This document has been designed to answer any questions you might have about when/where/how to fly to India and what you need to do before you get on that plane! Any questions you can't find the answer to here can be talked through with our epic team by either calling the office on 02070961718 or by emailing [email protected].
There are a number of different airlines that fly in to Kempegowda International airport in Bengaluru (Bangalore), in the state of Karnataka in India. We recommend you shop around online to find the best deals. Please arrive between 4am and 9pm on the day your program starts. We will then come and collect you from Kempegowda International airport and take you to your accommodation.
If you arrive in the country early, please organise your own accommodation until the day your placement begins. We’ll arrange a time for you to meet us at the airport on pickup day.
If you need help or advice with flights, we work closely with Student Universe. You don’t have to be a student to benefit from their services and you can get in touch with them on 0844 560 9862 or by filling out this form. We recommend booking flights no more than three months in advance and buying your insurance at the same time, to cover you should the unexpected occur.
If you're joining us for the one week program your program will begin on a Sunday and will finish the following Sunday. The team will arrive back at Bengaluru airport from Mysore in the early evening. Please book your flight accordingly, preferably departing after 9pm to allow for travel time.
If you're joining us for two weeks the program will begin in Bengaluru on Sunday and finish on the Friday afternoon of the second week. The program ends in Kerala and the nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, so please keep this in mind when you are booking flights and please book flights departing after 3pm to allow for travel time.
If you are travelling on after the program please ensure that you travel with reputable agents and use websites such as TripAdvisor to research your onward travel plans. As we are not travel agents we are unable to advise you about further travel.
If you are flying back to Sri Lanka to complete your placement with us you will need to fly back into Sri Lanka via Colombo airport. Please get in touch with one of the SLV.Global team on [email protected] for more information before booking your flights.
Adequate insurance is compulsory to join us abroad, so don’t get on that plane until you’ve got insurance to cover you for your whole trip. Travel insurance needs to cover any medical expenses that may occur in country, delayed flights and lost baggage etc.
Travel insurance is different from health insurance and is specific to the country you are travelling to. Therefore, if you already have health insurance please do not assume it will cover you whilst you are abroad. You will need to check the details as this often isn't sufficient for overseas travel.
As with flights, Student Universeare really helpful for insurance too, and you don't need to be a student! If you are from the UK, you can get in touch with them on 0333 333 9224.
Joining us from outside of the UK? No problem! Visit World Nomads to find the best travel insurance policy for your trip.
It’s also worth checking that your provider will cover your care in a private hospital, as in emergencies we will always opt to take you to a private hospital as opposed to a local, public hospital.
What Happens at the Airport?
Once you arrive in India the team will be waiting at the airport to greet you in the arrivals hall. The team will endeavour to arrive early, however, occasionally your flight may be early or the Indian traffic descends upon us, which may make us a little late. In these instances, you could have a seat, freshen up, grab a snack or go get some cash from the ATM, 5,000 Indian Rupees is a good amount (around £50 GBP, €65 Euros or $70 USD). Don’t worry, we’ll be there soon and have not forgotten you, we promise. Please never ever leave the airport without a member of our team.
Before you fly India we’ll give you numbers for our team in India. Please ensure you have these saved in your phone, or on your person, and get in touch if there are any concerns. Once everyone’s arrived, we’ll take you to the School of Ancient Wisdom and you’ll get the chance to settle in and relax before starting the program the following day.
Any programme-specific transport in India will be provided, and organised, by SLV.Global. Indian public transport is particularly hectic and due to the amount that we plan on packing in we generally use private hire minibuses and coaches. Please don’t be expecting luxury though, it’s rough and ready, but safe.
As with all of our placements, we request that our team do not travel on their own during their program for any reason. If you plan on travelling on after the program, please ensure that you research appropriate travel arrangements and accommodation. Sites such as Trip Advisor can provide the most up to date information regarding specific hotels and travel options. It's well worth doing some research online before booking anywhere.
We’re not doctors, so, as a result, we’re not authorised to dispense health advice.
We trust all volunteers to take suitable precautions and volunteers are expected to get vaccinated against all possible contagions. Please see your GP or local travel clinic for advice on vaccinations.
Remember to tell them that whilst in India you will be visiting medical settings and will never be more than two hours from a hospital while travelling: we are not based in a remote location. For the most up-to-date information about travelling to please check: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
In some cases, if you have previously visited an area affected by Yellow fever you will be asked to produce evidence that you have been vaccinated. If this is the case, you should have already been vaccinated and should have the card with you ready to produce. Check with your GP or travel doctor if you are unsure.
Courses or boosters usually advised
+ Hepatitis B
This is spread through infected blood, contaminated needles and sexual intercourse. Vaccination is recommended for those at occupational risk (e.g. health care workers), for long stays or frequent travel. The vaccine is given as three shots over six months. A rapid schedule is also available, as is a combined vaccination with Hepatitis A. For 95% of people, a lifetime protection is the result.
+ Adult diphtheria
tetanus Single booster recommended if you haven’t had one in the previous 10 years. Side effects can include sore arm and/or a mild fever.
+ Hepatitis A
Provides almost 100% protection for up to a year; a booster after 12 months provides at least another 20 years’ protection. Mild side effects, such as headache and sore arm, occur in 5-10% of people getting the shot.
The vaccine offers around 70% protection, lasts for two to three years and comes as a single shot. Tablets are also available; however, the injection is usually recommended as it has fewer side effects. Sore arm and/or mild fever may occur.
Vaccines not required but sometimes advised:
+ Japanese Encephalitis
This is spread by mosquitoes. It is a serious infection of the brain and vaccination is advised for those in risk areas unable to avoid mosquito bites, staying for long periods (e.g. more than 4 weeks) or visiting rural areas.
+ Meningitis Single injection
There are two types of vaccination: the quadrivalent vaccine gives two to three years protection; meningitis group C vaccine gives around 10 years protection. Recommended for long-term backpackers aged under 25.
+ Tuberculosis (TB)
Adult long-term travellers are usually recommended to have a TB skin test before and after travel, rather than vaccination. Only one vaccine is given in a lifetime.
Course of 3 injections, but you should never be more than 3 hours away from a hospital in India.