Would you like to immerse yourself in a completely new culture, whilst teaching others your skills? As a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you will experience a fascinating culture. Live within a Nepalese Buddhist monastery and learn about a whole new way of life in this unique experience. You’ll be joining the monks' daily routines and practising meditation before the sun rises, ready for a day of sharing knowledge and helping these communities to learn English.
TEACHING VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN'S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.4 - EDUCATION
SUPPORT LEARNING THROUGH CREATIVE ACTIVITIES & TEACHING ENGLISH
LIVE WITHIN A BUDDHIST MONASTERY ENJOYING A NEW CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
EXPLORE THE HIMALAYAS, VALLEYS & NATURAL BEAUTY OF NEPAL
EXPERIENCE THE COLOURFUL & UNIQUE NEPALESE CULTURE
BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM
Although Buddhism is not the most practised religion in Nepal, the influence of this religion can be found throughout; well Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha! From the countless temples and stupas located around the country to the thousands of Tibetan Buddhists who have sought refuge, Nepal remains an important place for Buddhists.
Many young Nepalese men spend a period of their life training as a monk. The majority of the children at the monasteries are Tibetan refugees and impoverished children from ethnic hill tribes. Therefore becoming a monk offers many children the chance of a better life.
Training to become a monk starts at an early age. Firstly, young monks are taught about Buddhist practices and philosophies as well as receiving general mainstream education – including learning English. Consequently, the ability to speak English allows monks to translate religious text and communicate the teachings of Buddhism to all. As the Dalai Lama said, “To learn English is to spread the word”.
It is very important that monks receive a formal education as well as religious training. It is not totally uncommon for monks to leave the monastery when they get older, therefore it is important for them to learn English in order to boost their career prospects in mainstream society.
As a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you can enormously benefit their learning and language development. As a result, by working with international volunteers the monks can vastly improve their communication and pronunciation skills on a new level.
TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
If you would like to teach English to monks in Nepal you will be living at the monastery, in separate living quarters. The location of where you volunteer in Nepal will be at one of the monasteries that we support in either Kathmandu or Chitwan. The monasteries in Kathmandu are situated in various locations across the valley – some are close to the city centre and others are more rural outside of town.
Nala Monastery - This monastery is a couple of hours outside of the main town of Kathmandu. It lays within a peaceful rural setting, close to the ancient Bhaktapur City. Here around 150 male monks of all ages are living at the monastery. Around 50 of the young monks are divided into four classes for teaching. The rooms are basic but comfortable with a modern ensuite. However, there is usually no hot water or Wi-Fi. In addition, there’s a snack shop on-site and a sports field to unwind with the monks next door.
Kwung Gumba Monastery - In contrast, your volunteer work in Nepal may take place with another monastery in Kathamandu, which is located amongst a small neighbourhood. This placement is close to the shops with easy access to the main town. There are western toilets and Wi-Fi available here, although the signal is often intermittent. Volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal will be based in one of the three classrooms that surround the library. Each room is equipped with a whiteboard and benches, and the students will be split according to ability.
Daunne Monastery - The monastery placement in Chitwan, on the other hand, is very rural and located within a jungle environment. Monkeys will be your new neighbour on this Nepal volunteer program! Consequently, international volunteers are advised to note the Chitwan monastery offers a much more authentic experience, where facilities are very basic and general resources are more limited. Another unique aspect of the monastery in Chitwan is that volunteers will work with both male and female monks. The school here is also open to children in the local village and is a short walk uphill into the forest.
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY
For every volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, expect to be woken early each morning as the gong is sounded and morning prayers commence. What a unique opportunity to learn and get immersed in the Buddhist way of life!
You will generally be given a timetable for your classes for 3-5 hours a day. Your volunteer programs abroad run from Monday-Friday. Above all, English teaching is the main way you will help whilst you volunteer in Nepal, but there may also be the chance to teach other subjects like Maths and Science.
On this volunteer teaching English abroad project, you will follow a flexible curriculum syllabus when conducting your lessons, whereby most of the time you will plan your own lessons and activities, working independently or alongside a fellow volunteer. There is usually a government course guide book available according to class standards that focuses on English, Maths, and Science.
In Kathmandu expect there to be around 40-150 young monks, depending on your monastery. If your volunteer work in Nepal is based in Chitwan, then there are around 100 monks. The ages range from around seven years old to lower teen and average class sizes tend to be around 10-15 per class.
The level of English will vary depending on which class you’re assigned. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend time planning for each lesson. Anything that you can teach about your own culture will also be gratefully received. In the evening times, volunteers in Nepal are encouraged to help the monks with their homework and any one-to-one learning experiences formally or informally.
You will have a lot of free time on your Nepal volunteer program, which you can spend travelling, relaxing or learning about the Buddhist way of life. Meanwhile, this may be your opportunity to explore the local market or learn about the local community. Alternatively, you could spend the evenings playing sports, games or extracurricular activities with the young monks.
Depending on your Nepal volunteer program, you may be able to provide extra help like preparing meals or collecting firewood and wild mushrooms from the jungle. You will find the monks to be accepting and genuinely grateful for your help. As a result, they will be interested to teach you about their unique culture. As a volunteer in Nepal, this will give you an insight into the Buddhist religion not granted to tourists.
On arrival, young monks will be keen and excited to meet you. However, some will also be shy of you in your first few days at the monastery. You will get the chance to eat with the monks and have the opportunity to take part in some meditation rituals if you are up early enough to learn this practice too!
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN NEPAL
Experience - For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.
TEFL Course - We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.
Resources - On the teach English in Nepal project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.
Project Location - When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu - a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!
Weekends - Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.
CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP
Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to volunteer in Nepal?
PMGY welcomes volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak Nepali. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Nepal will go a long way.
Each volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the Nepal volunteer program?
For your volunteer trip to Nepal, you should book your flights to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on the Sunday start date. The airport code is KTM. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
When is the best time of year to volunteer in Nepal?
Feedback from each volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.
Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer in Nepal?
In order to join as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you need to be at least 17 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.
When should I apply to be a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 45 days prior to your start date.
What duration would you recommend to volunteering for?
Based on feedback from previous volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal, we believe that 4-6 weeks is the ideal amount of time to volunteer in Nepal. Consequently, this means you have enough time to integrate into the local community and really get involved in a project. For one thing, you will be able to make a positive impact on community development. Additionally, you will have a greater opportunity to explore during your weekends. A volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal who joins us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that this was long enough and wish they had stayed for longer!
For those looking to potentially join us for a longer period, we recommend checking out our Encounter Programs that offer a 2-4 week stay across 3-10 destinations.
Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 45 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I be a volunteer in Nepal as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to be a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that the Nepal English teaching to monks volunteers program will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after each volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in Nepal can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. In the event that your university/college do not accept the paperwork submitted by PMGY, then you will be unable to be refunded for your trip. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Do you offer an online TEFL course?
For PMGY volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.
At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.
Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’.
The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.
Can I fundraise for my trip as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal?
With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Nepal volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that each volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal sets up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide volunteers in Nepal with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal who has already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?
It is possible that as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work in Nepal. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to volunteer in Nepal?
When you apply to be a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To become a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check, then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal.
For every volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All volunteers in Nepal will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Zoom, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the Nepal volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for each volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers in Nepal with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code at the projects?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in Nepal.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment to be a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal.
The first few days of your Nepal volunteer program will be based in Kathmandu, living with our host team in their family home. The accommodation here is nice and comfortable, has Wi-Fi and is a nice welcome to life in Nepal. Your accommodation after these few days will depend on which program you are joining. The host team will keep in touch with you throughout your stay, plus there will be local staff at your accommodation site as your main point of contact during your volunteer placement. Your final night on the program will be back in Kathmandu at the family home before you depart for the airport.
It is important to note that for your volunteer work in Nepal the accommodation will be comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western-style toilets, however, some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!
During your time as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you will live at one of the monasteries in Kathmandu or Chitwan. International volunteers will sleep in separate living quarters to the monks, where the accommodation is basic but comfortable, usually up to 4 people per room. Volunteers have their own space and privacy, but are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe.
The monastery in Chitwan is located in a rural setting so volunteers should not expect western-style toilets, hot water showers or internet access at this monastery. It is situated on a hillside within a jungle, a couple of hours bus ride from the local town.
The monasteries in Kathmandu tend to be more modern and are situated in various locations across the valley – some are close to the city centre and others are in more rural areas outside of town with only small shops nearby. Generally, you should expect not to have Wi-Fi or hot showers, but they usually have western-style bathrooms.
Living at the monastery is a truly unique experience that can bring with it some amazing views. You’ll hear the gong go off at 5am every morning to call the monks for prayer and meditation – something you’re welcome to take part in! Living life side-by-side with the monks and engaging in simple ritual life is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!
It’s always handy to carry toilet paper and some hand sanitiser when you volunteer in Nepal – just in case. Toilet paper is easy to find in the shops but hand sanitiser is only available in the cities, so it’s worth bringing a couple of bottles from home.
The kitchen staff will prepare all the meals for you and the monks at your volunteer placement, which will generally be traditional Nepalese food. You’re more than welcome to lend a hand in the kitchen and learn how to cook Nepalese dishes! Traditional food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yoghurt and lots of rice, so it may take a little getting used to. Some dishes may typically be quite spicy too.
Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.
Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complemented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 45 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
If you’re applying within 45 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 45 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME - 40 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in Nepal works as follows -
🇰🇪 Kenya - 40 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Nepal and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
🇮🇳 India - 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don't have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
🇺🇸 USA - 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.