Expat life in Kolkata

#1 Sep 20th, 2007, 11:38
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  • chris07 is offline
#1
There's a possibility that I might get an opportunity to work in India and be based in Kolkata.

Already an expat for a few years and currently located in south Asia, it has been difficult to get a handle on what sort of expatriate life awaits a new arrival in Kolkata.

As a family with a very young little one I would really appreciate any opinion on:

+ Are there particular areas where expats generally find accomodation etc?

+ Is expatriate housing genrally apartment-based or house/compound style?

+ Are there supermarkets which carry international foods and consumer goods?

+ Are general commute times as bad as is mentioned on the web?

+ Are there private medical resources in Kolcata?

All feedback much appreciated!!
#2 Sep 20th, 2007, 13:11
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  • MG1558 is offline
#2
Hi Chris,

I have stayed in Kolkata for a long time - will try to answer your queries..

There is no specific area where the expats stay... the better areas of the city are the new areas like Salt Lake in East. The area in South called Alipore/ New Alipore is also nice. You would mostly get houses there but apartments are also available. There are some good options if you prefer apartments.

Traffic gets congested during rush hour but its a small city so travelling distances are relatively less. Housing is relatively cheap and you can take a house near to your workplace to cut down travel time.

There are suermarkets etc where you would get all types of food. Kolkata is a place for foodies - that should not be a problem. There are good private medical facility but stay away from the government ones...

People are friendly and generally helpful.

Where are you based now? that can help to compare... hope this helps...
#3 Sep 20th, 2007, 14:23
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  • Khak is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris07 View Post There's a possibility that I might get an opportunity to work in India and be based in Kolkata.

Already an expat for a few years and currently located in south Asia, it has been difficult to get a handle on what sort of expatriate life awaits a new arrival in Kolkata.

As a family with a very young little one I would really appreciate any opinion on:

+ Are there particular areas where expats generally find accomodation etc?

+ Is expatriate housing genrally apartment-based or house/compound style?

+ Are there supermarkets which carry international foods and consumer goods?

+ Are general commute times as bad as is mentioned on the web?

+ Are there private medical resources in Kolcata?

All feedback much appreciated!!
+ Are there particular areas where expats generally find accomodation etc?
--------> no specific area

+ Is expatriate housing genrally apartment-based or house/compound style?
-------> there is nothing called expatriate housing, however stay in an apartment for mone convenience

+ Are there supermarkets which carry international foods and consumer goods?
---------> lot's of good supermarkets, you are never very far from a good one

+ Are general commute times as bad as is mentioned on the web?
-----------> slow traffic are witnessed during office hours

+ Are there private medical resources in Kolcata?
-------------> many good hospitals

------- DON'T WORRY, LIFE IS SAFE IN KOLKATA --------
~Khak~

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do....... Explore. Dream. Discover.
#4 Sep 21st, 2007, 00:34
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  • chief61 is offline
#4

About Kolkata

Hi There,

I am from kolkata , Since most of your querries
are answered by other forum members, there is no
point to be specific to your questions, I want
to add a few points.

Though there is no specific areas for expatriates
but South calcutta is better option to expatriates
than North calcutta since this side of the city has
more modern / International facilities than northern
part.

People are helpful and friendly .

fell free to ask for any specific questions you
have in your mind.

Cheers
#5 Sep 24th, 2007, 18:54
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#5

Smile Welcome to Kolkata.

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#6 Sep 29th, 2007, 02:03
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  • Third Eye is offline
#6

Kolkata not that bad

Kolkata is not that bad compared to the other Indian cities...I feel Kolkata has many plus points ...people are good and cultured ...great passion in the city for just about anything ...sports ..politics ...cinema ...art ....

New Malls have come up ...roads are improving ( but pollution is still a worry ) ...crime rate is very low compared to Delhi or Bombay ....

Getting Housing shouldn't be a problem ....but stick to South Kolkata or Salt lake ....

There are no expat areas as such ....but all stay in South Calcutta ....

Kolkata is like Green Tea ...one has to get used to it ....

Cheers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chris07 View Post There's a possibility that I might get an opportunity to work in India and be based in Kolkata.

Already an expat for a few years and currently located in south Asia, it has been difficult to get a handle on what sort of expatriate life awaits a new arrival in Kolkata.

As a family with a very young little one I would really appreciate any opinion on:

+ Are there particular areas where expats generally find accomodation etc?

+ Is expatriate housing genrally apartment-based or house/compound style?

+ Are there supermarkets which carry international foods and consumer goods?

+ Are general commute times as bad as is mentioned on the web?

+ Are there private medical resources in Kolcata?

All feedback much appreciated!!
#7 Oct 2nd, 2007, 19:29
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  • cmdunn1972 is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris07 View Post There's a possibility that I might get an opportunity to work in India and be based in Kolkata.

Already an expat for a few years and currently located in south Asia, it has been difficult to get a handle on what sort of expatriate life awaits a new arrival in Kolkata.

As a family with a very young little one I would really appreciate any opinion on:

+ Are there particular areas where expats generally find accomodation etc?

+ Is expatriate housing genrally apartment-based or house/compound style?

+ Are there supermarkets which carry international foods and consumer goods?

+ Are general commute times as bad as is mentioned on the web?

+ Are there private medical resources in Kolcata?

All feedback much appreciated!!
Our family is currently on assignment in Kolkata due to my husband's job. Hopefully I can answer a few questions. Let me preface by saying that there aren't many expats in this city like there are in Hyderabad and Bangalore. The expat community is small and close-knit.

Since there aren't many of us, there isn't a compound where expats live. We do as most internationals do, which is live among higher-income Indians in a highrise community. Of the other expat wives that I know, only one lives in Salt Lake. The rest are in south Kolkata neighborhoods like Ballygunge, New Alipore and Alipore. However, if your office is located in or near Salt Lake, avoid a horrible commute by living in one of the new apartments in Salt Lake. (They seem pretty nice.)

There are a few decent supermarkets here that carry imports. (I haven't had much luck with imported wine, however.) C3 and Food Bazaar are two of note. Food Bazaar in't too expensive, but it's vegetarian, so you won't find meat there. You can buy meat at C3, but there isn't a produce section. (No worries, since produce is better at outdoor street markets.) Both stores have international sections. You can also buy western and western-style goods at the pastry shops at the 5-star Deluxe hotels (ITC Sonar Banglar, Taj Bengal, and Oberoi Grand). The breads at the Taj Bengal pastry shop are quite wonderful, and there's a seperate entrance so you can access it without walking through the lobby.

Like any big city, commutes are worse during rush hour. Roads here are generally narrow considering the population, but that can be lessened if you live closer to work. (The same is true in any city.)

There are good doctors in the city. My advice is to get a recommendation from another expat. There are a few International clubs here in town. You (or your spouse, if you have one) can inquire at your consulate.

Hope this helps!
Colleen

Visit my Kolkata travel blog!
Last edited by cmdunn1972; Oct 2nd, 2007 at 19:30.. Reason: typo

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