When I told people I was going to Mumbai to do an internship, I was bombarded with many questions… commonly “Why India? Why Mumbai?”. At the time, I was excited to work in Mumbai for the sole reasons of giving back to my community and being immersed in my culture. However, having completed close to five weeks in Mumbai now, many more reasons have become evident why Mumbai is just the perfect place to work and live (six weeks for now… but I will be back!).
The cost of living
Everything is so cheap as a Kiwi! Food and transport are affordable, making life here much easier for a student! A whole supermarket shop for one week costs me $7 NZD altogether, which was hard to believe initially… especially when one can of Pringles, or even an avocado alone costs $7 sometimes!
Always something to do/explore
Life is so busy here. There is always something happening outside my accommodation and workplace. Each day has a source of entertainment that broadens your perspective! Be it a massive argument in the street, a person playing classical music in the park, or intense festivals nearly every weekend. Mumbai always has something happening, and there is always a new street or suburb to explore, which makes things enjoyable… especially after spending the day in a humid office room.
The food here is just amazing… and as an Indian, being able to have authentic food off the streets (which is hard to find in Auckland) is incredible! Every Indian dish is served with meaning and a story, and being able to have access to such a diverse palate is something I am going to miss. Aside from Indian food, Mumbai has several restaurants of different cuisines, ranging from Chinese to Italian, making the city special!
Healthcare is more diverse
Public health means so much more in Mumbai compared to New Zealand. Gaining exposure to a wide scope of public health issues has been insightful and helpful for my career, as I have been able to see and experience much more than the New Zealand health system experiences. As a healthcare student, I have gained a lot by working in India.. which I hope to take into my future practice.