General Information

Official Language

The official language of the conference is English.

Identification Documents

You are advised to carry your identification documents. Always keep spare copies of identity and travel related documents.

Foreign Exchange

The local currency is the Indian rupee (INR). Foreign currency exchange facility is available in the Hyderabad airport. Indian currency can be withdrawn using credit cards at the ATMs. These facilities are also available at the conference venue.

Weather

The month of September in Hyderabad is the monsoon season. The temperature may not drop below 20 degrees Celsius. It is advisable to carry an umbrella and warm clothing. Mosquitoes breed in the tropical monsoon climate. Mosquito repellent creams and sprays are available in all pharmacies and supermarkets.

Health

The temperature fluctuation may be high during the monsoon period. Keep your medications handy. There would be a medical booth at the conference venue to assist you in case of need. There are several hospitals in the vicinity of the conference venue. Do not hesitate to ask the volunteers for assistance.

Food

The city of Hyderabad is known for its delicious food varieties. Reach out to the volunteers for suggestions about good places to eat and to get a taste of authentic Hyderabadi cuisine. Ask for the ingredients in case you are allergic to any food items such as peanuts. Food is in general spicy. Please avoid street food. The tap water is not suitable for drinking. It is advisable to drink from the mineral water bottles.

Local Travel

An Interspeech 2018 Help Desk will be set up at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport Hyderabad. Please ask the volunteers at the help desk for any assistance for traveling to the hotel or venue from the airport. You can use mobile apps to get a cab from Ola or Uber. Prepaid authorized airport taxis are also available at the airport. The city of Hyderabad has good bus and train connectivity, but, for short distance travel, it is more comfortable to hire a cab. A cheaper and perhaps slightly adventurous option is the three-wheeler auto-rickshaw (colloquially known as “auto”). Always pay the fare by the meter. You can also book an auto using the Ola app.

Light motor vehicles and heavy vehicles follow the right-hand driving system. We strongly advise you against driving in Hyderabad particularly if you are not used to driving on Indian roads.

Shuttle Service

A complimentary shuttle service is arranged connecting the conference venue and designated hotels. There are six routes overall. Check out the shuttle service route map. Please note that while some of the shuttle service-stops are hotels, some are landmarks as indicated on the map.

Safety

In general, Hyderabad is a safe city. However, please be alert and avoid travelling alone at night. Please note down the mobile phone number of one of the volunteers just in case you need help. Do not hesitate to reach out to the Police for help. The Police department in Hyderabad is in general very helpful.

Alm-seekers may bother you on the roads or near traffic junctions. Gently ignore them. Please be careful with the stray dogs and other animals on the roads.

If you are visiting spiritual places, please get to know the regulations of that place and follow them to avoid unpleasant situations. For example, footwear is strictly not allowed inside temples and mosques.

Electricity

The power outlets in India follow the 220 volts / 50 Hz standard. Use suitable adaptors to interface your devices with the Indian power outlets.

Smoking and Drinking

Smoking and drinking in public places is a punishable offence. Kindly visit pubs, bars, or restaurants for consuming alcoholic beverages. The local law prohibits serving alcohol after 10.30 PM.

Force Majeure

The organizers are not liable for any claims for damages and/or losses if the entire conference has to be cancelled due to a force majeure incident.

Disclaimer

The organisers are not liable for damages and/or losses of any kind that may be incurred by the conference delegates or by any other individuals accompanying them, both during the official activities as well as going to/from the conference. Delegates are responsible for their own safety and belongings.

Insurance

The registration fee does not cover insurance for the delegates. The organizers recommend that the delegates take out insurance in their home country to cover pre-journey cancellation for personal reasons and necessary insurance to cover accidents, medical expenses and loss of personal belongings during the visit.

Vaccinations

Please check with your general physician about getting vaccinations before visiting India.

Language

The prominent local languages are Hindi and Telugu, and to a certain extent Urdu. English is also widely spoken. Most cab drivers speak English.

Here is a list of some useful Hindi words/phrases:

Namaste = Hello
Aap kaise hain? = How are you?
Main theek hoon = I am fine.
Chaai = Tea
Paani = Water
Haan = Yes
Naa or Nakko = No
Achha hai = It is good.
Achha? = Is that so?
Theek hai = It is ok.
Aao = Come
Jaao = Go
Bhaai or Bhayya = Brother
Behen = Sister
Shukriya = Thanks!

Round-the-Clock Emergency Helplines

Police Department: Dial 100
Government Ambulance Service: Dial 108
Women’s Helpline: Dial 181
Women’s Helpline (“She Team” WhatsApp): +91 9490616555