

  • The chance to build supreme confidence and bringing changes to your own life
  • Developing an appreciation for other ways of thinking and living
  • Learning new skills and applying your current skills
  • Learning about new cultures, languages and habits
  • Developing patience and sense of satisfaction
  • Increasing social and interpersonal skills
  • Getting renewed creativity, motivation and vision
  • Making a difference in another person’s life (a very cool thing to do)
  • Developing gratitude for what you already have by working with those who have a lot less
  • Sharpening your problem solving skills

What you can’t expect:

  • Special food: with respect to the different diets of each one (vegetarian, non-vegetarian, allergies). We provide mostly Indian food. Please don’t expect us to provide foreign/imported food items, or to pay for food and accommodation outside the itinerary.
  • Alcohol or cigarettes (of course…).
  • Changes in the project during your project week (unless in very special/serious cases).

Recommendations for your Health whilst travelling (VERY IMPORTANT)

  • Drink as much water as possible and keep yourself hydrated
  • Keep away from junk food, oily food, and street food
  • Wear warm clothes
  • If you have any personal medications, please follow them regularly
  • If you are allergic to any food or anything, please our coordinator know
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat anything
  • Go very slow on spicy food if you choose to try all types of Indian dishes

Terms and Conditions

Schedule could change to unavoidable circumstances

  • The participants are requested to be back at the center or guest houses by 22:30 everyday
  • Mode of transportation could change due to unavoidable circumstances
  • Participants will not be entertained to hire any vehicles on their own
  • Consumption of alcohol are strictly prohibited at all our Centers
  • Respect and adhere to our code of conduct
  • Our staff are there to support you and to guide you and make your trip memorable, we request you to kindly follow their instructions at all times.
  • You will not be allowed to bring outsiders inside our centers, guest houses or hotels
  • Please provide your mobile phone number during the time of booking, as this will be useful for us to contact you at the Delhi Airport as this is quite a crowded airport, and we would not want to lose you!

Climate

India is so vast that climatic conditions in the far north have little relation to those of the extreme south. While the heat is building up to breaking point on the plains, the people of Ladakh, in the Himalaya, will still be waiting for the snow to melt on the high passes.

India has a three-season year – the hot, the wet and the cool. Generally, the best time to visit is during winter (November to February) although there are regional variations.

Summer (hot): The heat starts to build up on the northern plains of India from around February, and by April or May it really hots up. In central India temperatures of 45C and above are commonplace. Later in May, the first signs of the monsoon are visible in some areas – high humidity, violent electrical storms, short rain-storms and dust storms that turn day into night. The hot season is the time to leave the plains and retreat to the hills, and this is when Himalayan hill stations are at their best (and busiest). By early June, the snow on the passes into Ladakh melts and the roads reopen.

Monsoon (wet): When the monsoon finally arrives, it does not just suddenly appear. After some advance warning, the rain comes in steadily, generally starting around 1 June in the extreme south and sweeping north to cover the whole country by early July. The monsoon doesn’t really cool things down: at first hot dry and dusty weather is simply replaced by hot, humid, muddy conditions. Even so, it’s a welcome relief, not least for farmers who face their busiest time of year as they prepare fields for planting. It doesn’t rain solidly all day during the monsoon, but certainly rains virtually every day the water tend to come down in buckets for a while followed by the sun. The main monsoon comes from the southwest, but the southeast coast is affected by the short and surprisingly wet northeast monsoon, which brings rain from mid-October to the end of December.

Although the monsoon brings life in India, it also brings its share of death. Almost every year there are destructive floods and thousands of people are made homeless. Rivers rise and sweep away road and railway lines and many flights schedules can be disrupted. In recent times, poor monsoon have lead to crippling droughts in many parts of rural India.

Winter (cool): Finally, around October, the monsoon ends for most of the country, and this is when most tourists visit. Generally, it’s not too hot and not too cool (although in October it can still be surprisingly humid in some regions). Delhi and other northern cities become quite cold at night in December and January. It certainly becomes cold in the far north. In the far south, where it never gets truly cool, the temperatures become comfortably warm. Then, around February, the temperatures start to climb again and, before you know it, you’re back in the sweltering hot weather.

Culture

Hinduism is a big part of the story and construction of the Indian culture. India is known for its distinctive arts such as architecture, literature and performing arts but in the modern era it has shifted towards the film industry. Bollywood is followed by the Middle East, South Asia and even Russia! Their movies are known for its musical intake and beautiful stories and characters, all, native Indian. One of the things that characterize India the most is its caste system; this model includes the old tradition of arranged marriages and very traditional family values throughout castes and the country. Don’t miss a cricket match when you visit! It is the nation’s favourite sport and a beloved pastime in the country.

Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism are the major religious communities in the country. According to the 1990 census, Hindus constitute about 83% of the population followed by Muslims with 11% and Christians with 2%. Sikhs constitute about 1.6 %. Buddhists 0.6% Jains 0.3% and Zoroastrians (Parsees) 0.085%, of the 1 billion population. The rest constitute other minor religions. The population of all the 6 major religions has increased but Jainism has increased only marginally. India is a land of bewildering diversity. It is a jigsaw puzzle of people of every faith and religion, living together creating a unique and colorful mosaic. There is a festival for every reason and season. Many festivals celebrate the various harvests, signifying great historical figures and events while much express devotion to the deities of different religions. Every celebration revolves around rituals of prayer, seeking blessings, exchanging goodwill, and decorating houses, wearing new clothes, music, dance and feastings.