Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Nepal

By Projects Abroad   Reviews (16)   94% Rating

Nepal is a beautiful country with many fantastic opportunities to volunteer and intern within its borders. Nepal is a tiny, stunning land of snow-capped mountains, majestic old temples and the colorful city of Kathmandu. The home of Mount Everest, draped along the backbone of the Himalayas, Nepal entices all kinds of people and they don't go home disappointed.

Nepal has historically been a shrewd trader with both India to the South and China to the North. It is also in a transitional stage from royal autocracy to a form of democracy.

***In response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, Projects Abroad has organized a Disaster Relief program. On this project, volunteers will renovate and rebuild damaged schools, assemble tents for temporary schools, provide day care for families with young children, and participate in medical outreach initiatives. The program will start on June 8, 2015 and continue for as long as needed. Ages 18+.***

Program Info

Location: 
  • Nepal
Volunteer Types: 
Sexual Health
Psychology
Service Learning
Program Length: 
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
3-6 months
6-12 months
Cost: 
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Cost Description: 

The price of each placement includes all your food and accommodation, transfers to and from the airport, full travel and medical insurance plus support and 24 hour back-up from our staff based around the world.

Languages: 
English
Housing: 
Home-stay
Application: 
Online Application
Health Requirement

Program Reviews (16)

94%
Positive
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  • Impact
    88%
  • Support
    86%
  • Fun
    93%
  • Value
    86%
  • Safety
    94%
  • Katharine Lane
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Boulder, Colorado
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    Himalayan Conservation Project
    05/09/2015

    The time I spent in the beautiful Annapurna region of Nepal was the best time of my life. Our day to day schedule included either a bird or butterfly survey in the morning and setting out camera traps in the afternoon. We also went on many primate surveys. The camera traps we put out are to capture photographs and video footage of this region's rare mammals. Because this evidence is so rare, it's incredibly exciting when something does show up. The time spent with my fellow volunteers was the best part of the project. We became like a family by the end of my time there. The home stay families are such lovely people and love to embrace you into Nepali culture. I spent many afternoons learning to cook Nepali food in our family's kitchen. There is never a lack of activity on the weekends and because we got work off, we also planned a fun trip down to Pokhara or to the hot springs in a village nearby. I would definitely recommend this project and I would absolutely return myself!

    How could this program be improved?

    The one warning I would give is that it is a lot of physical activity. Our days are mostly filled with hiking and there really is no way out of it. Definitely be prepared if you're considering this project.

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  • rcheu
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    United States
    Santa Clara University
    NEPAL - Projects-Abroad
    09/03/2013

    Volunteering abroad in Nepal would have never been possible without Projects-Abroad. They coordinated everything from picking me up at the airport all the way to my departure. I felt completely safe in their hands as the workers were friendly, helpful, and always available. The accommodations both in Kathmandu and with the host family associated with Projects-Aboard were reliable and exceeded my expectations. Projects-Aboard also coordinated many group trips to Chitwan and Pokhara.

    The project itself was unbelievable. I volunteered at HRDC (hospital and rehabilitation center for disabled children) for close to 4 weeks. I was able to shadow a physician, scrub in on various orthopedic surgeries, and meet some remarkable individuals. The doctors were always willing to teach and explain things to me.
    I would recommend this experience to anyone.

    How could this program be improved?

    Perhaps more instructions on what to bring at certain times of the year

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  • Allison Katz
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Canada
    2 Week Special Medecine
    08/20/2013

    Embarking on the 2 Week High school Special Medical Project to Nepal was a life changing experience. I flew to Nepal on an escorted flight accompanied by a lovely Projects Abroad worker and thus felt completely safe and comfortable from the moment I stepped into the airport to the moment I arrived back home. The staff on my trip were fantastic and would go out of their way to ensure our group of 23 students from all over the world were happy and safe. Our accommodations in Kathmandu and Chitwan exceeded my expectations as we stayed in hotels with air conditioning, wi fi, delicious food, lots of bottled water and hot tap water. The Nepalese people were delightful and by interacting with them, I felt myself immerse into their beautiful culture.

    The project itself was remarkable. Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that as a high school student, I would be able to observe a brain surgery, orthopaedic surgery, a birth, an abortion, radiotherapy, and eye surgery, among other medical phenomenons. Over the 2 weeks, I spent time in 5 different hospitals shadowing doctors who were eager to share their expertise with me in their perfect English. Additionally, we enjoyed fascinating lectures from local physicians. We also visited several children's homes and got to play with the most adorable children, while learning about HIV AIDS and malnourishment in Nepal.

    On the weekend, our group headed to Chitwan National Park where we explored the jungle, rode elephants and were treated to a Nepalese cultural show.I deeply cherish the friendships I made and only have fond memories of my trip. My single regret is not having spent longer than 2 weeks in Nepal and I cannot wait to travel with Projects Abroad in the future.

    How could this program be improved?

    My travel time to Nepal was about 30 hours. For such a long journey, I wish I had spent at least a month in Nepal. There was so much more to see and do!

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  • Kelsey
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    corning, new york
    Florida Gulf Coast University
    Journey in Nepal
    07/08/2013

    Being my first time leaving the United States, I took a lot of time to research different programs that offered volunteering abroad. After emailing back and forth with a couple different groups, I finally decided to go with Projects Abroad to Nepal. From the very beginning Projects Abroad was so helpful and always got back to my emails no more than a day later. Since I am a pre-med student, I chose that program and worked at the Chitwan Medical Center. From the moment I got off the plane in Nepal, I felt the support of Projects Abroad. They picked me up from the airport, took me to the hotel, went over the project I would be working on and then showed me around Thamel. The next day I took a five-hour journey to Bharatpur to meet my host family. This is also where I met the Projects Abroad team that would help me during the rest of my stay in Nepal. They had both an international contact and Nepali contact so you would have two different people that you could talk to about any issues. My first day working at the hospital I was given a tour, by Binod, my Nepali contact, of all the different areas, such as gynecology, ophthalmology, the operating theatre, orthopedics, pediatrics and the emergency room. Binod then asked me where I wanted to start. I was so excited that I could choose anywhere I wanted to work and observe. I started in the emergency room and instantly saw the differences between the healthcare systems in the US and Nepal. One of my biggest worries before this trip was the fear of not making any friends while working, however while in the ER I met three other volunteers from Germany, England and Australia that I still keep in touch with. I was surprised at the flexibly and freedom the hospital gave me because each day I was allowed to pick anywhere I wanted to work. I explored the emergency room, dermatology and psychiatry departments before I decided to work in the operating theatre for the rest of my month in Nepal. Because I am only a pre-med student I mainly observed, but was given the chance to take vitals and open containers for nurses and doctors that were sterile in OT. Throughout working in OT I learned many different instruments and what they were used for and was able to observe numerous surgeries including a craniotomy, open reduction interal fixation, closed reductions, neck of femur fractures, hemi-arthroplasty, cesarean sections, total abdominal hysterectomy, laparoscopic cholesystectomy and many more! I learned and saw so much more then I ever thought I would! My typical shift at the hospital was 9-3, but sometimes I would cut out early with other volunteers to go to the market or get food. I still crave paneer chili from our favorite restaurant next to the hospital. On the weekends we explored other parts of Nepal. One of the Projects Abroad employees was so helpful when it came to these trips. He planned every aspect and just told us how much it would be. He even arranged all the taxi and bus rides to the different cities. My first weekend adventure was the white water rafting and the Chitwan National Park. Rafting was amazing, except the water was freezing! The national park was also a lot of fun just don't go on a hot day! We got to go on a canoe ride, walk through the Nepali jungle to see wildlife, bathe with the elephants and go on an elephant ride. For the next weekend/week five of us volunteers went trekking in the Himalayas. What an experience! We spent the weekend in Pokhara buying gear and left for the trudge on Monday morning. I wasn't planning on trekking when I first came to Nepal, but the other volunteers talked me into going, and I had no idea what I was in for! To get to the Annapurna Base Camp, it was seven days of walking up and down steps for an average of eight hours a day. It was total torture walking up, but when you looked around at the views it was incredible. It was and still is by far my greatest physical accomplishment and was definitely worth the pain! When I got back to Bharatpur I only had one week left at the hospital and during this time I was given the opportunity to travel to a rural health camp. I was leaving on Monday so for the last weekend I stayed in Kathmandu. Projects Abroad paid for two nights at their base hotel here and also reimbursed me 100 rupees for everyday I worked at the hospital. I loved this because I had extra money to spend on souvenirs! I tried to visit as many landmarks as I could during my last three days and went to Pashupatinath Temple, Bodnath, Swayambhunath, Durbar Square and did some more shopping in Thamel. When it was time for me to go to the airport, Projects Abroad, once again, arranged a taxi for me. I was so impressed with this program and all the in country support they provided. I was really scared to travel alone for my first time to a third world country, but Projects Abroad and all their staff made me feel so comfortable! Through them, I not only learned so much at the hospital, but was able to be adventurous and explore all of Nepal. I would definitely recommend Projects Abroad to anyone wanting to volunteer, especially those that are nervous for their first time!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would go during winter. Summer in the area I was placed was sooo hot! About 115 degrees everyday!

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  • Lauren
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    New Jersey
    2 Week Special in Nepal
    01/15/2013

    I went on the 2 week special trip (Care and Community) for teens to Nepal over the summer, and not knowing anyone to begin with was a bit scary. However, I quickly began to feel at ease once I met my flight escort (from Projects Abroad) and the four other (teen) volunteers at the airport going to Nepal.

    Once we arrived in Nepal we were greeted by more Projects Abroad staff (based in the country) who were very friendly, informative, and ready to help.

    Every morning, the care and community group (filled with people from different countries) would eat breakfast then head over to our placement-- a school for kids around 5-18. Every day we were greeted with such love and positivity by both the kids and the teachers, who were always eager to talk, play, and help however they could.

    For our volunteer work, we helped repaint many of the classrooms with fun colors and designs to brighten up the rooms. We also spent a lot of time playing with the kids and getting to know them. Once we were done at our placement, we would either have some down time back at our hotel, free to nap or explore the city, or we would go on exciting day trips to places like different temples and homes for abandoned children or children with HIV/AIDS. On the weekend in between the two weeks we went to Chitwan, where we went on nature hikes, rode elephants, and saw cultural shows.

    Although it was a little hard to adjust to such a different culture at first, I always felt comfortable and safe with the fantastic staff, and had so much fun with all of the friends I made. What I loved about the Nepali culture was that it wasn't so consumed with time; everything ran on its own--relaxed--schedule and it was so easy to settle in to the culture. Food was always taken care of everywhere you went, although you were free to buy more at all the local shops.

    There was never a time when I felt bored during this trip. I always felt like I was learning something new, whether it was about how to interact with different people, or even how to view life in a different way. Everyone that was a part of this trip-- the volunteers, the staff, the students at the placement--was so great to interact with and every single relationship made held value.

    Overall, this trip was one of the best experiences in my life and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.

    How could this program be improved?

    N/A

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  • yoyo
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Boston, Massachusetts
    2-week special for medicine!
    10/27/2012

    I had an amazing time in Kathmandu and Chitwan for the medical 2-week special. We got to observe surgeries, which is an experience I would not have been allowed in America, as well as see the reality of the hospital. My favorite ward was maternity, where we saw dozens of adorable Nepali babies!
    Outside of the hospital, we had fun riding elephants and seeing wildlife at the Chitwan National Park. We stayed at hotels throughout our 2 weeks, but we didn't miss out on interactions with the locals; the hotel staff were friendly and there were people everywhere!
    What really made the trip special were the people; the Nepali people and the super supportive Projects Abroad staff and my fellow volunteers brought Nepal to life for me. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested in exploring a different culture!

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  • domorackisr1
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Annapolis, Maryland
    Lincoln Christian University
    My senior project
    05/02/2012

    For my final senior project at my school in Annapolis Maryland, I decided to focus on the medical care in Nepal. This trip really helped me open my eyes to developing countries and how much we can really help them. By being placed in a hospital or in my case a physical therapy center, I was able to see the differences right away. The program did an excellent job of balances service work with entertainment and fun activities. Riding an elephant in the river was one of the most fun things I've ever done in my entire life. I was also able to meet people from all over the world. From China to Dubai and Europe; I now have friends in almost every continent all because of this trip. Although the work was hard and sometimes even emotional, I would not trade those 2 weeks in Nepal for anything in this world.

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  • Volunteer2011
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Denmark
    Other
    Nepal
    05/02/2012

    Nepal is an amazing country and I absolutely fell in love with the kids I worked with, but the local staff in Nepal was so horrible, that I regretted many times that I had chosen to travel with this organisation. This is based on the fact that they showed no interest or care for either us or our placement, that we caught them lying straight to our face and that the best way to get in contact with them would be to go to their favourite bar..

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  • kate
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Wolverhampton, England.
    University of Wolverhampton
    Care in Nepal
    09/29/2011

    Whilst in Nepal I had the opportunity to work in an orphanage with children aged from 4 - 16. This was such an eye-opening experience, and also very rewarding to know that what I was doing would be helping people who were less fortunate than me. We spent time with the children and also helped improve the orphanage by building a basketball court and painting murals. Nepali people are very kind natured and friendly. The culture is a complete contrast with what it is like back at home.

    The Projects Abroad staff are fantastic and will go out of their way to ensure you feel comfortable. You will also meet lots of like-minded people and the social aspect is great, we rarely spent a night in. The programme also caters for the fact that you are there to see the country also. We had a weekend trip to Chitwan where we went on a boat trip, an Elephant safari and got to bathe Elephants. As well as seeing some of Nepal's fantastic wildlife.

    If you choose to visit then make sure you try some traditional Nepalese Momos, have a visit to Buddha Bar Kathmandu and get a glace of the Himalayas. Volunteering in Nepal is one of the best things I have ever done, the lessons you learn about how other people live and about yourself are invaluable. You will also meet some fantastic people, and take away memories you will never forget.

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  • PTinNepal
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Minneapolis, MN
    Physical Therapy in Nepal
    09/14/2011

    I worked in a small school for children with physical and mental disabilities. The care I provided was usually physical therapy related, but much of the time was just spent interacting with the children. Although the language barrier was tough, it was an amazing experience! The kids were all so loving and I could tell that I made a difference in their lives as much as they made a difference in mine. The Projects Abroad staff was very easy-going and easy to contact. They set up many different trips with other volunteers and locals that were a ton of fun. Great experience!

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  • TexasPT
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Austin, TX
    University of Texas, Austin
    Projects Abroad makes a huge difference
    09/14/2011

    From my first encounter with the program they were professional, organized and helpful. All my questions were answered in a timely manner and I departed for my trip to Nepal feeling safe and without much anxiety. The staff in Kathmandu, Nepal make you feel welcome and introduce you to the other volunteers and locals for additional support. Anytime I needed something - getting medications, bus tickets, SIM card for my cell phone, etc - the staff helped me get it taken care of quickly and efficiently. Although my trip was in 2008, I have recommended this organization to at least 20 different people and will continue to do so. I believe in Projects Abroad, what they stand for, their goals and hope others can have as enjoyable, meaningful and memorable an experience as I had. Thanks to PA, I am able to look back on my 3.5 months in Nepal with fondness, a desire to return, and a greater appreciation for cultures abroad.

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  • AnYo99
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Johnson Creek, WI
    Purdue University
    Volunteer Nepal - Medical
    09/14/2011

    I was able to volunteer in a pediatric hospital in Kathmandu Nepal. This was a great experience. We would work with the staff at the hospital from 8am-3pm. We were able to shadow in all areas of the hospital - I was only there for a short time so it was mostly watching but I did see many different types of illnesses and disease processes as well as new procedures. The rest of the day was free to do as you pleased. I stayed with a host family with another volunteer- which was great. Then on weekends, we would go to Thamel and there would be some type of group activity to participate in. This was a lot of fun and a great way to get to know different people from all over the world. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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  • JackH
    Age: 18 or younger
    Male
    Hong Kong
    Other
    Medicine 2 week special, special indeed.
    09/13/2011

    It was an experience like no other. Getting lost in a foreign country, watching a taxi driver hot-wiring a car, buying things for a bad deal, first chess game in at least five years and WINNING it. The possibilities were limitless, yet very unforgettable.

    The trip was socially interactive. Meeting new people from all around the world was surely delightful and of course, fun. We were so close up to the point where we all shared the same room for a night. Just two short weeks and our friendship was comparable to years worth of companionship.

    The work in the hospital was nonetheless different from where I came from. The hospital facilities were generally not as advanced as the more developed hospitals in my country, allowing us to have a very different experience from the norm. The hospital staff were friendly and informative. As it is a teaching hospital, there were also other students and interns trying to gain experience in the medical field.

    I went to this trip without regret, but of course it was everyone there who made it unregrettable for me. I would recommend this trip to people who wouldn't mind eating yak cheese..or potatoes... or people who talk about "accents" for two whole weeks.

    Tips for being last to leave: You can pick up some loot from people who left first! (Like.. a pack of cards) :)

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  • Lindsay
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Calgary Canada
    Mount Royal University
    Care placement in Nepal
    09/07/2011

    The experience itself in Nepal was amazing! The country is so interesting, and the people are so wonderful! I fell in love with the kids at my placement, and I would do it again, but not with Projects Abroad. The organization was so unorganized, we showed up and were left at the airport with no one to pick us up, and the workers in the country for PA gave us absolutely no direction or help what so ever. We found and did everything on our own with no help from the organization, the money we paid was not worth it. We could have gone on our own accord without using Projects Abroad and been in the same situation.

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  • Epiphany
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Seattle
    Other
    2 Week Career Break in Nepal
    09/06/2011

    I volunteered in Nepal in physical therapy (physiotherapy) for 2 weeks in June through Projects Abroad. It was a really great experience for me - I met some great locals and other volunteers, learned a lot, and expanded my horizons. I worked around 7 hours a day at a care home, which had a canteen onsite for lunch. The program had an allowance for lunch, which was refunded at the end of my stay. I stayed with a great family and had a large bedroom to myself for most of my stay. The staff of Projects Abroad were really wonderful - they were always available by phone. When there were strikes, they were constantly in communication to make sure all the volunteers were safe. They put together some really great weekend events and encouraged group dinners and socialization outside of our volunteer work and time with the host family.

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About the provider

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast variety of programs geared towards those taking a gap year or a career break. Visit the Projects Abroad website for more details on volunteer, teach, study and internship programs abroad.