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Are you interested in volunteering in Nepal? Are you looking to travel and explore beautiful and fascinating Nepal while experiencing the Buddhist culture and attending their famous colorful ceremonies? Does the Buddhism interest you and you are wondering how you can learn more about this culture?
If yes, then this volunteering in Buddhist monastery program in Nepal has your name written all over it.
Nepal is the birthplace of Buddhism. Back in 623 BC Lord Buddha was born in the sacred land of Lumbini in the southern Nepal. Buddhism is the second- largest religion in Nepal mainly the Tibetan and the Newar Buddhist practice.
This guide will teach you all you need to know about Buddhism in Nepal, through to volunteering Nepal monastery preparation process and the final phase of project conclusion and returning back home. We will cover the following topics:
What Is Volunteering Abroad?
Volunteering abroad is an international charitable trip that you take to a foreign country oftentimes in a developing country that is in dire need, with a goal of impacting positive changes to the people or animals for a better and meaningful future.
Buddhism in Nepal
Lord Biddha was born in Nepal in the Lumbini zone in the South of Nepal in 623 BC. According to widely known history of Tripitaka, Buddha visited his father’s kingdom and converted his family to Buddhism. Subsequently, Buddhism quickly spread to Kathmandu and to the rest of the country.
Tibetan Buddhism is the second most followed religion practiced in Nepal. There are more than 1.200 Buddhist temples in Nepal most dating back to over 2,000 years ago. The main temples are in Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and CharumatiVihara. They mostly have stupa designs and are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
There are numerous Buddhism monasteries in Kathmandu . The monasteries have thousands of monks, lamas, teachers and workers who have devoted their lives to study and practice the teachings of Buddha. In many monasteries thousands of tourist visit each year to attend courses and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere for study and practice.
Unfortunately despite English being widely spoken in the country, the monasteries study in Tibetan language with limited chances of learning English.
Lately, the high Lamas of the monasteries have realized that the monks need to learn English to be able to spread the teachings of Buddha and communicate effectively with people worldwide and the monasteries are looking for volunteers like you to volunteer Nepal monastery teaching English to Buddhist monks.
Nepal is home to eight of the tallest mountains in the world. It also has great scenery ranging from the mountainous Himalayas to the national parks filled with wild animals. It is a known worldwide as mountaineering and hikers paradise.
Besides the beauty and attractions in Nepal here are some of the more reasons you should volunteer in Nepal Buddhist temple:
Safe and politically stable country
Nepal is a safe and politically safe country to travel. The crime rate is very low mostly because of the religious background. Despite the political gloom over the last two decades, Nepal in general has endorsed political stability and a wave of economic reforms.
Excursions and culinary experience
The beauty of the mountains and stupas oftentimes may overshadow culinary experience in Nepal. Nepalese cuisine is versatile and diverse. Each region in Nepal has its own traditional dishes usually vegetables and lean meat. The world-famous Nepali tea is a must try while volunteering in a Buddhist monastery Nepal.
Indulge in the culture
Nepalese culture has evolved over the centuries and is intertwined with bordering India and Tibet. Many tribes and religions have coexisted peacefully for centuries in Nepal. It is delightful and welcoming art, music, and religion to experience.
Make a positive change in the world
The goal to travel to Nepal is to use your skills, passion and love to make the world a better place. When you join volunteer opportunity in Nepal Buddhist monastery, you will impact lives of young monks through education and setting a great example for other people in the world to join you to do the same.
Is Volunteering Nepal Monastery Really For Me?
Arguably, whether volunteering is for you or not this totally depends on your goals, passion and values. It is a big life changing decision that you need to put so much thought in to it to determine if you are ready or not.
You can ask yourself these questions to determine if volunteer Nepal monastery is the right option for you.
Do you have a passion to help others and creating new relationships?
In Nepal monastery you will constantly be engaging with people who need help, other staff working in the monastery and other volunteers. Additionally, you will be living with a host family and attending festivities and travelling for excursions. If you have a nurturing, kind, respectful with a loving personality then this is the right fit for you.
Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone?
Back at home many things are set to work from hot water to fast internet, constant supply of water and electricity. In many developing countries including Nepal everything is not as reliable as you may expect it to be. You might not have hot water, reliable electricity and the food might be different from what you normally like. If you can deal with these experiences, go ahead and register now!
Do you have skills to share that would help other people in Nepal?
No special skills or qualifications are really needed to volunteer teaching Englishto Buddhist monks in Nepal. However, you will be required to be pro-active, hardworking with great attitude. You can then contribute the best way you know how.
Do you have the financial means?
Volunteering is not free. Costs of flights, visas, vaccinations and travel insurance can run to hundreds of dollars depending on the duration of your stay in Nepal. You need to make sure you have enough money to fund your entire trip and have extra money while in Nepal.
Now that you have registered for the program and ready to travel, this exciting stage is getting ready for your voyage to Nepal. This phase is important to ensure you have a rewarding volunteer experience abroad.
Use this handy checklist; it covers all you need to prepare for your trip.
For any international travel you need a valid passport. To travel to Nepal you need your passport must be valid for at least six months before the date of your departure.
A tourist visa from the embassy of Nepal is required prior to arrival in the country to join volunteering opportunity with Buddhist monks Nepal. You can apply by visiting the official embassy or consulate of Nepal in your home country. On arrival visa is available for citizens of countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
Center for Diseases Control (CDC) recommends vaccinations against measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and a flu shot, Hepatits A and Typhoid are also highly recommended because they are easily contacted through contaminated food and water. Ensure that you also contact your doctor for further guidance.
Flights to Nepal volunteer monastery Buddhist programs require accurate planning and searching. You can save hundreds of dollars by:
You’ll need enough money to support all your travels in Nepal. If you do not have enough funds, there are many resources available online like Crowd funder , Go Fund Me that you can use for fundraising.
You can also ask for personal donations from your friends, family or the local community. There are many people looking to support but don’t have the opportunity to travel.
You can save money while volunteering in Nepal monastery by:
Recommended Reading Resources
Travel Nepal guidebooks can help you learn a lot about the country, culture, and great attractions to visit. You can prepare better by reading from other people perspective. We also advise to sometimes read non-travel books written by great authors who inspire you to have a great trip in Nepal.
Some great books include:
What do I bring along to Nepal? Is there a packing list available for volunteers travelling to Nepal?
Yes, you will be provided with a checklist to help you prepare for the trip. Packing can be overwhelming, if you have no set plan you will end up over packing or forgetting important that can ruin your volunteer work with monks in Nepal. Lets get started with this list:
It is a great idea to bring a small gift for the host family as a sign of appreciation and respect to join volunteer Nepal monastery experience. You can also bring one to the your project placement. You can ask the in-country coordinator to guide you on the best gift to bring along depending on the needs of the monasteries.
Information To Know Before Joining Volunteering Teaching Buddhist monk program in Nepal
Are you wondering if all your questions about the program and accommodation in Nepal be answered?
You are probably nervous on your upcoming trip to Nepal, because you feel like there are some specific details that you need to know. If you have any question ask, it will make it easy for you to feel confident and equipped for the trip. You need to know:
Accommodation And Meals While You Volunteer In Nepal
In volunteer Nepal monastery you will be accommodated in either a volunteer house or with a host family. All accommodation options are comfortable, safe and clean offering you a secure living space. It has a homely feel to it and it will be your home away from home. You will experience great comfort with modern facilities including running water(not hot), electricity and western-style toilets. In addition, you will be served three delicious local meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) per day.
Gather all the information in advance about your living situation.
If you are staying with a host family you need to know:
In volunteer teaching English to Buddhist monks in Nepal program an in-country team who work for the organization will support you. In-country support will be either by an exclusive person or many. Regardless they will always be available to you whenever you need help with project, host family or weekend excursions.
On arrival to Nepal airport, you will be taken to the volunteer house. Then, the coordinator will give you a briefing and introduce you to your host family and volunteer project coordinator and staff, with a full safety orientation. You will build connection with your in-country support right as soon as you arrive in Nepal. They are discharged with the duties to ensure everything runs efficiently, that you are comfortable and happy.
It is advisable to reach out prior to your departure date for introduction and connection. Start building a professional work relationship early to make you feel more secure and safe. It’s comforting to know the person before or at least feel what they are about before meeting them.
I am sure you have a vague picture of what Nepal would be like when you arrive. When you arrive that is officially the start on your adventure as a volunteer teacher in Nepal Buddhist monastery. The beautiful country , with warm and kind people will leave you feeling excited and confident to make Nepal your new home away from home for the next weeks.
On the contrary you will also experience the poverty, slums, congested traffic and the lack of great infrastructure that is in Nepal. You might also be shocked by the poor health hygiene and underdeveloped communities desperate for help and support. This situation can be devastating and overwhelming and could take more time for you to come around this situation.
Before taking off for your great trip to Nepal, cross check that you have everything you need including all the information about your volunteering opportunity with Buddhist monks in Nepal. One last time make the final call to confirm your departure and you can also use that opportunity to ask any other pressing questions that you may need answered. Ensure that you have:
Whenever you travel internationally, your safety is a priority. In Nepal just like any other country you have to be vigilant at all time. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep an eye on your personal items.
Here are the best travel tips to avoid trouble and ruining your volunteer teaching English program in Buddhist monastery in Nepal.
The ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ of volunteering in Nepal
Culture shock is more prevalent when culture, culinary, human behavior, living conditions, belief, customs and festivities are exceptionally different from your home country.
This will quickly come to pass if you quickly immerse fully in to the culture and be open to trying out new things as a volunteer Nepal monastery. You can connect with other like-minded volunteers by learning and making a significant adjustment through the following tips:
Embrace Nepalese Culture and Customs
The more you participate and engage with the community, the faster you learn and easier it gets for you to live like a local. Get out there, interact and contribute to community festivals and events as much as you can.
Learn about Nepalese values and way of life
Watch and learn fast how Nepalese do things. The more you research and read the better it will get. Having a basic idea what life is like in Nepal will make it less shocking while volunteering teaching English to Buddhist monks in Nepal.
Make new local friends
You have a unique chance to meet new people and make friends from Nepal and even volunteers from other countries. Spending time with new friends will allow you to learn and embrace your new reality and overcome culture shock.
Be open minded
Take in each experience in Nepal monasteries volunteer moment by moment. Be open to learn and see life from a different perspective. With a great attitude and positivity you will adjust fast and have a great time abroad.
How can I make my volunteer opportunity in Nepal rewarding?
Are you worried if you will enjoy your trip in Nepal? Are you questioning how much you’ll actually feel rewarded from your volunteering in Nepal monasteries?
You would want the decision to travel abroad together with the resources you put up to travel to Nepal to pay off. To ensure you achieve vast and fulfilling rewards . Here are few tips on how to achieve a rewarding volunteer Nepal monastery.
Learn the Local Language
It feels good to learn the local language and connect with people on a personal level. Try to learn the few key works first and advance with time. Learning local Nepalese language helps build confidence and connection.
Keep a good attitude
Stay positive and take each bad experience as a learning curve. The people you are working with already have it hard with poverty and more negativity only makes the situation worse.
Be passionate about volunteer teaching Buddhist monks in Nepal
Be pro active and willing to work hard to share the best while working on the volunteering project. Have passion to work with people and understand well the goal and your tasks to be getting the best out of this volunteer experience.
Explore the country
Travel as much as you can. Nepal is home to eight of the tallest mountains in the world. With great scenery ranging from the mountainous Himalayas to the national parks filled with wild animals, Nepal is known worldwide as a hikers paradise .
Things to see and do while volunteering to teach English to monks in Nepal
While volunteering in Nepal, you will work for 5 days in a week, Monday through Friday. You will get two days off in a week, which you can spend by visiting the different places of natural and cultural wonders in Nepal.
Some of the most popular places of interest during your weekend visit while in Nepal include:
Dating back to the golden days of Nepal, it will give you a glimpse of the glorious past of the country.
This is a World Heritage site most famous for unique culture and marvelous architecture of Nepal. It is famous for tourists and volunteers in Nepal Buddhist monastery program.
With heavenly view this white religious site offers one of the best places to see in Nepal.
It is rested on top of a hill in Kathmandu surrounded by greenery and beautiful views.
A famous pilgrimage sites, it is tucked in between Durbar square and Thamel, a must visit place while volunteer Nepal monastery.
It is a bird watching paradise with over 500 species of birds. It is a tranquil place that will calm your body and soul.
Hanuman Dhoka Temple
It is a collection of ostentatious palaces from the Shah dynasty.
This lake is semi-natural because it is regulated by a dam and water reservoirs, a must visit during volunteering with Buddhist monks in Nepal.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, renowned and sacred dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It is popularly known as the Khasa Chaitya, a pilgrimage center and a spiritual place for meditation for Tibetan Buddhists.
Close to Kathmande, Nadarkot is most famous for amazing views of the Everest and on the North Eastern side and the Himalayan.
Nestled amidst the Annapurna Himalayan Range, t is the second-largest valley in Nepal and you should not miss visiting while volunteering in Nepal with Buddhist monks.
It is a dark and cavernous cave that is known for stalactites and stalagmites located in North of Pokhara
How Can You Continue To Support Volunteer Monastery In Nepal Project?
After finishing volunteer Nepal monastery you’ll have follow-up things that you can do to help fellow volunteers and the organization. You can provide helpful online platforms since you have already had an experience in Nepal. Here are some ways on how you can continue to help us in Nepal:
Write a feedback
Constructive feedback on topics especially accommodations, meals, transportation , orientation and tourist excursions are relatable and very helpful. Our goal is help provide as much information to prospective volunteers for a remarkable and rewarding experience in Nepal.
Leave a review
Reviews are beneficial to learn about a program through direct experience of somebody who has participated before. Sharing your views, sentiments, mindset, and stories should be able to help others to join Nepal monasteries volunteer trip.
Keep in touch
Many volunteers once they come to Nepal they always tend to return and volunteer again! Keep in touch with all the great people with whom you shared your volunteer experience in Nepal, relationships established are special and will help in the future.
What kind of food is common in Nepal?
Traditional Nepali meals consist of vegetables, mostly rice, lentils, curry, vegetables, and some type of lean meat. No beef. Nepali food is mostly home cooked, healthy and savory. You will be provided with three meals per day at your accommodations.
How many hours per day will I be working per day?
In Nepal volunteering opportunity teaching English in Buddhist monastery you will work for only 4-5 hours, Monday through to Friday. There will be ample time to discover the local area and all it has to offer. Over the weekend you will have two days to go on excursions and tours around the country.
Can I extend my volunteer period in Nepal?
Yes! If enjoy volunteering in Nepal you can stay by all means. You may also consider visa limitations but visa extension services ate available at the immigration offices in Kathmandu.
What should I do if I have a problem?
Keep in mind that as a volunteer in a Buddhist monastery Nepal you have to keep in constant communication with your supervisor. If the problem persists you can inform the in-country coordinator for final solutions.
Will my host family be able to speak English?
We work with educated and experienced host families. Most host families will speak some Basic English, however this is not guaranteed, but you can start learning the local language and the local coordinator will help you if there is a problem.
Do I have to bring my own bedding and mosquito net?
If you are living with a host family or a volunteer hostel clean beddings will be provided. However you can carry your own bed sheets and towel if they are light for volunteer trip to Nepal to teach Buddhist monks.
Closing With A Few Final Words
We cannot put enough emphasis on how worthwhile and remarkable volunteering in a third world country like Nepal can be, however, it can also be very challenging. Electricity, water and other modern conveniences like WIFI may not always be available but you can always meet these frustrations and inconveniences with positivity and ingenuity.
Volunteer Nepal monastery is by nature service, love, passion and giving oriented. If you are looking for an affordable touristic travel option, you may be disappointed because it is not your typical international tourism trip.
RCDP Nepal also offers other volunteer programs in Nepal, such as teaching English, childcare, photojournalism , healthcare volunteering, nature conservation etc. If you are interested in any of these programs and want to know the full details, read our complete guidebooks on volunteer teaching in Nepal, medical volunteer in Nepal and Childcare volunteer program in Nepal.
Happy volunteering and thanks for choosing us!