Volunteer as a teacher in Nepal, living with a host family and working in local schools. Surrounded by the Annapurna mountain range and plenty of stunning lakes, this is a wonderful setting for community volunteering and the trip of a lifetime.
Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
Dates: Arrivals throughout the year
Arrival day: Friday
Return day: Saturday
Eligibility: Good English speakers
- Getting involved in local schools, bringing enthusiasm and engagement into the classrooms
- Experiencing full immersion into the Nepali culture as you are welcomed into the community
- Exploring Nepali culture and scenery, enjoying local food with the other volunteers
- Getting to know the children you teach, sharing their enthusiasm for learning
There is no better way to experience life in Nepal than as a teacher, as this is an important role and one which is highly respected. Education is incredibly important, so the schools love to meet volunteers and truly value your contributions. Resources are often scarce, so the energy and creativity brought in by volunteers is appreciated by the students and other teachers. Soon to become your home away from home, this wonderful community welcomes all volunteers and offers a unique opportunity to live as a local.
To volunteer as a teacher, you do not need previous experience and you will be supported throughout. If you already have experience working with children, you can use your skills here or develop your techniques and knowledge whilst helping a community with limited teaching resources.
Volunteers mainly work with children aged 8-12 years old. However, there are plenty of opportunities to work with older and younger students. Classes are taught in two schools, with morning classes either in small groups or a 1 to 1 session. These classes focus on improving spoken and written English, maths and science. If you are confident in running group sessions, there may be opportunities for you to run larger sessions for whole classes. Typical days start at 8:15am and end around 3pm. At lunch time, you can get involved with sports clubs or play board games with the children, a fantastic chance to engage with the children outside of the curriculum.
You will receive training for lesson planning, teaching skills and training specific to this project. Although you will not receive the full qualification, you will be offered some basic TEFL training. A teaching mentor will support you and the other volunteers, in addition to the resources present and notes from previous volunteers.
- You will stay with the other volunteers at the host family’s house
- The Nepali family hosting you lives on the top floor of the accommodation
- Volunteers are spread out across the bottom three floors in single-sex dorms
- The rooms have en suite bathrooms with western toilets
- Living with at least one volunteer coordinator, any queries or issues can be resolved quickly
- Living with a host family will give you a unique insight into Nepali life and culture
All meals are included. Two home cooked meals are prepared by your host family each day, and lunch is offered at the project. Dishes for dinner include rice, lentils and vegetables, while lunches consist of snacks such as momos, chow mein or fried rice.
Airport: Kathmandu (KTM) and then a domestic flight to Pokhara Airport (PKR).
Arrival day: Saturday at 10am – you will need to book pre-project accommodation and we advise on this.
Departure day: Saturday – we advise you book a night in Kathmandu, before flying home. This is because internal flights can often be delayed.
- Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
- Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
- Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
- In-country support
- Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
- Gold level, 24/7 Pharos crisis management and incident support cover
- Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
- Thorough orientation on arrival
- Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
- Advice on visa requirements
- Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help reduce the impact of global carbon emissions
- Airport pick up
- 3 meals a day, while on the project
- Boat trip, Nepali class and cooking class
- Oyster Worldwide volunteer t-shirt
- Oyster luggage tag
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
- Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
- You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
- Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
- Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
- Independent travel costs
- Home country travel costs
- Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
- Provide a recent police certificate/DBS check – we can organise a DBS for £10.40
Although schools in Nepal 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.
Schools 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. Traveling to Nepal will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in this unique culture.
At the start of each week, you will receive a timetable. You will have breakfast at 8:15am. You will travel to Pame Village in the morning and spend the day until 3pm. Typically, you will have 2-4 hours of teaching a day and plenty of time to plan.
On certain days, you will also meet up with the project coordinator to discuss how the project is going and receive training on lesson planning, women’s empowerment and TEFL skills.
You can volunteer for a minimum of 2 weeks and up to 16 weeks.
For those with teaching and childcare experience, shorter stays are possible.
Arrivals are all year round. The set start day in Pokhara is Saturday.
Nepal has five seasons:
Winter (mid December to mid February) – the mornings can be cold. Bring plenty of layers
Spring (mid February to early April) – the weather is mostly warm and sunny with a few short showers
Summer (early April to mid June) – it can get very hot at this time with temperatures as hot as 35 degrees Celsius
Monsoon (mid June to mid September) – often referred to as the green season. It is a bit cooler with lots of short and heavy downpours
Autumn (mid September to mid December) – the skies are clear and it is very green. This is a popular time to travel so it may be busier
Our recommended budget is £20/$25 a week for snacks, food at the weekend and drinks. However, you should take into account how much you want to spend on further travel.
There are a growing number of ATMS so there’s no need to take all your cash with you. Taking some British pounds or US dollars is also useful as there are plenty of currency exchange bureaus in Pokhara.
You cannot buy Nepali rupees before you travel. It is recommended that you bring USD to change at the airport.
Cash cards are a safe and convenient way to take your money traveling with you – they act just like debit cards, but do not have the same fees as you might have to pay on your bank cards from home. We recommend the Caxton card. Check out our blog for details on how the card works here.
You will need to ensure that you have the correct visa before departure. It needs to be organized before travel.
You will need a tourist visa for the first 90 days.You can extend this for a further 30 days in Nepal. If you want to stay longer, you can extend for approximately $2 a day for up to 5 months.
We will advise you on how to obtain your visa.
Most people book with Oyster as solo travelers, but you can also travel with a friend or group.
You should visit your doctor or travel nurse to find out what vaccinations you will need. Your routine vaccinations will need to be up to date, it is likely you will need Hepatitis A and Typhoid, and possibly Hepatitis B. Please follow your doctor’s advice.
There are medical facilities in both Kathmandu and Pokhara. You will never be more than a few hours away and both facilities are of high standard.
Nepal is a safe country to travel to. You will be given a full orientation and briefing on arrival and the project staff will advice on how to stay safe. Common sense rules apply.
If you are doing a trek, please make sure that your travel insurance covers you for trekking at high altitude.
You will be staying with other volunteers and a project coordinator at a host family’s home.
The maximum capacity in the house is 18.
The family live on the top floor. The rest of the house is space for volunteers. The rooms are dormitories and have en-suite. There will be a western shower, that has cold water only, and a western toilet.
Dal Bhat – this is a lentil based curry (not very spicy) served with rice.
Momos are also incredibly popular and are dumplings filled with vegetables or meat. There are lots of different types of momos to choose from. You will have plenty of curry options to choose from.
At the weekends, if you choose to spend them in Pokhara, you can buy pretty much any food that you like. There are pizza places, bakeries, Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants… the list goes on!
Supervision will be fairly intensive during the first few days, when you will receive a thorough induction and work-related training. Once you are comfortable with things, you might not always have a supervisor working alongside you, but there will always be staff and other volunteers around to help, and you will always be accompanied for any high risk activities.
Staff at Oyster’s head office and in-country will be responsible for your safety and welfare while you are at the project. This will start from the moment you arrive at the meet up point at 10am on Saturday morning until the time you finish your project. Before and after these times, you will be outside Oyster’s responsibility and should make sure that you act safely and avoid risk. This is also true if you choose to leave the project during your time off. We will give you plenty of guidance and advice about this.
You will be volunteering at school Monday-Friday and may have some free-time in the afternoon/evening. At weekends, your time is your own.
When you are in-country, there will be plenty of options to sign up to treks and tours. The project staff will be able to advise you on this.
As Pokhara is surrounded by lakes, there are also plenty of water activities you can take part in.
There are plenty of cafes with WiFi near the accommodation. The accommodation does not have WiFi.
It is advisable to take an unlocked mobile phone with you so that you buy a SIM card. It is possible to buy a mobile in Pokhara cheaply if you are worried about losing or damaging your own mobile.
You will need to bring passport photos with you as they are required when buying a SIM.
Nepal is just under 6 hours ahead of GMT (GMT +5:45)
An international adapter is recommended in Nepal. A mixture of 3 round pin (small or large) and 2 round pin sockets exist. The supply is 220/230V.