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Useful First Week Tips For New Students In India

New country, many amazing experiences and countless firsts - Welcome to India! When you step out of your comfort zone and begin a new chapter in your life, the first few weeks are filled with excitement and a tad bit of nervousness!

Here are a few first-week tips to equip yourself to explore, learn and navigate your way around in India.

It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system.
- Will Durant

Getting a SIM card

You will need to get yourself a SIM card for your phone on arrival, as this will allow you to stay connected with the university or college, family and others. India is home to many telecommunication service companies, of which Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are the most popular and offer affordable packages for local and international calls. As an option, you can also try it out, and if the needed switch or ‘port’ your service provider. You could also use your country's SIM card to access apps like Whatsapp or Messenger by connecting to your campus wifi. Skype calls are also a good option.

To University and beyond!

If you are living in one of the university hostels on campus, classes are a walk away. If you choose to live off-campus, you could opt for local transport such as metro, buses, auto, cabs and others.

Google translate helps

While English is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the country, India has officially identified 121 languages spoken by Indians. We suggest that you have the Google Translate application handy, so you are not too perplexed with what may come your way. Downloading the app with an offline version will let you use Google Translate even when you are not connected to the internet.

Eating well and healthy

Indian food is known for its variety of flavours from spicy, tangy to sweet. It's always a good idea to gradually let your palette adjust to Indian cuisine. Moreover, here you can easily find food from a variety of cuisines such as Italian, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, etc. Please be sure to always mention your food preferences and allergies, if any. Also, You could order food at your home or hostel through Indian delivery apps like Zomato, Swiggy, etc.

It’s good to be prepared

It is advised that you keep details of the people to contact in case of any unforeseen situation. This includes the phone number of the warden and a guardian residing in their home country or in India. There are a number of documents such as visas, passports, student IDs, etc that you may require from time to time. Instead of carrying the physical copy of important documents, you can safely keep their e-copy using apps like DigiLocker, Docusign,

etc.

Your Orientation Week

Orientation week looks different at every university across India. The orientation will cover necessary topics such as opening your bank account, facilities available for students and what to do in case of an emergency. In the weeks following your orientation week, be sure to be proactive as this will help you make friends (and travel plans - should you choose to vacation in India), it will help you know your city, its culture and learn more about how everything works.

Daily essentials

Use a high SPF sunscreen, sanitiser and a power bank to charge mobiles.

All in all, ensure you have a fun and exciting first week, while you go desi in India!

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Indian mathematician, mental calculator and writer, the late Shakuntala Devi has been awarded the title for ‘Fastest human computation’ by the Guinness Book of World Record.