• India
2 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)
Travel Type
Senior Travelers


Starting Price
$1,000 USD
Price Details
Placement price includes:
Transfers from Udaipur airport to volunteer house, accommodation at volunteer house, 3 home cooked vegetarian meals when at volunteer house, transport to work placements, orientation on arrival, excursions to Bagore ki Haveli and Monsoon Palace (Udaipur) and Ranakpur Temple and Kumbhalghar Fort (day trip), roof top gym, washing machine, photocopier, free wifi

Flights to India and internally to Udaipur, travel insurance, visa, vaccinations, spending money for entrance to monuments, some meals when traveling.
What's Included
Accommodation Airport Transfers Meals Some Activities Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Jun 26, 2018
Apr 26, 2017

About Program

Teaching in pre-schools, primary school, school for disabled children, street children project and home for destitute and orphaned boys on the outskirts of Udaipur is very rewarding as they are the first generation in their families to attend school. You can combine two or more of the above and have a very varied volunteering experience. Accommodation and meals are at the Volunteer House in single sex, shared rooms, some ensuite other sharing a bathroom in corridor. Teaching Resources available for lesson planing as well as photocopier. Rooftop gym and terrace available for sun bathing!

Weekend excursions to Ranakpur Temple, Kumbhalghar Fort, Monsoon Palace and Bagore Ki Haveli Dancing and Puppet show (volunteers pay entrance fees)

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Inclusive package with airport transfers, accommodation, food, transport to placements, some excursions;
  • Set on the outskirts of Udaipur, possibly the most beautiful of Rajasthan's cities with lakes, palaces and views from the mountains
  • Lovely atmosphere at Volunteer House with all needs met and delicious home cooked food
  • Some weekend excursions included
  • Possibility of other weekend excursions can be organised depending on numbers such as weekend in Jodhpur

Related Programs

Program Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Memorable & rewarding experience

I don't know where to begin...I had such a fantastic time volunteering in India. Jill the founder of Volunteer Vacations was extremely supportive leading up to the trip. She put me in touch with an ex volunteer who kindly showed me lots of photos, so I could get a feel for the project. What's different about Jill and her company is that she visits the project herself every year, so she knows what's happening and can answer any questions from her first-hand experience and see the progress. The fact that I was the only English volunteer attending did not put me off, because she coordinated the dates with an Australian/New Zealand company called Antipodeans. I was therefore part of a group of 16 aged between 18-24 years old, which was great and made a huge impact on my overall experience.
The project itself was very well organised and we lived with Pankaj (project leader), his mother and sisters in a 3 floor house. We also had an Indian cook who was like a second mum to us! She cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for us. I felt very comfortable living in the house. Each bedroom had around 2-3 bunk beds with an en-suite bathroom with buckets and hot water taps for showering, but this was all part of the experience! Breakfast was usually quite Western (cornflakes, bananas, porridge), lunch and dinner were usually curries, but we enjoyed tomato pasta and burgers on the occasion. We were able to ask for a certain dish, they were very flexible. Pankaj also bought fresh oranges and pomegranates from the market, so we could squeeze our own fruit juice as we were having fresh fruit withdrawal symptoms! There was also an Indian cleaner who were there everyday keeping the place tidy.
Our first day was called 'orientation'. We walked around the nearby village where we would be teaching in the local government school. It didn't feel like we were imposing on them, because they were aware of our volunteer programme, and if anything grateful for our help. The houses were made of cow dung, they had no electricity and 3 water taps in the village. Everybody was smiling and waving at us - it was lovely! We were introduced to the children briefly, so they could meet us before teaching and we spent a couple of hours just playing. In the afternoon, we visited the boys orphanage where we would be teaching for an hour and playing every day. Pankaj gave us a tour of the orphanage and explained the costs/facilities they have and would need in the future. At the time we were there, they were building a new kitchen. I found it very useful seeing the transparency of where our money was going, and I don't think you would necessarily see that if you chose to volunteer with a larger organisation.
Teaching: We were partnered up with a teaching buddy by Pankaj which worked well for some people, and not for others, as everybody naturally gravitates towards certain people/personalities. I was very lucky and my partner is now a friend for life! We taught English/Maths in the local government school in the mornings and used a rough syllabus as a guide, but it wasn't difficult. We taught colours, shapes, letters, simple addition. I didn't have any previous teaching experience, but this wasn't required as you just have fun teaching the children in creative ways. We had a resources room (donations from ex volunteers) with plenty of games, paper, crayons etc, which we brought with us to aid our teaching. We taught for 1.5 hours and our group was between 7-10 children aged around 5-8 years old, but the numbers fluctuated everyday as some children had to work in the fields with their parents or look after siblings.
In the orphanage, the boys were aged between 7-18 years old, and again we had groups of 7-10 boys each. We taught them in the afternoons for 1 hour and then played volleyball/cricket/handball afterwards. It was great fun!
In between, we had lunch at the house and 2-3 hours free time. People would either catch up on washing (washing lines on the roof), sunbathe on the roof, or go into Udaipur city and look around the markets or chill in a cafe. The local tuk tuk bus cost 10 rupees (10 pence) to travel into town, the bus stop was 5 minute walk and it was about a 15 minute ride. It was great fun riding with the locals - a couple of us were invited to a wedding on one occasion! Never a dull moment.
At the weekends, we had the option to go away on trips, which was an extra cost (I think my VV package included the Taj Mahal weekend trip). We went to Pushkar one weekend and climbed up a hill to watch the sunrise - I loved this city, the markets were amazing. We took an overnight train to Agra and visited the Taj and the third weekend trip was visiting Jodhpur and the desert. We slept under the stars with a local desert tribe and went on Jeep safari ride and watched the sunset followed by an early camel ride the next day to watch the sunrise. A very memorable trip.
Tips - take a sleeping bag, hat, gloves if you are visiting the desert in Dec/Jan/Feb. It is very cold! Rehydration satchets/immodium are a must! Don't bring tonnes of clothes, you are going to buy so much out there! Find out if there are other volunteers signed up, so you are not on your own.
Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this company or specific project and I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. To this wonderful country and wonderful people - I will be back!

What would you improve about this program?
A few hesitations - it doesn't feel like an entirely sustainable project, because we teach the children for 4 weeks and notice the difference we are making, and then we have to leave. They may not have any more volunteers for another month and this kind of ruins our hard work/what the children have achieved. Also, the weekend trips felt rather expensive, but this was maybe because we were a larger group. I was happy to catch a local bus/train instead of hiring a private mini bus to places to lower the cost.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

India is my happy place.

I booked my first trip to India very last minute (1 month before I left!) which didn't give me much time to get things ready! However Jill was so helpful that the short time restraint didn't matter, I was fully prepared when I left.
I was 17, just about to turn 18, when I flew out to India, and I'd only booked for three weeks. While there, I spent the whole time wishing I'd booked at least 4 weeks! I've since been out to India for a 6 week trip, and am going back again in 2017. The people you will meet, both Indian and other volunteers, will stay with you for a lifetime. I still talk with some of the volunteers I met on my first trip!
India is my happy place, and I'm forever grateful to Jill and Volunteer Vacations for helping me discover it, and their continued support and encouragement to explore the wonderful country!

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A magical experience

I had never been to India so did not know what to expect. Of course, I had seen much on to and the Internet but really went with open eyes and mind!

The children in the village school were some of the happiest I have ever met ...despite having very little. The village only had two or three taps for water and no sanitation as we, in the West, would know it. However, we were told that the Government were now giving grants for toilets to be built. These lovely children have nothing apart from the clothes they stood up in and the love of their families. It made me feel very humble. I am not a trained teacher or social worker ...just a retiree who lost her husband two years ago .... but I did feel I could contribute something to the project both at the village school and the boys home. The charity is doing some fantastic work and the children are so appreciative. The supervisor of the programme ...and young man wiser than his years ...was a great inspiration to both us volunteers and the children. We were lucky enough to be in India for Holi ....which was great fun for us all.

The social side of the programme gave us such an insight into this ancient culture and something I will never forget ....not just the obvious Tourist sights but riding camels though the desert at sunrise and noisy toot toots in Agra, practicing yoga on the roof as the sun set over the mountains surrounding Udipur, eating and learning to cook delicious local food, all added to a wonderful experience I will never forget! Cannot wait to do it all again!

What would you improve about this program?
Good feedback from outgoing volunteers so that the new intake would know exactly what the previous volunteers had done and could continue the work rather than starting again from scratch

As an older volunteer, better accommodation on the visits would be preferred. Not luxurious, but we were not gap year students, and a little more comfort would have been preferred.

The induction pack should be sent to volunteers before they fly and more Indian vocabulary should be included.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Not just for Gap Students!

As an older volunteer I really enjoyed spending my time in the volunteer house with young students from other parts of the world as well as getting to know the local staff at the house and on the programme generally.
The volunteering work was well supported and can be tailored to any expertise that you might bring. For example, my group focussed on health care for a couple of days and we had a great morning with the children at the school washing/de nitting hair along a production line whilst singing local songs followed by a mime session on best practice in teeth brushing!
There are basic language lessons available at the volunteer house which were helpful and I also really enjoyed the early morning yoga sessions on the rooftops above Udaipur.
My only negative from the trip is that 2 weeks was not long enough to follow through on some of the learning for the children.
Overall a well-organised fun and beneficial trip both for the children and for me.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer Vactions in India

I would highly recommend Volunteer Vacations if you are looking for the opportunity for a unique volunteering experience. Although I had visited India several times before, this was my first time as a volunteer. I felt extremely well supported by Jill, the coordinator of our small group, who provided us with a comprehensive guide before arriving in India and had arranged a well organised program for our stay. The students at the school and the orphanage were a delight and it was extremely rewarding to be able to spend valuable time with them. They were so excited to see us each time we visited, and were totally engaged in the activities we presented.
The accommodation at the Volunteer House was comfortable and clean, and the food was fantastic. Our weekend sight seeing trips topped off a fabulous, memorable, all too brief time.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Rahjastan

I very much enjoyed and learned a lot from the whole experience. It was wonderful working with like minded people on this project even though we handn't met before everyone joined in to make it a great experience for the children who were so appreciative of everything done for them. One of the real Indian experiences is going on the train to Delhi booked in a sleeper - we are allocated sleeper beds by the guard so not always together. We are given a bedding roll and towel and we took liners for sleeping bags to use as well. However the whole experience is like nothing you have ever experienced before with the local Indian population unaware of ones personal space so often a bag was dumped on one or they sat on the end of the bed while they talked through where they were going to sleep and while they sorted their bedding and also talking at the top of their voices it seemed to us!! However it was all done in good humour and no problem but just needed getting used to. They would not understand that they were disturbing our sleep..... if you have travelled before on an Indian train one just has to be thankful one has a bunk rather than sitting on top of the train!!

What would you improve about this program?
Adding extra time would give more time to benefit the children and us.
1 person found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers