Thursday, 26 September 2013

Working in India as an Expat

Ayyappa Pilgrims at the
 Arunchaleswara Temple, Tiruvannamalai, India
(photo by Geraldine Westrupp)
About two years ago I decided to move to India for the next chapter of my life. My two daughters were in college, I was single, and I wanted to travel again. I had been a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Kenya in the 1980’s and loved the experience.

After much research on the possibility of teaching in an international school (I still have a current license to teach math/science in Colorado), I initially leaned toward working as an ESL teacher in South Korea. (I had taught English as a Second Language in Kenya). I went through the arduous process of getting a work visa from the South Korean government that entailed loads of paperwork and an FBI background check.

At the same time, for a number of reasons, I began to research IT jobs in India. I found my first position as a technical writer in India though a website for technical writers called TWIN.( It bills itself as ‘the single largest community of India-based technical communicators, editors, and language professionals.’ After two months of interviews, I was fortunate to be sponsored and hired sight unseen by my Indian employer for a software training center in an area of Chennai called Ashok Nagar. The visa process was time consuming but once submitted, I received my employment visa in four days from the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.

I subsequently left that position and found another position, again through the TWIN website, working for a multinational company with offices in Chennai and Bangalore. So, if you are looking to work abroad in India, it is definitely possible as a foreigner... but it does take some persistence.

I have written more about my experiences finding work in India in a post from 2012: