Before you volunteer, you should think about what type of volunteering you’d like to do, where you’d be comfortable living, and how long you’d like to stay. Traveling to any foreign country can seem daunting at first but we also know what an amazingly rewarding experience it can be.
We believe that to have the best experience, volunteers have to have an open mind and learn to expect the unexpected! The culture, lifestyle, conditions and best-laid-plans in southeast Asia do not resemble what you are likely used to in your own country. Especially if you are volunteering In Nepal, it’s best to enjoy the experiences and the gorgeous sites, and just go with the flow! From our experience, it’s a great adventure full of things you never expected.
The people in Nepal are very welcoming and friendly and the work you’ll be doing is important to those you will be helping and to their communities.
Volunteering is a very rewarding experience, however it can be challenging. Volunteering in Nepal requires patience, flexibility and adaptability and volunteers need to be motivated, creative, self-starters.
You are in a different country and community, as a guest. Though you will most likely be teaching, you will also hopefully be open to learning a lot. Applicants should only consider volunteering if they genuinely respect the Nepali culture and the Nepali people.
Questions to Consider:
* If you had to, could you live without hot water, electricity and/or modern plumbing and not knowing if you had either of these things from one day to the next? Nepal has frequent power black outs and toilet facilities range from modern to almost non-existent.
* During the rainy season, Nepal faces many floods and roads can wash out for many days, limiting access to and from the main city and airport. You may need to spend many days en route to any destination.
* As of 2015, Nepal has faced devastating earthquakes and aftershocks. Though no time definite time has been set for the next earthquake, it is possible that you may be unlucky enough to be in Nepal when one strikes. It can be 10 years from now, 100 years from now or in 3 months times. No one is able to predict this.
* Are you flexible and accepting enough to respect and accept a culture and/or religion that may be very different from your own?
* Do you feel you will be compelled to criticize, judge and/or try to change the people’s views, or cultural values or can you remain neutral despite your own views?
* Though often times there are other volunteers, you may feel isolated if you happen to be the only volunteer at a particular time. Can you handle being alone or feeling isolated in a place where you know no one?
* Alternately, how comfortable are you with a different standard of privacy? Some placements will provide you with more privacy than others but Nepali culture tends to be fairly communal.
* How comfortable are you with being asked very direct personal questions which you may find unconventional in your own culture?
* How flexible are you? Developing countries, especially Nepal are not obsessed with time as in Europe and North America. In Nepal schedules are often postponed, begin later than planned, or are simply ignored. This can be very frustrating to a visitor who is used to being bound by time and schedules.
If you know you can do it and you’re still excited, we want you hear from you as you may just have one of the most amazing experiences of your life!
For volunteers going to Nepal who wish to bring any needed items to your volunteer placement, please see
Bringing Needed Items to Nepal.