About the Host Organisation
The Cultural Immersion Experience is exactly what it says in its name! An action-packed 12 days traveling across 7 of India’s most cosmopolitan and culturally rich cities. Participants will have a unique chance to fully immerse themselves in India led by our very friendly and experienced team.
The Experience is designed for participants to meet and interact with a diverse range of people, gain exposure of India’s ethos, customs and practices, gain in-depth insights into its history and heritage, and experience first-hand India’s distinct cuisine, culture and traditions.
To provide a holistic and in-depth experience of India’s society and culture, all activities on the experience have been carefully curated to allow discovery of the following five themes:
- People – You will interact with and learn from a diverse range of people who shaped India’s history, are making it proud today and will grow it into an economic superpower in the future.
- Trade – Discover the skills and trades passed down from generations that not only enable India to retain its strong heritage and identity, but also makes it world famous.
- Frugal innovation – The term Jugaad means frugal innovation, a distinctly Indian innovation concept that is increasingly recognised all over the world as a creative way of developing new products and services using what is immediately available and therefore reducing significant development costs linked to traditional innovation. While in India, you will experience, first-hand a number of Jugaad initiatives that look to turn waste and immediately accessible resources to affordable products and services that elevate livelihoods.
- Religion – India is home to a variety of faiths and religions that coexist democratically. You will explore some of these religions and understand more about tradition, beliefs and values and the role they play in every facet of an Indian’s society.
- Heritage – You will visit a number of heritage sites and places of economic, social and historic interest. These sites will provide an important understanding of the history and culture of the place but will also pose adventure and fun.
About the Internship
Below is an indicative schedule of the Cultural Immersion Experience:
Day One: Delhi – Welcome to India
Upon arrival into Delhi, you will be greeted by the Pave team and taken to your accommodation to settle in. We will provide you with Welcome packs that will include city guides, maps, emergency contact numbers and induction materials.
In the evening, you will be introduced to your new destination and touring family for the next eleven days at Pave’s official Welcome To India banquet meal, providing your first taste of India!
Day Two: Delhi – Bicycle Sightseeing Tour and Salaam Baalak Trust
You will start with a morning bicycle tour (car option available) through Old Delhi cycling to the historical and famous sights such as Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Spice Market, Digamaber Jain Temple before sitting down for a typical North Indian breakfast.
In the afternoon, you will meet and interact with local street children from Salaam Baalak Trust to learn about the harsh realities these children have faced and the trust’s amazing initiatives to solve these immensely difficult and pressing issues.
Day Three: Delhi – Religion, Politics and a UNESCO Tomb
From Old to New Delhi where your morning walk will start at the spectacular 90 acre Lodhi Gardens. Next, witness the unorthodox mixing of religions at Qutab Minar tower where the first Muslim ruler used the ruins of 27 Hindu and Jain temples to build the first ever mosque in India!
The afternoon trek will take you to the stunning red sandstone, white marble UNESCO World Heritage Site, Humayun’s Tomb. It is so revered as its the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal.
The day will end by going down King’s Way to view the President’s Palace, the surrounding Secretariat buildings including where government is run at Parliament House and the well-known India Gate.
Day Four: Agra – The Taj Mahal and Evening Cultural Show
You will travel to Agra to visit India’s most iconic ivory-white marble mausoleum and one of the seven wonders of the world – The Taj Mahal. You will have a guided tour to learn about its fascinating history and learn about the Mughal invasion and settlement. N.B. Be sure to carry a torch so you can be ready to marvel in its unprecedented architecture.
In the afternoon, you will learn how to make marble engraving handicrafts as seen in the Taj Mahal from a local expert whose skill has been handed down over generations.
In the evening, you will be immersed to the renowned Indian culture by attending a show called Mohabatein e Taj. Dinner will take place in a restaurant run by acid attack victims and you will have the chance to show your support and meet these inspiring people.
Day Five: Jaipur – Fatehpur Sikri and Pink City Sightseeing
In the morning, you will head to the beautiful Pink City of India, Jaipur. Enroute you will see the sights in Fatehpur Sikri, a quirky and amazing small city founded by the infamous Mughal emperor, Akbar.
You will go on an excursion to see the astonishing views of Jaipur and get some much needed respite.
Day Six: Jaipur – Monkey Temple and Entrepreneur Visit
The morning will start by visiting the famous Galta Ji, the large monkey temple housing (naturally) lots of characterful monkeys! This will be followed by the must-see Amer Fort which is the principal attraction here set high upon the hill.
You will also get the chance to meet and hear the story of a rickshaw driver turned successful entrepreneur whose business featured in the BBC’s ‘The Exotic Marigold Hotel’.
Day Seven: Pushkar – The Holy Lake and a Renewed Sense of Energy
Pushkar is considered one of the most sacred places in India especially its lake. Legend has it that this lake was consecrated to the Hindu’s Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe when a lotus dropped from his hand into the vale and a lake emerged in that place. Touring Pushkar will give you a complete sense of just how religious it is to millions of Indians.
It’s also situated near some of India’s oldest geological structures, and we will meet the experts from Barefoot College to see initiatives and discuss the future of renewable energy in India and globally.
Day Eight: Jodhpur – Sightseeing the Blue City and Zip Lining
You will see the ‘sunshine and blue’ of Jodhpur. How, you ask? Jodhpur’s nicknames include, the “Sun City” for its bright and sunny weather all-year round and the “Blue City” due to its eccentric blue colours decorating many of the houses in the old city area.
See the awe and wonder of this magnificent city in full visiting the sights, landmarks, and sacred & religious sites of Jodhpur concluding with a once-in-a-lifetime zip lining experience across Mehrangarh Fort!
Day Nine: Udaipur – Sightseeing of the Lake City, a Cooking Class & a Sunset Boat Cruise
No trip is complete without visiting arguably the most charming, picturesque city in India, Udaipur. The ‘City of Lakes’ is rich in history that runs over a thousand years deep and you will explore several sites throughout the day; its lakes, palaces, forts and gardens.
Also known for its authentic and tasty cuisine, you will get a chance to put your culinary skills to the test and take a cooking class from an expert chef with an inspiring story who will teach you to make incredible Rajasthani dishes.
The setting of the magnificent Lake Pichola almost takes you into a surreal movie-like environment. You will take a boat cruise around this freshwater lake during sunset, giving you one of the most blissful feelings as the final few crisp rays of sunlight hit you amidst a cool breeze.
Day Ten: Mumbai – Making The Most of Mumbai
You will get a real eye-opener to the stark contrast of the ‘City of Dreams’ and India’s second largest populated city.
You will get a rare opportunity to do a walking tour of Asia’s largest and famous slum, Dharavi, where Slumdog Millionaire was filmed. You’ll experience how most of India live and realise just how fortunate we are in this world. Yet through the hardships of these inhabitants, be amazed at their positivity and high spirits but most of all, their entrepreneurial flare that makes India so successful!
In the afternoon, brace yourself as you end up on the other side of the city in more ways than one. You will now journey across the wealthiest parts of Mumbai such as Colaba to see the richest home in the world – a 27-storey house (tower block more like) costing over £1 billion and owned by Reliance Industries chairman, Mr Mukesh Ambani. We will complete the main tourist attractions too such as the Gateway of India and Tata Group founder’s renowned, luxury Taj Palace Hotel.
Day Eleven: Mumbai – Special Event & Closing Ceremony
To round off your adventurous programme, we want you to leave in style. Without giving too much away, we have organised a very special event for you that will follow a typical Indian theme.
We will hold a closing ceremony so you walk away holding onto lots of special memories and the longing to return one day.
Day Twelve: Mumbai – Bye Bombay!
Before checking-out and heading to Mumbai International airport, do some final souvenir shopping plus shed some emotional tears as we say farewell (for now) to each other!
What Is Included?
The Cultural Immersion Experience
Gain a fully immersive cultural experience traveling seven distinct cities in India. Our expertly crafted Experience is tailored so that you make the most of your time over the next two weeks and engage in fun-filled activities and cultural visits. Please refer to the indicative schedule for more information.
We arrange clean, comfortable and safe hostels for you for the entire duration of your Experience with 24/7 security. You will live with fellow Experience participants so you can make new friends and interact with each other in your free time from exploring the city to dinner plans. Your accommodation is well-equipped with access to Wi-Fi, separate bathrooms and toilets, spacious communal living areas and a kitchen. Also, you’ll have a chance to meet other travelers living in the hostel and experiencing India – all of who will undoubtedly have their own adventure stories to share!
You must have the correct type of visa to enter India. Based on our experience, this can be a tricky and somewhat lengthy procedure so we simplify it by processing the visa application on your behalf where possible. Dependent on certain factors you may be required to process and file the application yourself but we will provide full support. We gather the relevant information from you via a simple form, organise the paperwork and process your application with the Indian consulate. We have a system in place that ensures your visa is processed with efficiency however, please note the decision is made by the consulate and there is no refund for any rejected visa.
Flights & Insurance Support
We can help find you affordable flights to India. Taking on board that your time and money is precious, our team can assist you with finding the best deals on return flights to India.
It is vital to take out insurance cover during your Experience. We can help you find essential travel and health insurance. Please ensure your insurance covers any cancellation or postponement of your flights as well as the unlikely event you require emergency medical services in India. If you have any questions about an insurance policy or additional extras, just ask us.
Attend a pre-departure orientation to be fully ready for your Experience in India. To understand what to fully expect we run an orientation session prior to departure with you. We also take the time to answer any questions you may have about the Experience so you’re fully versed and we encourage you to invite friends and family along if you wish.
Arriving into India is exciting. With the added thrill of starting your Experience, we want you to have the best welcome possible. We are super excited to meet you! When you land in India we will take you by private hire vehicles directly to your accommodation.
You will travel by a variety of methods including the authentic Indian public transport and private hire vehicles. We will co-ordinate and cover all on-ground commute to and from scheduled workshops, activities and events that relate to the Experience. You will have a chance to experience India’s public transport from the tracks of the famous Indian railway system to the streets by auto-rickshaws. For certain scheduled events you will also travel by private air-conditioned buses and coaches.
Coordinators & Guides
Meet our fun-loving and experienced Coordinators and Guides who will lead the Experience. Our expert Coordinators and Guides know the Indian cities literally like ‘the back of their hands’. They are fluent in English and speak a variety of official and regional Indian languages. We have 20+ year’s experience of living and working in India so you can feel safe in the knowledge that we are duly skilled to provide you with an authentic experience as well as deliver at the highest levels.
Safety & Security
It is our priority to make sure you have a safe Experience. Our Coordinators and Guides who you meet at Induction day and who will be on-ground if you require any assistance or advice. They are there to give you the support you need and in case of emergencies they will be on hand 24/7. The welcome packs we provide are full of useful information including, a comprehensive list of restaurants, shops and some Hindi “survival phrases” to get you started.
Cultural Trips & Admission Tickets
We organise and cover the cost of your social and cultural events included in the Experience so it allows you to maximise your experience of India without breaking the bank. We will organise and give you admission tickets on the day so you don’t have to worry about it – now that’s hassle-free!
Your Pave journey does not stop at the end of your Experience. You are automatically entitled to become part of the Pave alumni community. As part of this community, you have access to exclusive networking events, alumni functions and other social events all focused on creating a platform to build relationships and networks to help you on your pathway. We are committed to growing the Pave alumni community so that in years to come you will become the inspiration for future Pavers.
How Much Does It Cost?
The total Cultural Immersion Experience fee is £2,000 incl. VAT and is inclusive of the Experience package.
N.B. The Experience cost excludes your flights, insurance and the visa consulate fee, which is payable to the Indian High Commission. In any event, please ensure that you have read our Terms of Business before making a payment. Any on-ground travel you do outside of the programme should be covered at your own expense.
When Is It Happening?
The Cultural Immersion Experience dates are as follows:
- Thursday 3rd January 2019 – Monday 14th January 2019
- Friday 2nd August 2019 – Tuesday 13th August 2019
What We Are Looking For
For the Cultural Immersion Experience we are looking for candidates who demonstrate the following:
- A global outlook
- Self-motivation and proactivity
- Effective communication, teamwork and leadership skills
- An adaptable and flexible approach to change
- An interest in travelling
What You Will Gain
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or adventure seeking for the first time, our Cultural Immersion Experience is designed to give you an experience like never before. Step outside your comfort zone and do things that you are unlikely to do or be able to do at home. At the end of the day you want to tick an amazing set of experiences off on your bucket list making you feel more alive than ever.
Beyond the passion and excitement of venturing out, if you’re looking to build your personal brand, CV and competitive edge, it’s vitally important to develop key skills such as confidence, interpersonal skills and adaptability to globalisation that every employer is looking for nowadays. How do you demonstrate and articulate that you have more than Joe Blogg’s generic examples and anecdotes that interviewers hear day-in, day-out? We have the answer.
If you need more reasons to join the Experience, perhaps one of the below will drive your enthusiasm:
Develop cultural sensibility of India and its people
Practice and learn a second (or third) language
Explore Incredible India far more than just backpacking or holidaying
Walk away with once-in-a-lifetime memories and stories
Grow and become a better version of you
All in all, if you even have the tiniest urge to travel abroad then we encourage you to sign up now. You will learn invaluable lessons, grow into a more responsible and mature person and, undeniably, create some priceless memories. You will be challenged to develop yourself and re-evaluate your own values and cultural norms. And when you return home, you will bring a widened perspective of the world with you to use in your personal and professional life.