Two New Yorkers move to Delhi. See what happens.

A New York couple now living and working in New Delhi, India - that's Jenny and Dave. See what they have to say about what it's like to live as two American expats in this bustling South Asian city.


-Where were you born?

Jenny was born in Israel and Dave was born in Denver, Colorado.

-In which country and city are you living now?

New Delhi, India.

-Are you living alone or with your family?

It's just the two of us.

-How long have you been living in India?

Since November 2007.

-What is your age?

30 and 31.

-When did you come up with the idea of living in India?

We were getting bored with our life in Brooklyn, NY and wanted a change.  We looked into renting in a different neighborhood, but in the end decided to move to India. 

-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?

It's very easy to get a tourist visa.  It's not hard to get a work visa, but time consuming.

-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?

It wasn't hard to get medical insurance, but to get them to pay on bills is very difficult.

-How do you make your living in India? Do you have any type of income generated?

We work. 

Dave came to India through his work in America.  It took Jenny two months to get a job.  Via word of mouth was the best technique in getting job leads.

-Do you speak Hindi and do you think it's important to speak the local language?

You do not need to know Hindi to live and work in Delhi.  English is very prevelant.  But learning Hindi will certainly make things more interesting and will give you a richer experience.

-Do you miss home and family sometimes?

Of course!  On weekends we like to see new sights in India and also do a fair bit of relaxing.  We stay in touch with our family with e-mails, calling on Skype and Facebook. Being away for birthdays and holidays is the toughest part of living abroad.

-Do you have other plans for the future?

We can't wait to do more traveling within Asia.  Right now we are limited because we are both working, but we are diligently saving to go on a long trip as soon as we are able.  After India, we look forward to going to another Asia city to work.  We love the excitement of living in a totally different place and learning about a new country.

-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?

We rent.  We pay a higher price because we are foreigners and because it's a very western apartment.  We pay around $1,000 for a 2 bedroom in South Delhi.

-What is the cost of living in India?

Housing will be expensive for foreigners, but food and transportation is very cheap.  You can also get a maid or a driver for very little.

-What do you think about the Indians?

Unlike most countries in the world, Indians love Americans.  We have made a lot of friends and enjoy our daily interaction with locals temendously.

-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in India?

Positives - the excitement of always being a tourist

Negatives - missing family and friends. Trying to negotiate local bureaucracies.

-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in India?

Keeping an open mind and not being judgemental is extremely helpful when living in any country. 

-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about India?

Safety in India

cowboymi's picture

Hello: I am planning to come to Delhi for three months (12 January departing U.S.) - much more interesting than going to Florida for the winter by far. I am, as others are, somewhat worried about the political climate in India - terrorism for one. Do you believe it is safe for Americans to come to India at this time? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Daryl in Michigan

Dear Jenny and Dave, My name

Lisan's picture

Dear Jenny and Dave,

My name is Lisan Vermeer. I'm a Master student Business Administration at the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands, and I'm currently writing my Master Thesis for the Master International Management. This thesis is about the training Dutch expats received (or not) before they were leaving to India, in order to determine an optimal training method and content for expats leaving for India. When this optimal training method is determined, expats leaving for India will be better prepared, which makes life in India easier for them.

For this purpose I'm looking for Dutch expats living in India who want to help me with my research. I would like to interview them for about 30 minutes about their experiences with pre-departure training, the Indian context and culture, and the challenges they encountered regarding the Indian context and culture. I will hold these interviews via phone or skype. Of course the participants get the results of my research, which might help the company they're working for to decrease the failure rate of expat assignments.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be very difficult to get in touch with Dutch expats living in India. Since you are living there, I was hoping that you know some Dutch expats, and that you want to help me to get in touch with them. It would really help me; I need them in order to continue with my thesis.

So if you want to help me, and if you know Dutch expatriates living in India, would you please contact me at It would really help me a lot!!

Lisan Vermeer

maybe you could advise me

indhi's picture

hey, im getting married and my fiance has asked me to move to India for at least 2 years my hindi is very very bad and im a bit wrried as to what i would do there and how i would spend my time.. so you have any sugestions?? let me know please, thanks!!!


Where would you move to?

mmmmmjenny's picture

Where would you move to? Hopefully to a city, because living in the rural areas would be really really tough. Have you visited before? We had a wonderful time living in Delhi, but we had bad moments too. I think it's very important to *want* to be there so you can overlook the bad parts. Living in Delhi, we didn't need to speak Hindi fluently to get by. You should definitely plan on staying busy finding work or volunteering. I'd hate to just sit around for 2 years!

Buying a farm in India

SPope's picture

What area (areas) would an American part time farmer go for a small farm (20 acres) and house in India?

religion and working in India

jinksmd's picture

Do you find Hinduism a factor in working in India--does it affect how decsions are made or work ethic?

Living In India

Tajmansingh's picture

Me and my family have just returned from a two year stay in India. It was a truly amazing experience and the kids gained so much from the exposure.

I stayed in Gurgaon, which is on the outskirts of Delhi as I found delhi way too congested. Gurgaon is not as busy but it will certainly have problems in the future. Everything was availabe in terms of restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, sports facilities etc. and mostly cheaper than the UK (except for designer gear).

Eating out and going to the cinema is cheap. We had hired a permanent driver for around 21000 rupees a month, which is around 300 GBP. House help is relatively cheap, I think we were paying around 5000 rupees monthly.

We had a high end apartment costing around 900GBP per month plus bills. Electricity bills were on average 100-150 GBP monthly.

The complex had excellent security so there was little concern with the kids playing out.