Teach English in the Himalayan Foothills of India

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About

Poor education standards, illiteracy and high student dropout rates are some of the more glaring issues for educational reform in India.

Schools, especially rural schools suffer severe shortfalls in resources and iSpiice volunteers help by assisting local staff and giving lessons in various educational institutions. The most commonly requested subjects for teaching are English and Computers – both of which come naturally to most volunteers.

iSpiice also offers meaningful travel opportunities in India, including optional week end add-on tours to world's famous sites such as Taj Mahal tour, Himalayan Trekking tour, Adventure Tour in Manali, Jaipur and a 2-day tour visiting Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Highlights
  • Pick up from airport at the time of arrival by iSpiice staff member.
  • On off days, hike Dharamsala's snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys.
  • Optional add on trips like Golden Temple, Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Manali adventure trip and trekking in the Himalayas during the weekends.
  • Morning or Evening yoga classes, Walk around the Kangra Tea Gardens. Take trips to the Dalai Lama Monastery.
  • Enjoy projects in the stunning Dharamsala region of Himachal Pradesh.

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Questions & Answers

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Reviews

9.35 Rating
based on 23 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 91.3%
  • 7-8 rating 4.35%
  • 5-6 rating 4.35%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Benefits 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Facilities 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 9 - 16 of 23
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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing.

I really enjoyed myself here both the people and program’s have been interesting. Teaching in the slum and school was great experience. The kids are really enthusiastic and want to learn which makes the teaching less stressful and more fun. Having access to the internet to help with lesson plans was a great help. It was well worth all that it took to get there.
The experiences iSpiice have given me will be one I will never forget.

Default avatar
Sharron
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience.

I am so grateful to have been able to support this outstanding organization. The iSpiice team is making a noticeable difference in the community and I am thankful to have been a part of it. Everything was so carefully organised and cared.The iSpiice team is so dedicated to their jobs and everyone in the community is thankful for your hard work. I can honestly recommend iSpiice for anyone who wants to volunteer in India.

What would you improve about this program?
I will not change anything!
Default avatar
Irina-Maria
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Not coming back

I must confess that overall my experience here was disappointing and far away for what has been presented in the borchures.The experience had both good and bad parts, of course, but the latter proved to be stronger. Among the good things I can think of the contact with the lovely, curious children, the breathtaking landscapes and the care of the staff for our safety. The programme however cost way too much for what it has offered. I later found out that the site facilitating contact between the organization and volunteers takes away no less than 40%, which is a hug amount that basically goes to the profit of some third party. Then I was very dissatisfied with the room. I myself am highly allergic to mold and humidity and unfortunately the place I stayed in was full of it. I understand it was monsoon season but the room had a broken fan, cracked walls full of mold, a dirty rusty bathroom and everything was soaked. The bedsheets were disgusting and looked like they hadn't been washed in a very long time. The matresses were also in a very bad state. Basically everything was deteriorated and dirty. My request to swap the room at least with one with a working fan went ungranted so in just a few days I found myself troubled by my sinusitis which has prevented me from focusing on other important things. During the trips I stayed at very cheap hotels which also had numerous problems (dirt, ants, very bad neighborhood). Again, quality was not reflected in the huge amount of money I paid for the project. Now about the school. It was baffling to me to see the deplorable state of the children's space and I wonder why nothing has been invested so far in the community. I tried asking questions to the organization's manager but I was given vague answers. The children were adorable but the classes were quite disorganized. Because volunteers come and go and everyone has other ideas about what's to be taught, it can get really confusing for them. Ok, let's say that is somehow understandable and we have to adapt to the needs and resources, but the fact that the accomodation is in such poor condition has no excuse whatsoever. They could at least pay for someone to clean once a week. The kitchen also looked horribly dirty. All I would have liked was cleanliness and a decent room. As for the impact, I am not sure how much I was able to help. I am seriously questioning the utility of short-term volunteering projects as I can see both from my experience and from others' that local communities don't really benefit from them. You get there, have the chance to explore a little and talk to people, but it's not enough. The programme should have included more hours per day, 6 or 7. We had gaps when there simply was nothing to do. The kids at school should also be better monitored, maybe with diaries assessing their levels and what has been done so far. My impression overall was that the organization was not interested in such aspects. Everything seemed a huge improvisation. And to repeat, what annoyed me most was the lack of respect for the guests perfectly reflected in the VERY poor quality of the accomodation. As you can also see below. In the future I will most definitely try to find something directly, no intermediaries because otherwise it's a big scam!

What would you improve about this program?
FIX THE ACCOMODATION.
Response from iSPiiCE

Dear Irina,

Thank you for sharing the review. We will be careful from now on about the accommodation.

So sorry to hear your experience wasn't good with iSpiice.

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Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nice Place for teaching

It was my life changing experience after joining iSpiice. I can say with complete honesty that this was one of the best experiences of my life. I had always wanted to go to India and am so pleased that I chose to do it with iSpiice.

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Larissa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion in India

I volunteered for six weeks in iSpiice and it was a nice and safe way to discover the North part of India and also delicious culinary specialties. I have wonderful images stored in my head of beautiful children and magical memories of trips I had the opportunity to to alone during weekends.

What would you improve about this program?
- Have a clearer program about the skills pupils have already acquired and which skills we should work on (grammar, vocabulary, ... -> a clear list of topics seen and those that need to be study)
- Work in more than one school and more than one slum
- Don't write on the website that you can help women when you can't in reality
Default avatar
Kristyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Authentic India

I believe iSPiiCE is one of the most authentic ways to experience the beautiful country of India. The staff is supportive and ensures your safety at all times, while allowing you to interact in the community. Teaching computer skills, English, and helping at daycare centers provided me with wonderful memories! The students were respectful and very enthusiastic! On the weekends, my group was led on wonderful excursions: from a trek in the Himalayan Mountains to a visit to the Taj Mahal! I strongly recommend iSPiiCE and I hope I can return someday!

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Margaret
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Mature Volunteers

I was 65 years old and a recently retired School Business Manager when l flew out to India to help on three projects. Teaching touch typing to young married women in one of the ladies own homes. What a delight, eager to learn, supportive of each others efforts and very curious about my background. They all worked very hard on the lessons and improved daily.

Playgroup or Angarawi and ten little children learning through play. We used playdough, rhyme, books and music and they played some of there own games out, 'stalking tiger' and 'cattle in the stall', such fun.

Primary School, more formal lessons. Children well mannered, respectful and hungry for knowledge.

In return l was guided to places of interest off the beaten track, housed on a beautiful farm and given a room overlooking the Himalayas. Our food was cooked here with local produce, delicious.

I had a life enhancing experience and would recommend this organisation without reservation.

What would you improve about this program?
It was perfect, l was well looked after throughout.
Default avatar
Georgia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An incredible oppurtunity

I would recommend iSPiiCE to any person wanting to volunteer abroad. After spending three weeks with the program I have been exposed to many new and wonderful experiences. The organisation, hospitality and warmth the team has demonstrated has made this experience an absolute pleasure.

A highlight that I will always remember is working with the children in the slums and being greeted each day by their genuine smiles and openness to learn.

What would you improve about this program?
I do not feel anything needs to be improved with this program.