India Winter Program 2012/13

Studies in Indian Language, Culture, and Society

December 28th 2012 to January 11th / 25th 2013

New Delhi, Ajmer, Braj, Orchha

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the categories below to see the individual questions and answers.
If you have a question that is not listed here already, please contact us.

    FAQ - Program Details
  • Can I participate in the program?

    Everybody is welcome to participate in this unique India Winter Program. It caters to individuals from all walks of life: students, professionals, entrepreneurs, outdoor enthusiasts, culture buffs, and more. There are just a few requirements you need to satisfy. Participants must:

    - Be at least 18 years old
    - Be holders of valid passports
    - Be able to meet their expenses such as costs of living, insurance, visa fees, and transportation
    - Be willing to engage in exchange with other cultures
    - Have a good command of the English language

  • Are there any special language requirements for participating in the program?

    People from all over the world and all walks of life are welcome to join the program. However, since the program is taught in English language, your English should be proficient enough to follow the courses. Please note that you can be without any prior knowledge of Hindi / Urdu / Hindustani. You will have the chance to learn Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) right from scratch in our intensive language courses.

  • Why should I participate in the Winter in India program?

    Immersing yourself in another culture is arguably one of the most rewarding efforts a human can undertake. Imagine yourself being a child again – comparably steep is the learning curve. By immersing yourself in another culture, you multiply your opportunities. By successfully functioning in a strange environment and under a different set of ground rules from those found in your own culture you tremendously expand your experience. It is for those individuals who have the courage and energy to make the most out of it.

    Opportunity to broaden your academic and professional experience:
    - Build up a powerful CV
    - Prepare for global developments
    - Make more money
    - Great way to network
    - Endless career opportunities

    Experience a life in a different culture:
    - Fulfil your personal interest in Indian culture
    - Satisfy your curiosity and sense of adventure
    - Look for new challenges or simply a change

    Discover yourself:
    - Deeper awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses
    - Increased self-confidence
    - Train your resilience

    See things from another point of view:
    - Opportunity to increase cultural knowledge
    - Develop your own intercultural competencies for operating internationally
    - Broaden global perspectives
    - Acquire a new vision

  • On what methodology is the Winter Program based on?

    The Winter Program is based on a learner-centred, competency-based teaching methodology. We begin with what you already know and all activities are designed to maximise your participation in the highly experiential learning process. Experiential education results in outcomes that simply cannot be achieved through books, reports, lectures, discussions, and tests alone. There is much more to life and learning than sitting passively in a classroom and listening to the monologues of experts.

    Our function is to make your journey of discovery possible, and encourage a sense of adventure, a willingness to get-out-there-and-do-it, and a determination to seek out learning. We stimulate your cultural learning, and awareness and generate an increased interest in your target culture. We believe a genuine interest and curiosity toward other cultures is essential for bridging cultures and interacting effectively with a variety of individuals. That is why we make an extra effort to formulate the methodology and activities so that much of the content on the topic areas comes from you. In fact, there is something in every culture for arousing the curiosity of anybody. We help you to identify what that could be for you and provide the access, whether it is religious festivals or popular culture. If you know and enjoy what you do, your cultural immersion in India will follow naturally.

  • Do I get a certificate, course transcript, and academic credits for the program?

    Any participant who completes the Winter in India program receives a course certificate and is eligible for a transcript of their academic achievements. Our program also gives you academic credits for the Seminar Series (in that case you will have to do a written test at the end of the series) and the Intensive Language Course. Our credits will be accepted toward degrees at many colleges and universities. Since degree requirements vary among schools, participants are advised to obtain prior transfer credit approval from their home institutions.

    Please speak to your language department for approval of academic credits for the language training and to the relevant department at your educational institute for the Seminar Series. If you would like to get academic credits for your participation in the program, then please advise us at the earliest, so that we can help assure that you complete any requirements needed to qualify for credit.

  • How can I get my credits transferred?

    Please note that many schools require prior approval in order to transfer credits earned through study abroad programs. Participants are responsible for meeting with their academic supervisors prior to enrollment to determine the transferability of credit. If you require assistance for approval of transfer credit at your home institution, we are always happy to assist you. However, please be aware that your educational institute reserves the right to determine the transferability of credit points. Please consult with your academic supervisor, department head, or international office and present the detailed program from our website. A decision will usually be made at this point.

  • Can I extend or change the Winter Program?

    You can extend, adjust, or change the program according to your liking. For instance, you might like to go travelling around India with our support. There is really an unlimited amount of places to see and explore, from the majestic Himalayas in the north to the picturesque beaches with their powdery golden sand in the south of India. Watch people while they are praying on the banks of the Ganges River or go to an Indian wedding and dive into the colourful and exciting culture.

    Whatever your choice, we will take you to places far beyond the usual tourist spots picked out of a guide book. Years of experience, proven logistical capabilities, and exceptional knowledge of the most remote areas and cultures allow us to consult you on possible destinations and activities, book your accommodation and transport, and conduct adventurous expeditions. All you have to do is enjoy your stay!

  • What are the criteria to select the best suited extension to the program?

    Take a deep breath and think about where you see yourself in some years from now; be it in a certain profession, sector, or country. Ask yourself what skills you miss in your CV and what skills you can obtain in India. Make sure that you get the most out of it and evaluate the various options we offer you for extending your Winter Program, whether it is an internship, a volunteer position, or an academic project.

  • Where do my program fees go towards?

    The program fees of the (4-week) India Winter Program 2012/2013 go towards the following:

    - Accommodation and Food: Euro 530 (28%)
    - Transport Cost: Euro 32 (2%)
    - India Coordinator Stipend: Euro 80 (4%)
    - Language Tuition: Euro 304 (16%)
    - Seminars: Euro 220 (12%)
    - Field Trips and Excursions: Euro 245 (13%)
    - Skills Trainings: Euro 176 (9%)
    - Miscellaneous: Euro 134 (7%)
    - Taxes: Euro 177 (9%)

    Please note that your program fee also contributes to the work of many local NGOs and resource people, and will help them financially sustain their work.

  • How do these program fees compare with other programs?

    In order to stay affordable even to students and to live up to our philosophy to promote genuine cultural exchange, we are committed to keeping the fees of our India Winter Program as low as possible for all of our participants. Based on our excellent local contacts we are also able to secure the best deals. In fact, our program is far cheaper than if you try to organise the program components by yourself.

    In comparison to the fees of other programs, our program fee is significantly less for the very comprehensive program components on offer. And do not forget that for this every reasonable fee you will get an unparalleled opportunity to experience and understand the diversity of India.

  • What about cancellations of the program?

    If for any reason, you choose to cancel your participation up to 28 days prior to the start of the programme, your complete payment will be refunded to you, less 250 Euro processing costs to cover our nonrecoverable losses. If you need to cancel within 28 days of the start of the programme we will only be able to issue you a refund of 50% of the total price. In case of higher costs for us beyond 50% of the total price, we will refund only the amount that is not required to cover the actual costs for us. However, in these cases we will prove to you that higher costs resulted from the cancellation of your booking. In case there will not be a sufficient number of students enrolled, Knowledge Must may cancel specific program points or may cancel the whole program. In this case, every single cent of your fees will be refunded.

    FAQ - India
  • What visa do I need for participating in the program?

    In India, there are many different types of visa, for example for tourists, businessmen, journalists, and researchers. Before applying for any kind of visa, make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India. Applicants who are not citizens in their country but residents must send a copy of their residence permit with the application. It is always advisable to consult the respective embassy in your country, for example, the Indian Embassy in Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. There you will find most of the information concerning your visa. Please also get in touch with us to learn more about the best suited visa for your individual case.

  • What is unique about education in India and what does it mean for the program?

    The Indian education system with its rich traditions is amongst the oldest in the world. For centuries, India has been a major centre for learning and many famous universities existed there. Traditionally, Indian teachers, master craftsmen, scholars, and gurus develop a very close relationship with their students. This concept coupled with Indian hospitality and curiosity to interact with other cultures, results in a generally very intensive care for all program participants.

    The legacy of these traditions is as unique and diverse as Indian cultures themselves. Indian learning has been passed down from generation to generation to the masters of today, who incorporate modern ideas and methods into their teachings. Their knowledge and guidance is an excellent vehicle for you to understand local culture by actually living it yourself. That is why we strive to conduct all our trainings and courses in their authentic settings. For example, learn about Islam in a centuries old madrassa, explore tribal arts in a remote village in the Indian jungles, and study yoga on the banks of the holy river Ganges.

  • What exactly is the difference between Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani?

    Hindustani, also known as "Hindi-Urdu", is a term covering several closely related dialects in Pakistan and India, especially the vernacular form of the two national languages, Standard Hindi and Urdu. Hindi and Urdu can be seen as a single linguistic entity, the key difference being that Urdu is supplemented with a Perso-Arabic vocabulary and Hindi with a Sanskritic vocabulary, especially in their more literary forms. Besides, the difference is also sociolinguistic. When people speak Hindustani, Muslims will usually say that they are speaking Urdu and Hindus will typically refer to themselves speaking Hindi, even though they are speaking essentially the same language.

    Although English is popularly assumed to be a widely spoken and understood language in India, it is still far from sufficient for understanding Indian culture. Basic knowledge of a local language is a reasonably small task to achieve and should be included in anybody's preparations. Learning a selection of key words or expressions specific to your sector or profession enables you to reach out and find or provide meaning in conversations.

  • Why should I learn Hindustani?

    You will get to know the Indian culture from a totally different perspective, widen your career choices, and express your thoughts more clearly. With our enjoyable and result-oriented language training programmes you will develop practical language skills.

    For most of India, learning Hindustani language will be an excellent investment of your time, as it functions as the lingua franca and will allow you to communicate with the maximum amount of people in the country across most of India’s varied geography.

    - Depending on definition, Hindustani / Hindi / Urdu is the second or third most widely spoken language in the world, after Standard Chinese and maybe English. If second-language speakers are included, the combined number of Hindustani speakers rises to about 800 million.
    - With its rapidly growing economy, India has opened the doors for many opportunities. There are many professionals wishing to connect to India and work there. Knowledge of Hindustani will pave the way to success.
    - Since not many outsiders have yet mastered Hindustani, early movers command outstanding employment opportunities.
    - India almost every state has its own distinct cultural background, dances and music, prayers, rituals, languages and dialects. With the help of Hindustani you will be able to unravel this diversity in major parts of the country.
    - Accessing India via English only will give you a heavily distorted picture. For instance, the picture of India depicted by the English-language media is incomplete and needs to be supplemented.
    - India is also the birthplace of several great religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, and other religions such as Islam and Christianity have found an important new home there. Via Hindustani you will get a simultaneous exposure to this diverse range of religious traditions.
    - Hindustani is an increasingly international language that is widely spoken in other South Asian countries (Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan) and also in other countries outside Asia (Mauritius, Trinidad, Fiji, Surinam, Guyana, and South Africa). Hindustani language also allows one to communicate with the growing South Asian diaspora all over the world.
    - Studying Hindustani will not only increase your knowledge of South Asian culture, but will also open new horizons for you. Whether you want to enjoy some of the about 1,000 Hindustani/Hindi/Urdu films produced each year or study Hindustani to be able to conduct original research in India, Language Must will accompany you on your way to fluency. Whatever your particular objectives, as citizens of a rapidly globalising world you will undoubtedly benefit from studying Hindustani.

    Hindustani can provide the key to successful cultural immersion, since it is the true lingua franca of India. In order to grasp India, Hindustani is a must!

  • What is so special about Delhi?

    Delhi (locally known as Dilli) has a fascinating history and not least it is Delhi's uncounted historical monuments that speak of this rich tradition, for example, the Qutub Minar (with 72.5m the world’s tallest brick tower), Humayun’s Tomb, and the Jama Masjid (India’s largest mosque), as well as recent monuments like the Akshardham Temple (among the world’s largest Hindu temples). Especially in places of worship like the Bahai Temple (which looks like a gigantic lotus flower) in South Dilli, one can easily escape from the daily hustle and bustle and just enjoy the peaceful atmosphere there.

    Another reason why Delhi is the place to be is the green cover. The list of parks in Delhi is endless and surely makes other cities like Mumbai turn green with envy. There is simply no better way to spend a sunny day than sitting in the Lodi Gardens to explore the area and have a picnic in the midst of the stunning historical monuments. The next reason is the delicious street food you get in almost every alley you set foot in. A huge variety, from Samosas (a famous snack with spicy boiled potato stuffing inside a crispy flour dough served with spicy chutney) over Pav Bhaji (dry buns topped with a cube of butter, combined with a mish-mash of hot cooked vegetables) to the typical Dilli Kulfi (milk ice-cream, flavoured with saffron, cardamom, and nuts), is offered in the streets. This unlimited access to delicious food everywhere and nearly at every time of the day is truly priceless!

    Delhi is also a paradise for everyone who loves to go shopping. Sarojini Nagar, Connaught Place, Lajpat Nagar, Dilli Haat, Pahar Ganj are just a few places to go if you want to buy things you need, like new clothes, bags, shoes and jewellery. Regardless of whether you go to a traditional bazaar or a modern shopping complex, whether you have a small or a large budget, the variety of opportunities never fails to impress.

  • Which other places should I visit in India?

    From the majestic Himalayas and the stark deserts of Rajasthan, over beautiful beaches and lush tropical forests, to idyllic villages and bustling cities, India offers something unique for every individual preference. The country is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, misty mountain retreats, colourful people, rich cultures, and festivities. Vibrant, mesmerising, completely absorbing, India stimulates all of your senses - often simultaneously. Luxurious and destitute, hot and cold, chaotic and tranquil, ancient and modern - India's extremes never fail to leave a lasting impression.

    With a population of over one billion, no single country is so multi-faceted and laden with contradictions. Culturally India might very well be the most diverse place in the world. India’s immensely varied art, history, religions, and traditions are organically woven together into an intricate tapestry. Its infinite variety favours you with different facets of fascination every time you visit. To travel in India is to expand one’s notion of the possible configurations of human society.

    Journeys to India can be complex and challenging, but they are always supremely rewarding. If there was ever a place that called for expertise in logistics, knowledge of culture, local connections, and insightful guides, this is it. Immerse yourself into Indian culture while enjoying our consistently excellent quality in guidance, lodging, transport, and support services for comfort and safety.

  • What else could I do while in India?

    The activity possibilities you have while in India are sheer endless. Whether with our support or independently, you could:

    - Ride on camels, elephants, and horses through the countryside
    - Swim with dolphins in the Indian Ocean
    - Practice yoga in a traditional Hindu ashram
    - Act in a Bollywood movie
    - Conquer your first mountain in the majestic Himalayas
    - Assist in meaningful community development
    - Stay in palaces and discuss the good old times with the maharajas
    - Strike up a conversation with wise sages and insightful scholars
    - Get lost in a maze of alleys and make a new discovery behind every corner

  • What about food in India?

    Indian culinary traditions are extremely diverse and justifiably famous throughout the world. You very likely will have tasted Indian food in your country, but this will only be a tiny part of India‘s extraordinary range of foods. Indian cuisine is famed for its spicy edge. Even food items people do not mostly associate with spiciness are often richly flavoured with spices in India. To the uninitiated it makes sense to start slowly and gradually build up your capacity to stomach the heavy spice combinations, but for those who have an affinity to spicy concoctions, it usually is love at first taste!

    You will get tasty Samosas, a famous Indian snack with spicy boiled potato stuffing inside a crispy flour dough served with spicy chutney, at almost every corner (around 5 INR each, 0.08 Euro) or you can go to a restaurant and try the immense variety of Indian cuisine’s dishes. Indian food is famous for the use of numerous spices to create flavour and aroma. Pay 50 to 400 INR (0.7 to 5.7 Euro) for a sumptuous meal, which will appeal to all your senses.

    Each region and each state has its own unique food. Among the popular dishes in North India are Mutter Paneer (a curry made with cottage cheese and peas), Pulao (fried rice), Daal (lentils), Dahi Gosht (lamb in yoghurt sauce), Butter Chicken, and of course Samosas. In South India you will not get around Idlis (steamed cakes made from rice batter), Dosas or Uttapams (pancakes made from a batter of rice and lentil flour). These are just a few examples, because fully covering the huge variety of Indian food probably would take hundreds of pages. So while in India, take every chance you get to sample and savour local food and specialties. Do not hesitate to also try out the street food stalls to spend some time with the locals.

  • How do I get to know other people?

    Getting to know other people when you join our program in India will probably be the easiest part of your stay. Either by sharing a flat, socialising with other international participants throughout the program, clubbing, or during our cultural events, you will get to know a lot of interesting, open-minded people from almost all over the world – and especially from India – in a really short time. In India it is astonishingly easy to meet “important” people and to broaden your network. In any case, you will live in an Indian neighbourhood and will have plenty of opportunities to get to know people.

    Based on experience it is possible to say that you will meet new people nearly every day. Therefore make sure that you have enough space in your pocket for the dozens of business cards you will get from them. In addition, hospitality is a mantra for most people in India. The Sanskrit saying, "Atithi Devo Bhava", which means "the guest is god", underlines this priority very well, so it can happen very easily that you drive around with the auto-rickshaw and end up being invited by the rickshaw-wallah to his house where his wife serves you a cup of hot masala chai and the most delicious Indian food.

    FAQ - Knowledge Must
  • Who is organising this program?

    This program is organised and hosted by the organisation Knowledge Must in New Delhi. Knowledge Must is a leading intercultural solutions provider that assists students, professionals, and organisations to successfully cross cultural boundaries. Throughout the years Knowledge Must has developed unique methods to help others learn and apply skills that rapidly result in successful immersion, and thereby lead to professional success and personal fulfilment, in another culture or among others from different cultures. All participants are guided on their personal path to Cultural Immersion, from creating cultural awareness, over enabling independent cultural navigation, leading to full immersion in another culture.

  • Why is Knowledge Must the best suited organisation for your winter program?

    The activities we offer you in our Winter Program are tremendously varied and are designed to educate you on the diversity of Indian traditions. Based on our extraordinary network we are able to conduct your experiential learning experience in the most authentic settings, e.g. learn about Islamic traditions in India from a Muslim mullah in a centuries old madrassah or study yoga with a Hindu guru along the banks of the holy river Ganges.

    Our activities are based upon the best that our Knowledge Must's five divisions have to offer:

    - Career Must: Academic project, internship, or volunteer assignment in your field of interest
    - Language Must: Intensive Hindi / Urdu / Hindustani language course
    - Training Must: Process-oriented trainings such as Intercultural Training as well as culture-specific trainings such as Yoga
    - Travel Must: Excursions and field trips as well as accommodation arrangements
    - Culture Must: Cultural events such as music concerts and many networking opportunities

    Combining the expertise of our five divisions Career Must, Language Must, Training Must, Travel Must, and Culture Must into this holistic India Winter Program, we deliver participants the most comprehensive solution experiencing India on a personal, academic, and professional level. Participants can expect a true Knowledge Must experience that will engage their intellectual curiosity in a wide range of fields, while having the time of their life!

  • How does Knowledge Must guide you towards immersion?

    We contribute to your individual cultural immersion by enabling you to:
    - Enjoy authentic cultural environments
    - Gain personal experience
    - Work and study among people of diverse background
    - Network across cultural boundaries
    - Reflect on your own culture
    - Engage in intense language study
    - Meet people from other cultures and be prepared to learn about their different systems of values, norms, and behaviour
    - Follow the customs and etiquette of your hosts
    - Learn about the cultural environment (such as history, religion, and society)
    - Attend intercultural trainings
    - Live with local families
    - Have meaningful interactions with local communities

At A Glance

Program Location

New Delhi and field trips / excursions to Ajmer, Braj and Orchha

Program Length:

Friday 28th of December 2012 to Friday 11th (2 weeks program) or Friday 25th of January 2013 (4 weeks program)

Language of Instruction:





Students as well as professionals with an interest in India and global studies in general

Program Schedule:

  • 10/20 Hindustani Trainings (4 hours each, Monday to Friday 9AM to 1PM)
  • 2/4 Delhi Tours (4 hours each)
  • 4/8 Seminars (3 hours each)
  • 4/8 Skills Trainings (3 hours each)
  • 2/3 Overnight Weekend Excursions to amazing sites in India

Possible Extension of Program:

A 2-week to 6-month Internship / Volunteer / Academic Project can be added after the program to solidify your newly acquired knowledge. You determine the field you want to gain experience in and we will make it possible.


Euro 1234 for the 2 weeks program!
Euro 1898 for the 4 weeks program!
Euro 2198 for the 4 weeks program plus designing your personal extension program!

'Bring A Friend' Discount

For everybody who registers through you we give you a discount of Euro 75!

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