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].
Please click on each heading for a full breakdown.
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 9am and 10pm on the day your Mental Health Placement 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 and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet us at the airport on pickup day and take you to your SLV.India Accomodation with the rest of your team. Unfortunately, your SLV.India accomodation is not able to house you early, as they will be making preparations for the team’s arrival. Please check accommodation near the airport on Trip Advisor before booking, as they will have the most up-to-date information and reviews of any guesthouses.
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.
Your final day on placement is the last Friday of your final week. You'll be working at projects until the late afternoon, so please bear in mind when booking flights. We recommend booking your flights anytime after 10pm on the Friday to allow enough time for you to get to the airport after your project.
Please note: Immigration will need to see a copy of your ongoing airline ticket, which shows you will not be staying in India indefinitely. If you have booked a one way flight, please make sure you arrange onward travel before arriving in India.
SLV.Global is not responsible for your transport back to the airport once your placement concludes. We’re happy to help you book a transport there, but please budget approximately £40/€50/$55 (in rupees) for the trip.
+ Travel Insurance
Safety first! It's a requirement that anyone participating in one of our placements purchases adequate travel insurance for the duration of their placement.
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.
It is essential that you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for the following; injury, illness, repatriation, emergency medical care, and both public and private medical treatment should you need it whilst on the placement. Your insurance must cover you for basic water sports and zip-lining.
With regards to which travel insurance provider to go with, there are many different options to choose from. Please take your time to research the different insurance providers and policies, and ensure the above is included in the policy you choose. Although we aren't travel insurance experts, you can find some top tips on choosing a provider here.
+ 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 to 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 accomodation and you’ll get the chance to settle in and relax before starting your orientation week the following day.
During your time on placement, you will take public transport to and from your shared accommodation and projects.
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.
Once you arrive in India, your first few days will be spent in the stunning School of Ancient Wisdom, in Bangalore, where you'll have your training and workshops led by the SLV.India team, as well as local professionals who specialise in interventions using yoga and mindfulness.
For the remainder of the placement, you'll be staying in shared accommodation with other volunteers arranged by our project partners, who are a local NGO, very much in line with our ethos, about making positive contributions to the local community.
Throughout your placement, Weekends are entirely yours to travel and visit India, so we ask that you find alternate accommodation for the Friday and Saturday nights. 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 and working in 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 India 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
A tetanus Single booster is 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.