Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022


Your health is the most important thing during your grant year and you need to take good care of it while living in a foreign country. It is likely that a new environment may cause certain health flare-ups. For example, people with allergies or asthma in particular often have trouble with the air in more polluted cities. USIEF staff and/or your host institution will assist you to identify doctors in your respective host cities.

To get started, read through these comprehensive health care pages and how to use your ASPE  coverage.  

Mental Health

Adjusting to a new culture has its set of challenges and you may experience fatigue and culture shock during your time in India. Please read the section on cultural adjustment to know more about culture shock and how to overcome it.

The Fulbright Assist also provides 24/7 counseling and support service available to all U.S. Student and Scholar grantees while they are on program in their host countries

Reach out to USIEF staff if you need support at any point of time. They will be able to connect you with mental health experts in India. If you see a therapist at home, you may want to consider continuing therapy while on grant through video calls.

Note : If you have any pre-existing mental health issues, your treatment in India will not be covered under ASPE

Medical Supplies

Most cities in India are home to a number of pharmacies and they can be distinguished by a red or green cross. Pharmacies which are attached to hospitals are usually open 24/7  and a huge variety of prescription medications and over the counter drug are readily available.

Remember to carry enough supply of necessary medicines if you are placed or travelling in a rural setup as pharmacies may not well stocked in such places. 

Several U.S. drugs are now manufactured in India, some under different names.  Most types of vitamins are easily available.  If dependent upon favourite home remedies, children’s medicines or prescription drugs, bring a reasonable supply with you.

Insect repellent and sprays are available.  Several brands of mosquito repellents dispersed through electric machines such as ‘Good Knight’ and ‘Mortein’ and ointments like ‘Odomos’ are effective and readily available.  It is advisable to do a patch test to see the suitability of the ointment/lotion/cream on your skin before extensive use.

The Govt. of India treats the courier delivery of prescriptions for health maintenance for a U.S. Fulbright fellow in India as an “import of drugs and medicines for personal use”.  They require an import license, copies of the prescription, drug information, payment of taxes, invoices, and other documentation.

All prescription drugs require to be first cleared by the Assistant Drug Commissioner of Customs.  A Doctor’s prescription is essential.  Once the ‘No Objection Certificate’ is obtained, the shipment is presented to Customs for valuation and clearance.

Tips from a Fulbright alum:

Most medications in India are inexpensive – at least if they are produced in India. One can purchase antibiotics over the counter that would require a prescription in the U.S. One can google any drug name and see if it is available in India. The local prices are also listed alongside.

If you have the brand name from the U.S. you can find other names for it or the generic name on the internet, or the name used in India.”

Emergency Care

While you can call an ambulance in India, the traffic and road condition make the process more time consuming. Even the ambulances from private hospitals cannot battle the congestion. Most people, if they can, hop in a taxi to get to hospital as they can weave through the traffic with more success.

Contact us

12 Hailey Road New Delhi 110 001

Tel.: +91-11-4209-0909/2332-8944