What to expect as teacher in India
Teaching in India brings its own special challenges and its own unique rewards. At first, many teachers are put off by what appears to be very low salaries, but when adjusted for the very low cost of living, it can provide a fantastic lifestyle and savings potential.
Schools can range from somewhat basic to quite glamorous, but those that can afford an international teacher are usually at the upper end of the scale. Teachers considering India must be aware that it is a developing country, and infrastructure outside of the major cities can be hit or miss. But teachers who immerse themselves in this fascinating culture will find children hungry for information who strongly value education as a tool to make their mark on the world stage.
Language: Hindi, English
Population: 1.21 billion
With an astonishing population, the second largest in the world, India is one of those destinations where you are either going to absolutely love it or hate it.
With millions still living a life of poverty in the slums to the rich with their drivers and opulent houses - India really is a country of contrasts, not just with its people but with its landscapes as well.
Surprisingly, people do only think of the millions of people in the major cities of Mumbai and Calcutta, but fail to look further. India is overflowing with beautiful scenery, from white sand beaches, to forests and mountain ranges such as that of the Himalayas. With the very low cost of living in India, travel should be a priority.
India borders China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar.
Just remember, even if you aren't a fan of either, know a little about your cricket and a bit about the latest Bollywood film, and you will fit right in!
There is one word to describe the climate in India..hot. Temperatures do vary quite a bit due to India's varying geography, but generally speaking it is rare for temperatures to drop below 20 degrees C and temperatures are well above 30 degrees C for a majority of the year. The only real exception to this is the Tibetan plateau where weather is influenced by the Himalayas and its quite often icy weather conditions.
The options are endless. If you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, there are many temples to visit. You can visit the beaches, deserts or forests. Go on camel safaris, hindu festivals, cruises, live on a houseboat, visit the River Ganges, and of course the Taj Mahal, drink tea in one of the many tea plantations, visit tiger sanctuaries, the list goes on.
Eating and Drinking
It goes without saying, the food in India is mouth watering. However you need to make sure you are ready for the Indian version of spice! It is quite common now for there to be two ratings on restaurant menus - tourist spicy and local spicy charts. Food in India is a vegetarian's delight! The food varies throughout India, with the dishes that most westerners are used to being mainly found in the North of India. In the South you will find milder dishes as different spices are used. The East uses plenty of seafood, making good use of its coastal location. In the West, you will also find seafood, and surprisingly pork, a rare sight in India.
Alcohol legality varies greatly within India, so please ensure you have researched or spoken with a local before openly drinking in public or asking for an alcoholic drink in a restaurant.
As long as you are in no major hurry, and are a bit more relaxed about your leaving time; transport in India is relatively good. Public transport continues to improve in the major cities, especially with the trains. The roads are good in the main cities, however you will find that as soon as you leave them, the condition can deteriorate quite quickly.
The currency is India is the Rupee (RS)