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18 year old wants to work/teach in India - any suggestions

18 year old wants to work/teach in India - any suggestions

May 15th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 76
18 year old wants to work/teach in India - any suggestions

My 18 year old son wants to teach english in India for a few months later this year.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks
sue5250 is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
India is a great country and I am sure he would have an unforgetable experience. However living and working in India is more challenging than many other countires where Western ex-pats go to teach English, i.e. Korea and Japan. What time of year would he be going? What part of India? What organization would be hiring and sponsoring his work permit? Why does he want to go to India? We could provide more advice is you provide more particulars.
Cicerone is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Cicerone, he wants the different cultural experience. We are looking for a reputable company to do this through - personal experience preferably - time frame is 2-3 months between Sept and Dec 2004. Probably South India.
sue5250 is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Sept to Dec is a good time to be in India. The festival season kicks off in August and from November onwards the weather is very pleasant.

My suggestion is that he should base himself in either Pune or Bangalore. Both are culturally rich and have a string of good quality educational institutions, and both have a cosmopolitan composition. For a Westerner new to India, these places will be friendlier and perhaps cushion the initial cultural shock. Both Pune and Bangalore can also serve as a base for exploring other places in India.
agtoau is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 02:13 AM
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I agree with Agtoau that Pune (also spelled Poona) or Bangalore would be good choices, the weather is much more temperate (in fact similar to northern CA) and the cities are smaller and more manageable. I would avoid the big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta.

He could also consider parts further south on the coast like the states of Goa and Kerala. These are more tropical in terms of weather. Goa has a Portuguese history and a good size Christian community which gives a different flavor to the place. Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India (90%) and has a socialist government which again gives the places a different feel.

IMO, Weather will play a huge role in how much your son gets out of this experience. Take a look at worldclimate.com and weatherbase.com for historical temperature and rainfall information for the places your son is considering. The fall months generally are better than the summer/monsoon, as he will be avoiding the worst of the heat, but south east India (Chennai and south) has pretty heavy rainfall in those months.

As for what he will do, your instinct is right that you should go by personal experience, and NOT from websites. A website search is a good place to start, but after that you would need to speak with someone who has signed up with particular company or organization. Assuming your son is a US citizen, a place to start might be the US Embassy in Delhi. The website for the US Embassy in Delhi is http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/in1/wwwhmain.html.

You might also try the Indian Embassy in the US at www.indianembassy.org

I will say that I am not sure if teaching English in India is exactly the experience your son is seeking. India is such a poor country that they need more basic help than teaching English, it is a bit like giving a starving person and éclair: it is food but not the protein he needs. He may find himself teaching English (or improving the English of) people who work for an American Express call center or a US airline with a reservations center in India (very common, and more so than you probably are aware of). He might find it more rewarding to volunteer with one f the many NGO or charitable organizations which provide services in India. A few I know of which are reputable and would offer a good experience are:

United Nations Volunteer Program at http://www.unv.org/
Oxfam International at http://www.oxfam.org/
Habitat for Humanity http://www.habitat.org/
Habitat for Humanity India at http://www2.habitat.org/intl/countryprofiles.fm

The last group appears to have their headquarters in Bangalore:
HFH India
# 54/A, 2nd Floor, 3rd Cross
Kavery Layout, Thavarekere Main Road,
Bangalore - 560 029
Tel: 91-80-51114084
E-mail: [email protected]

Your local church or synagogue may have information on other groups.

He should also take a look at the lonelyplant.com website for information on India and take a look at their chatroom on India. Lonely Planet writes guidebooks for younger and more budget- conscious travelers than most Fodorites, and India is a favorite destination. There may be information or posts there in teaching English or doing volunteer work in India. The area of the site you need is called "Thorn Tree Posts ". The site is somewhat similar to this Talk section of the Fodors site.

There are also several websites run by or for people teaching English and other subjects in foreign schools around the world. Take a look at Overseas Digest (overseasdigest.com) which has a section on teaching overseas. www.overseasdigest.com/odsamples/ambrose.html The site has lots of information, links and contacts about teaching and living overseas.

There are many websites that have information and tips on expat life. Try the following titles for searches:


You might also take a look at the American Women's Club of Mumbai. You should be able to post a question on their message board. Take a look at
Cicerone is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 02:25 AM
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cicerone, thanks for all those suggestions and the time you put into your reply - will explore them.
sue5250 is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 29

I also have a son interested in doing the same thing - so I also want to thank you for your great advice.

vanny is offline  

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