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Hospital and Physician Practice in the Himalayas

Internship
 
In Palampur, internships are possible at two clinics/doctors' offices. Both offer general medical examinations and treatment; one also specializes in orthopaedics and paediatrics. Palampur is a small town in the Kangra Valley in the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh.
 

Project Details

 

Dattal Hospital

 
 
The Dattal Hospital is a family-run hospital in the town of Palampur. The four doctors practising all belong to the same family – one is an orthopedic surgeon, one, a pediatrician, and two are general practitioners.
 
The clinic, which is being remodeled and upgraded, features 4 treatment rooms, a laboratory and an operating room. There are also 13 beds for inpatients.
 
There are around 3-4 major operations carried out per week. Every day, 50-60 patients visit for orthopedic procedures; approximately 130 patients visit the clinic daily.
 
Medical and nursing students may only observe the doctors and give them explanations. You can learn in the laboratory, tests are done and samples (pathology slides) are interpreted. Working hours are from 10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m. Operations are always performed in the afternoons.

 

Dr. Shruti Goenka Memorial Hospital

 
 
The Dr. Shruti Goenka Memorial Hospital is a medical practice, with two practicing general practitioners. Approximately 30-40 patients are received every day from 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. In addition, there are 12 beds for in-patients, of which 5 are occupied on average. There is a laboratory and X-ray room.
 
Typical problems of patients are respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, epilepsy, bacterial infections and stomach skin problems.
 
An internship here is possible for final year rotation students and nursing students in the last training/academic year.
Info Box
General
Location: Palampur (Himachal Pradesh, India)
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Month/div>
Maximum Duration: 6 Months
Language Requirements: English
Accommodation:
Guest House in Palampur
Internship
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: General Physician, Specialist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant studies; for Dr. Shruti in 4th/ final year
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering
Volunteering Possible: No
Required Qualification For Volunteer: -
Further Contribution To Project: -
Expectations:
-
 

More Info

 

Background Information for Medical Placements/Electives Abroad

 
The following text tries to provide background information about the medical systems in the different countries and tries to classify the medical institutions where we arrange placements within these system, in order to assist you finding the right option for your elective, final year rotation, internship or medical volunteer work.
 
Contact us and we are happy to assist you!
 
Tanzania
 
In Tanzania we can arrange placements for medical elective students, interns of nursing and therapies, pre-medical students and professional volunteers into a wide range of public and private medical institutions.
 
The public health system in Tanzania has a referral system: Someone who needs treatment usually first attends a small medical dispensary. Dispensaries are in all parts of towns and cities such as Moshi, Dar-es-Salaam etc. and in many villages, treating all common things such as small injuries, infectious diseases, Malaria, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.; also they often do deliveries.
 
There are public and private dispensaries. The public dispensaries are usually very simple in terms of equipment and facilities. In villages and outskirts of cities, they often they don't even stock elementary medicines and can only offer very basic medical services. The private dispensaries are often very similar to the public ones, but sometimes they are of higher standard in terms of facilities, equipment and services offered.
 
Any state-approved nurse can open a private dispensary. Dispensaries are usually run by a nurse or by a "medical officer" who is something between a nurse and a physician; some might employ further nurses, medical officers and laboratory technicians. The nurses and medical officers at the dispensaries can prescribe and use all standard medicines. There is typically no real physician who has studied medicine for 4-5 years. If it is a requirement from the university that for an elective/medical internship a proper physician is needed as a supervisor, this is not possible at a dispensary. For volunteers who have professional skills such as nurses, therapists and physicians, dispensaries are very good places to volunteer at, as through their skills they can support the local staff a lot and work like a regular team member, including stitching wounds and treating patients, assisting with deliveries, even without supervision if they are sufficiently qualified. Also internships for pre-medical students are possible at dispensaries.
 
Examples for such dispensaries where we can arrange placements are Hosiana Clinic and Dorcas Laboratory in Moshi. In Zanzibar, placements at dispensaries are usually not possible, as the Health Ministry doesn't allow so for foreigners.
 
The number of patients at dispensaries might fluctuate a lot during the year. Usually during the rainy season (March to June and November) there are more infectious diseases and more cases of malaria.
 
If a patient needs something of higher specialization that cannot be done at a dispensary or which is beyond the competence of the nurse or medical officer, he or she is referred to a Regional Hospital such as Mawenzi Regional Hospital in Moshi.
 
Patients however can also go directly to a Regional Hospital. Particularly people living in the cities near a regional hospital often prefer to go directly to the hospital and skip the dispensary, as they expect better service at the hospital.
 
Regional hospitals usually have many, many patients and elective students and professional volunteers have the chance to see many cases, often in very late stages of diseases.
 
Regional hospitals are used by patients who are of average income, or poorer parts of the population, if they feel so sick that they don't have any other option. A lot of time often passes between having been at a dispensary and going to the Regional Hospital, during which the patient’s medical condition can get worse, because poor patients usually have to collect the money to cover costs for the treatment from relatives, neighbours, churches and other sources, which can take days to weeks. The costs for a consultation by a doctor at a regional hospital might be around 5,000-7,000 TSH (around 2.50-3 €/3.30-4 USD), plus costs for medicines which might be typically between 2,000 and 10,000 TSH (1-5 €/1.30-6.50 USD). Major surgery and having to stay as an inpatient might cost around 100,000-200,000 TSH (50-100 €/65-130 USD). An average monthly household income is around 90 €/120 USD (for a whole family), but around 65% of Tanzanian households only have 30 €/40 USD or less per month. Patients usually don't seek medical treatment for minor reasons; nobody goes for prevention.
 
Regional Hospitals have various common departments; you can read the list of available departments at Mawenzi Regional Hospital and other hospitals on our website. Work at the regional hospitals is often tough, as doctors have to treat many patients who have serious medical conditions within a very short time. Therefore they often don't have a lot of time to give lengthy explanations to elective students. Students usually assist the doctors and nurses with tasks such as stitching wounds, changing dressings, assisting during the consultation, attending doctors during the ward round etc, always under supervision. There is qualified staff who can sign and stamp forms about electives as required by universities.
 
Above the level of the Regional Hospitals there are very large and higher specialized hospitals which are called "Referral Hospital" such as Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam and Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, which are often attached to medical universities. Patients cannot go directly to a Referral Hospital, but they need a reference from a regional hospital first. Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar is a Referral Hospital where patients can go directly, but this is because on the small island of Zanzibar there are no Regional Hospitals.
 
The standard of the departments/wards within one hospital can vary very much (both at Regional and Referral Hospitals), some departments might have good equipment and might be in good condition, typically resulting from money provided by foreign development programs. For instance the HIV/AIDS and physiotherapy wards at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital Zanzibar are very modern, but the pediatric ward is very poor and needs renovation. At Mawenzi Regional Hospital they have recently renovated the main surgery theatre.
 
As the public medical system in Tanzania is not very satisfying, there are many private healthcare facilities.
 
Some are (compared to the public hospitals) expensive and provide better standard (either/or or all in terms of facilities, equipment, or time that a doctor provides to patients), attracting patients who have more money. SIIMA Hospital in Moshi is one of these. Others are funded by charitable organizations or churches (e.g. St. Joseph Hospital). They are of higher price level than the public hospitals to the general public, but might offer free services to particularly poor people in need (which are financed by the money paid by the "richer" patients). In terms of facilities and equipment they are usually better than most public hospitals (unless the public ones have a particular department or ward which got a lot of foreign money). Usually there are fewer patients at the private hospitals and therefore doctors/nurses have more time to give explanations to foreign students/interns.
 
When it comes to doctors, the same doctors work at the public and at the private hospitals. As the salaries are low, they need income from several employers and therefore work at 2-3 hospitals (usually one public and 1-2 private) at the same time.
 
The Regional Hospitals and Referral Hospitals of Tanzania are usually accredited by all international medical universities for elective placements. Final year medical rotations are possible at Muhumbili Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam and Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, which are teaching hospitals of medical universities.
 
Ghana
 
The public health care system of Ghana has three reference levels.
 

The smallest facilities that provide medical first aid (Tertiary Level) are the so-called CHPS (Community Health Compounds), health centers and small hospitals. These facilities perform only outpatient treatment and are usually run by nurses. Each facility is aimed at a population density of about 20,000 people.
 
At Secondary Level are the district hospitals, which are aimed at a population density of about 100,000-200,000 people. The bed capacity is usually not more than 100 beds.
 
These have at least one operating theater and a laboratory and usually offer better medical care than institutions on the tertiary level.
 
The highest level (primary level) are Metropolitan Hospital, Regional Hospital and Municipal Hospital. They are located in cities whose population exceeds 200,000 people and have a correspondingly larger bed capacity. In addition to several operating rooms and relatively good technical equipment, there are general practitioners and specialists in various disciplines to treat patients.
 
The primary level hospitals and many private hospitals such as the University Hospital in Cape Coast are of high standards in terms of facilities, management and expertise. Secondary and Tertiary institutions are often underfunded.
 
Morocco
 
In Morocco we arrange elective placements at private clinics which are of higher standard, often coming close to Western/European standard in terms of facilities, equipment and professional level of the staff. We currently don’t work with public hospitals, as they are very bureaucratic.
 
The private hospitals are expensive for many local people, but they often collect funds for people who are in need, allowing them to provide cheap or free treatments. 
 
At these hospitals, medical students/interns should have no problem to get accreditation for elective placements by international medical universities or nursing schools.
 
Professional volunteers (nurses, therapists and physicians) can volunteer at church-run charitable dispensaries such as the one by the Franciscan Brothers of the White Cross in Tangier, which are typically managed by a nurse, providing free basic medical services to the poorest parts of population. As there is no medical supervision, elective placements are not possible at such dispensaries.
 
India
 
In India, we work with private hospitals of higher standard, for the same reasons as in Morocco. The standard of equipment, facilities and qualification of the doctors are comparable to Europe/North America/Australia. They offer a wide range of departments with high specialization.
 
At these hospitals, medical students/interns shouldn't have any problems to get accreditation for elective placements by international medical universities or nursing schools.
 
Professional volunteers (nurses, therapists and physicians) can volunteer at charitable hospitals which are funded by charitable organizations, but also at medical outreach programs run by several NGOs in slum areas.
 
Nicaragua
 
In Nicaragua we can offer placements at the public hospital HEODRA and private hospial AMOCSA in León.
 
The standard of the public HEODRA hospital is low in terms of equipment and facilities, comparable to Tanzania. Also the situations that many patients have difficulties in raising the funds needed for their medical treatment, that they often only seek for medical services at a late stage of their disease, and the working conditions at the hospitals are very similar to as described in the text about Tanzania. Professional volunteers are very much needed at the public hospitals.
 
HEODRA as a large teaching hospital of León medical university should be fully accredited by all foreign medical universities and nursing schools for electives, internships and final year rotations.
 
The standard of the AMOCSA private hospital in terms of facilities and equipment is better than HEODRA. There are less patients and fees are higher. The doctors have more time for each patient. HEODRA is bigger and has a larger variety of highly specified departments; students will have the chance to see more patients than with AMOCSA. 
 
Also, the same doctors work at HEODRA and AMOCSA. To make a living, they additionally even work at further private hospitals or run their own consultancies.
 
Bolivia
 
The standard at the public hospitals of Bolivia can fluctuate a lot. While some private hospitals are chronically underfunded, others such as the hospitals of the VIEDMA Health Park where we arrange electives, internship and volunteering options often can offer a standard that comes close to the one of European/North American/Australian hospitals. They have a wide variety of specialization and departments.
 
A problem that regularly recurs is that the funds for the salaries of staff and to pay for medicines is not provided, resulting in shortages of medical services.
 
Similar to the what has been described before about Tanzania and Nicaragua, many people cannot afford the treatments at the public hospitals. They only attend medical institutions when their disease is in an advanced stage and in absolute emergencies.
 
Arco Iris is a charitable private hospital in La Paz of very high standard. Relatively rich people pay high fees for their treatment which is of one of the highest standards available in the country, and the money is used to provide free treatment to poor people, particularly street children and children from the poorest classes of society. 40% are paying patients and 60% are not paying.
 
Volunteer placements for healthcare professionals and elective placements/internships for students are possible at all of these hospitals. The hospitals of the VIEDMA Health Park in Cochabamba as large teaching hospitals of medical universities should be fully accredited by all foreign medical universities and nursing schools for electives, internships and final year rotations.
 
Mongolia
 
The medical system of Mongolia is of high standards. There is medical faculty at the University of Ulaanbaatar, also many doctors have studied in Russia or China or even have higher qualifications. There is no teaching hospital at the Mongolia university, so final year rotations are probably not possible. Mongolian medical students do electives with you in various medical institutions.
 
The health care system in Mongolia is organized as a tripartite reference system where patients first seek a "Family Health Center", which is a general physician's office. From there, the patient, if necessary, is referred to the district health centers, the second stage of the reference system, where there are more general medical facilities with more medical equipment (e.g. X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy) and where general surgical procedures are performed. In such district health centers, about 12 physicians and 60 nurses are available to patients. Both family health centers and district health centers only treat outpatients. In these facilities, electives and internships are available from the 1st year.
 
The third stage in the Mongolian reference system are specialized clinics. There are no major hospitals in Mongolia, which have many specialisations, but instead clinics that are each limited to a field of study. These include hospitalization. For an elective or a nursing internship in these clinics, you should be at least in the 3rd year of study.

Accommodation

 

Accommodation at the Himalayas

 

comfortplus

 

Guest House in Palampur

 
The guest house is located in a good residential area on a hill at the fringe of the city and offers holiday apartments, which all feature a large bedroom with a queen size bed, cable TV, an en-suit bathroom with hot shower and Western water toilet, a small dining room and a small kitchen. In front of the rooms there is a terrace from where you can enjoy wonderful views into a valley with a little steram, and into the high mountains on the other side of the valley. 
 
The landlord is staying at a separate building on the same plot. His house has a restaurant area for guests where traditional Indian home cooking is offered that you can order at extra cost.
 
By public bus you can reach the city centre from the Guest House in around 10 minutes.
 

Kayakalp Spa and Therapy Centre in Palampur

 
Kayakalp is a Spa and Therapy Centre a little outside of Palampur. It is peacefully located within a wide park area. Kayakalp offers the accommodation option "Niket" to our participants, which includes modern double rooms, all with en-suit bathroom, cable TV, hot and cold water. The rate are on FULL BOARD (ayurvedic, natural vegetarian food) and also include participation at Yoga (every day at 6am and 5pm).
 
Tea, coffee and soft drinks are not offered at Kayakalp and it is not allowed to bring outside food into the premises. Furthermore, the consumption of tobacco and alcohol is prohibited.

Interns of Physiotherapy and Ayurveda at Kayakalp can stay at Kayakal's Basera dorm rooms for 650 Rs/night incl. full board and Yoga.
 

Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre

 
The accommodation is at the Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre. This is a camp in the mountains, which is now available in five locations: Near the village Maheshu in Junga Tehsil, Shima District (altitude 1550 m); in Dharamshala close to the famous Temple Indru Nag (altitude 1520 m), in Sitlahket (altitude 2130 m) in the Himalayan region Nanda Devi, on the banks of the river Tirthan, a tributary stream of the River Beas at Sai Ropa on the border of the Himalayas National Parks (altitude 1220 m), as well as in Tamil Nadu, South India in Yercaud, amidst coffee and orange plantation (altitude 1550 m). In the Camps, "team building" activities, as well as outdoor sports activities are organized for groups. You live in a comfortable tent, in which you can stand, with electricity, bed and desk. At some sites there are firmly walled bathrooms with western toilet and hot water attached to a private tent; in other places there is a central room with toilets and showers. The accommodation includes service and catering, including the typical Indian bed coffee (about 2 hours before breakfast), breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/coffee with snack, soup, dinner and a one-liter bottle of mineral water per day.
 

Rate

 

I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
 wu servicepackage
1 Person
300 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
250 EUR 400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR
 
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies
 

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

 
  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Arrangements of the Documents you need for your Visa Application and assistance with local registration (if required) but not the official government fees for the visa (See costs below)
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Dharamshala Airport (DHM; for placements in Palampur) or Shimla (see tab "Getting there" for travel information to Shimla) on arrival and departure
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Palampur/at your location
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • Local SIM Card with 600 Rs. airtime credit
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
 

The Rates do NOT include:

 
  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from India (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.
 

II. Accommodation Costs

 
You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
Rates in Indian Rupees or USD! Convert Currency Short-time stay
(1-31 Days)
Long-time stay
(32-365 Days)
(You pay proportionally per day)
    
comfortplus3
Guest House in Palampur without meals
1 Person
(Single Room)
800 Rs/Day 24,000 Rs/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
400 Rs/Day 12,000 Rs/Month
comfortplus3
Kayakalp Centre Palampur, Niket Deluxe Room on Full Board incl. Yoga
1 Person
(Single Room)
3000 Rs/Day (March-Okc)
1500 Rs/Day (Nov-Feb)
90,000 Rs/Month (March-Oct)
45,000 Rs/Month (Nov-Feb)
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
1500 Rs/Day (March-Oct)
750 Rs/Day (Nov-Feb)
45,000 Rs/Month (March-Oct)
22,500 Rs/Month (Nov-Feb)
comfortplus3
Chrysalid Camp Shimla or Dharamshala on Full Board
1 Person
(Single Room)
175 USD/Week 750 USD/Month + 3.9 % Service Tax
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
175 USD/Week 450 USD/Month + 3.9 % Service Tax
 
Incomplete months you pay proportionally per day. In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates.
 

Overview of other costs:

 
  • Visa around 60-130 EUR (75-160 USD) depending on activity and duration; to apply prior to your travel
  • If meals are not included: 40-100 EUR (50-130 USD)/Month (Estimate)
  • Small local expenses (Internet, Local Transport): ca. 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month
 

How do I pay?

 
Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. 3 months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package and for the first month of rent.
 
Rent from the 2nd month, possible further contributions to the NGO or for internship supervision (see info box of the respective project description), and costs for visa and possibly further official permits you pay directly at your destination. There are ATMs. 
 

Extras

 

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

 
 
These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.
 

Travel Health Insurance

 
We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
 
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
 
 
 

Himalaya

 

Photo Gallery: Himalayas

 
 

Maheshu (Shimla), Palampur, Dharamshala

 
Landscapes of Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas are perhaps the most impressive of all over India - framed by majestic snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan mountain range, are fresh valleys such as the Kangra Valley.
 
The region is sparsely populated and characterized by natural forests, meadows, steep inclinations and small-scale agriculture. There is also a limited amount of tourism, particularly by Delhi urbanites, who come here over the weekend to do hiking, meditation or rock climbing; also by foreign tourists who proceed deeper into the Himalayas, visiting Dharamshala, the place where the exiled Tibetans and the Dalai Lama live or visit the Chail Conservation Area, which is only 20 km away. You will find pure and fresh mountain air in breathtaking mountain scenery.
 
It is possible to travel to < strong>Maheshu by train from Delhi, whereby the last part of the way through the mountains will be traversed using a historical narrow gauge train, the Kalka Shimla Hill Railway, which is a UNESCO world heritage.
 
Palampur is a small town in Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude of about 1300 m, about 470 km from Delhi. Also known as the "tea capital of north India", Palampur is a popular travel destination for nature and outdoor enthusiasts, with countless streams and rivers coming down from the mountains into the valley and alternate with tea plantations and rice fields in a unique scenic beauty. There are also many ancient temples and buildings from the British colonial period.
 
Dharamshala, which is also situated in the Kangra valley, about 60 km from Palampur, lies at an altitude of 1450 m and is home to many Tibetan exiles, of which the Dalai Lama is the most famous. Again, there are many Buddhist and Hindu temples here.
 
In the area of Palampur and Dharamshala, you can do many outdoor sports like hiking, climbing, paragliding, rafting, mountain biking, etc.
 
The people in the Himalayas are usually modest and reserved. They are financially quite poor; as they often have inherited land and have to rely on agriculture for income, they migrate for a higher standard of living, more than many other Indians, into overpopulated cities.
 
The country's population speaks Hindi. People with better education, usually speak good English.
 

Rishikesh

 
 
Located at the foot of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a famous pilgrimage town. The Ganges flows by the town, which features not only by mythological significance as a holy river, but also with clear water and scenic beauty. The Ganges leaves the Himalayas from here, and then continues to flow through the plains of northern India to the Gulf of Bengal.
 
In Rishikesh, there are a number of temples and ashrams (religious hostels), both historical and built in recent times. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists, both from India, as well as from western countries. It is home to several yoga centers, in keeping with an age old tradition. Rishikesh therefore, has the reputation of being the "yoga capital" of the world. Hindus believe that meditation in Rishikesh, as well as a dip in the holy river Ganges, leads them closer to salvation (Moksha).

Our Coordinator in the Himalayas

 

Our coordinator in Maheshu, Dharamshala and Rishikesh is Vikas and his team from the Chrysalid Oudoor Camps. In Palampur, we work with Atul, a guide.

 

Getting There

 

Getting to the sites at the Himalayas

india map
 
Shimla (Junga):
 
You book your flight to New Delhi (DEL). For the projects in Chrysalid camp in Shimla, you travel further by train. We send you a transfer from New Delhi Airport to Delhi railway station. From there, you take the train to Kolka (daily at 7:40 and 17:25). In Kolka, you step into the historic UNESCO World Heritage train "Himalayan Queen" ( connection is only possible with the morning train from Delhi). You disembark in Kandaghat. This train ticket is included in the price, but we have to book several weeks before your arrival! In Kandaghat, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation. If you take the evening train, you will be picked up in Kolka and transferred to your accommodation. If you have to stay a night in Delhi, hotel and transfer costs together will be approximately 40 EUR.
 
Palampur, Dharamshala:
 
The easiest way is to travel by flight to Dharamshala (DHM) - the airport is called Gaggal Airport. There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Palampur and Dharamshala.
 
Alternatively, you can fly to New Delhi (DEL) and then travel from there by bus. Transfers to the bus station and the bus tickets are included in the cost. The bus to Palampur takes about 8 hours, and about 11 hours to Dharamshala. At the respective bus stations of Palampur and Dharamshala, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation.
 

FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 
Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from Delhi airport or Dharamshala even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course, you can do this - most of our participants do so. However, when the travel destination is too far away, it may not be possible over a weekend; these, we would recommend you keep for before the projects begins or after the completion or during holidays. You can travel around India with an internship visa.
When is the rainy season and can I travel to India during this time?
The monsoon begins in early June in Kerala, Mumbai, in mid-June and the Himalayan region, early to mid-July and ends in September. The Thar Desert in Rajasthan (location Setrawa), barely gets rain during the monsoon and Jodhpur is rather dry.
 
During the monsoon, it usually rains heavily for several hours every day. As a result, there are often floods in the streets of the cities, because the drains cannot absorb the amounts of water. An internship or volunteering is possible during the monsoon, and the only nuisance will probably be wet clothes and shoes, which are often difficult to dry because of the high humidity. You might want to carry a few extra shoes and a change of clothes with you (or buy them locally). You can even buy an umbrella or a raincoat locally. An advantage to traveling during the monsoon, is that the fares are cheaper and accommodation during the off season is cheaper.
Can I travel to India as a young woman alone? The media constantly reports of rape - how high is the risk?
For decades, India has been a safe country for women and now the impression, given by the media, is that the number of rapes has skyrocketed and India is unsafe for women. More cases are coming into light now, as women previously would not speak about rape, but are now empowered to do so. Compared to the number of cases in relation to the huge population of India (almost twice as many as the whole of Europe), even if projections of unreported cases are included, there is much less rape than in many other countries. There are 2 cases that happen per 100,000 inhabitants in India (in comparison: Central Europe: 8.1 cases; 14.7 cases in Latin America; 28.6 cases per 100,000 population in the US).
 
Of course you have to be careful as a woman, as far as the style of dressing and dealing with local men are concerned. In schools, boys and girls are often strictly separated and many young men have no experience in dealing with women who are not their own mother or sisters; your behavior, based on dealing with Western men, might be misinterpreted as “easy” or “loose” behaviour. The rural areas of Himachal Pradesh are conservative and it is not possible for women to buy alcohol in shops or go to bars; relations with foreigners are considered to be very negative.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in the Himalayas?
In the Himalayan region, we have fewer participants than at the other sites in India, so it may be that no other participants are at the same time in your project or at your location.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info - PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
You find housing options in the tab "Accommodation".
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
At Guest Houses, there is wifi internet, but usually only in the common area. Host families do not provide wifi internet facilities.
How can I do my laundry?
Ask at your accommodation about a good laundry service and negotiate a price, especially if you bring in linen and other clothes regularly. The prices are unusually per piece (pants, shirts, sheets, etc.).
Can I cook in the accommodation?
There are rooms with cooking facilities at the guest houses. At the Chrysalid camps, catering is included in your accommodation.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Yes, India is a paradise for vegetarians. Almost all restaurants are clearly marked, whether they are vegetarian ("Veg") or not ("Non-Veg"), and there are separate menus. About 40% of Indians are vegetarians.
What language skills do I require?
You should be able to understand and make yourself understood in English.
 
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