Moving to India

People moving to India will discover a colourful and at times chaotic country. Once you’ve adjusted to the bustle, India is a vibrant and exotic place to live. With a history that dates back over five thousand years, it is home to a rich civilisation with many ancient monuments and cities. Covering a vast area, moving to India offers a wide choice in geography, climate, language and culture.

In terms of land, India is the seventh-largest country in the world. No wonder then that within this sprawling landscape, many different terrains, from the towering Himalayas to the Indian ocean coastline, can be found.

Over 1.3 billion people call India home. With approximately one sixth of the world’s population living there, it is second only to China in its population. As a constitutional republic made up of 29 states, India prides itself on being the largest democracy in the world.

Finding Accommodation

The rental market in India is varied and in major cities you will find a variety of flat shares, apartments, houses and villas to choose from.

The cost of living for people moving to India is often relatively cheap. This affords a good standard of living for a lower cost than most Western countries. The challenge for people moving to India can be the availability of quality accommodation, which is in high demand among the expat community.

Accommodation can be browsed online through real estate agents or through a ‘broker’ who acts as an agent and will take a commission.

Education

A strong emphasis on education is one of the driving forces behind India’s growing economy. The schooling system works on 10 years of primary and secondary education, which is followed by 2 more years of higher level secondary school, and the choice to continue 3 more years for a bachelor’s degree.

Although public schools are available, large class sizes, poor facilities and language barriers mean they are not an option many foreigners moving to India consider. Instead private or international schools are usually preferred. International schools offer the option for pupils to continue with their home country curriculum.

Culture

The official language in India is Hindi, which is spoken by around 30% of the people. Yet with dozens of languages spoken throughout the country, English is prevalent as a second language for most. Within the Southern states, English is more widely used than in the northern half of the country where Hindi is more common.

An incredibly diverse country, there are many different ethnic and religious groups in India. The majority of the population are Hindu, making up 80%. Around 12% of people are Muslim and 2% Christian, with other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism also found.

Good to Know

The climate in India can differ greatly depending upon the area. Generally speaking, there are two seasons: rainy and dry. Monsoons and flooding may be common during the rainy season which runs from April to September.

Always check bank notes and don’t accept money that has any tears in it, as they are mainly refused by others when you try and use them.

Culturally it is seen as polite to use the right hand for shaking hands and eating, as the left hand is viewed as being for ‘dirty’ tasks.

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