The current generation of middle- and upper-class teenagers is the first in the true western sense of the word. They have mobile phones and money, and spend their time at shopping malls and going to the cinema. This is where an ex-pat teenager would fit into Indian society.
Studying is the key focus for most teenagers in India. However, involvement in youth groups and undertaking voluntary work is increasing. There are youth groups in most major cities.
The World Organisation for Students and Youth aims “to help different and disparate global communities bond, share and co-create ideas for a better and humane world order”.
- For a list of youth organisations by state: Click here
As India is a transforming economy, there are many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for which teenagers can volunteer. These range from grass-roots and local NGOs to pan-Indian organisations. As well as being life-changing and incredibly rewarding, volunteering with an NGO can give a deeper understanding of the country in which a teenager lives.
- It is worth researching NGOs in the city of residence to check out what opportunities are available. For a database of NGOs: Click here
- I Volunteer is a pan-Indian organisation that places volunteers with NGOs. For more information: Click here
Student Visas and Studying
Students need a visa to study in India.
- For a list of Indian embassies: Click here
- For a sample student visa form: Click here
- For more information on being a foreign student in India: Click here
The following are required to obtain a visa:
- Valid passport
- Correct fee (around Rs.6,000 as of September 2012)
- Two passport-sized photographs
- Completed visa application form (available from the Indian embassy in an applicant’s home country)
- Letter of admission from a recognised Indian educational institution, detailing the duration of the course
- Bona fide letter form a school or college
- Receipt of fee paid from the school or college
- Document showing financial support to cover the tuition fees and student’s stay in India
International schools are popular among ex-pats in India. In some cities, the demand outstrips the supply. The major international schools include:
- The British School, New Delhi
- The International School Bangalore
- The Bombay International School
- The Calcutta International School
It is practically unheard of and, in fact, frowned upon for middle-class Indian teenagers to have a part-time job. It would be unusual for an ex-pat teenager to have a part-time job.
The culture of multiplex cinemas and shopping malls has taken hold of middle-class India, and this is where most teenagers spend their limited free time (studying is the most important activity for teenagers because the educational system is competitive). All major cities have multiplex cinemas.
Coffee culture is also on the rise, with an increasing number of teenagers hanging out in coffee shops with their friends.
Sport is very popular and most teenagers participate in inter-school or inter-college competitions.