Nepal – Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries

This program is now open to international volunteers! 

Live in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal and help teach English and math to Buddhist monks of all ages! This program is most suitable for those especially interested in Buddhist culture and religion.

 

Program Highlights:

  • Engage in positive cultural exchange with Buddhist monk students
  • Teach the children about your own culture and learn about theirs
  • Help the students practice their English-speaking skills
  • Help teach mathematical skills and English grammar
  • Enjoy the diverse landscape of Nepal during free weekends

 

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum four-week commitment):

Day 1, Sunday: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), pickup and transfer to our volunteer center in Kathmandu. You will settle in to your accommodations and meet fellow volunteers.

Day 2, Monday: Volunteers will receive an orientation about Kathmandu and the Buddhist monasteries in Nepal. We will assign volunteers to a specific monastery, depending first on needs and availability and then on preference.

Days 3-6, Tuesday- Friday: You will transfer to the monastery, settle in your new home and begin your volunteer placement.

Days 7-8, Saturday and Sunday: The weekend is free for volunteers who are extending to spend how they wish.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.

Culture Week: If this is your first time in Nepal, we highly recommend that you join our Culture Week in Katmandu. This is a week filled with cultural activities and tours, and will prepare you for your volunteer adventure in Nepal. Scroll down to see Additional Options.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Orientation and Culture Week take place in Katmandu. This Buddhist monasteries are located around Nepal, from Kathmandu Valley to the Everest region.

Project length Project length: Min 4 weeks – Max 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Teaching English in local monasteries

Age Age:  18 – 70

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 20 international volunteers

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Volunteers stay in the monastery in either a shared or private room.

Food Food: Three meals a day are provided on the weekdays; Breakfast and dinner are provided on the weekend.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport pickup is provided upon arrival

Orientation Orientation: All necessary introductions and training will be provided.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, visa (about US$30 at the airport upon arrival), travel health insurance, lunch on the weekends, personal expenses

Nepal is a country of diverse and rich geography, culture, and religion. The mountainous north contains eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest – the highest in the world. In Nepal, it feels as though the clock has gone back several hundred years. The capital city is a maze of narrow, unpaved streets lined with terracotta-roofed houses. With its thousands of shrines, temples and antiquities, Kathmandu is often referred to as a “living museum.” Hinduism is practiced by most people in Nepal, while Buddhism, though a minority faith in the country, is linked historically to Nepal. Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha Gautama, a native of Nepal, gave birth to the Buddhist tradition.

The monasteries we work with are in Kathmandu Valley, Pharping and Nala, from 1 to 3 hours’ drive from our volunteer center in Katmandu. There are also monasteries in the Everest region, which require a 12 hour drive and hike. This location is suitable for the more adventurous volunteer traveler.

As a volunteer, you will teach different subjects, including English, and have one on one English conversation classes with the monks at the monasteries. You will also have time to learn about Buddhism while doing this. You will teach novice monks, both adults and children!

Because the monks spend their lives inside the monastery, this program provides them with the amazing opportunity to learn English, Math, Science and other subjects and experience another culture, from international volunteers. There monasteries take in children from the age of eight. Some children come from mountain villages where otherwise they wouldn’t have an education, so they join the monastery to have a better start in life.

We will assign volunteers to a specific monastery, depending first on needs and availability and then on preference. Volunteer projects may include:

Teaching: Depending on your abilities and experience, you may assist a local teacher, while others may lead a class on their own. Volunteers will teach English informally, which gives you the opportunity to use your imagination and plan your daily lessons as you see fit. You may also get to teach other subjects like math, science, sports, etc.. There are no guidelines, other than to engage your class and allow them to practice English. Volunteers teach on average four classes a day of around 45 minutes each for both children and adult monks.

Other Tasks: Volunteers may also have the option to get involved in other tasks around the monastery, such as gardening, cooking or helping in the library. The participants are more than welcome to join their daily routine. You can also observe and take part in morning and evening Puja (worshiping).

Schedule: Volunteers will work Monday-Friday and have Saturday and Sunday free.

Holidays: Please note that most of the monastery students are on vacation during the months of December and January. Very limited monastery will take place during this time. Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration.

Internet icon Internet: Wi-Fi is available in Katmandu and isn’t available in some Monasteries, except in Pharping. Internet and phone service are available in nearby villages.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: During your volunteer placement, you will stay in a monastery in either a shared or private room. Standard rooms will house 4 to 6 volunteers, or you can choose to upgrade to a double or private room for an additional fee (subject to availability). Staying in the monastery is a great way to experience a level of cultural and linguistic immersion that goes far beyond the limits of a tourist. Electricity is available, although power outages are common.

Food icon Food: You will be provided with three meals a day during the week. The typical Nepalese meal is ‘daal, bhaat, tarkaari’ (lentil soup, rice, and vegetables). Other foods such as noodles, ‘roti’ (flat round bread), and different seasonal fruits and vegetables are also eaten. Boiled water will be available for drinking. Only breakfast and dinner are provided on the weekends.

 

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Police clearance
  • High level of English
  • High school graduate
  • Able to work in high altitudes
  • Good physical fitness
  • Motivation to teach
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)

Culture Week (Highly Recommended):
A Culture Week is the first step towards a great stay in a new country. It is designed so that you can understand the Nepalese culture. It is a fun-filled week that is dedicated to getting to know Nepal and some of its cultural aspects firsthand. You will also have time to meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Nepalese customs. Given its aim–learning about traditional rural Nepal culture, it is appropriate that this week takes place in Kathmandu. There are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture, including visits to local villages, touring temples, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenic sites that you can explore during your free time. Scroll down to see Additional Options.

If you would like to do some sightseeing and trekking, a fun trip can be added to your Nepal experience, or you can also discover new places independently. Nepal offers an impressive combination of nature and culture. Highlights include:

  • Pokhara – picturesque lake-side town, and the base for many activities. Great live music scene, with plenty of cool bars and hotels. Fast becoming the destination of choice for travelers because of the scenery, adventure sports and nightlife.
  • Royal Chitwan National Park – join a safari and view tigers, rhinos, and other animals in the jungle.
  • Annapurna area – popular trekking region of Nepal, where the world-famous Annapurna Circuit is located.
  • Rafting – join an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip.

Volunteer Experiences

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