Your journey to Delhi starts with your arrival at Delhi airport where you are picked up by the taxi service and transferred to the Guest House. You spend your initial two nights at the Guest Hose before moving in to your apartment.

Day 1 is orientation with an opportunity to go out in the city with student mentors. You get your first metro ride and buy your sim card. Orientation includes session on living in India, staying healthy physically and emotionally and staying safe.

Day 2 is half day orientation and then moving to your apartment with the help of student mentors.

Day 3 is where you get to explore your neighborhood visit the stores and find out other amenities around you. Student mentors help you buy grocery and figure out the finer details of life. You also start with your Hindi introductory class.

Day 4 is when we send you to explore the city and identify the major landmarks. This is to help you familiarize you with the city.

College usually starts by the 5th or 6th day.


All students in India need to have a smartphone.

On your application portal to the School in India, under the section titled Learning Content, there is an item called “India: Cell Phones in India” with details on purchasing a SIM Card for your smart phone in India and what you will need to have with you in order to do this, and what to expect once you’ve done so.

During orientation, you will have a chance to purchase SIM cards for your cell phones, or a new Indian smart phone; you will need to pay for these (roughly $100 for a new phone)

  • If you have an unlocked (GSM or 3G/4G) phone, bring that to India. An iPhone or Samsung could be more expensive in India than in U.S.
  • Owners buy pre-paid minutes. Most plans have a data plan included.
  • Cell phones may be used to call the U.S., but this is very expensive. Use Skype or Viber to call home free from your smartphone. It is not expensive to call within India; however, your friends will likely ask you to download free messaging services like Whatsapp, BB messenger, or similar services to keep in touch.


The Director of the School in India will rent an apartment for you before your arrival.  The apartment will be furnished with basic furniture, cooking utensils, and dishes.  Students attending LSR will live in the south of Delhi and students attending St. Stephen’s College will live in the North Campus area, in the north of the city.

Students will be billed for housing by Middlebury.  Students can choose to cook their own meals, or request dinners be delivered via a tiffin service, that will deliver home-cooked dinners at an agreed-upon time each evening, or a certain number of evenings each week.  Lunches can be taken at the colleges.


Whenever you go to any foreign country, you are exposed to germs against which your body has not yet built up a resistance. You may, therefore, be more susceptible to illness than local people are. This is as true for Americans going abroad as it is for those coming to the United States.

The most common areas for health problems are digestive and upper respiratory systems. It is also important to keep these things in mind:

  • Bring enough medicine for your entire stay, as they may be difficult to acquire, and customs may prohibit shipping of medicine. Any medication that requires refrigeration should be brought to the attention of Middlebury prior to the departure as special arrangements may be necessary.
  • We would recommend not eating street food as hygiene standards of street food in India is often very poor. When eating in restaurants, pay special attention to cleanliness of eating utensils and food. Be particularly careful about salads, and at the very least, squeezing lemon onto salad will kill off some of the germs…though we recommend that you avoid all cut fruits/raw vegetables and salads.


Plan your packing carefully, keeping in mind that you will have to carry all of your own luggage while traveling. This means TRAVEL LIGHTLY. We cannot emphasize this strongly enough.

Consider what you will use for luggage. Durable backpacks are lightweight and easy to carry.  As you pack for the flight over, also keep in mind that you will be carrying this same luggage by yourself, sometimes over great distances or in crowded places. Take things that are easy to manage and avoid over-packing. It is also prudent to bring at least one bag or container that can be securely locked for storage of money or valuables, and a smaller bag that can be used for weekend trips out of town.

You should be prepared for warm weather, though at the beginning of the fall semester, it is likely to be quite wet as well. It is a good idea to bring clothes that can be easily layered during the winter months because of the fluctuations in daily temperatures, and because most flats and public buildings do not have central heat. Choose hand-washable, permanent press, and drip-dry materials; durable fabrics are preferable. Bring a few items for different occasions: sports, classes, and dress occasions.

For a complete list of packing suggestions, please visit the Packing Checklist on the School in India Handbook website.


View Complete Handbook