Monastery English Volunteering
Nepal has reopened to international arrivals. See the additional info. section for COVID-19 requirements.
This insightful program is certain to be an amazing life experience for any international volunteer who wants to become fully immersed with the amazing people and culture in Buddhist monasteries or nunneries. Participants on this worthy initiative are given the wonderful opportunity to stay in a monastery or nunnery and spend their time teaching English to Nepali and Tibetan monks or nuns based in or around the magical city of Kathmandu. Nepal is a hugely spiritual and peaceful place to visit and a place of sanctuary for Tibetan monks and nuns who fled to Nepal when Tibet was invaded by China in 1959. While these Tibetans are now free to practice their religion and express their culture and heritage, they remain an underprivileged and marginalized group within society. Volunteers on this program become a part of everyday life while living in a monastery or nunnery; staying among the residents, taking part in rituals and gaining a rare and unforgettable insight into spiritual life. It promises to be an experience never to be forgotten.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free lessons to Buddhist monks and nuns in Nepal, helping them to improve their English language skills
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Teach other subjects, including life-skills, to nuns and monks
- Expose volunteers and Buddhist monks and nuns to different people and cultures
How You Can Help
Volunteers on this program will teach basic English to monks or nuns who range in age from children to adults. A normal week will involve volunteering for up to six hours a day, Sunday to Friday. The focus is predominantly on teaching English, however, volunteers are also encouraged to impart knowledge in other subjects if they have a particular skill or interest. Simply spending time with the students and talking to them about your own life helps these peaceful people know more about the world in which they live.
Monasteries and nunneries in Nepal do not follow the government education syllabus so the curriculum - and even the school of thought - varies, with some monasteries/ following the Mahayana, Hinayana Buddhism school. Class sizes vary and can be anywhere from 5 - 60 students depending on the monastery/nunnery. Each class will contain students at different levels of learning so volunteers are encouraged to prepare lessons, content and activities which will appeal and assist a broad range of abilities. Using games and creative activities to assist with learning is often very effective.
This project is a great way for international volunteers to learn more about Buddhist culture, become immersed with the people and have a platform to teach underprivileged Buddhist monks or nuns. This spiritual program will be a life-changing experience for all involved!
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help teach English to students of all ages
- Teach basic subject matter in English
- Play games, run activities and read to others in English
- Teach monks and nuns of all ages general knowledge and basic life skills
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of education. This project best suits those with experience and/or qualifications in the field of childhood development and education, though volunteers who simply wish to explore an interest in this field are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist in the classroom. Whist not mandatory, completing a TEFL course prior to joining this project would prove to be highly beneficial. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with staff and students, though this is not a pre-requisite. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
- Vaccination Certificate
Volunteers on this program are placed in rural locations outside Nepal's vibrant capital city. Rich in natural beauty and traditional village life, this placement offers a peaceful insight into authentic Nepali life.
Nearby Kathmandu is described as the “Land of Gods” and home to the “largest congregations of magnificent historical monuments and shrines ever built”. The city is a juxtaposition of urban sensory overload (traffic, people, sounds, smells) and serene temples. With so much to see and do in the city itself and located on the foothills of the Himalayas this is an exciting destination for the international traveler.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month with volunteers arriving the preceding day. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 4 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu you will be collected at the airport and taken to your accommodation. A comprehensive three-day induction is provided which will include specific information about your placement as well as covering the basics of the Nepalese language and an insight into the culture. This is a great opportunity to mix with other volunteers and get to know the local team.
- Arrival Day: Volunteers arrive on either the 14th day of the month or the last day of the month.
- Departure Day: 7 days after arrival for every week volunteering.
- Arrival Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal (Code: KTM)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on our Monastery Placements in Nepal are given the unique opportunity to stay on-site at a Nepalese Monastery or Nunnery and observe the daily life of the Buddhist Monks or Nuns.
The first 3 nights are spent in a Volunteer House in Kathmandu enjoying the 3 day orientation before being transferred to the placement location. Lunch is provided during the orientation with breakfast and dinner readily available for little cost.
Living conditions in Nepal are far from luxurious and will vary between Monasteries. The accommodation will have running water but hot water is uncommon as are heating and air-conditioning. Electricity will be available but is unreliable and may be turned off for a period each day.
Bedsheets and a pillow are provided so volunteers need only take a sleeping bag, personal toiletries and towel(s). Mosquito nets are readily and cheaply available locally and the local team will assist with purchasing one should it be required.
When volunteering during Nepal’s winter months (particularly December, January and February) warm clothes and a heavy sleeping bag are recommended.
Internet coverage is available at the Monasteries but is often unreliable and it is recommended that volunteers purchase a local SIM card and data package on arrival in order to stay in touch with friends and family.
Laundry services, internet cafes and places to eat out are often located near to the Monasteries and the local team will point these out during orientation.
Three simple and delicious meals per day are provided throughout the placement whilst at the monastery and are normally vegetarian with staples such as rice, lentils (dal) and vegetarian curries.
In the event that the monastery accommodation is unavailable volunteers will be hosted by local families who are experienced at caring for volunteers.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Nepal's borders are open, without restrictions, for fully vaccinated arrivals.
- are eligible for visa on arrival
- are not required to quarantine
Must present on arrival:
- proof of a hotel reservation in Nepal (which we can provide)
- printed copy of International Traveler Online Arrival Form ccmc.gov.np
- COVID-19 negative PCR test obtained within 72 hours of entering the country
- copy of mountaineering/trekking permits, or related permits, if applicable
At this time we cannot accept unvaccinated volunteers.