Expat Living in Bangalore
Bangalore, now known officially as Bangaluru, is hardly one of India 's greatest tourist destinations. The city has heavy pollution, crazy traffic, few sightseeing opportunities, and the rest of India 's population density related issues. However, as the Silicon Valley of India, the fourth-busiest airport hub in the country, and home to a burgeoning middle class, it's a cosmopolitan city you just might want to call “home.”
Bangalore is home to thousands of expatriates from around the globe. Most have been stationed there by their companies, though some have been hired and imported by local companies. Others are spouses or children of expats serving in the enormous IT sector, and have become the customers to an ever-greater array of services and products aimed at giving foreign residents a taste of home. Still more now run businesses or work in companies that surround and support the IT industry or Bangalore 's growing economy.
Cost of living is reasonable, comparing quite well with cities in Western Europe and North America. Though this is expensive by Indian standards, the well-fueled economy in Bangalore has brought a thriving sector of well educated Indians and foreigners to the city. As of 2008 the price of an average 2-bedroom apartment might range from roughly $350 to $1,100 per month.
There are also extensive communities of expats from every country that does businesses in Bangalore 's IT and BPO (business process outsourcing) sectors. Into these communities have come vast arrays of businesses that cater to them, and service professionals in a variety of roles, speaking a babble of languages. Maids, cooks, and nannies can be found at reasonable cost, including those who speak English and other common expatriate languages. There are also wealth of private schools that rival or top those in the West. Some utilize Western education theory and offer different types of learning environments, such as Montessori schools. There are dozens of English-language bookstores available. Art lessons, music instruction, horseback riding, and every other pursuit an expatriate family might want for spouses and children abound.
Of course, it is still India, and there will still be culture shock. Traffic will seem insane and the streets labyrinthine; Bangalore was not a planned community and has grown at dizzying speed. Religious customs and traditions will be very different from home life. Differences in customs may make relationships with locals confusing and awkward at times. Food may take some getting used to, and occasionally an expat will just need a taste of home. (Luckily, Western-style supermarkets and malls are getting to be more common than they were a few years ago.) The most well adjusted expatriates accept these as a fascinating subject to study and as a new and interesting lifestyle. Others won't fare so well, and may seek the comfort of an expatriate group or community.
The best method for preparing yourself and your family for life in Bangalore is to talk to others who have lived there. If your company is sending you on assignment, ask them what resources they have to ensure that your stay and that your eventual return home, is as smooth as possible. Read expatriate blogs online, and meet with people who have been there. Those relationships may be your most valuable asset during your time in Bangalore.
For more information on Bangalore, India visit http://www.bangaloremicroblog.com and http://www.microblogindia.com.