Volunteer as a teacher in Pokhara in Nepal, a city surrounded by the Annapurna mountain range and plenty of stunning lakes. Gain a unique insight into this amazing country and step off the tourist route by living with a host family and working in local schools.
Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
Dates: 2019 and 2020 dates
Arrival day: Friday
Return day: Saturday
Eligibility: Good English speakers
- Getting involved in local schools and bringing enthusiasm and a love of English to the local children
- Experiencing full immersion in the Nepali culture as you are welcomed into a family and the local community
- Falling in love with Nepal’s scenery
- Eating delicious, authentic Nepali food
Live in breathtaking Pokhara and teach local children living in Pame Village. Stay with a welcoming family to experience life in Nepal as a local. Nepal will soon become your home away from home.
Education is incredibly important in Nepal and teachers are highly respected. The schools and children love to meet volunteers and value their contribution. There is no better way to experience life as a local than as a community teacher. In schools, resources are often scarce and so children appreciate the energy and creativity that volunteers bring to the classroom.
To volunteer as a teacher, you do not need previous experience and you will be supported throughout. However, 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.
Predominantly, volunteers work with 8-12 year old children. However, there will be plenty of opportunities to work with younger and older students as well.
This project is split between two schools in Pame, a village on the outskirts of Pokhara. You will travel to one of the schools each morning and you will spend the day with small groups of children or 1-1 , helping them to improve their spoken and written English, maths or science. If you feel more confident, there may be opportunities to run bigger sessions. Typical days, start at 8:15am and you return to the accommodation at the end of school at 3pm.
At lunch time, you can get involved with sports clubs or play board games with the children – often a real highlight!
You will receive training on lesson planning, TEFL skills and specific project training. You will also be able to chat to a teaching mentor regularly and access resources used by past volunteers.
- You will stay with other volunteers at a host family’s house.
- This is a great project for meeting other like-minded volunteers.
- You will live with at least one volunteer coordinator, who is there to answer any questions you may have and to ensure that you get the most out of your adventure in Nepal.
- The Nepali family that you will be living with lives on the top floor of the accommodation.
- All volunteers are spread across the bottom three floors.
- Each room is single sex, dormitory rooms.
- The rooms have en suite bathrooms that have cold showers and western toilets.
- Living with a host family will give you a unique insight into the Nepali lifestyle.
- All meals are included.
- You will be provided with two home cooked meals a day by your host family.
- Dishes include rice, lentils and vegetables and you will get to sample the delicious Nepali dish ‘Dal Bhat’.
- For lunch, you will be provided a delicious snack, such as momos, chowmein or fried rice at your project.
We are excited to offer our volunteers the opportunity to explore the stunning mountain ranges in Nepal. Find out more on our treks page.
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
- 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 offset your 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
“I was lucky enough to visit Nepal and was overwhelmed by the welcome I received. This is a fantastic project for anyone who is enthusiastic about working with children and for those looking for an authentic experience in a stunning country!”
Sarah – Destination Manager
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 4 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 i 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 of group too.
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. You should 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.
If you would like to learn more about choosing the right childcare project for you, check out our guide to volunteering with children.
Here are the next available arrival dates:
27 Jul 2019
10 Aug 2019
24 Aug 2019
07 Sep 2019
21 Sep 2019
05 Oct 2019
19 Oct 2019
02 Nov 2019
16 Nov 2019
30 Nov 2019
14 Dec 2019
28 Dec 2019
11 Jan 2020
25 Jan 2020
08 Feb 2020
22 Feb 2020
07 Mar 2020
21 Mar 2020
04 Apr 2020
18 Apr 2020
02 May 2020
16 May 2020
30 May 2020
13 Jun 2020
27 June 2020
11 Jul 2020
25 Jul 2020
08 Aug 2020
22 Aug 2020
05 Sep 2020
19 Sep 2020
03 Oct 2020
17 Oct 2020
31 Oct 2020
14 Nov 2020
28 Nov 2020
12 Dec 2020
26 Dec 2020