FAQs

Please select the country where you will be performing your summer research. 

Choose where you will be performing your summer research

General

What should I do if I have glasses/ contacts?

If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses with you for backup.  You may also wish to bring a copy of your corrective lens prescription in the event you must have glasses made.  Don't count on finding your specific brands of eye care products overseas--take them with you

Extra Travel Tips

A comprehensive set of tips is available at: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips

You are also encouraged to sign up for the U.S. Department of State’s free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive the latest travel updates and information that can help you stay informed, stay connected and stay safe, available at: https://step.state.gov/step/

What will be expected of you during the internship if selected?

Excellence. Dedication. High motivation. Hard work. An open mind which is eager to learn from others.

What meals are provided? If none, where and how are these arranged? Do they have conditions that they can keep food refrigerated?

There are usually several eating establishments on campus, either cafeterias or restaurants. Vegetarian food is available on campus. There are also multiple grocery stores on and off campus. Many cities also have Indian grocery stores. Many student residence halls usually have a kitchen in which students can prepare their own food, but that is not necessarily the case on all campuses. Please contact us or your student's host institution to verify more about meal/kitchen availability.

What are some of the things that one should carry other than passport and tickets?

  • Plug adapters and your personal toiletries and cloths. I would recommend carrying with you a international prepaid card/ debit card for the first few days till you get the stipend.

What are the steps to follow if my department does not release department ranks?

You can usually approach the academic section of your institute and try to obtain a letter stating your department rank.

Who pays for this transportation? Who makes the arrangements?

The government of India through IUSSTF will cover costs for transportation to and from airport. Arrangements will be made by the WINstep forward team as well as its partners in India for a point contact person at each specific institution.

What are the transportation arrangements to and from India?

In India, transportation will be provided to and from the airport to the institution. A point contact person will be provided for each institution that will arrange pick up and drop off with your student.

Is creating a bank account in US absolutely necessary?

No, it is not absolutely necessary. But, having an account makes it easier to cash cheques and it is very convenient to use debit cards to buy food and shop. It can avoid the hassle of managing coins. Almost all places accept cards.

Once in India, what are the transportation options?

There are buses that are arranged and provided for students to get to and from their institution and living quarters. More information on transportation will be given to the student at their site specific orientation when they arrive in India. The types of transportation provided to students for personal or general travel will be local taxis and local bus services. The student orientation will provide this information to students.

Are the dates of the program flexible and by how much?

It is possible to move your arrival and departure dates by a week or more in some cases.

Who is a resource for my son/ daughter in India?

Each institution will provide a person who will be there to help answer any questions. Once the student chooses an institution, they will be given contact information for their resource. In addition to local hosts, IUSSTF staff at the national level, and Winstep Forward team members from the US will be accessible 24/7 during the internship via email or phone.

What happens if my son/daughter becomes ill? What are the procedures for both serious and non-serious illnesses?

Medical services are provided at all campuses, and if necessary, students can be transported to a hospital. Students are provided with medical insurance in case they need medical attention.

Who is a resource for my son/daughter in the U.S.?

Your son/daughter will be provided with emergency contact numbers by the host institution. There may also be former Khorana/Bose scholars who are currently doing their Ph.D.s at your son/daughter's host university. They also have been valuable resources for past Khorana and Bose scholars.

Are we provided a mailing address and contact information in the event we need to reach them?

You will be provided an e-mail and phone number of the point contact person at the institution your student is located. Establishing a Skype ID prior to departure will help with contacting students.

How much luggage can I carry?

Please visit your airlines website or contact your airline to determine how much luggage you can carry. Please do try to bring only necessities in order to make your travel less cumbersome.

What are the usual timings for the lab?

Lab members are expected to be in lab by 9:00 and stay until 6:00. You can come in earlier or stay a bit later to finish an experiment. Please do not stay so late that you are in the lab by yourself, or that you will be walking home too late at night. Please always take safety into consideration first. It would be best to come in and stay during the times when the sun is up and many people are still either in the lab or walking around on campus.

Can I return home in case of emergency?

Yes, you can return home in case of emergency. Please contact IUSSTF and WINStep Forward as well as the administration at your host university to explain the need for your return.

What happens if I don't like the lab or the lab work during the summer program?

You can contact IUSSTF or WINStep Forward and explain your concerns. We will try and advise you as to the best course of action.

VISA

How early before my departure should I send in my visa application?

We would suggest sending it in at least 4 weeks prior to your departure date to give yourself enough time to get it processed.

What kind of visa is required?

Students can come on B-1 B-2 F-1 and J-1 VISAs

How will I get my visa?

The host institutions, IUSSTF, and WINStep Forward all work together to ensure that students receive their visas. The host institution will send you paperwork to complete which is then processed in the U.S., after which students are contacted to make appointments to obtain their visas.

When will my student receive instructions on getting their visa/ type of visa?

When the student is accepted to the program a team member of WINStep Forward and IUSSTF will contact them about the next steps, including the visa process. The host institution will also contact the student with respect to visa paperwork and timeframe.

Help with Visas

The whole process of getting a Research visa can take  2-3 weeks. One student suggested waiting 5-6 weeks before you plann to travel before starting the application. (Reasoning behind this was that for the Indian Research Visa you have to enter the country within 4 weeks of receiving an approved visa, and she did not want to get her visa before she was ready to go.) First you have to fill out an online application which does not require any forms or documents to be sent separately. Then there are more online forms you have to complete which eventually need to be printed and sent in. These forms ask you for more explicit information, like employment, past travel, etc. It is VERY important to write down and keep track of all of the ID codes you are given because they allow you to exit and reopen your application as you work. It does not all have to be completed in one sitting. The application requires that you have an Indian contact, so we would suggest being in good contact with your mentor and have details about the work that you will be doing. When assembling the package of forms to be sent to the Indian consulate, please follow the checklist that was provided alongside the second set of online forms. Pay special attention to the different amount quantities of each item you need to supply (for example one student needed to send 8 passport images. She almost missed this detail, which surely would have slowed down the processing of her visa) I submitted the last of her visa forms with her passport approximately 4 weeks before she wanted to travel. You should get some updates about the processing of your visa via email, and once you hear that it is on its way back you can book your flight.

Where do I go to apply for a VISA for going to India?

https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html

Click this link and once you go to this website, click “Regular Visa Application” and then you can start to fill it out. You can save your document and come back to it, so you can leave it partially done.

Will I be reimbursed for the visa fee?

No, the scholarship does not cover visa fees.

Who should be my Indian contact for the visa application?

You should put your mentor/host down because they will be in the area that you will be spending most of your time in.

Application

What is the relative importance on the different parts of the application?

High importance should be given to writing of the Statement of Purpose. Emphasis should be given on what are your research interests and what kind of work you would like to pursue. Prior research experience and previous internships are valued highly.

What if the first 'n' department ranked students apply for a different opportunity, can we apply if we are the 'n+1' th ranked student?

Feel free to apply.

Application question regarding middle name

What do I do if I have no middle name? Please write "None" in the area provided.

Research projects

Will we be able to get projects of our choice?

Yes. Once selected, you will be guided to find a lab suitable for you and your research interests.

Cell Phone Service

My plan was to purchase a SIM card when I arrive in India, is it possible to set up phone service before then?

(The response below is from 2015 U.S. Bose Scholar Daniel Howard who did his internship at TIFR in Bangalore, India. Although many of details apply to Bangalore, much of the information provided can apply to any campus/city in India. Thanks to Daniel for his detailed response!)

"Not the answer you'll like but probably not. My experience was that it's only possible to set up an Indian SIM in India. But here's some advice.

For doing this at NCBS near Yelehanka, your closest shop that has that capability is the below address. Other Airtel stores nearby can't process new SIM government forms when I tried them.
 
No 8, Jammathi Shopping Complex, BB Road, Opp Post Office, Yelahanka, Gandhi Nagar, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560064, India
 
You need to bring two passport size photos (which can be cheaply made at many stores around India as you'll need more for other things in country). Also, encourage a friend to go with you to help fill out the form. Plus you'll need to provide them with a friend's cell number which they can text/call to verify your new line and other things. It can take a week or more to activate, especially if a form is done wrong (which I learned from experience).
 
Alternatively, I know another U.S. Bose Scholar who was at NCBS (in Bangalore) and she made some friends/met colleagues the first few days who had extra basic phones with SIMs to give. WiFi at NCBS is also compatible with eduRoam so you can login immediately using most US college credentials and contact others via WhatsApp, Google Voice, or other internet services on wifi. Colleen at NCBS can be a big help too.
 
Once you have your own SIM (assuming you choose Airtel which is what I had) you can add money to the line at any Airtel shop, like the small stand on IISc's campus. I recommend depositing about 500 INR then using *121# (no internet needed) or the Airtel app (needs 3G/internet) to redeem bundles you'd like. That 500 last me two months paying per minute/SMS charges and getting two one month 3G packs.
 
If I remember correctly, dialing *121# then selecting option 5 which appears gives you deals for your line that will give you the cheapest possible rates I found for minutes and 3G/4G services, even better than the app's or store's rates. I believe you can activate 3G through the *121# menu but I may be mistaken and you should do that at the stand once money is deposited so the clerk can help if issues come up.
 
Hope you enjoy India and wish I could go back with you!"

Mentor

Should we contact the professor before applying?

You can choose to do so, but it is not required. Prior contact is not used for the selection process. After being selected for the program, you can to contact the professor.

Are all professors at any university available under the program?

Yes. All professors are allowed to take an intern under them, it just depends on the professor and whether he/she chooses to.

Can I only apply to professors at departments or will I be allowed to contact faculty at different research centers?

Through the program, you can not only apply to intern under a professor but also any scientist or researcher at any lab/center of the university.

Food

Will food be available immediately?

Please bring a small amount of readily consumable food with you, such as namkeen biscuits, maggie noodles, and maybe some homemade foods such as paratha, upma, etc, in case everything is closed upon your arrival.

Should I bring cooking utensils?

You might want to bring a small. lightweight frying pan (for eggs and paratha and such) and/or small lightweight saucepan for maggie noodles and such. You can also bring a fork or spoon in your checkin, not your carryon. Also, a microwaveable bowl would be helpful.

What meals are provided? If none, where and how are these arranged? Do they have conditions that they can keep food refrigerated?

Campuses have their own cafeterias which are open during most of the day. Some campuses have more than one cafeteria and in addition some have smaller canteens which serve snacks throughout the day. Students can go grocery shopping outside the campus, as there are several easily accessible grocery stores throughout the city. Some locations will have refrigeration or cooktops available for individuals, but in past students have commented that it was not readily available outside of a specific eatery establishment, so please contact us to find out about refrigeration/stove availability at your son/daughter's institution.

Will there be Indian restaurants/vegetarian food there?

Most, if not all, campuses and/or their surrounding areas will have Indian restaurants. Please google Indian restaurants in your city/campus area. Also, American restaurants also usually have vegetarian food, such as sandwich shops, etc. There are also Indian grocery stores within most of the cities where your host institution is located. Cooking will depend on the availability of a kitchen.

How much does a meal cost?

One meal at typical student restaurants cost somewhere between $7-$10. Off campus restaurant prices can be higher, anywhere between $10-$20 per meal.

Medical

Will I have health insurance? What is covered in insurance?

You will receive health insurance from IUSSTF.

Do I need to bring medicine?

If you take prescription medications regularly, and will be traveling with prescription drugs, bring a signed script or letter from your physician indicating your medical need(s) for the drug(s) and identify the drug(s) you will possess while traveling.  If you require insulin and syringes, or have allergies and require epinephrine pens, you should look into the requirements for international travel with these items.

What should I do about vaccines?

Please consult your personal health care provider about your trip (destination and time abroad).  Ask your health provider to review your vaccination record and any other medical needs you might have.  You should do this at least 2 weeks prior to departure.

What happens if my son/daughter becomes ill? What are the procedures for both serious and non-serious illnesses?

Medical doctors are located at most campuses. There is an informative CISI (the UW-Madison required travel insurance www.studyabroad.wisc.edu/parentsinsurance.html) document that outlines all medical situations. It also outlines at which point a medical evacuation can take place and is fully covered for most typical medical situations.

What type of medications should my son/daughter bring with them?

Any medications that you are currently taking as prescribed by your doctor. Although there are many pharmacies to purchase most medications, you should bring any over the counter (OTC) medications that you might find difficult to obtain overseas. Examples of these types of medications are: anti-diarrhea, cold and flu, constipation, allergy, motion sickness, general vitamins, typical NSAID’s, etc.

What kind of immunizations are necessary?

Money

How much cash should I bring?

Please try and bring a minimum of $300-$500 cash with you. This amount is outside of the stipend which will be provided to you.

When will I get paid?

You should receive your stipend once you arrive at your host institution. They will inform you upon your arrival of further steps you will need to take, such as opening a bank account in the U.S., obtaining bus passes, availing yourselves to other forms of on and off campus transportation, etc.

Other

Will I be provided a cell phone in the U.S.?

No, you will not be provided a cell phone in the U.S. You have three options: 1. Check your own personal cell phone policy with respect to making calls in and from the U.S. 2. Purchase a Matrix calling card from India and your parents will pay the bill from India. 3. Purchase a pay as you go phone from the U.S. We will post affordable plans and providers. We highly recommend a cell phone in the U.S. in case of emergencies.

Are there side trips available In the US? Do these occur in a group?

Side trips are available, but not funded through the program. The student must set up side trips on their own, if they choose to travel. We suggest they travel in a group to make the most of their trip and to ensure safe travels. Some students have suggested makemytrip.com as a good resource for these separate trips. Neither IUSSTF nor Winstep Forward will take responsibility or liability for these trips. Please let your lab and the host institution know if you are traveling outside the city

Residential Accomodations

Will the students be living alone?

The living situation will depend on the institution and what the student is able to find on his/her own. Some students live on their own in the dorms and other students need to share an apartment with one to two other people.

Where will I stay?

You will be assigned housing through your host institution. Most of the time the housing will be on campus, but sometimes institutions will find nearby off campus housing. You should receive details regarding your housing situation well in advance of your travels.

What is included in the living quarters?

Please contact info@winstepforward.org for specifics based on location. Some institutions provide more than others. For example, one Scholar who researched at IISER Bangalore needed to find a mattress. Some scholars did not have refrigerators. Others did have refrigerators, stoves, and mattresses.

What will the living conditions be like?

Living conditions are location specific. Some institutions provide campus housing, while others provide community housing such as hostels. Please contact info@winstepforward.org or IUSSTF NBopana@indousstf.org for campus specific housing accommodations.

WIll I have access to a kitchen?

Kitchen access will depend on host institution housing. Sometimes a kitchen will be available, and sometimes not. Please check with your host institution.

Safety

What is the emergency contact number in India?

This is a list of emergency/rescue contact numbers currently in operation in India:

100 - Police
102- Abulance
101- Fire
181- Women's Helpline
+919540161344 - Air Ambulance

Whom do I contact in an emergency situation?

You will be provided emergency contact numbers from IUSSTF, WINStep Forward, and also the host institution. It might also be a good idea to get emergency contact info from lab mates as well as fellow scholars. Please also call 9-1-1 from your cell phone. An emergency operator will answer the phone and try to help you.

Plane Ticket

Would you recommend buying my plane ticket before or after I hear back about my visa?

We would recommened waiting until you get your visa to buy your plane ticket. 

Traveling

Will the institute arrange for sightseeing around the city? How do I make a friend group to arrange visiting trips with?

You can arrange trips with other U.S. Bose Scholars, by creating a facebook page for your group. WINStep Forward will also provide suggestions for tour companies that have been used and well-rated by past U.S. Bose Scholars. We will also put you in touch with U.S. Bose Scholar Alumni so you can ask them directly about tours, etc. 

In addition, most Universities have REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs, which are like Khorana-Bose programs within the US. Ask your professor if you could be included in the REU program of the University. REU programs arrange for lectures, visit around the city and cultural programs. You will get the opportunity to interact with other REU students. The U.S. State Department also offers a Critical Language Scholarship program whose recipents study Hindi for the summer in Jaipur, India. UW Madison also offers students an Indian cultural immersion program based in Varanasi, India. WINStep Forward is trying to find a way to connect these groups of American Scholars so they can maintain contact with one another while in India. 

Stipend

When and how will I receive my stipend?

Students have received their IUSSTF Govt. of India issued stipend in various ways. If you are researching at an Institute close to Delhi, you may need to visit IUSSTF to pick up your stipend check from Ms. Pushpa Iyer.  If you are not in the Delhi vicinity, your stipend check should be mailed to your institution, either by your arrival or shortly after. Please take some spending money with you in case you do not receive your stipend upon your arrival. Sometimes the stipend checks are administered in two allotments: the first time, shortly after your arrival and the second allotment is sometimes given upon departure. 

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