Choosing Jaipur for your internship means choosing a place where old and new beautifully coexist and where years of fashion and design history meet innovative technology. The people are known for their generosity and hospitality giving the lively city a smaller town feel.
You'll find plenty of options for internships in Marketing, Web Development, Photography, and Graphic Design. Companies will range from start-ups to multi-national corporations and will offer experience in a variety of business types.
Whether you choose to intern for one month or one year, you will have plenty of sites to see in your free time. There are museums, gardens, forts, palaces, festivals, and more. And you can always take a weekend getaway to cities like New Delhi or visit nearby temples, lakes, and parks.
If you've never been to India before, the cultural differences might be more than you've previously experienced, but with a preparation and an open mind, an internship in Jaipur will be truly rewarding.
Photography, Marketing, and Graphic Design
Jaipur is recognized by its colorful atmosphere. The pink buildings are the most prominent examples of this, but the intricately designed fabrics and jewelry play a big part as well. These industries produce many jobs for people interested in interior or fashion design.
Many of the internship openings at design companies will require proficiency in one or more skill sets. If you have experience in photography, you'll want to hone your skills in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The same goes for Marketing and Graphic Design. You should be well-practiced in Microsoft Office Suite as well.
Your daily tasks might include developing a range of promotional materials including logos, banners, web pages, and more. You'll likely be taking and editing pictures of the products to be sold.
Some companies will have an international presence, while others will be start-ups serving locals. The experience you need to get hired and the responsibilities you'd be trusted with could be very different at each of these types of organizations, so it's a good idea to research the company thoroughly before you apply.
Web and App Development
If you've got skills in HTML, CSS, PHP, Wordpress, or any similar experience, you might also be able to find paid internships in Web and App Development. The companies offering these positions can range from the hospitality industry and art studios to independent app developers and financial organizations.
Responsibilities can include testing apps and websites for user experience and bugs, data analysis and entry, interacting with clients and managing their accounts, and designing website and apps.
Many U.S. tourists and expats living in Jaipur can come away with a negative impression because the culture and standard of living is so different from the Western norms. If you plan ahead, know what to expect, and keep an open mind, it's easy to fall in love with the generous people, the flavorful food, and the colorful surroundings.
If you are using a third party provider or placement agency to find your internship, you will most likely be placed in accommodation that's convenient to your workplace. Hopefully you will be able to read reviews by previous interns. Even if you are not placed, you will likely receive assistance or recommendations.
This doesn't necessarily mean your housing will be held to the same standard as your current home. Even a highly recommended dorm or apartment could be much different than what you're used to. One example of this is that the tap water is unsafe to drink no matter where you live in Jaipur. You also might be placed somewhere that lacks wireless internet.
If you are not offered any help finding housing, make sure you have a reservation at a well-reviewed hotel, hostel, or AirBnB before leaving the United Sates. Then you can make a decision about long-term accommodation after arriving.
The cost of living in Jaipur is relatively low, and it is possible to find a paid internship. Most stipends will cover rent but you will want to have a decent amount saved up for flights, in-country travel and excursions, food, and unexpected expenses. Tipping is also an important part of the culture in Jaipur.
Of course, the amount you need to save depends heavily on how long you'll be in India. Most internships will last between two and six months. An inexpensive meal can cost two or three dollars and a one-way bus ticket is about thirty cents.
Once you have accepted your internship you will need to apply for India's 'Intern Visa.' This will allow you to enter India and stay for the duration of your internship, unless it exceeds one year. If you will be be in India for longer than 180 days you will need to visit the Foreigner's Registration Office within two weeks after you arrive.
In Jaipur, the common problem that U.S. travelers experience is being taken advantage of or conned by vendors, tour guides, or taxi drivers. There are more dangerous health and safety risks, as you'd face in any city, but they can usually be avoided with proper planning and common sense.
Food & Drink
The tap water is not safe to drink in Jaipur, so stick to bottled water even for brushing your teeth. Make sure the cap is sealed before drinking. You should avoid getting ice in your drinks in restaurants and it's often best to drink bottled sodas instead of fountain drinks as well.
The weather will be hot year round so drink plenty of water each day, but if you go in the winter season (November to February) you'll avoid the rainy season and more intense heat.
When choosing a restaurant look for places that look clean and decently crowded. If the locals and other tourists are eating there, it's more likely that the food is fresh and the restaurant has a good reputation. Use caution when buying food from street vendors.
Avoid carrying open containers of food around with you as it could attract monkeys. Monkey bites are no joke.
Shopping & Going Out
Jaipur is known for its great deals on beautiful fabrics and jewelry so you should absolutely take advantage of the opportunity to shop. However, there are things to keep in mind so you don't get tricked into paying too much.
If you are not interested in buying at all, walk with purpose and politely say no. Go out in groups and, if possible, bring someone who can speak the language well.
Negotiate the price for a taxi ride before leaving and don't be overly friendly. It's better for women to dress on the conservative side. Whether you're on foot, bike, or behind the wheel, be aware that most local drivers will ignore most of the traffic laws. Avoid crossing the street when you can.