Monastery Volunteering Program
This wonderful project was created with the goal of helping to improve the education of Nepal’s Buddhist monks. Love Volunteers works with a local organization that offers free programs involving teaching in monasteries, held in Pokhara (around 200kms west of Kathmandu). The students are Nepalese monks and nuns of all ages, as well as Tibetan monks and nuns who have taken refuge from persecution in Tibet. Many of the monks and nuns volunteers teach would have lived relatively sheltered lives, having joined the monasteries at a young age. They do have a thirst for education and learning, and are extremely willing students. Volunteers fulfil these people’s desire to learn English, but are also valued for their ability to impart knowledge and insights of first aid, environmental issues, health and hygiene, as well as political issues and human rights. Volunteers generally have the opportunity to teach a range of age groups, from children through to adults, and have the ability to open up a whole new world to these gentle people.
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 gain wonderful teaching and life experience on this fantastic program, traveling to one of the most amazing places on earth and helping to teach those who seek knowledge. Volunteers impart skills in English and more about the world outside, opening up a whole new world to those participating. In return, volunteers can learn about Buddhist philosophy, which is strictly followed by the monks in their daily lives, and all about the culture of this wonderful country. Monastery placements give volunteers the chance to reside in the monastery itself which is a once in a lifetime opportunity. A teaching qualification is not a requirement for this program but volunteers should hold a secondary education qualification. Although certain subjects need to be covered, a volunteer’s involvement can be tailored somewhat to suit their own skills and interests. A willingness to share and the ability to be proactive are key requirements on this program.
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 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
Volunteers on this program have the enviable opportunity to stay in Pokhara; one Nepal's most popular tourist destinations.
Well known for its relaxed atmosphere and stunning natural scenery Pokhara is also an epicentre for adventure travel. While trekking remains the biggest drawcard for the region it is also gaining fame for paragliding and white water rafting activities.
With a mild year round climate and so many excuses to get out and enjoy the countryside it's understandable why so many international travelers are drawn to this location and we are certain our volunteers will love it too.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week 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.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. Time permitting you will receive an orientation to help you settle in and provide an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations and, of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience.
The following morning our local representative will collect you from the accommodation and assist you onto the bus to Pokhara. The bus journey takes roughly 7 hours and includes stops for both breakfast and lunch. Previous volunteers have described the bus trip as quite an adventure!
The Pokhara coordinator will meet you when you arrive and answer any questions about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and anything else you may need. Finally you will be taken to the Monastery where you can settle in, familiarise yourself with the surroundings and meet the monks with whom you will be working.
- Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal (Code: KTM)
Note: Return transport to Kathmandu is not included in the program fees and normally costs around US$20.
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on our Monastery Placements in Nepal are given the unique opportunity to stay on-site at a Nepalese Monastery and observe the daily life of the Buddhist Monks.
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 and are normally vegetarian with staples such as rice, lentils (dal) and vegetarian curries.
Volunteers fly into Kathmandu and are accommodated on arrival at a hostel in before catching the bus to Pokhara the following day. All arrangements are made by Love Volunteers and our local team and detailed in the Arrival and Orientation section.
*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.