Welcome to Delhi
At CET, our goal is to make study abroad accessible for all. We believe that learning happens best when your class reflects the world around us—complex and diverse. So we work hard to create and maintain programs that support students of all races, religions, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. No matter where you are coming from, we want you to have a successful study abroad experience.
CET makes every effort to offer accommodations comparable to those of your home institution. Disclosing early helps us to make proper preparations and work with you to determine if a program will be a good fit. We recommend that you use the following details to inform your decisions and conversations with your Student Services Coordinator.
Race & Ethnicity
Delhi attracts many foreign tourists and students, so there is a fairly robust international population. Despite this, past students have often reported feeling that they draw attention and stares. Generally speaking, India is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic country and there is no official discrimination against specific groups or communities. However, personal prejudices may sometimes be expressed in the form of overt, blunt comments that students may occasionally hear.
In September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court overturned Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalizing homosexuality nationwide. However, LGBTQ issues remain taboo in India, though there are groups and individuals who take strong social stands while identifying themselves as LGBTQ in Delhi. Younger people may be more open to these issues, but it is not often discussed openly. There are several community groups and resources that students may have access to in Delhi.
Traditional gender roles in the family exist across all levels of Indian society. However, this is changing in populations that are younger or more educated, and students are welcome to tactfully ask questions and discuss related topics after gaining a bit of in-country context. There are also certain terms, body language, and mannerisms that are generally used in local culture and language to create respectful distance and space in interactions between genders. International students living in India will find learning these cues helpful for successful interactions with locals.
Recently, the Indian Supreme Court indicated a desire to decriminalize gender orientations, though no official actions have been made at this time. Hijras (a term for trans individuals) are legally recognized under Indian law as a third gender. Most official documents, like passports and the Aadhar (the local ID card), offer the option of choosing trans as their gender, or opting out of this field altogether. However, many security lines in India are still separated by “male” and “female” checks, which may lead to some potential confusion or discomfort for gender diverse students.
In general, India is very diverse in terms of religion. Though no region is free of incidents resulting from religious conflicts, the general attitude in Delhi is that of tolerance and legally each person is free to practice religion in their own way.
Cost of Living
The day-to-day cost of living in Delhi is 69% cheaper than that of Washington, DC, and slightly less expensive than most other big cities in Asia. As with any major city, the cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. Check out our budget sheet to get an idea of what life in Delhi might look like financially.
ACCESS in ACADEMICS
Most students are typically in class for 4 to 5 hours a day. In the second half of the term, internship track students only spend 2 hours in class per week, and participate in their internship on a full-time basis. Class size ranges from 2 to 10 students on average.
Available for those with documented need: extra exam time; modified deadlines; low-distraction test environment; note takers; exam readers; captioned videos or audio recordings of lectures; readings and texts as audio files; braille and large print texts; a computer to take exams; sighted companions; braille signage around campus; mobility orientation to campus; preferential seating; transportation to site visits that are typically walkable; syllabi, readings, and assignments in advance
Classrooms & Campus
Classes are held in the CET Center, a 4-story building that houses classrooms, office space, multiple restrooms, a kitchen, and other spaces where students can rest or study. Classrooms and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Internships are optional and offer varied work environments that require varied tasks. A wheelchair-accessible internship placement site can be arranged with advanced notice. Distances and modes of transportation to internship sites vary. Private transportation to and from internship sites can be arranged for a student with documented need.
CET occasionally plans mandatory academic activities and optional trips to nearby sites and other cities after class and on weekends. Excursions may involve urban walking, rural hiking, use of public transportation, and/or going up and down stairs.
Itinerary modifications and accommodations can be made for students with documented need. Transportation can be arranged as necessary, and excused absences are provided for mandatory excursions that are inaccessible due to a disability.
ACCESS IN HOUSING
Your Home Abroad
You and 2 to 4 classmates will live in the house of a local, CET-vetted family. You share a bathroom and other common rooms with your host family and specific rules on when and how rooms can be accessed are discussed at the move in. Housing will look a little different for each student but all can expect a 15- to 60-minute commute to class. A wheelchair-accessible housing assignment can be arranged with advanced notice.
Homestay families have shown themselves to be open to housing students with different gender presentations. Students have either an independent room or share a double occupancy room with one other CET student of the same gender. Housing in a private room can be arranged for students with documented need given advanced notice.
Some sidewalks offer ramps from the sidewalk to the road. However, many sidewalks in the city have large gaps between the sidewalk and the road that may be difficult for students with mobility issues. Some roads, sidewalks, and pathways may be uneven. On the metro, most (if not all) stations have accessible entrances via escalators and/or elevators. Students in a wheelchair or with other mobility issues may travel in the women’s car of the metro, right behind the driver’s cabin. These students can alert the driver to receive assistance with entering and exiting the metro.
Health & Diet
Health & Medicine
During orientation, on-site staff provide students with basic information and recommendations for seeing a doctor and buying medicine. There are some prescription medications that are not accessible in India—students should do their research beforehand and ensure they bring their prescription and the necessary amount if in-country refills won’t be possible.
Keeping Fit in Delhi
There are several gyms, sports clubs, and local swimming pools that students can become members of for a monthly fee.
Managing Mental Health
CET maintains a list of qualified psychiatrists and psychologists that are available to counsel students if needed. We can provide contact information upon request.
Many special dietary needs can be easily accommodated in India, especially vegetarian diets. However, vegan diets are harder to maintain because many foods contain dairy. Gluten-free diets are possible to maintain as well as long as students are mindful of ingredients. Keeping kosher is more difficult, and it is suggested that these students stay off meat unless they are specifically told otherwise. As an internationalized city, Delhi has more access to imported foods that students can purchase at grocery stores.
Resources from Alumni
These are alumni-written essays that reflect upon how their own identity affected their time abroad (both good and bad) and what it was like to navigate another culture in their position. We encourage you to read these to better understand what studying abroad in Italy could be like for you or your future peers.
- There are no Perspective Pieces for UW in India: Delhi yet. Interested in writing about your experience in Delhi? Tell us about your time abroad.
India Alumni Insight
In final evaluations, we ask students how their identities affected their experience abroad. The following are a few select quotes from recent program evaluations to help you understand what life in India may be like for you or your future peers.
TALK TO ALUMNI
Chat with alumni about their experiences abroad. Once you start an application, your online CET account will give you access to the following resources:
- Alumni Support List: A directory of students who have volunteered to chat about their experiences abroad in India.
- Identity Abroad Support Network: A group of students who have volunteered to discuss their identity-related experiences in India. This is a volunteer-based program that started in 2019. Volunteers can also opt to have their contact information kept privately by CET staff and only shared when certain lived experiences are asked about.
Don’t see anyone listed for the Identity Abroad Support Network? Call CET for more information and resources. Consider joining after your program to support other minority students abroad.