• Living in India

    The Expatriate guide to living in India.

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Living in India


In spite of the political challenges, India is one of the world's fastest growing economies, offering people a culturally diverse and affluent lifestyle.

The primary challenges you will face are finding adequate housing and quality insurance for private healthcare. Getting around India’s crowded cities can also be daunting. One big advantage is the colonial connection with Britain, which means English is widely spoken. India is an ranked highly for raising family as it has the pillars of the British systems framing it.


Finding your Home

With a very high demand for rental property, finding accommodation in India isn’t easy, especially in its big cities. The term ‘apartment’ can mean anything from a single, dirty room to a luxury living space – so get your employer and a reputable property agent to help you find a home.

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Research the market and try to find an agent recommended by other expats. You may be asked to pay to view properties, but this isn’t a legal requirement. Always be clear about your budget – and be prepared to lower your standards.
When you’ve found a property, you’ll have to put down a deposit – this can vary from a few months’ to a year’s rent. Insist on receipts and a tenancy agreement because these aren’t always forthcoming. You may also need proof of residency and single women are often asked for a character reference.

Local Customs and Culture in India

India is a tolerant society, but visitors should educate themselves about the countries religious and social customs so as not to cause offence: for example, smoking in public was banned in 2008. When visiting temples visitors will probably be required to remove their footwear and cover their heads. Generally, women should dress more conservatively than (perhaps) they are used to doing at home, both to respect local sensibilities and to avoid unwanted attention. Topless bathing is illegal. Indians do not like to disappoint, and often instead of saying 'no', will come up with something that sounds positive, even if incorrect. Social order and status are very important in Indian culture - remain respectful and obliging with elders. Avoid using your left hand, particularly when eating.

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Sports, particularly cricket, are an important feature of life in Mumbai and enjoy great popularity among most inhabitants. Everyone is invited to take part, either actively on one of the city’s many cricket grounds or as a passive spectator in the stadium. Business almost comes to a screeching halt on the day of a big cricket match. You should know better than to schedule any important meetings on those days!

Religious Festivals

Life in Mumbai features countless traditional festivals rooted in the city’s various religious groups and spread throughout the year. Baisakhi, for example, is a harvest festival celebrated by the Sikh population during the month of Vaishakh (April/May). It includes joyful processions, martial arts performances, and acts of charity.

Population Explosion

Despite the fact that Bangalore is one of the cleaner cities in India, its rapid growth in recent years has left the huge urban population struggling with the resulting infrastructural problems. One of the major issues affecting daily life in Bangalore is road congestion, which is to be expected in the city with the second largest number of cars in the country, after Delhi (2012)..


In local schools, both private and public, the language of instruction is that of the host country. Parents should be prepared for a much different curriculum than what they are used to at home. For younger children in particular, there may be no other choice. Some private schools may offer instruction in the local language to foreign students, as well as international curricula or diplomas.

The quality of education varies from country to country. Parents with older children should be especially cautious. It may be harder for these students to be accepted and keep track academically due to the language barrier. Moreover, academic qualifications are not necessarily transferable, and children may struggle to have their diploma recognized for admission to college/university later on.

For younger children however, receiving an international education at a local school may be the right and, in some cases, the only, choice. At an age when they pick up a language relatively quickly, it is often easier for children to immerse themselves in a foreign culture when they are surrounded by locals and a local school may be just right.

  • Keeping in touch

    Resources to keep you connected in every form

Communication Methods

Calls between landlines are relatively cheap and public phones are widespread. You can buy phone cards from post offices and phone card agents.
There is no shortage of mobile phone competition in India.Mobile phones are easy to get and coverage is reliable. Most contracts include a free phone, but if you don’t want to commit to a plan, go for a prepaid SIM card. Airtel India, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Aircel and many others.
The Internet in India varies greatly by location, although the service in larger populated areas is very good. You can use WiFi throughout the country, and Internet cafés are absolutely everywhere.
Media in India is largely English, Hindi or of a local dialect, for example Tamil and that includes all forms such as: newspapers, tv news, radio, etc. With that said there are a many media English media outlets available for example: Times of India

Interact more with local people, spend time exploring the green spaces such as the nature reserves and parks, and take night walks around the neighborhood to enjoy it’s peacefulness. In India you can appreciate laughter, simplicity and warmth.

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Department of Telecommunications, Government of India
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Cellular Operators Association of India


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