Brief description of organisation
SLV.Global is a mental health organisation that has been sending students and graduates overseas since 2010. Our placements are designed to provide valuable work experience in the mental health sector as well as promoting positive mental health within the communities where we work.
To give you a bit more information about what our Clinical & Ancient Psychology program entails, we’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions for parents and guardians. We’re always available to speak to you, but would prefer to liaise with the individual taking part in the placement to avoid any confusion and promote the clear communication which is so essential to anyone joining us on the team.
Is it safe?
Our participants’ safety is our top priority and we have excellent exit strategies in place should anything occur. We would never place our participants in a position where we felt their safety might be compromised. We also always recommend checking the Foreign Travel Office for the most up to date information about travel before the program is set to begin.
Participants never travel alone during the program and should not be doing so during their free time either. We are always available to the team, and should any incident occur we will provide the best support we can. Participants will have the numbers of team leaders and are advised to be mindful of their surroundings, especially after dark.
What will they be doing?
Our program in India is for those with a keen interest in global mental health and is comprised of two parts. The first is a week-long immersive educational experience, which provides a unique and unparalleled insight into global mental health treatment at one of the most prestigious psychiatric hospitals and higher education institutions in all of Asia.
Part two is a tour of southern India. Week Two’s itinerary changes depending on the time of year, to account for monsoon season. You will find more information about this in the next section.
Both parts of this program are designed to give participants a greater understanding of mental health treatment abroad and how various cultural and environmental factors can influence understanding of mental health and impact approaches to treatment.
Where will they be learning?
Please click on the dropdowns below to read about the program's itinerary.
+ Week 1
Participants spend the first half of their first week at the remarkably tranquil School of Ancient Wisdom, immersing themselves in interactive, practical workshops on topics like Ancient Yoga for Mental Health, Mindfulness, Laughing Yoga and Self-Actualisation Chakra Meditation. All sessions are run by local professionals, including clinical psychologists who double as yogis.
The latter part of the first week takes place at a state-of-the-art psychiatric facility where participants will get the chance to speak with clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists working in the mental health field in India and beyond.
Participants then move on to Mysore and spend the weekend soaking up one of India’s most beautiful cities, before travelling down the coast for week 2.
+ September - May
The second week, spent travelling southern India by land and sea, was added by popular demand. Spending a week learning about Indian culture and how it influences and dictates much of the way society functions is given further context by spending more time exploring this sublimly complex country.
Next, the team will stop for two nights in the electric city of Cochin, where the history is as rich and complex as the smells wafting from the gorgeous markets, bursting with spices, antiques and curiosities. Finally, settling in Alleppy and on the slippy, serpentine backwaters of Kerala, the team can laze, feast and take in the stunning sights of the sea on their very own houseboat.
+ June - August
The team depart magical Mysore for Chikmagalur where, on the way, they'll roll through a nature reserve and a tea plantation before heading to some ancient temples and on to their accommodation for the next two nights, which is a local homestay. Here the team will be hosted by a local family and will have the chance to get stuck into the cooking or just relax and observe. Day two, the team can chase waterfalls and cavort in caves while soaking up all the gorgeous natural beauty of the landscape.
Next, after sampling all the stunning natural beauty of Chikmagalur, participants will head off to Hampi. Hampi is an ancient city where the ruins of various temples pepper the landscape. The team will visit Matanga Hill, a super spot to catch a sunrise or sunset.
After two nights in Hampi, participants will board the sleeper train and head back to Bangalore to catch their flight home.
Where will they be living?
+ Week 1
During the first week of the program, participants will reside at the School of Ancient Wisdom for the first half of the week. This will allow them to immerse themselves in practical workshops on topics like Ancient Yoga for Mental Health, Mindfulness, Laughing Yoga and Self-Actualisation Chakra Meditation.
The latter part of the first week will be spent in hotel-style accommodation, while participants attend workshops at the nearby psychatric facility.
+ September - May
During the dry season, the team will travel south exploring gorgeous nature reserves, tea plantations and the southern coast of India through Wayanad and Cochin. During this time, participants will be hosted by local families.
The program will terminate with a trip down the Kerala backwaters, residing on their very own houseboat.
+ June - August
During monsoon season, the team will travel north from Mysore to Chikmagalur, exploring tea plantations and residing in local homestays along the way. The team will also spend a night on a sleeper train back to Bangalore after exploring Hampi and its gorgeous temples.
How can they contact home?
Although most accommodation does not provide Wi-Fi, 3G is widely available and fairly reliable if participants have an international phone plan.
During the program there will be places where participants can connect to Wi-Fi in their spare time, however, due to the lack of constant connection, participants will not be available 24/7.
Why does it cost to take part?
As much as we would love to provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about global mental health, and explore the wonders of Southern India, free of charge - we can’t.
The fees cover accommodation, workshops, seminars, support, and most of their meals and transport. We also feel it is important to financially support the lovely program facilitators who give their time to educate our SLV.India participants, as well as the team who supports each participant throughout the program.
We believe in providing a safe, comfortable and ethical experience for participants. We are confident that the experience we provide, is second to none.
Can you visit?
You can, of course, visit India while your loved one is on the program. However, please be advised that our participants are extremely busy during the program and are strongly advised not to travel alone. We expect all of our team members to maintain their commitment to the program, so we ask you please help us to stick to this commitment.
What if they get sick?
India is a popular tourist destination and, as such, has fantastic hospitals and healthcare. We will always take our participants to English speaking doctors to ensure we can communicate any medical complaints accurately.
If a hospital visit is necessary we will take our participants to a private, western hospital. This is why it is vital that each participant purchases adequate travel insurance to cover them for the entire duration of their trip.
What support is available?
From the time that our participants arrive at the airport, to the end of their program, we have a great support system in place. There is a support team on hand at all times to assist participants on a daily basis, and SLV.India staff members travel with the team throughout their program.
What will they get?
If they put everything into their time with us they’ll get a greater understanding of cross-cultural relations, further knowledge in their field of study, and they’ll have made a few friends and lots of lifetime memories. They’ll also be awarded with a certificate of participation and a reference from us upon successful completion of their program.
We deliver what we promise, but you don’t have to take our word for it - check out over 600 reviews on our Facebook page alone.
We have always welcomed our volunteers’ and participants’ feedback, which has allowed us to grow and improve over the years to help maintain and ensure our participants’ safety and optimise their experience. As such we are proud to have been rated among GoAbroad’s Top Volunteer Abroad Programs in 2017 and 2018.