As the program entails a substantial amount of travelling and field work, some of which may take place in tribal villages, the admissions committee is looking for applicants who are adventurous, self-motivated, confident, are willing to take initiative, are independent thinkers, are flexible and can adapt to various situations, and are open to experiencing and learning about new cultures and ways of thinking and living.
Please note that projects and locations may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, all participants are expected to be flexible while confirming projects and project locations.
What is the cost of the program?
Given the significant social impact of the program, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham does not charge any fees but does require participants to pay associated costs. The institution offers a 70% scholarship to selected participants to cover most of these costs. Participants selected for the Amrita Live-in-Labs® Scholarship only have to pay $250 per month for the associated costs of the program. Associated costs include implementing the chosen projects, obtaining essential course materials, and food and accommodation for the duration of the program. Selection for the scholarship is decided by the program's admission committee.
Please Note: All travel costs are expected to be covered by participants including travel to and from the villages.
We recommend participants to bring at least $500 for any unforeseen expenses. Furthermore, participants are expected to cover:
Round trip airfare from home country to Kerala, India
Medical insurance and/or medical expenses
Upgraded accommodation or transportation
Orientation and integration into the village
What type of visa should I apply for to participate in the Live-in-Labs® program?
We urge all applicants to acquire a student visa as there are strict rules about doing projects/research in Indian villages without a student or research visa. Furthermore, if students wish to earn credit for their work through the Live-in-Labs® program, then it is imperative to come on a student or research visa.
What should I do when I arrive in India?
Once you have rested and gotten in touch with the Center for International Programs, it is imperative that you register with the local Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival if you have come to India on a Student or a Research Visa and plan to stay more than 2 months (60 days). Registration facilities are not provided at the airport but in the office of FRROs or District Superintendents of Police. A member of the Amrita Center for International Programs can accompany students to the local FRRO but all transportation charges must be paid by students.
What should I bring with me?
It is highly recommended that you have the following with you: passport size photographs (20), official forms of identification from your country, medicine, mosquito repellent, cotton clothes, a light rain jacket, sunglasses, umbrella, rain boots, bed sheets, pillow covers, extra pillows, portable battery-operated fan, water bottle, and sunscreen. Most of these items can be obtained after reaching India but it is advised that you plan ahead.
Will housing and meals be provided?
Yes. The institution will arrange housing for all participants. Most Live-in-LabTM sites will have a cook and a kitchen, however, this does vary from site to site. Some sites will allow you access to general and convenient stores so that you can cook. Other sites, however, do not require separate room and board facilities since participants will be placed on campus.
Is there a dress code?
Yes. We advise you to dress modestly and according to the weather conditions of the area in which you will be working. Weather and terrain conditions vary depending on which part of India you will be placed.
Do I need medical insurance?
We do recommend you obtain some type of medical insurance.
Do I need to submit a medical certificate from my physician?
Yes. It is imperative that you provide official documentation siting your fitness and ability to live and work in rural India.
Do I need to get vaccinated?
It is always good to take precautionary steps since living and working in rural India will be a new experience for you. We recommend getting vaccinated for the following diseases:malaria, typhoid, cholera, and measles.
Are there training sessions on how to assimilate to the local culture?
Yes. You will be briefed about your designated village ahead of time.
For the first week, students will be oriented in the social and cultural characteristics of rural India. They will also be trained in many aspects of sustainable living so they can help the villagers at the ground level as a way of integrating into the community, thus maximizing their effectiveness in understanding the problems the villagers face.
From the second week onwards, the students will start identifying problems, design a system based on their expertise for the issues the villagers face, propose implementation plans, and submit a detailed report of their findings and suggestions. Some students may return to implement the change.
Are there any days I can take off for sight-seeing or for vacation?
Yes but you must be flexible with dates for vacation and/or breaks as these are completely dependent upon the project, project location, project guide, and travel arrangements.Breaks or vacations may also be delayed or cancelled in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Your understanding and cooperation are expected in these situations. Also, the Amrita Center for International Programs must be informed well in advance (at least 5 days) about when you will be leaving the village and when you will be coming back as there are certain rules and regulations set by the Indian government about foreigners travelling to and from villages. Communicating this information with the International office is important to ensure your safety and to avoid any legal issues.
Will I have access to WiFi?
Yes. You will have access to WiFi on the institution campus.
How do I open a bank account?
Dhanlaxmi Bank branches can be found onsite for all Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham campuses. To open an account, you need to bring your original passport and visa, self-attested copies of your passport with proof of address in your home country, passport size photographs (minimum 3), self-attested copies of your visa, and proof of address in India.
How do I get a cell phone connection?
The Center for International Programs will aid you in applying for and acquiring a sim card but you need to purchase your phone separately. Please bring copies of your passport, proof of address in India (hostel/guest house), and passport size photographs.
How do I get a data card (Internet) for my laptop?
The Center will aid you in applying for and acquiring a data card for your laptop. Internet will be provided in classrooms and Wi-Fi is available in some campuses. If you wish, however, to have 24/7 internet access on your laptop, it would be beneficial to purchase a data card. Please bring copies of your passport, proof of address in India, and passport size photographs.
What is the typical voltage rating in India?
220VAC, 50 Hz
Do I need an international driving permit?
If you have one, you could drive a two or a four wheeler. You cannot, however, get a driving license with a temporary address.
Who do I contact if I want to go sightseeing or plan a trip?
You can contact Mr. Krishnan Pillai at the Amrita Center for International Programs to help you with your travel plans.