1. First and foremost DON’T BE JUDGMENTAL.
Remember you come from a different culture, lifestyle. Indian situation will be very different. Hence you have to wait till the end of your exchange year to form your opinions. Everyday will bring new experiences both positive and negative. Your attitude should be to take all experiences in your stride and look at Problems as Opportunities for your personal growth.
2. Please DON’T INTERFERE in the projects administrative, policies or internal staff affairs.
(This is very important for your successful exchange year) All projects are good and contribute to the communities/society they are working for. It is very wrong to say that, one project is better than the other project. They are different that’s all.
3. DON’T ABSENT YOURSELF
from work without informing your hosts.
4. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR HEALTH.
Seek immediate medical care in case of illness.
5. DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH:
It takes time for you to know/understand where you fit in and how you can utilise your talents and potential for volunteer work. Language is the greatest barrier. Once you learn the basics of conversation in the local language, you will make very good progress. Moreover it also takes some time for your project colleagues to get to know your potential and involve you suitably in the work (Please remember, everyday you are learning something new) In India you need tons patience and good humor.
We will do our best to match your preference with suitable hosting, but sometimes it is not possible to find the “Perfect Hosting”.
More information will be given at the orientation conference,it has been our
experience, that exchangees, who do not have specific skills or experience in volunteer work, (in the first two/three months) feel that they are useless in their project. They feel that they are not contributing and feel they do not have a lot of work/responsibilities.
Host Families: After the first four months, a few of you may have the possibility to stay in families. (This will depend on the number of hosts who volunteer) Indian families differ from place to place, city to rural. Indian families are very hospitable and treat guest as God. You may feel over protected. Accept this in good faith. Many families will not have a separate room for you. You will have to share with others and in villages with also cows, sheep and hens. Please do not treat your house as a guesthouse but become a part of the family involving yourself in household activities.
This is surely the best way for you to be easily accepted and respected. Learn the language as quickly as possible. As already mentioned, girls are expected home before dark.