VOLUNTEER IN NEPAL

Volunteer in Nepal with Plan My Gap Year, an award winning, international volunteer abroad organisation. PMGY provides safe, meaningful, affordable projects overseas with a wide range of programmes in Nepal, including Childcare and English Teaching opportunities.

 

“I spent 4 weeks in Nepal. We had the chance to experience white water rafting, paragliding, jungle walk and safari, trekking and 10 days working at the local project. We spent time at the Happy Home orphanage which was a great experience. The support we got before the trip was great as well as the support throughout the trip. PMGY was extremely affordable and enabled me to experience Nepal in the best way possible. Loved it so so much, wish I could go back.” – HARRIET WILSON | UNITED KINGDOM

KEY FEATURES

FROM £250 + £149 (REGISTRATION FEE)

PROGRAMMES FOR 18+ YEAR OLDS

Stunning, visually arresting destination


Great for adventurous, independent participants


The original PMGY destination


Breakfast, lunch & dinner included


Live in a monastery & teach monks English

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

LOCATED IN KTM, CHITWAN & POKHARA

STARTING ON 1ST & 3RD SUNDAY EVERY MONTH

Spectacular, off the beaten track country


A range of locations and projects on offer


Vast scenic contrasts from mountains to jungle


8 of the worlds 10 highest peaks including Everest


Trek iconic Nepal Himalaya & visit Kathmandu

MOUNT EVEREST CHARITY CHALLENGE

Would you like to take a look at the top of the world while raising money for charity? Then join our trek to the foot of the world’s tallest mountain.

From £2000

21-28 DAYS

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NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING TO MONKS VOLUNTEERS

Live in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery teaching monks English and learning about their way of life. It's a a very unique, life affirming opportunity, not to be missed.

From £300

2-20 WEEKS

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NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

Make a positive impact during your time in this gorgeous, diverse country. Teaching English enables young people to have a much better future through education.

From £250

2-20 WEEKS

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NEPAL ORPHANAGE VOLUNTEERS

Contribute your time and affection in making a difference to the lives of neglected children in this visually arresting, off the beaten track destination.

From £250

2-20 WEEKS

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REAL ASIA ENCOUNTER

Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, we seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries to volunteer in over a mind blowing 12 weeks.

From £1520

12 WEEKS

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REAL NEPAL EXPERIENCE

This epic adventure includes 28 days exploring colourful Kathmandu, trekking the Himalayas, riding elephants in Chitwan and volunteering in Pokhara. Phew!

From £750

4 WEEKS

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ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

An epic 36 week journey across 9 enthralling destinations. If are looking for the ultimate gap year experience, then this Encounter is the one for you!

From £4850

36 WEEKS

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WHY VOLUNTEER WITH PMGY?

PMGY provide a sociable structured meaningful experience across need driven community projects in Africa and Asia. Each year, we have thousands of volunteers working across a range of our projects from teaching and childcare to wildlife, medical and more. Our volunteer reviews are testament to the extensive pre-departure support and legacy our team provides to match the unbelievable in-country experience our volunteers engage in.

 

We are transparent and affordable with our fees, committed to long-term sustainable community development, all our local programmes are fully vetted and offer some great travelling and cultural opportunities to ensure that your time with us overseas is the best it can be.

 

A combination of all these reasons and more are why so many of our volunteers choose to come back to us and volunteer year after year with PMGY!

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Book your flights as early as possible after confirming your place on the programme to ensure you get the lowest airfare possible.

 

You should book your flights to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The airport code is KTM.

 

PMGY work with various partners in the aviation industry to offer our volunteers competitively priced flights. If you would like any assistance in booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during the online application or feel free to call us or drop us an email.

 

PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority.

 

Travel Insurance really is a travel essential. It is mandatory for all of our participants to have adequate travel insurance in place across all their trip dates incase anything goes wrong when overseas.

 

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional travel insurance policy specifically designed to insure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 75 and covers you for any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada).

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

 

If you’d like to purchase Plan My Gap Year Travel Insurance, you can add this option on during your online application.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Before you begin your programme, we provide extensive pre-departure support on the build up to your volunteer project with us whether it is a month or a year away. This all begins from an online chat or a telephone call that develops into a regular email chain of next step communications to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip with us.

 

Further to this we provide a forty page plus Volunteer Handbook that provides all you need to know once you confirm your place on the programme with us; from visa guidance and how to get a background check to what to pack and more information on the culture and preparing for your project.

 

For all our destinations we have Facebook groups made up of our local teams, past, present and future volunteers that provides a great forum for volunteers to network and to also share project updates and community updates across the year.

 

We have also generated a range of informative and action packed videos to bring some tangibility on what volunteers can expect when travel volunteering with us. This can be accessed on our PMGY Vimeo channel.

 

Our pre-departure and programme preparation webinars are not to be missed either. They run on selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) and will provide you with some invaluable advice on your upcoming trip. The first webinar covers all the essential pre-departure information you need to know and things you need to do before you go and the second webinar is more programme specific with advice and information for whilst you’re on your placement.

 

For those looking to go one step further, we introduced a 60 hour online TEFL course to really strengthen volunteers project preparation. This really is the perfect introductory course to teaching English abroad and enable you to acquire some key skills along the way as well as an internationally accredited certificate.

PROJECT LOCATION & DURATION

We have volunteer programmes in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. Each location is unique in its own way. Most placements are rural but we do have projects closer to the cities.

 

Kathmandu

 

Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and only major city. It is a bustling metropolis rooted in history and rich in culture. Filled with temples, palaces and courtyards, the unique architectural heritage and religious influence make it a fascinating location to live and work. All volunteers arrive in Kathmandu and spend their orientation there. During your orientation you will be located close to the Thamel area, which is the tourist base of Kathmandu. Take time to wander through the backstreets and capture the true essence of what this city has to offer. More recently, from the earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, Kathmandu has been suffering in isolation from a lack of tourist activity in the area. The reality is that there is in fact very little evidence of the Nepal earthquake and its demolition in the Kathmandu area. Families are still getting on with their lives as normal and buildings remain erect and open for business!

 

Chitwan

 

Chitwan is located in the vast flat and fertile Terrai region close to the Indian border, offering a different landscape to that of Kathmandu and Pokhara, which are closer to the Himalayas. Our programmes are based in a number of villages in the Chitwan district. Famous for its National Park, 26 Chitwan offers a warmer climate and much more laid back experience than Kathmandu. Paddy fields, ox-towed carts and an array of wildlife, make this a perfect location for those seeking a quieter and more rural atmosphere. However, at the weekend there is still so much to do – elephant bathing, jungle safari, white water rafting…there is definitely something for those seeking adventure!

 

Pokhara

 

After a breathtaking seven hour bus journey from Kathmandu you arrive in Pokhara, located 200km west of the capital. Set around the Phewa Tel Lake and surrounded by mountains, Pokhara is a humbling location. In the Lakeside district you are able to find everything you need from western restaurants to International hospitals. But if you prefer a more rustic experience we have placements in quaint rural settings just outside of Pokhara. Pokhara is the starting point for the majority of the trekking trips in Nepal. It’s also a great place for paragliding, canoeing and yoga!

 

All our programmes in Nepal run from 2-20 weeks beginning on the first and third Sunday of each month. Our Real Experience programmes that combine volunteering and travelling run for 4 weeks and start on specific start dates across the year.

PMGY NEPAL LOCAL TEAM

PMGY’s programme in Nepal are ran by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams who have been fully vetted by our UK team.

 

Such a committed local staff network provide the structure for your stay with us when working on our Nepal project. The support structure includes providing accommodation, meals, airport pick up and drop off, project transport, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support.

 

So whether you are teaching in schools, working at the temples or interning at the orphanages with us, our local team will also allocate you to your project as well as providing a great framework for you to enjoy a unique cultural experience with us in Nepal.

ORIENTATION

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Your day will kick off with a two-hour Nepalese language lesson. Learning Nepalese is not only a great cultural experience but also important preparation for your volunteer placement. Being able to readily communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more enriching.

 

Our local team will teach you about life in Nepal, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

After lunch, our local team will take you sightseeing around Kathmandu where you will have the chance to checkout the famous Monkey Temple, Boudha stupa and Pashupati temple. You will be accompanied by a member of our local team who will teach you all about Kathmandu’s rich and diverse history.

 

Lunch is not included during your orientation period. Please budget around £5 to £10 for this. Furthermore, entrance fees to the tourist sites we will visit during the orientation are not included in the Programme Fee and so you should budget around £10 for this.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (KTM) on your chosen Sunday start date.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrival

 

Namaste! You will be greeted at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu by one of PMGY’s local coordinators. We will transfer you to the volunteer host family accommodation, where you can relax and meet fellow travellers. In the evening you will get the chance to experience your first Nepalese dinner.

 

Day 2 (Monday) – Orientation

 

After a good first night rest in Nepal, its now time to begin your induction into life in Nepal. The orientation will be a mix of theory, culture and visits to local points of interest.

 

Day 3 (Tuesday) – Travel To Your Placement

 

On the Tuesday you will move to your project location. If you’re placed in Chitwan or Pokhara, then you will take the tourist bus. Our local team will take you to the bus station and ensure you have your ticket and seat on the bus. On arrival into Chitwan or Pokhara bus station, you will be picked up by one of our local coordinators who will take you to your accommodation. The cost of your bus ticket and transfer to/from the bus station is included in your Programme Fee.

 

If your placement is in Kathmandu then one of our local coordinators will take you to your host family or project residence in the morning.

 

Day 4-6 (Wednesday-Friday) – Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work on Wednesday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away.

 

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) – Weekend

 

PMGY volunteers are offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country with volunteer programmes in Chitwan, Pokhara & Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way. This off the beaten track destination offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungle and there are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland.

 

Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons.

 

Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

The following weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering Monday to Friday with free time at the weekends to explore and see as much of Nepal as you possibly can. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it.

 

Last day (Friday-Sunday)

 

Sadly Friday is your last day at the project but the good news is you’re heading back to Kathmandu for a full free day on the Saturday to explore this fascinating city further. Your transport costs back to Kathmandu are included in your Programme Fee. Sunday is your last day in Nepal and you can depart at anytime. Your airport drop off is included in your Programme Fee. A member of our local team will transfer you back to the airport at a time that is convenient for your travel itinerary.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect and many volunteers (and their loved ones) are concerned for their safety and security.

 

Although we can never fully guarantee your safety, we do everything in our power to ensure your volunteering programme is as careful, safe and secure as possible. Every programme that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a Director of Plan My Gap Year. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation, worked on the projects and built strong trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support that they can go through (and people who will help them in the case of an accident).

 

1. In-Country Project Coordinators & Support Staff
2. Project Staff
3. PMGY UK Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences and we are continually improving our placements and projects through this feedback. Security and safety of our programmes is constantly being reviewed and if you have any concerns we encourage you to discuss these with the local staff at your orientation. During orientation, project staff will also provide guidance in the area of safety and security.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips.

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery you wear in public.
• Do not drink tap water.
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents of theft often occur when there are crowds and confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public.
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night.
• Use reputable taxi firms only. Our local staff will recommend some specific companies during orientation. If you are unsure – ask local staff who to use.
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets. If possible use transport from door to door after dark.
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high risk areas for pickpockets and thieves.
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town.
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road.
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers.

WEATHER

Nepal’s climate is extremely varied due to the enormous range of altitudes found within such short distances. Kathmandu, due to its high altitude, is the coolest of the three locations. Pokhara is generally slightly warmer throughout the year than Kathmandu. Chitwan, on the other hand boasts a more subtropical climate.

 

The best time to visit Nepal is between October and April. October brings the start of the dry season where temperatures range from 25-30°C. This is the ideal time to go trekking. Cooler temperatures, around 20°C in Kathmandu, are found in December and January.

 

The heat picks up again as spring begins in February and lasts up until April. Over the spring period temperatures can rise up to 30°C in Kathmandu and even 40°C in Chitwan. However, with the increased heat comes the beginning of the monsoon season in June. The worst of the rain can be found in Pokhara and Chitwan, where it can get particularly heavy. Muddy roads and slippery conditions make trekking difficult during this tim

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

ACCOMMODATION

Host Family

 

Staying with a host family is a great way to become immersed in the Nepalese way of life. You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers and you can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family.

 

It is important to note that accommodation in Nepal is 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!

MEALS

You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day by your host family. Traditional Nepalese food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yogurt and lots of rice so its may take a little getting used to.

 

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 complimented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

As living quarters are located close by with host families, the projects are within walking distance.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome volunteers of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the programme is 18 and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does NOT need to be your first language. You do not need to speak Nepalese, although learning a few words in your days with us in Nepal will go a long way!

 

We require a clean background check from all our participants in advance of volunteering with us abroad.

 

In general no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation.

 

Registration Fees must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place and Programme Fees are due at least 60 days before the programme start date.

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