Can the average student get into JBIMS

Swiss-Indian classroom

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1 Solothurn, Swiss-Indian classroom travel tips India 1. Brief information on India Time difference: Currency: Direction of travel: Area code: +91 Mains voltage: Sockets: Central European time plus 4½ hours, in summer time plus 3½ hours Indian rupee INR (often abbreviated to Rs). 1 rupee = 100 Paise 1.00 INR = CHF 1.00 CHF = 66 INR Left-hand traffic (be careful when crossing the street!) V, 50 Hz, about the same as ours Emergency numbers India: Emergency number Switzerland: Type C: as well as types D and M: Fire brigade: 101 Police emergency number: 100 Emergency doctor / ambulance: 102 The FDFA helpline is available around the clock in the event of an emergency (accident, death, arrest, etc.): Tel. +41 (0) Fax +41 (0) Representations: Embassy of Switzerland Nyaya Marg Chanakyapuri New Delhi Tel Fax Consulate General of Switzerland No. 26, Crescent Park Resthouse Crescent Road Bangalore Tel Consulate General of Switzerland 102 Maker Chambers IV, 10 th fl. 222, Jamnalal Bajaj Marg Nariman Point Mumbai Tel / 64/65 Fax

2 2. General travel information 2.1 Languages ​​Over 100 different languages ​​are spoken in India. According to the constitution, Hindi and English are the official languages ​​of the central government. There are also around 20 official regional languages. The Indo-Aryan language Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India and is particularly well understood in the north. In the south of the country (e.g. Bangalore), Dravidian languages ​​are spoken (Kannada, Tamil, etc.) and Hindi is poorly understood. 2.2 Society India is one of the richest countries in Asia and can boast great economic growth. With a population of 1.2 billion people, around 200 million Indians have a good income, also by European standards, and can afford many consumer goods, including trips to Europe and America. India is one of the world leaders in the IT industry and sends specialists abroad. Nevertheless, India is a country in which around a third of the people live at or below the poverty line and around 48 percent of all Indians have been unable to read or write for over five years. Possibly the pupils from Switzerland will be placed in well-heeled families with a good income and maybe even domestic staff. Nevertheless, during the trip you will also be confronted with beggars, street children, leprosy exploited or homeless people. 2.3 Politics India is, measured in terms of the number of citizens, the largest democracy in the world. The Indian Parliament is the legislative power and consists of two chambers: the Lower House (Lok Sabha) and the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). The country's party landscape is extremely diverse. The President as head of state is elected for a five-year term by a committee of federal and state representatives. Pranab Mukherjee has held the office since 2012. However, the office of president is predominantly characterized by ceremonial or representative tasks; political power rests with the prime minister. Since 2014, this has been Narendra Modi of the right-wing conservative, Hindu nationalist party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). India is divided into 28 states and seven so-called union territories. The states have their self-elected governments, while the Union Territories, with the appointment of an Administrative Director for each Union Territory by the President of India, are directly subordinate to the Government of India. 2.4 Religion Hardly any other country on earth is home to more different religions and sects. The most important religion in India is Hinduism, which unites around 76% of Indians through its faith. Hinduism, however, is extremely heterogeneous and divided into different directions and subgroups (especially Vishnuism and Shaivism). The followers of Islam (18%), Christianity (2.5%), Sikhism (2%) and Buddhism (1%) follow at a great distance. Jains, Parsees and Jews each make up only about 0.5% of the Indian population. 2.5 Caste system Despite being deleted from the constitution, the caste system in India still has a cultural and social influence on many areas of life. It is mainly a division according to ritual purity and area of ​​responsibility. It is not to be equated directly with social classes according to financial criteria. Due to centuries of exploitation, poverty tends to be found among Shudras (4th caste) and untouchables, but Brahmanic families, members of the uppermost caste, can also be economically very poor. 2

3 Even today, the caste system largely, if no longer exclusively, determines the choice of partner and career choice, among other things. In the past, meals together were generally not allowed because high-class people found the common meal with low-class people polluting, today this traditional separation has been abolished, especially in the city. Religion and caste are central characteristics of the Indian identity, which are at times misunderstood or underestimated by Western observers. In exchange, these topics should be approached with the necessary understanding and sensitivity. 2.6 School system In India there is general compulsory schooling from 6 to 14 years of age. Attendance at public schools is free of charge during this period. Since the education system is largely incumbent on the states, there are correspondingly large regional differences. Control and financing of the education system are incumbent on three levels: central (federal), state and local. The school system in India consists of four levels: Primary school / primar (6 to 10 years), Upper primary / Oberprimar (11 to 12), High School / Secondary (13 to 15) and Higher Secondary or Senior Secondary / Middle School (17 to 18). The primary school is divided into five standards (years), the upper primary school into two, the secondary school into three and the middle school into two. Until the end of middle school, the student body has to study according to a general curriculum (except for regional differences). A certain degree of specialization is possible at the middle school level. There are both public and private educational institutions at all school levels in India. Many members of the middle and upper classes prefer private institutions to state institutions. About 30% of the students in India go to private schools, in the big cities this proportion is over 50%. Most Indian schools are guided by one of three curricula; two nationally coordinated: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE); or the international, more exclusive International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). 2.7 Climate / Seasons India is so large that the climate varies from the tropical hot jungle in the south, through the dry desert in Rajasthan, steppe climate in the interior, moderate climate in Outy, and north, cool climate in the Himalayas. Nevertheless, be prepared for a hot and humid climate. In winter you can do with a sweater and socks in the north of the country. Rainfall across the country is mainly influenced by the monsoons. The summer monsoon begins in most parts of the country in June and usually brings abundant rainfall. The cool season begins with the end of the monsoons, around October. It is the most pleasant time for us Europeans. There is no central heating in Indian homes. In winter it can therefore get very cool at night. 2.8 Health Many new impressions, unfamiliar food, climate changes and time differences put a strain on the human organism. Particular attention should be paid to the observance of sufficient rest periods and sufficient fluid intake. Where, how and whenever possible you should also protect yourself from the sun. The best way to do this is through a sunscreen, sunglasses, and suitable clothing. Use mosquito repellant and / or light, opaque, airy clothing, especially after dark, to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Also, don't walk around barefoot. They catch hookworms easily or even 3

4 an even worse disease. Flip-flops or other rubber flip-flops are useful to protect against pesky infections. Even if the students are more likely to encounter European hygiene standards, they should be careful. You should refrain from enjoying fresh fruit, juices, salads and tap water. It is recommended that you only use mineral water when you are out and about, also for washing up food and brushing your teeth. If you wear glasses, take spare glasses with you and write down the strength of your glasses in case the glasses become unusable or are lost. The procurement of new glasses is usually not a problem. There are English-speaking, qualified doctors in all major cities. India also has high standard hospitals. It is advisable to take a first-aid kit with you for the group (see luggage list). If students are dependent on certain medications, they should bring an adequate supply from home. 2.9 Vaccinations No vaccinations are compulsory for entering India, unless you have been in an area infected with yellow fever in the last 6 days prior to entry. Then a yellow fever vaccination and an international vaccination certificate must be proven. It is advisable to refresh the usual vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. For malaria prophylaxis or a typhoid vaccination as well as further medical information, please consult the Tropical Institute in Basel or your family doctor. Travel medical advice cannot be provided by the school, but should be carried out by the family doctor. For more information, please contact your doctor or go to Security Traveling to India is on the same level of security as traveling to other Asian countries. The risks associated with India particularly concern the high crime rate, violence and sexual offenses against women, interreligious confrontations, terrorism, earthquakes and tropical cyclones. The FDFA (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) does not give a general travel warning for India on its website, but recommends some precautionary measures: Western visitors are very welcome in India. Crimes against tourists such as robbery or theft, break-ins, etc. are extremely rare. Nevertheless, schoolchildren, especially young women, should in principle not be traveling alone. Caution should also be exercised in markets, train stations and places with many people, and money and valuables should be kept in a safe place. Western women are often considered easy objects of lust by Indian men, and it can happen that a woman is immorally touched or pinched in the buttocks. In this situation you have to make it very clear that you will not tolerate this. Everything else is interpreted as a sign of consent. Clothing The fact that men from Western countries like to wear shorts has become accustomed in India, for better or worse, and considers it a peculiarity of Europeans. Women should dress inconspicuously and show little of their body. The majority of the Indian population still wear traditional clothing. But Western clothing is slowly gaining acceptance among Indians as well. The most famous of all Indian garments is probably the sari. But India also has other women's fashions to offer. Many women wear a loosely fluttering tunic (kameez) over wide trousers, which are held tightly at the hips and at the ankles (salwar). The fourth belongs to the ensemble

5 Dupatta, a long, wide scarf that is placed over one shoulder, around the neck or over the head. Sari and salwar kameez can both be worn by western women and are quite suitable as clothing for festive occasions. For western men, on the other hand, wearing lungi (length of fabric, wrapped around the hips) or dhoti (long piece of fabric, wrapped around the legs like a pair of pants) seems rather strange, if not ridiculous. Indian men prefer suits and shirts for formal occasions. We therefore advise you to have light trousers and a long-sleeved shirt with you, especially for official invitations, despite the high temperatures. Visa requirements Please note the specific information sheet on the visa requirements for India. Means of payment The import and export of the local currency rupee is prohibited. So it is not worth buying rupees in Switzerland in advance. Foreign currencies, on the other hand, may be imported and exported without restriction. All foreign currencies that have a value of more than US $ in cash and travelers checks must be declared upon entry. Keep the change receipts. They are occasionally required when leaving the country, but most certainly when trying to change rupees back. If necessary, you can change or withdraw rupees immediately at the airport. In the hotels, too, this is usually possible without any problems. You can find better exchange rates at exchange offices in town. We recommend that you bring Swiss francs, US dollars or euros with you. A Travel Cash card (successor to traveler checks) provides more security. It works like a credit card, but is topped up and replaced with credit if lost. Credit cards are accepted in hotels, major restaurants and shops in India. Cash is common at markets and in small local shops. In India you will find ATMs in cities and many larger towns where you can withdraw cash. The supply of ATMs is not guaranteed in rural areas of India. With the Postcard, cash can be withdrawn from machines with the Visa Plus logo. (Costs for cash withdrawals Fr. 5 .--) Telephony Telephoning with mobile phones is widespread in India, but roaming charges are relatively high. In addition, inquire with your provider. If your mobile phone is not blocked by a provider, you can equip it inexpensively with a prepaid card from an Indian network operator. To buy an Indian SIM card (e.g. from Aircel, Idea, Vodafone) you need a copy of your passport (the double page with data and a passport photo on it), a copy of the visa, a passport photo, an address and telephone number in India and your home address. It is advisable to buy the card from a mobile operator's shop. Street purchases are not recommended. You can also make calls abroad from the local telephone shops, recognizable by the ISD / STD designation, at a lower price than with the mobile phone. Holidays The multicultural and multi-religious country India has a large number of festivals and holidays. For example, there are four national holidays: August 15th, India's independence; January 26, Republic Day (entry into force of the Constitution); October 2nd, birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and November 14th, birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru. There are also numerous other so-called gazetted holidays that apply in administrations, schools and banks across the country, and registered holidays on which civil servants can take individual leave. At the Pla- 5

6 When traveling to India, it is definitely worth taking a look at the official gazetted holiday calendar: Special Legal Provisions Alcohol consumption laws vary from state to state: there are different age limits. In some states alcohol is generally prohibited (e.g. Gujarat) and in others alcohol may only be consumed with a permit (e.g. Maharashtra). Offenses against the Narcotics Act are punished with long prison sentences for even the smallest amounts and for any type of drug (no possibility of pardon). Same-sex acts are punishable by law. It is forbidden to insult, abuse or damage the Indian flag. Disrespectful statements and actions against the Indian Constitution are also prohibited. 3. Tips for traveling 3.1 Travel documents and emergency information It is advisable to have all participants fill out an emergency form with personal information, passport and visa numbers, date and place of issue, contact address in Switzerland in case of emergencies, health insurance, etc. Do You also have copies of all important travel documents of the participants (passports, visas, flight tickets) and keep everything separately. Make a note of the address and telephone number of the nearest Swiss consulate and the EDA hotline and always have them with you. If a passport is stolen or lost, notify the nearest Swiss consulate immediately. 3.2 Communication in the group Make sure that you receive the contact details of the host families for all participants. A common Whatsapp group could also be useful. If possible, have all participants give you their mobile phone numbers in case someone gets lost or does not show up at the meeting point at the agreed time. 3.3 Transport Transporting a group of people in India can be a complex undertaking. The problem arises as soon as you arrive at the airport. One solution is to divide the participants into groups of 4 to 5 and to distribute them in so-called prepaid taxis. Even better for group excursions is the charter of a minibus (up to 21 seats) or a coach (coach) with a driver.Individual solutions must be found for the journey between the host families and the school (motor scooter, taxi, bus). Make sure that the students are not traveling alone, but are accompanied by Indian students if possible. 3.4 Drinking water It may sound a bit trivial, but an important concern when traveling in groups in India is ensuring that there is enough drinking water (at least 2 liters per person per day). It therefore makes sense to buy larger quantities of mineral water (e.g. Bisleri) and store them in a central location, e.g. B. at school to store. It should be ensured that the participants equip themselves with enough water bottles during excursions or before moving to the host families. 6th

7 3.5 Crisis communication With today's means of communication, it can be assumed that the participants will stay in contact with their families in Switzerland during their stay in India (SMS, social media, Skype). This can sometimes lead to problems if rumors of bad news (illness, breakdowns, emergencies) are circulating in Switzerland. Clarify with the participants what is being communicated, how and by whom. In advance, a crisis communication concept should be drawn up with the school management. 4. Dos and don ts in India You are visiting a foreign country. We have summarized some special Indian customs for you so that you don’t go wrong on your trip: 4.1 Eating and drinking - As in many cultures, eating together is a central moment of living together in India. When attending a social event or visiting someone at home, expect to find something to eat. Best to arrive on an empty stomach. - One should not refuse food out of politeness. If you do not want to take a meal at all, you can justify this in an emergency with a medical necessity or a religious obligation. The host will show understanding for this. - In India, food is traditionally served on large plates (stainless steel plates with bowls or thali plates divided into compartments, in the south also on banana leaves) on which a wide variety of dishes are served. The thumb, index finger and ring finger of the right hand are used to eat. - The left hand is absolutely taboo. As in many Arab countries, the left hand is traditionally used in India to clean after using the toilet. Even if cutlery is used, the left hand is considered unclean and should not come into contact with the food under any circumstances. - Chili peppers are a very popular ingredient, especially in the southern parts of the country. The best way to reduce the spiciness is to eat plenty of the yoghurt (curd) that is usually served with the main course. - Burping or spitting at the table is seen and accepted as completely normal in India. But blowing your nose at the table is absolutely frowned upon. - When Indians drink from a bottle or a (strange) glass, hold it a few centimeters above their mouth. The vessel does not touch the mouth. Don t kiss the bottle, it s not a frog! should already be taught by mothers to their children. - Do not buy food from street vendors. While these foods aren't bad, your Western digestive system can be very reactive, largely because of the spiciness. - Hygiene and drinking water quality in India do not always correspond to those in Central Europe. In addition, the high temperatures combined with high humidity promote the formation of pathogens. That is why the top priority for travelers in India is the proven principle: Cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it (cook it, fry it, peel it or forget it). 7th

8 4.2 Communication - Most Indians communicate well in English. They enjoy contact with foreign guests and you shouldn't be afraid to speak to them yourself. - In India people traditionally greet each other with the word Namasté, which means something like I bow to you. This word is accompanied by a gesture in which the palms are placed at chest height and the head is slightly lowered. In India it is not customary to shake hands, especially not women rsp. towards the opposite sex. If you feel uncomfortable using the Namasté greeting, a simple hello is sufficient. Tourists are not expected to imitate the traditional greeting. Indians show special respect for older people by touching their feet and then their own heads with the same hand. - Many Indians shake their heads in conversation. Yes is expressed with a shake of the head from left to right. But not every yes is an agreement. Yes can also mean I don't know. Anyone who answers hesitantly sometimes even means no. To avoid misunderstandings: Do not ask questions that can only be answered with yes or no. - Please and thank you are not as common in India as in this country. However, this should not be taken as rudeness. It's just not that much emphasis is placed on it. 4.3 Women and men - Despite the sometimes very suggestive dance performances in Bollywood films, Indians are generally prudish. Public contact or even tenderness between man and woman is considered improper. Short or tight-fitting clothing is quickly classified as provocative. Intensive eye contact or informal conversations with men can be interpreted as an attempt by the woman to get closer. - In Delhi or Mumbai you can also see young Indian women in western clothing. Still, as a western woman, if you want to avoid unnecessary turning on or paying attention, you should cover your shoulders and legs. Deep necklines are also not welcome. Wearing a bikini is very provocative in India (Indian women only go swimming in sari). Only small children wear shorts or jackets in public. 4.4 Shopping - Bargaining is common in many places in markets and with street vendors. Pretend you don't really want the goods you're bargaining for. Start at around half of the stated price and end up paying around%. You can trade in stores unless there is a fixed price sign on it. In such a case, do not act. This would be impolite. - It is customary in India to tip, but not more than 10%, even if it seems very little at times. This applies equally to restaurants, hotel employees and porters. 4.5 Photography - Photography of train stations, bridges, airports, steam locomotives and military facilities is not allowed in India, nor is aerial photography. Photography permission is required for the interiors of temples, palaces and mosques, exhibits in museums and archaeological sites. This can be purchased cheaply on site. 8th

9 - Do not photograph women without their consent. Many Indian women can be photographed on request. However, expect some of you to ask for money afterwards, 10 rupees is appropriate in this case. 4.6 Traffic - Indian traffic is a spectacular experience, a colorful mixture of companions, people, animals and sounds. It takes some time to cross the street before you can estimate the speed of the vehicle. Danger! Left-hand traffic applies in India. If you don't see a vehicle coming, it may be because you are looking on the wrong side. - In urban buses, the front rows of seats are mostly intended for women and the back rows for men. If the bus is full, this is no longer taken into account. Stops are usually not announced. If you want to get out, you pull on a cord that is stretched along the ceiling through the bus and let the bell ring at the front end of the bus. The stays are minimally short. The buses don't wait, often someone jumps out of the bus that is still moving or quickly into the one that is already leaving. Tickets are available from the ticket vendor who will come to you after boarding. There are ticket counters at the major bus stations. - The Indian rail network is the longest and busiest in the world. Train delays are the order of the day. In India you can choose between eight booking classes, and there are different counters for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd train class, usually also one especially for tourists and especially for women (Ladies Ticket Office). You will receive a seat reservation in the Reservation Office (necessary for the so-called 1AC, 2AC and 3AC, Chair Class, Sleeper Class, the ticket must be purchased beforehand). It is easier to book the ticket in advance at a tourist booking office in a larger city. There is a directory of the offices on decency and behavior - sticking the soles of your feet or your finger towards someone is considered a gross insult in India. Waving someone up in the European manner is also considered impolite. In India, the following gesture is used to wave up: the arm is stretched out forwards and the hand is moved downwards. - The sense of time is different in India than in Switzerland. One minute becomes five minutes, and five minutes can be 15 to 30 minutes. Colloquially, this is known as Indian Stretchable Time (IST). - You also have to get used to the different feeling of distance in India. Jostling and moving up very close, for example when standing in line, as well as patting on the back or long handshakes are the order of the day. In addition, it is quite normal in India for two same-sex people to walk through the streets holding hands and express their friendship. 4.8 Religion - Not only Indian Muslims have religious food regulations. Many higher caste Hindus have a vegetarian diet. The ban on eating beef is particularly respected. - Free-range cows are part of everyday life in India. As is well known, they are considered sacred and may not be fed or petted. But when the holy animals are freshly groomed in front of a temple, it is considered a pious act for pilgrims and tourists to buy a few rupees from the cowherd for green fodder. Feeding is then also allowed. 9

10 - Temples and mosques must never be entered with shoes. At certain times, women are not allowed into mosques. Foreigners are not allowed in some temples. In general, care should be taken not to visit religious sites with shorts and a strap-free or see-through top. Any photography bans must be respected. - All leather items (belts, bags, etc.) and cigarettes are forbidden in Jain temples. Buddhist shrines must be entered without a head covering, in mosques and Islamic shrines wearing a head covering is mandatory. In temples it is forbidden to touch prayer flags, sacrificial flowers or other religious objects. 4.9 Hygiene - Basically, so-called squat toilets are preferred in India. These are rinsed using a small container that is filled with water. - The toilets in average restaurants and simple hotels are usually much cleaner, some have paper and are sometimes even in western style, i. H. you can also sit down (if you want to). - Public toilets at train stations or large bus stops, on the other hand, do not correspond in any way to western ideas of hygiene, even if in many cases a small fee is even charged for using the facilities. Always take toilet paper and disinfectant for your hands with you in your daily luggage. Due to the construction of the sewer pipes, the paper should not be washed down, but rather thrown into a container provided. Beggars - One often meets beggars on India's streets. The daily struggle for survival forces many to pursue this way of earning a living. Children mostly have to beg for others and are rarely allowed to keep the money. If old, handicapped or sick people ask for alms on the street, they are often in dire straits and are probably no longer able to look after themselves in any other way. Only you decide whether and to whom you donate something! There is no recipe for how many rupees to give to which beggar. Money should be donated very discreetly and inconspicuously, because it applies especially to children: give someone something, the next moment you will be surrounded by a whole crowd! - If you are blessed by a priest in a temple, he expects a small donation. A few coins should also be given to those in need who are waiting at the entrances for alms. 10

11 5. Baggage list Inquire with your airline about the number and weight of baggage allowed. In economy class, checked baggage is usually limited to a maximum of one piece weighing around 20 kg (Indian Airlines only 15 kg). There is also hand luggage no larger than 55 x 30 x 20 cm and no heavier than 7 kg (sometimes up to 10 kg). 5.1 dresses sweaters / fleece / thin jacket long trousers / jupe T-shirts / shirt shirt / blouse long pajamas underwear socks headgear neckerchief / scarf pouch for dirty laundry solid shoes sandals flip-flops sports shoes swimming trunks / suit t-shirt for swimming towel / beach towel washcloth 5.2 Toiletry case Toothbrush Toothpaste * Soap * Shampoo * Cream * Sunscreen * / After Sun Lotion * Deodorant * Pocket mirror Handkerchiefs 1 roll of toilet paper Wet wipes Hygiene items for women Oropax Contact lens accessories Individual medication Malaria prophylaxis tablets to purify drinking water (e.g. Micropur, Hydroclonazone) Repellent against mosquitoes (Anti Brumm Forte insect repellent) * 11

12 5.3 First-aid kit (individually or for the group) Plasters Possibly gauze bandages / wound compresses / bandages Antiseptic wound ointment * Disinfectant spray * Medical thermometer Nail scissors, tweezers Agents against insect bites Agent against diarrhea (e.g. Dairsed, Imodium, etc.) Electrolyte powder Agent against Stomach problems / nausea (e.g. Iberogast) pain pills (paracetamol, no aspirin) cold spray * remedies for sore throats * remedies for flu infections / coughs 5.4 documents (including copies of documents) passport (valid for at least 6 months) travel wallet vaccination certificate proof of insurance (Health insurance) Cash (Euro / US-Dollar) Travel Cash-Karte or Postcard (cash withdrawal) 5.5 Other day rucksack Name tags on the luggage Padlock with key Mosquito net Project materials Paper / writing utensils / diary Addresses Travel games / playing cards Book / magazines Flashlight Pocket knife * cheap wrist watch Cell phone USB stick camera battery / (rech bare) batteries chargers sunglasses glasses and prescription favors (e. B. Calendar with pictures of Switzerland, Toblerone) 12

13 5.6 For the responsible teacher (especially in the case of a first contact trip), a welcome letter from the school principal in which the project is supported Information about your school, for example a brochure, photos, video and / or sound recordings, to give an impression of your school and your environment (Pay attention to the compatibility of the devices) Camera Tourist information about the area in which your school is located, including posters Messages from the pupils (first contact trip) Relevant planning and curriculum documents, holiday plans and information about the education system (first contact trip) Gifts, in particular such that are related to your school and its surroundings will take you more with you than you planned, as you may meet more people, experience more hospitality and receive more gifts than you expected. * Liquids, knives or pointed objects must be carried in checked baggage ch Foundation for Federal Cooperation Tel Dornacherstrasse 28A Fax PO Box 246 CH-4501 Solothurn 13