For work site in general:
- For women: A Salwaar Kameez can easily be
purchased from any tailor. Otherwise, fairly modest
clothing such as khakis, cropped pants, knee-length or
longer skirts, and shirts with sleeves and a modest
neckline. Nothing tight or revealing!
- For men: Casual clothing is okay, pants/trousers and
shirts are fine, as long as their clean and neat.
- Any shoes are acceptable, as long as they are
comfortable and practical.
• Remember that New Delhi has very intense seasons.
Clothing should be versatile (layers!) and you should
prepare for rain.
• After hours: T-shirts, jeans, cropped pants are fine.
Do NOT bring shorts or tank tops. New Delhi is a city
with both modern and conservative communities, and
volunteers should respect that.
• For the latest weather in New Delhi, check here:
Other Tips Some of my favorite things I
never travel without include:
• I strongly recommend you bring one small
• A journal
backpack or an overnight/weekend bag. This • Camera (and extra batteries and
will be great for weekend excursions. memory card)
• Ziploc bags are also a handy thing to pack –
they are great for storing toiletry items and will • A battery operated alarm clock
prevent leaks from getting on your clothes!
• A flashlight
• Note: Electricity in India is 240 volts. You
may want to bring an adaptor and/or converter •A sturdy water bottle
if you plan to need electrical outlets during your
program- battery chargers, ipod chargers, etc. • Insect Repellant (with DEET)
• Things you do not need to pack: The CCS • Hand sanitizer
Home-Base will provide you with towels, bed
sheets, pillow and pillow case, and blankets. • Photos from home
• Remember – PACK LIGHT. You will be able • Sunglasses
to buy “all the basics” in New Delhi.
• A hat or visor
• And a sarong (makes a great
towel, blanket, and pillow, and it is small
and lightweight for packing).
Arriving in New Delhi
• You should have already applied and received your six-month tourist visa. When
you are in customs at the airport, remember to put down TOURIST on your
• If you have not done so already, please send me a copy of your visa and passport.
• If you have not sent me your itinerary, please do so ASAP so that we can arrange
for airport pick-up.
• It is strongly recommended that you bring your CCS t-shirt to put on after
customs so that our staff can recognize you. Make sure you also pack your
Handbook and staff contact numbers with your carry-on in case you need to call
• After exiting customs, meet that staff at the end of
the corridor, inside the gates in the Arrival Hall.
They will be waiting there with a sign with the CCS
- Arrival Day
- Introduction, Orientation Part I
- Shopping for clothes to wear to work
- Tour of Delhi (time permitting)
- To worksite
- Drop-Off exercise
- Dinner at CCS
At the Home-Base
• You will be rooming with 1-2 other people in
your room, each flat with 3 bedrooms.
• Bedrooms have closets or storage bins.
• 2 bathrooms per flat with warm water, flush
toilets and showers
• Large open kitchen area/meeting space
• Common room
• Room for outside seating
• Breakfast in your own flats, food provided by
CCS. Lunch served at the office, short walk
from flats, and dinner served in Flat 5.
Do not drink the tap water – CCS will provide
you with unlimited filtered water. Be sure to
use this when brushing your teeth!
At the Home-Base
Some things to keep in mind when living with others:
• Be respectful and courteous at all times.
Sometimes adjusting to living with 20 strangers is more
difficulty than adjusting to the new culture.
• Be supportive of each other. Each person handles
culture shock and home sickness in a variety of ways.
Be there for each other.
• Be neat and tidy. Keep in mind, you’re sharing a
house with others – you need to pick-up after yourself
otherwise the house can quickly get messy.
• Be quiet in the evenings. Noise can quickly spread,
so be courteous of those that are sleeping.
• Be on time! Be mindful that cultural activities and
departures for placements in the morning involve other
people. Being late holds up the group.
• Outside visitors are not allowed in the Home-Base.
This is for the safety of you and your fellow volunteers.
The following policies have been established to ensure the safety,
comfort and respect of all the volunteers in the Home-Base. Please
be mindful and considerate of the following:
• Drinking alcohol is not permitted in the Home-Base
• The legal drinking age in India varies from state to state. In the National Capital Territory of Delhi, where
you’ll be living, the drinking age is 25. If you are of legal drinking age, please remember to be responsible
and respectful of yourself and the community.
• Smoking is allowed in the outside areas of the Home-Base
• For your safety, the curfew during the week is 11pm.
• Missing work is not acceptable for weekend trips. If for some reason you may be missing a day at your
placement, you need to schedule this ahead of time with your co-workers at your placement.
• You will get more detailed rules upon your arrival. Be sure to review them and turn to the staff if you have
Please remember that you are in India to be of service -
don’t let your evening activities get in the way of your work
during the week.
Money & Communications
• The currency in India is the Indian Rupee. To view current exchange rates, visit:
• It is easiest to access money through ATMs. Please make sure your card has a Visa or
• Traveler's checks may be used as a back-up in case of emergency, but it is advised not to use
this as a primary method of accessing money.
• PHONES: There is a phone at the Home-Base that you can make/receive international calls.
You can purchase international calling cards at stores close to the flats in New Delhi.
• INTERNET: The flats are within walking distance to a few internet cafes. The connection will
most likely be slower than you are used to, and it’s not uncommon for the electricity to go out, so
please approach the cafes with patience!
• Be proactive and take initiative.
• Be prepared for the language barrier and try not
to get frustrated.
• Learn from others and be supportive of each
• Participate in cultural exchange – the people at
your placement will want to learn just as much
about your culture as you are there to learn
about the Indian culture.
• If you have any frustrations, celebrations, or
want feedback, talk to the CCS staff.
• Don’t let your personal goals get in the way of
being of service.
Important Things to Know about the
CCS Donations & Gift-Giving Policy:
- Developed by our in-country staff and Partner Programs
to ensure that the volunteer program is as effective as
- Volunteers are prohibited from giving money, supplies,
materials, or gifts (including candy, toys, pens, etc.) to
Partner Programs, the individuals they serve, and
individuals in the community.
- Supplies and materials are available in the CCS
Resource Center for volunteers to use at their
placement. Volunteers are not expected to bring
supplies from home.
- Volunteers who offer donations or materials to Partner
Program, the individuals they serve, or individuals in the
community (including in-country staff) are subject to
early termination and will be unable to enroll in future
- The Donations & Gift-Giving Policy applies to CCS
volunteers even after they have completed the program
and returned home.
Donations & Gift-Giving Policy
Why we ask that you do not donate to your placement:
• Sustainability. Cross-Cultural Solutions works with Partner Programs that are independently
sustainable and rely on volunteers as a human resource that will help them achieve their long-term
goals in the community. Donating to these organizations can lead to financial dependency on
volunteers and have a negative impact on their ability to secure funding and support from the local
government and community in the future. In addition, the organization may not have the ability to
replace materials once the supply is exhausted, especially if they are not purchased locally.
• Motivation. If volunteers continually donate to the Partner Programs, it becomes difficult to
determine the effectiveness of the volunteers’ work and the true motivation for requesting volunteers
at that placement site.
• Expectations. Donating materials can set unsustainable expectations for future volunteers who are
unable or choose not to donate. This can compromise the relationship between volunteers and the
communities they serve and can damage partnerships with local organizations.
• Cultural Exchange. By shifting the focus away from giving/receiving donations, there is a greater
emphasis on the learning and cultural exchange.
• Empowerment. Giving money and material donations to our Partner organizations can create a
sense of dependency, taking power away from these organizations. By supporting them
through volunteer work, instead of donations, we are supporting them in their goals and
empowering them in to maintain their independence.
CCS Resource Center
All CCS Home-Bases have a well-stocked
Resource Center with locally purchased
supplies and materials that you can use at your
If there are other supplies you would like to
use after starting your placement, please
discuss this with the Program Director. If
appropriate, we are happy to purchase them
locally and add them to the Resource Center!
Remember that any supplies and materials
taken for use at the Partner Program must be
returned at the end of the day. If supplies are
left at your placement, it will be considered a
material donation and will be in violation of the
Donations & Gift-Giving Policy.
CCS Resource Center: Basic Supplies
Comprehensive resource materials:
Scissors Recycled resource materials:
Glue Cardboard Boxes
Tape Egg Cartons
Pens in assorted colors Empty toilette paper rolls/
Markers in assorted colors paper towel rolls
Pencils in assorted colors Plastic bottles
Crayons in assorted colors Magazines
Paint in assorted colors Plastic cups
Paint brushes assorted sizes Old newspaper
Poster Board/ Cardboard Socks
White Paper Paper bags
Lined Paper Uncooked Beans, Rice
Colored paper Uncooked Pasta
Index Cards Cloth
Erasers Comprehensive sample lesson plans/ ideas/ craft activities:
String and Yarn Placement Guides
Rubber bands Language Dictionaries/Books
Sponges Story Books (children/adult)
Pencil sharpener Books on the country and culture
Paper plates Educational planning books/art and craft books
Sports equipment: Logbooks or folders for each placement site
Assorted balls Materials created by previous volunteers
Jump ropes Ideas for craft activities
Sport equipment local to the culture
Most volunteers document their experience on the program by taking photographs.
While we recognize that this is an important element of the experience, the laws, rules,
and etiquette of taking photos differ across countries and cultures. It’s important to be
cautious about taking photos and adhere to the following guidelines:
At Your Placement
– Not all placement sites allow you to take photos - please adhere to the rules and guidelines that are
specific to your placement site.
– It is only appropriate to take your camera to your placement once you have developed relationships,
towards the end of your program, and with the permission of the Partner Program and CCS Program
– It may not be appropriate to have expensive camera equipment at the placement.
– When taking photos at your placement, please be respectful and do not to disrupt activities.
On Your Free Time
– Always ask permission and respect people’s wishes before taking any photos.
– Be discreet when carrying your camera – keep in mind that you are traveling through another country
and working in communities where expensive photographic equipment can attract undesirable
attention. Don’t be conspicuous about your equipment and always play it on the safe side.
– Consider taking an inexpensive disposable camera.
BEFORE YOU GO:
• Be sure to leave your Travel Contact Information
with friends and family and set reasonable
expectations regarding your first contact from India
• Pack your Handbook and CCS T-shirt in your carry-
WHILE YOU’RE THERE:
• Keep an open mind and be patient! These are the
best defenses for fighting off frustration and home-
• Be proactive and ready for anything!
• Keep those of us back home updated on your trip! If
you keep a blog or email friends and family, please
include me on your list.