Team Smart City – Kopri is gearing up for our trip to Mumbai! After all the work we have done so far this semester it is hard to believe we will be lifting off in eighteen days. So far it has been an experience learning how to prepare and what to do before we leave the United States. Within our group of four, some of us are American and some are international. This means even the challenges we faced individually when preparing for the program were diverse. Below are some things we learned along the way and hope to pass on to future GMBAs who may need some advice.
Passports and Visas
In our experience passports and visa applications are probably the toughest obstacle to overcome for CAP. What we’ve learned is that it is essential to check your passport early, even before you know where you are going for the program and to plan ahead. For India specifically, passports must have at least two empty pages for entry stamps and must be valid through 180 days after trip. These means if your passport expires less than three months from the date of arrival you must get a new one!
Now on to visas. Despite working as students while in Mumbai, we have applied and received our tourist visas. The Indian government is much more relaxed when it comes to tourist visas and allows for multiple entries and re-entries. Plus, a tourist visa lasts for 10 years! As an American it is simple to sign up for an appointment at CKGS, the Indian visa service in Washington, D.C, and quickly receive your visa. As an international student, make sure to double check the required documents. Expect a longer wait for getting your visa and passport back in the mail.
GWU does a good job of making sure its students are covered with insurance while traveling. Across all programs and trips GWSB uses HTH Worldwide, HTH’s coverage is fairly expansive and requires very little hassle when registering. Also, if you are traveling abroad before the program begins it is very easy and inexpensive to sign up for additional insured days.
What to Bring
Figuring out what to bring with us to Mumbai, where temperatures have already hit 90°F by the start of May, has not been an easy task. Not only will it be warm and humid, but we are required to look professional throughout our visits with the client. Thankfully we will be there just before monsoon season begins, so there should not be too much rain. We plan on bringing comfortable, business-wear, easy-to-walk-in shoes, and some lighter clothes for our days off seeing the city! Soon we will see if we have prepared well!