Once you have contacted your advisor (both here and in India), completed your Barry Coller Application, and worked on completing your IRB approval, you will be ready to plan your trip!
Flight: You want to fly directly into Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)
Airlines that fly into Trivandrum include Kuwait Airways and Emirates Airlines. Both fly from JFK (NYC)
Book as early as possible to get the best rates!
Visa---Indian Consulate General of New York City
3 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10065, 212-774-0600
They are only open Monday-Friday (you must plan this accordingly)
Obtain your visa a few months prior to departure-you can buy a "6 month Traveler's Visa" for under $80
If you go in person, you can get this done in a few days (or even one day if you go early in the morning and stick around to pick it up right before closing; this is hard to do, so I would try to work it out over a few days)
Hepatitis A/B (you probably already have these, but check)
Some doctors might recommend a polio booster-I did not get one and I was fine
Anti-Malarials-Ask the doctor that gave you your vaccinations to write a script for the anti-malarials
Doxycycline-it is the cheapest option for students, and it has minimal side effects (increased sun sensitivity and increased chance of yeast infections for women).
Malarone, this has the least amount of side effects of all of the options, and it is the newest drug out there, but it is very $$$ expensive
Your doctor can talk to you about your other options, but I would recommend doxycycline-and it is available to be purchased in Trivandrum as well in case you run out, or lose your medicine (or any other unforeseeable reasons that you might need to buy some)
Trivandrum does not have a very high rate of Malaria (the doctors there had not seen a case in about 40 years), but it is still safer to take them especially if you travel while in India
BRING A LOT OF DEET-based BUG SPRAY, it is difficult to find in Trivandrum
Housing - arranged for us by the physicians at the RCC
Bring lots of cotton cloth
It should be presentable, but comfortable and light
Ladies- Do not pack inappropriate/revealing clothing