Teach English in the Kathmandu Valley
Call the Himalayas your second home and become so much more than a tourist. Immerse yourself in local village life as a volunteer English teacher in the beautiful Kathmandu Valley, living with a family as part of a close community.
Live and work as a volunteer teacher in the breathtaking Kathmandu Valley, bringing English, sports and art to rural schools in the area. Staying with a friendly and welcoming local family, and becoming a member of a tight-knit community, means this will soon become your home away from home.
Education is of paramount importance in Nepal. Families work hard to ensure that their children can get to these schools, and have come to value Oyster volunteers for the work that they do with their children. The importance of English lies high on the agenda, whilst other passions that you might have such as sport, art and drama open up doors that many of the children were previously unaware of.
Life as a volunteer teacher is two-fold. Firstly you have the formal lessons and teaching. You should expect to teach 2 – 3 lessons each day, on top of which you will be marking books and planning fun and engaging lessons for the children. Secondly, volunteers are greatly encouraged to bring their passions, hobbies and interests to the school and set up clubs for the children. Whether your love is for sport, music, art or drama, the children will be excited to learn from you. This can really expand the children’s horizons, all whilst encouraging creativity, team work, motivation and determination.
If you are cheery, resourceful and adaptable then you have the potential to become a fantastic volunteer teacher. Resources in the schools can be very limited, so imagination is key! The children that you will be working with, usually aged between 8 and 14, will already have a basic understanding of English, and the volunteer’s role is to bring passion, fluency and fun to the lessons. Interactive lessons are rare in Nepal, and the children are delighted with the vibrancy that our volunteers can bring to their lessons. Once you are confident with teaching English, you can have a go at other lessons such as art, music or drama. If you already have experience working with children, this project can give you an opportunity to experience working in an unfamiliar setting and to develop your own teaching practice.
You’ll learn to love the national speciality dish of dal bhat and learn to converse in Nepali with your friendly host family and fellow teaching staff. The wide range of trips and activities that we include in our programme means that you will get the opportunity to explore further afield in your free time too, all whilst maintaining your roots in the rural communities.
What experience do I need?
We are not expecting you to be a qualified teacher to take part in this programme. Your greatest asset is that you speak English as your first language and that you have a passion to pass on your experiences to the children that you teach. You will be working alongside the local classroom teachers and we will give you lots of training before you start. You won’t be thrown completely into the deep end!
We do ask that volunteers have some experience of working with children. This could be in the form of babysitting, volunteering at a local school or sports coaching. If you haven’t got experience yet, but want to get involved, we can give you lots of ideas so that you can get experience before you head to Nepal.
It’s been a year since we left for Nepal and there’s not a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought about Nepal or missed it! I had the BEST time ever! Thank you so much! Basant was absolutely fantastic and our family and school were perfect! I will definitely go back and visit everyone some day… – Laura Harris, Oyster Nepal volunteer
Accommodation and Food
On arrival, you will be welcomed with a comfortable stay in a central Kathmandu hotel along with the other volunteers. This will be your home throughout your orientation and includes all meals.
Whilst on the project, you will live with a friendly Nepali family based close to your school or in boarding school staff accommodation – either way getting a great insight into the relaxed, yet traditional, Nepali way of life. Whilst on your project, meals are provided. Expect home cooked meals consisting of Dal Bhat – a delicious lentil curry. If you travel into town at the weekend, or go on any treks or trips, you will need to budget for your own food/accommodation.
All the extras… all included!
A trip to Nepal is not complete without trekking in the Himalayas, going white-water rafting and visiting the famous Chitwan National Park. We believe that it is essential to see these amazing places, and as such these are all included in our 12 and 16 week programmes.
Through our years of experience we have linked up with the best operators of these trips and have included them in the price of your programme. So, you can be sure of being well supported, not just on your project but also on the extra trips. What’s more, with our links we are able to arrange these trips at a far lower price than you would pay if you just turned up in Kathmandu and looked to book things on your own.
This unbeatable package of cultural trips provide you with a great way to get to know your surroundings and fellow volunteers, all expertly run by our friendly local guides and rep:
Poon Hill Trek – get to know your fellow Oyster participants with an 8 day Poon Hill trek. Also known as the Annapurna Panorama, and famous for its 9 species of rhododendron, you’ll be eased into Nepali life and culture before you begin volunteering. Reaching heights of 3195m, you will take in awe-inspiring views of the Himalaya, including Mount Fishtail, Mount Annapurna and Mount Manaslu and gain a real Himalayan cultural experience. More…
Whitewater Rafting and Chitwan Safari Trip – the perfect end to the trip of a lifetime! Rejoin your new best friends for a final Oyster farewell holiday. Start with 2 days of exhilarating rafting and end in the beautiful paradise of Chitwan, experiencing elephant bathing before watching a stunning sunset while sipping on a mango lassi and chatting long into the night about your amazing time in Nepal. Read more about the rafting and safari trip.
- Get involved in local schools and bring enthusiasm and a love of English to the local children- seeing the progress that they make over 16 weeks is an amazing feeling.
- Experience full immersion in the Nepali culture as you are welcomed into a family and the local community. Enjoy family weddings and community festivals that may come your way.
- Fall in love with the diversity of Nepal, from the spectacular mountain scenery on trek, to the thrills of white water rafting.
- Dive into a completely foreign culture and way of life, and enjoy learning a new language along the way.
Whyshould I do this?
English is the international language and mastering English provides young Nepali’s with the best possible chance of securing a well paid job. Having a firm basis in the English language enables your students to be able to provide for their family in the future.
Whilst the schools already teach English as part of the curriculum, the children truly benefit from having a native English speaker in the classroom. Someone who can help with pronunciation is essential and volunteers can really help the children to start using their imagination with English.
We’ve worked with the same schools and families for many years. They have been carefully selected and are used to working with our volunteers. This means that the schools can make the best use of you straight away so that you can start contributing to school life.
Nepal is a country sandwiched between the two growing powers of India and China in the heart of Asia. Given its geopolitical significance, very few people know much about Nepal. Apart from visitors looking to trek, Nepal is still one of the few countries in the world that can be classed as ‘off the beaten track’, which adds to its mystery and charm. Taking a gap year or career break in Nepal will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in this unique culture.
As an ATOL bonded company, we can arrange flights on your behalf, whether from the UK or from anywhere else in the world. If you want to arrange your own flights that’s absolutely fine! Everyone flies into Kathmandu Airport and is met by Basant, our representative before a short car journey into the city to begin your orientation.
You can never ‘accidentally’ find yourself in Kathmandu as you need to take two flights from Europe and the US to reach Nepal. This adds to its charm and uniqueness.
Basant is the perfect host for your gap year in Nepal. He has been our original Nepal rep since 2001 and has supported over 100 Oyster volunteers. Half Tibetan and half Nepali, he was raised and educated in India. He has lived in Kathmandu all his working life and is married to Prerana (daughter of a British Gurkha) and they have a young son called Kundun. Basant is a fantastic character. He is a great friend to every Oyster participant in Nepal and always has time for you with a constant smile and a fantastic memory, remembering every volunteer long after they have left. He runs a trekking company, combining being our man on the ground with organising the Himalayan trek, Tibet tour, rafting and safari.
On arrival Basant will brief you thoroughly during an orientation course. Once in your village and on the project, you can approach your head teacher with any problems. If it’s not a work issue, or you’re still worried, Basant’s office door is always open – he’s had over 10 years of experience in dealing with Oyster participants.
Our representatives are there to be a helpful friend to you and steer you through difficulties of any kind. Basant will keep us updated on your health and welfare. Over the years Basant has gained knowledge of both UK and Nepali culture as well as having local expertise and sympathy for Oyster’s aim.
What is provided
- Phone or face-to-face informal interview and briefing
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the programme and manage your booking.
- Thorough pre departure course covering medical, safety and project advice
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Nepal
- Advice on obtaining a visa
- Finding you a suitable volunteer project in Nepal
- 8 day Himalayan trek
- 3 day river rafting and Chitwan Safari
- For an additional £700 we can arrange return flights from London to Kathmandu with flexible return date (modest fee levied by airline for date changes).
- ATOL protection (as long as we book your flights)
- Food and accommodation during your time in the village
- Support from Basant, our local representative, who will meet you at the airport and offer help and support when you need it
- Comfortable hotel-based orientation course on arrival in Kathmandu with Nepali language tuition
- Transportation from the airport to Kathmandu and to your school
- Hotel in Kathmandu on your last night in Nepal
- Free access to InterHealth’s Travel Health Advice Service
- Oyster Worldwide volunteer t-shirt
- Oyster luggage tag
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
What do I need
- A passport valid for at least 6 months after you return home. Most nationalities accepted.
- Tourist visa (at the time of printing $100 for the first 90 days. Extensions to this cost $60 the next 30 days, and $2 a day thereafter for up to 5 months). We will advise you on how to obtain your visa
- Insurance covering your project and any planned independent travel, we can introduce you to a policy
- Cost of changing your return flight date if you need to (approx £50)
- Independent travel costs and pocket money
- Any home country travel costs (to airport and to interview if face-to-face)
- Cost of transport back to the Airport at the end of your project