Insight Nepal - Experience Nepal as a Volunteer

Insight Nepal

About

Insight Nepal was established in 1992 with a mission to give cultural experiences through volunteer works in Nepal.

Our services entail volunteer placements, language training, cultural orientation, local family home stay services, and outdoor recreations such as trekking and Buddhist meditation course.

We work hard to ensure that our volunteers have a quality cultural exchange with the local people during their entire stay.

We believe in fostering mutual respect between different cultures, giving personal and individual support to each volunteer, learning from each other and living responsibly.

Insight Nepal has more than 25 years of experience in serving international volunteers in Nepal.

Founded
1992
Headquarters

26 Gyan Marg, Zero K. M.
Pokhara 33701
Nepal

Reviews

Yen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with Insights Nepal back in 2017 and till today, I still considered my trip as one of the best work/travel experience that I've ever had.

One great thing about this program is that they can customised your experience based on your skills, background and interests. I work in Tech industry so upon registration, I indicated that I'm interested in working with children or teaching basic computer skills. I ended up spending 2 weeks at a local Montessori kindergarten. I helped out with teaching English and taking care of kids from 2y.o-5y.o. The headmistress, the teachers and all the kids were very nice to me even though they don't speak English. The kids there were so cute and I'm sure at some levels they did communicate very well :)

During my time in Pokhara, I stayed with my host family, who were also very kind hearted and caring. They cooked local meals and took time to show me around the city. They provided WiFi and I could use their computer if I need to. My host are vegetarians and they only cook vegetarian meals. I'm not vegetarian myself but I didn't mind the food at all. For me it was actually pretty nice to eat greens for few weeks but if you have special dietary requirements, don't forget to ask the program in advance.

The city, Pokhara, is so peaceful, one of the huge plus point of this program. I love the local people there, who I feel more authentic than business-oriented people that we encountered in Kathmandu. There're lots of sightseeings to do, ranging from hiking; bike riding; kayaking; majestic mountain view to lakeside. And I'm sure if you're interested in farming, there's something that could be done as well.

All in all, Insight Nepal to this day is still the best volunteering experience that I've had, at the very reasonable price. Highly recommended for anyone who loves something more meaningful than just being tourists.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
9 hours by bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which on the map shows 200km.
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Mariusz
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My stay in Nepal was definitely too short. One month in Pokhara was last stop during my gap year after visiting few other countries in Asia like Japan, Vietnam, Singapore or Malaysia. One special think about Insight Nepal is that the program can be customized to your needs. I was supporting a local architect with her work as I am a structural engineer.

Next to a home stay, where I could really feel and experience how local people live, there was a hill with amazing view on Himalaya. I found my morning walks to the hill as perfect place and time for reflections about past year and future plans. This is only one of many more good memories from Nepal and the volunteering program I will keep in my mind for a life time.

I would like to come back to Nepal one more time, first to visit old places and meet friends, second to spend more time by myself hiking lower parts of the mountains.

What would you improve about this program?
I my opinion there is not much to improve in the program. Anyone can find what they want in the program.
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Jackson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I contacted Naresh via email about volunteering in Pokhara as an English teacher, and from his first response, I could tell that he was a really nice guy. Upon my arrival in Kathmandu, there was someone waiting for me at the airport who took me to my hotel and then put me on the bus to Pokhara. Naresh and my host brother were waiting for me at the bus park, and when I arrived at my home-stay the mother immediately told me to call her "aunty." My entire experience at my placement in the school and in and around Pokhara was full of similar experiences, as everyone was so warm and inviting (literally, everyone wants you to come to their house and meet their family). I can full-heartedly recommend this program to anyone who loves to meet new people and have amazing new experiences.

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Geeta
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

To describe my experience in a few words, absolutely mindblowing. I had the most wonderful time with the students and everyone involved in this program. Naresh Shrestha and his wife are the most caring people I have ever met, and they display lots of effection towards themself and others around them. Bless them!

What would you improve about this program?
Please check the schools you are working with, and screen them carefully. The school I was placed at was Holy Garden Boarding School, and they didn't respect and care for the students. They only care for the money they bring in. This is a one critical point, but my overall experience are great.
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Romain
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Last year, I spent 9 months traveling in India Nepal and Africa all by myself. I wanted to have a good secure and immersing start. Insight Nepal gave me that, and more way more! I stayed with a Nepalese family witch took care of me as if I was one of their own! Most of them could speak English but Nepalese classes by Naresh gave me the opportunity to share more than smiles and gestures with the mom and with people in the city!
I worked 6 weeks with an organization helping AIDS patients to get the care they need, and organizing prevention and screening programs! As a medical student I learned a lot and shared as much as I could of my own knowledge!
For my last week, Naresh introduced my with to a very sweet guide who made me discover the beauty of the Annapurnas!

I definitely recommend this program!!!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Cheryl Amos

In 2001-2002, Cheryl had a sabbatical year from work, which she and her husband used to travel extensively, mostly in Asia. A couple from Toronto, Canada, in their early 50’s at the time, decided that as part of this year, they wanted to do a period of volunteering in Nepal.
nepal volunteers

Highlights: Our host families were both very welcoming. We became part of the family, experiencing the Nepali way of life, such as eating with our hands, that we would never have experience as tourists (tourists are always provided with cutlery). When a cousin of our host family was married, we were invited to the wedding.

The Insight Nepal program included a week of Nepali lessons and orientation, a week of trekking in the Annapurna mountains near Pokhara, a visit to Chitwan National Park, and eight weeks placement at a school in Pokhara. For our week of orientation, we stayed with a local family, and then moved to the home of one of the teachers at our school, for the placement period.

Although the program provided us with room and board for the entire period of our placement, we chose to spend a day or so each weekend in the tourist part of Pokhara (Lakeside), which gave us both a “tourist” experience as well as the volunteer experience.

school children nepal

Morning: We ate breakfast and dinner with our host family; lunch was provided at school. We walked to and from school with the daughter of the family, who was a teacher at the school.

Afternoon: We had no prior experience as teachers. The major contribution we made was to expose the students to native speakers of English. Using story books, we had the children read out loud, practicing English pronunciation, and we also played games designed to increase their vocabulary.

Grades 3 and 4 were easiest, as the students had enough English to understand us, but we also spent a couple of weeks filling in for the teacher of the very youngest group, who was away on her honeymoon. We used a book originally developed for members of the Peace Corps, to study and improve our Nepali. We found the language fairly easy to learn, and enjoyed being able to converse in Nepali both with members of our host family and other people that we met.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Naresh Shrestha

Job Title
Director
Male head shot

What is your favorite travel memory?

I have travelled to some foreign countries like Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, with my favorite trip being the one to Canada, which was my first trip out of Nepal. In 1995 I was offered a wonderful opportunity to visit this developed country for 3 months through an international cultural exchange program.

My placement was in Vancouver, where I did volunteer work for two different social projects. It was a great experience, not only to see a most economic and scientific developed country, but also to work together with multi cultural people from different parts of the world. I learned a lot about the western life and culture while staying with a Canadian host family.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

After gaining a lot of experience in international volunteering and cross cultural activities I decided to start a new volunteer project on my own called Insight Nepal in 1992, with a new concept . Although it was a big challenge for me at the beginning, my self confidence was getting stronger gradually as I have a belief in 'learning by doing'.

From the time of establishment of this project till now, it has given me an amazing opportunity not only to meet many people from different parts of the world with various cultural backgrounds, but also to expand my understanding of their diverse cultures and backgrounds as well as the globe. I have been gaining more maturity, independence, and understanding. I have learned to rid myself of human discrimination as I believe that there is just'One world and one family'.

What is the best story you have heard from a return student?

We had an older volunteer who worked in a community school in Pokhara teaching English. He returned to Nepal with his wife, two years after his placement. We came to know that he had raised a large fund after his return home, and donated it for the extension of the school building where he had volunteered. He had returned to Nepal to see the new construction of the school building. He was so happy and excited when he was welcomed as a esteemed guest by the school staff members.

If you you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

If I could do any of Insight Nepal's programs I would prefer teaching. I love to teach the Nepali language along with social studies and English. English is an international language and it is very beneficial for the Nepalese students as they grow up into a continually more interconnected world.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

In our volunteer program we not only organize working placements for volunteers but also provide a variety of outdoor activities, like hiking, trekking . yoga and meditation, and cultural sight seeing tours which are the part of our package program. It helps our volunteer to explore and experience the Nepali life and culture more closely as well.

We also feel happy as well as proud that our team has been providing services to several local communities who are in need for their better education, health care, women empowerment, homeless children through our volunteers . And some of them had shown their willingness to help their placements in raising a fund or to donate some valuable materials.