Affordable Volunteer Programs in India from $250

  • By IVHQ
  • Reviews (8)
  • 93% Rating

Volunteer abroad with IVHQ in India! Highly affordable programs are available anywhere from a week to 6 months. There are a variety of programs open to all volunteers. IVHQ partners with local NGOs to provide the best volunteer programs in India. Browse through the list of current volunteer programs in India below and visit the IVHQ website to learn more.

Current IVHQ Volunteer Programs in India:
  • Childcare Work
  • Teaching English
  • Slum Teaching: Organize basic lessons and activities for street children in Delhi who do not have the time and resources to attend school regularly.
  • Health: Volunteers take part in a variety of projects that are focused on providing healthcare in clinics in Delhi and Dharamsala. Medical professionals are encouraged to join this program.


  • Programs are available year-round on extremely affordable prices, started at just $250 a month
  • Volunteers can join a program anywhere from 1 week to 6 months
  • Programs in India start on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Accommodation is provided at a home-stay
  • All volunteers are provided with an orientation upon arrival
  • Read the great reviews IVHQ alumni have left about their experiences in India, and visit the IVHQ website to start planning your trip!

Program Info

  • IndiaDelhi
Volunteer Types: 
Orphan Care
Street Children
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
3-6 months
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Age Group: 
Online Application
Age Requirement

Program Reviews (8)

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  • Hannah Slade
    Age: 19-24
    Cornwall, UK
    IVHQ- India- Slum teaching

    I was in the slum teaching project for 4 weeks and found it an unforgettable experience! Working in the school was very rewarding and you get so close to all the amazing children there who are such characters. India is very different to Western countries but in a good way- its manic but also so spiritual with a lot of history and the people are very friendly. If you embrace it, you will see and do so much and have some incredible experiences. IVHQ in India have a brilliant group of staff who are really helpful and who you can have fun with. You stay with a host family and mine were great fun to live with, really helpful with any issues I had and just genuinely lovely people. I would recommend the orientation week as you get to do some additional sightseeing and get taught a bit of Hindi which is really useful as there is a bit of a language barrier in the school. With IVHQ you also get free time in the afternoons and on weekends you get the chance to do some extra travelling so make sure you take the opportunity to do so. If you are looking at volunteering I would definitely recommend IVHQ because they helped make my time here one to remember!

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  • Kelsi
    Age: 25-30
    Great Experience

    I volunteered in Delhi, India for 3 weeks through IVHQ and had an incredible experience! I volunteered on the slum teaching project and it was truly an eye opening experience. The school I worked in was nice and clean the staff was friendly, welcoming and passionate about educating students and the slum children. I spent every afternoon with the slum kids and seeing them and watching and helping them learn and just spending time playing with them was truly an eye opening experience. My volunteer accommodations were nice and clean and we ate really well (Indian food is great!) The in country staff was so friendly and willing to help should you have any issues at all. I developed a skin rash due to an allergy to a medicine I was taking and the in country staff checked on me several times and offered several times to take me to a doctor, which made me feel like they really cared and comforted while being so far away from home. I had constant contact with all staff including the staff member that helped me prepare for the trip before I left. She sent me an email part way through my volunteering to check in and make sure that I was happy with my placement and accommodations and to see if I needed anything at all.
    This was my first time going abroad completely alone and I felt safe the whole time and met so many amazing people along my journey. I met a great group of people, who after only a few days felt like family, it was sad saying goodbye. It is important to keep in mind flexibility and being open minded to a new culture, lifestyle, manners and food. If you do you will have an amazing and life changing experience! I am going through IVHQ again and leave in just under 2 months to volunteer abroad again with them!

    How could this program be improved?

    I honestly was happy with the staff, program, and accommodations, but if I had to think of one thing they could improve on it would be just to be a bit more clear about where exactly you will be staying your first night upon arriving in country. Since I arrived late in the night on the Sunday before my program started I wasn't sure if I was staying with my host family or somewhere else (due to arriving so late.) I was updated once I arrived in country and met my driver (who works for IVHQ) who then took me to my accommodation.

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    Response from IVHQ
    Hi Kelsi, Thanks for sharing your feedback from your experience volunteering with IVHQ in India - Delhi. Your advice for future volunteers is spot on :) We are looking forward to having you volunteer again with us soon.
  • Michaela17
    Age: 19-24
    Mendham, New Jersey
    Rowan University
    India always in my heart.

    I was based in Northern India and taught young Buddhist monks English. I never imagined that I would learn so much from these wonderful boys. While at times it was very challenging and I had students at all different levels of English; I could not have imagined a better placement. I was truly accepted as part of the community and taken in as family. I have forever been changed by this experience and will always hold it close to my heart.

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    Useful: 2 Inspiring: 1
  • summerschatz
    Age: 19-24
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    University of Queensland

    I spent three weeks with friends volunteering with IVHQ in India. We spent our time teaching english classes in a slum school, with two morning classes of young children and an afternoon class of older girls. Overall, it was an amazing experience and offered a truly unique insight into Indian culture

    IVHQ links up with grass-roots projects in India and the staff involved in our project were very supportive. From the beginning, we felt safe and at home with our Indian host family, and the staff were in regular contact with us and dealt with any issues we had straight away.

    One of my favourite aspects of the program was living with an Indian family. Being totally immersed into family life and getting to know the students in our classes proved to be the best introduction to Indian culture. We learnt so much more in those three weeks about India than in the other three weeks we spent backpacking around Rajasthan.

    The school experience was very enlightening, and although we would have appreciated some more information about what learning materials to bring with us, we really enjoyed it. The volunteer experience will only improve as the school program and curriculum better develops. For most of the children, we were involved in the only 'formal' education they would receive in their life, and that was quite confronting at times.

    If nothing else, my time in India reminded me of the important things in life. As actions speak louder than words, the best review I can give IVHQ would be to say that we enjoyed our time in India so much that we are looking at going back to India and helping the school further!

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  • Celia.Harris
    Age: 18 or younger
    Orono, Maine
    Steer Clear!!!!!

    Overall I had an amazing experience in India, but there were times where I felt ripped off by the people in charge of my project. If you are interested in volunteering in Faridabad I would strongly advise you to steer clear of a man named Dr. Bandou. The money that you give him does not go where it is supposed to go and I am not the first volunteer to experience this. The money that you give him goes to him and not to help the families or community like it is said to go. Every person that knows him knows that he is a very sneaky man. India is amazing but this program would be much more profitable without this man. I am very young and I was told I was going to a girls hostel for three weeks. Without telling me, he placed me and another volunteer in a host family and took us to a school the next day where all of the teachers did not know why we were there. They kept asking us why we had come and how long we would be staying. I cleared everything up and we taken to the right placement only after I spoke up. At the end of my project, I asked him if he could provide for me to take me to the airport. My flight was in the middle of the night so it would not have been safe for me to travel alone on the metro. He refused and said that I could either pay more or that I could find my own way. I am 18 and maybe Im wrong but I dont think that girls my age should be traveling at night alone. The organization should provide transportation to and from the airport. I was picked up from the airport so I see no problem in being dropped off at the airport. Just a friendly warning to stay away from the wrong people. India was amazing and I would go back in a heartbeat, but I will only go back if my volunteering has nothing to do with Dr. Bandou.

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    Response from IVHQ
    Thank you for your feedback. On a program visit to India in April, our Executive Director addressed and resolved these concerns with our local staff. We appreciate you taking the time to review our program to help improve the experience for future IVHQ volunteers and despite the issues, we are happy to hear you enjoyed your experience in India.
  • Chloe
    Age: 19-24
    Sydney, Australia
    What does it really mean to Volunteer?

    This volunteering project provided volunteers with an undeniably good insight into Indian culture. I think living with a local family anywhere in the world is always a beneficial experience for both family and volunteer. This was the case for me living with a middle class Indian family in the industrial city Faridabad, near Delhi. But apart from the rewarding exchange of knowledge with a local family, the other main component of choosing to volunteer is the volunteer work. In this area I think organisations like IVHQ have to do more in depth research into the benefits of projects they are offering for the local community. In my case, I was working at a private hospital not far from my family's home. This hospital did not have much going on for volunteers to get involved in. There were less than 10 patients, and the hospital was running well with plenty of competent staff who did not need our help. With this volunteer company, volunteers do not need any qualifications to be allowed to watch surgery. So I was able to watch many operations and enhance my own knowledge of medicine. But when there wasn't any surgery, I found I was really lacking in anything to do to help, and passed the time talking to the technicians and drinking plentiful cups chai. We were able to request to IVHQ co-ordinators to be placed in other hospitals to get some variety in our work, but it would have been nice for them to have had other options already researched for us. And it was almost impossible for us to work in the public hospitals because of the huge amounts of paperwork for the organisation to complete. Bureaucracy in India... Ultimately, although I was able to watch various operations, the reality is until volunteers have a medical or nursing degree they are kind of more of a hindrance to local workers than a help. Organisations need also to be better adept in placing unskilled volunteers in hospitals that are more in need of help, even our basic help. In India I do not imagine this is that unachievable. I compare this program to one I completed with another company in Cusco, Peru. There I felt really valued as a volunteer and could really be of some help whether it be washing instruments, folding bandages or helping in basic medical work. But after saying all this, I remember that IVHQ is extremely cheap compared to other organisations, and perhaps that is why it is not as organised as others. I would recommend it for the price, but I think the medical community ultimately did not benefit from this project.

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    Response from IVHQ
    Thank you for your review. While we pride ourselves on providing affordable volunteering programs, we also pride ourselves on the high quality of these programs so your feedback is of great value to us. We are sorry to hear you felt there was not enough work for you on your placement and we have addressed these concerns with our local staff. We are glad to hear your enjoyed the insight you got into the India culture while volunteering with IVHQ.
  • MissPorcelain
    Age: 19-24
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Loved India

    Being on the program in India was absolutely amazing. It was a truly cathartic experience, and working with the other volunteers was so much fun! The children at the orphanage were so wonderful and I really loved spending time with them.

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  • cini0626
    Age: 25-30
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Amazing opportunity in India

    I had the opportunity to teach at a slum school in Faridabad, India. It was an amazing exxperience. I stayed with a host family and maily ate vegetarian food. We walked to the school every morning, and taught until about 1:00 p.m. We were able to travel to nearby sites during holidays and weekends.

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Alumni Interviews

  • Maggie volunteered with kids in India
    Maggie volunteered with kids in India

    Morning: I was typically woken up at around 7:30 am each morning for breakfast, which usually consisted of Chapati (think unleavened bread) with a side dish, maybe jam, oatmeal, or bananas. I often also had Chai, a popular Indian tea mixed with spices, milk and sugar. Depending on where I was volunteering that morning, I either walked or took an IVHQ auto-rickshaw to my destination.

    While on the health placement, I volunteered at various hospitals and local clinics observing surgeries, taking vitals, or simply shadowing doctors. For the last four weeks of my six week trip, I taught English at a slum school located in the heart of one of the slums close to my host home. I taught English grammar and conversational skills to a school filled with 100-200 children who lived inside the slum.

    Afternoon: In the afternoons, I typically roamed around with the other volunteers. Some days we took the Delhi metro into New Delhi and shopped or went to visit the local sites. Most days, however, we visited the local orphanage that was set up by my own host father which housed 9 children. We often brought the kids to play at the local park and sometimes treated them to ice cream from a nearby store. We also took daily trips to the "market street" close to our home, which was filled with boutiques, bakery shops, and small grocery stores. Malls and cinemas were only an auto-rickshaw trip away - we ended up watching quite a few films here, including the newest installation of the Batman series, the Dark Knight Rises!

    Evening: The evenings were usually quiet, unless I was coming home from New Delhi, in which case I was flanked by screeching horns and bright headlights on the journey home in an auto-rickshaw. After eating dinner around 6:30 pm, the other volunteers and I would recline in our bedroom, secluded from the mosquitoes, lizards, monkeys, and other animals that roamed about. I usually showered in the evening, washing off a day's accumulation of dirt and sweat from traveling about along unpaved roads and pollution filled air. Other than for our trips out to Delhi, the other volunteers and I usually stayed in after dark, particularly after 9:00 pm, for safety reasons.

    Maggie also did health care volunteering in India
    Maggie also did health care volunteering in India

    Highlights: The highlight of my volunteering experience was interacting with the children at the slum school. Along with teaching English, the other volunteers and I would lead the kids in song. Jingle bells was a particular favorite - they would sing it so loud the principal would have to intervene because we were disrupting the older classes. At first too shy to join in, the kids stared beady-eyed up at us as we did the motion of the itsy bitsy spider and the hokey pokey. By the end of my trip, they were singing enthusiastically along with the rest of us and even asking specifically for it. "Didi! Didi!(Hindi for sister) they would shout, and then poke their little index fingers to the ceiling, asking if we could do the hokey pokey again.

    The highlight of my overall experience was having the freedom to travel and experience the sites of India. IVHQ gives its volunteers the weekends off, so the other volunteers and I took advantage of this liberty to visit Dharmasala, Varansi, Agra, and Delhi. Getting to Delhi was relatively easy via the Delhi metro, but it was less easy to travel to Dharmasala and Varanasi. Luckily, our host father gave us pointers about where to go to book bus and train tickets. I got to visit beautiful sites like the Taj Mahal and witness religious cremations at the ghats along the Ganges River. Participating with IVHQ afforded me the unique experience of being a tourist whilst also being a volunteer.

  • Michaela sightseeing in India
    Michaela sightseeing in India

    Why did you decide to volunteer with IVHQ in India?

    Michaela: After deciding to volunteer abroad I did a lot of research on volunteer programs. Many of them were extremely expensive and I was concerned about being able to afford to do this. I also was skeptical about where the money I would be paying would be going. When I came across IVHQ the first thing I noticed was how affordable the programs were; they also had a lot of information and testimonials about their programs. With IVHQ I felt informed through the whole process about the program and what to except. I also knew that with them that my money was going towards the program and not just being pocketed by the organization. Overall I felt very comfortable with IVHQ from the very beginning.

    Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

    Michaela: The program I chose was teaching English in northern India; I ended up being placed teaching young monks. I taught them for around 4 hours a day; in the morning and the afternoon. It was a challenge at first because they were all at different levels. Once I figured out their different levels I was able to figure out how to teach the class. Most the class was broken up between conversation and grammar. We also did group projects, arts and crafts and sports. Apart from this class I also chose to teach a beginners English class to adults in the morning, as well as conversational classes. I usually taught for around 6 hours a day.

    Michaela taught English to young monks in India
    Michaela taught English to young monks in India

    What made this volunteer experience unique and special?

    Michaela: Since I was in India for 11 weeks I really got a feel for the area I was in and became part of the community. Everyone was so friendly and welcomed me instantly. I also really connected with my students and learned about their lives, hopes, and dreams for their future. The people there became my family and I will never forget them.

    How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

    Michaela: This experience changed my whole outlook on life. I did not really know what I wanted to do with my life before volunteering; now I know for sure that I want to teach and help other people. I am planning on going back to school and getting my certificate to teach English as a second language; I hope to be able to teach all over the world.

About the provider

IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ) provides safe, unique, meaningful and extremely affordable volunteer programs in 30 countries around the world, with a constantly expanding base. Programs are available in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where IVHQ works alongside local NGOs to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities. Currently, IVHQ has programs in Bali, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Morocco, China, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Victoria Falls, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Laos, the Philippines, Transylvania, Italy and Fiji!

Whether you're taking a volunteer vacation, a gap year, or on a career break, IVHQ has a wide variety of programs ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks to fit anyone's schedule. Browse through the programs below and visit the IVHQ website for more information.