India shares borders with six different countries, has the second largest population in the world, and has a rich history. Not convinced? Here are just a few of examples of the diversity found in India. The northern border of India is bound by the snowy Himalayan mountains, but as you go further south, you can find both lush forests as well as vast deserts. A number of different religious holidays are celebrated in India, such as Holi, Diwali, Eid, Ramadan, Christmas, and more! There are 22 official languages in India, and another 400 alive.
Given all of this, it’s guaranteed that your internship experience in India will be unique and memorable. Could there be a better place to start your exploration into international work experience?!
The amount and diversity of internships in India is absolutely astounding. It’s definitely possible for every intern to find exactly what they’re looking for. Here are just a few examples of internship fields in India:
- Medicine: The healthcare industry in India is interesting in the fact that there is both a universal health care system, as well as private medical institutions. Internships are available for both. Some of the biggest issues interns will become familiar with are malnutrition, infant mortality, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and poor sanitation. Many internship programs in India allow for interns to get involved through hands-on experience and shadowing medical professionals.
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): In India, NGOs are highly active in working on societal issues including, but not limited to: health, poverty, and human trafficking. Interns who decide to work with NGOs in India will be able to make real impacts on the daily lives of many Indians. Because there are many NGOs focused on different issues, interns in India will be able to find one with a cause that interests them. It is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences in India.
- Business: Due to globalization, India has become a buzzing place for business, entrepreneurship, innovation, and start-ups. Interns in India will be able to find internships in India with many different companies. Some of the largest companies in India are Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, State Bank of India, Tata Steel and Tata Motors (well-known for the Tata Nano), and NTPC.
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Generally, internships can be found throughout the year. Just be aware that if you plan to be there from July to September, you may run into Monsoon season! Business internships can be found in larger cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai. Internships with NGOs can usually be found all over India.
Cost of Living in India:
Living in India is generally quite cheap, as long as you don’t fall into any tourist traps! A one-bedroom apartment is usually about 5000Rs to 8000Rs (1R = US$0.018287), depending on location. Remember that living in a smaller town is sure to be much cheaper than in a larger Indian city like New Delhi or Mumbai. Other than that, food and healthcare are also relatively cheap expenditures.
Work Culture in India:
- Etiquette: Due to the remains of the caste system, Indians are very aware of social hierarchies and relationships. Social order and status can be very important; for example, sometimes it is customary to greet the eldest/most senior person in a business meeting first. Also, be aware of religious customs and culture. Another thing to remember is that Indians prefer doing business with people they know; building and establishing relationships is very important.
- Language: Hindi is the most used language in India; so it may be helpful to have at least some understanding of common phrases and greetings. However, most Indians also speak some English. A good indicator of the use of English is whether the town is more rural or urban; urban cities are likely to have many English speakers.
- Networking: As mentioned above, it is important to build and maintain relationships in Indian business settings.