ELI Abroad: Volunteer in Nepal
94% Rating
(14 Reviews)

ELI Abroad: Volunteer in Nepal

Join us in Nepal and immerse yourself in the culture of this breathtaking Himalayan country! Volunteer programs include caring for toddlers from poor families, teaching in a public school or Buddhist monastery, working at a rescue for street dogs and cats, assisting at an orphanage for disabled children, teaching computer classes in remote villages, school construction, or helping with an anti-human trafficking education campaign. Top off your program trekking in the Himalayas and this can truly be the experience of a lifetime!

Locations
Asia » Nepal
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Language
English
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse
Host Family
Starting Price
$335.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Airport pickup, orientation, day tour of local sights, walking tour of your neighborhood, placement coordination, accommodations at the volunteer house (a nice shared accommodation with western amenities), 2 meals a day, free internet access at the volunteer house, and 24 hour in-country support by our local office.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    89%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    94%
  • Value
    86%
  • Safety
    96%

Program Reviews (14)

Default avatar
lucia
Female
22 years old
Spain
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

Medical Internship In Nepal

9/10

First day we arrived to the volunteers house, everything was great. people, staff, and the lovely Didi. Now we are living, after a month, we believe that the house is now our home. Rooms are comfortable and cozy. Food is really nice and served with so much love. the rest of the house is always clean and available for us.

Talking about the medical program, We have chosen this program to see, learn and help as much as possible, and finally we have very useful, or needed.
We think, that maybe, this program should be focus on rural areas where our help may be more needed. Nevertheless, at the hospital people have received us with love.
After two weeks in this situation and due to our feeling of uselessness, we talked with the staff and they changed us to a school program one week and to another hospital the last one.
although the school was not our first option, we enjoyed a lot. On the other hand, the last hospital in Bhaktapur was great. We wish we could have been in this hospital since the first week as the make us feel we were really needed.

To conclude, we have to say that we are very happy with the experience, but we think that it has a very high price related to what we have really done {as we came with high expectations to help )

Alejandra Delgado
Andrea Fernandez

How can this program be improved?

- As we have advanced level of medical techniques and knowledge, we think that we are much more useful doing than just watching. Maybe a rural area or a medical camp will have better option.
- As we have already said, we believe that if the price was a little bit lower, much more people would come here with no doubt.

Default avatar
Santiago
Male
20 years old
Spain
Comillas Pontifical University

teaching program

8/10

The first 2 weeks I was sent to teach in a public school. It was an ok experience but I was disappointed as I had to teach kids of 3 years and I did more babysitting than teaching. However the second 2 weeks went better because we changed to teach students of 12 years and we actually teach a lot. We regret of not having had started in this second programme since the beginning.
Talking about the Eli staff I think they did not do as much as I paid for the programme, I am really disappointed with this fact. I hope this review helps to change their way of working making it more efficient.

How can this program be improved?

Said it above

Default avatar
Lauren
Female
29 years old
Mesa, AZ
Northern Arizona University

Nepal Review

9/10

I had a great experience exploring the city, visiting the local temples and stupas, and learning more about the Nepali culture. The staff in Nepal were very welcoming and helpful for anything that were to come up. The students at the school were very lovable, and I enjoyed my time working with them. There were a variety of things to do, including trekking, spas, meditation retreats, paragliding, boating, and animal safari! This experience allowed me to meet new people during my trip, but also enjoy time to myself to explore the city.

Default avatar
Victor
Male
35 years old
Nepal
Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera

Human Rights Experience

9/10

The experience within the Human Rights field of Nepal was unique, and through this program I felt as if I was able to get a real experience of living and working in Nepal. Everyone within the house was very helpful, and I never ran out of things to do while in Nepal, whether it be travelling, sightseeing, zoga, or going out. Nepal is a country full of rich culture and some of the most kind people in the world, that greatly can enhance your volunteering experience.

How can this program be improved?

The pre departure information could be more up to date and relevant to current life in Nepal, and communication about placements needs to be worked on so that participants know exactly what they will be doing before they arrive

Default avatar
Park
Male
21 years old
Nepal
University at Buffalo- SUNY

My Review

10/10

My trip absolutely exceeded my expectations. I did not know very much about Nepal before I came but have been pleasantly surprised the more I have progressed through my program. I have been volunteering at a human rights organization called SASANE. It is the first time I have truly been able to put all the knowledge I have gained through my schooling into real work. SASANE as an organization is especially unique because it is run by victims of human trafficking, they made me feel at home as soon as I walked in the door. Another great part of my journey was the site seeing that was organized by our VolNepal, shouts out to my boy Shiba. The volunteer house was a great place to stay, our Didis were two of the kindest women that I have met in my life and the amount of gratitude and love I have for them is endless. The amazing people I have met wether they be other volunteers or the great people of Nepal will always have a special place in my heart. So thank you to everyone that made this life changing experience possible.

How can this program be improved?

Overall my experience was excellent but there are a couple things that could be fixed. One of the things that could be improved about the program is that the volunteers should be allowed to stay out longer at night. I understand it is a safety hazard but as a 21 year old I feel as if I am responsible enough to stay out later than 9 pm. Although this is not a big deal it hindered some of the plans that we made while in the program. There were some other minor problems along the way but nothing we couldn't overcome and nothing that would change my view on the experience.

Default avatar
Bailey
Female
21 years old
Nepal
University of Wisconsin- Stevens-Point

School and monastery 2017

10/10

Great program and great experience! The staff are involved, experienced, and willing to help. There is always more to explore in the city. The work is meaningful but there is always time to travel to nearby attractions and cities to get to know the people and country in a different way.
I worked in both the school and monastery working with kiddos on developmental milestones, social skills, and learning basic English. I like how these program locations were primarily run by Nepali people, allowing you an opportunity to get to know locals within your field of interest. I gained valuable volunteer experience, but also connected with others and got to travel and see beautiful things. Great opportunity!

Default avatar
Ming Jun
Male
24 years old
Singapore
Other

Time in Gorsyang by Ming Tamang

9/10

The way to Gorsyang was one filled with excitement and a little bit of fear. The mountainous roads were winding and the driver drove like a boss along the roads. Along the way there, we helped to push a van stuck in mud as well as waited for excavators to clear the road blocked by a recent landslide. All these were not part of the plan and brought about a sense of uncertainty and unease.

When we eventually reached Gorsyang, we met up with another volunteer who had been in the village for the past 2 months and she told us briefly about the workings of the village such as when meal times were, where to get water and where the toilets were. The first night was very rough for us as we did not have time to shower after a long dusty journey to the village and there were too many flies which prevented us from sleeping.

Eventually, we found out about using mosquito coils the next morning and that solved our insect problem. We then found out that the shower was actually just a running water source by the side of the road and we were quite shocked by that. We also got to know more about the various projects the school was working on from the previous volunteer and one of the teachers at the school.

In spite of the sharp change in living conditions, the people of the village welcomed us very warmly, the kids especially. We played carom with the locals and this kabaddi game with the kids. Besides teaching some basic computer skills, we also taught in some of the classes when some of the teachers were not around. It was through all these small interactions with them which let us know them better. We tried to show them, through photos, some of our past travel experience in the process show them more about the world and they brought us into their world by playing with us and sharing some of their food with us. While the time we spent with them was very short, I hoped that what we did will inspire them to seek out the wider world.

The links we made with them, be they through facebook or email will also be invaluable after we leave the village and even after we leave the country.

How can this program be improved?

There could be a brief on the differences in living conditions to mentally prepare the participants. Ultimately, the participants still have to go through the experience to understand it.

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William
Male
24 years old
Nepal
Appalachian State University

Medical Internship In Nepal

9/10

I had the opportunity to shadow/volunteer at a hospital here in Kathmandu and I had an great experience! Although there was a language barrier present the nurses and doctors worked with me to be able to understand what all was going on. I learned so much not only about their healthcare process but also about the culture in general. Nepal has been a great place and I'm very glad I chose to come here for my placement! The staff here for the program was also very helpful in organizing and assisting in getting everything together for the placements!

Default avatar
Guan Ze
Male
22 years old
Singapore
Other

Experience in Gorsyang

9/10

The living conditions in Gorsyang was an eye opener as compared to the life in Singapore. After a few days, we were able to adapt to the different living conditions. It was enjoyable to be able to interact with the children. The hosts at both Kathmandu and Gorsyang were very welcoming and treated us very well, by providing us with more than the daily 3 meals a day. New volunteers to Gorsyang should be mentally prepared and be able to adapt to the different conditions as well.

How can this program be improved?

Prepare the future volunteers with mosquito coil

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Leta
Female
44 years old
Dallas, TX
Southern Methodist University

Leta

10/10

Great experience..... friendly and knowledgeable staff.... based on your needs and abilities. I have anxiety and claustrophobia and my fiancé had a weak stomach and the bumps and turns were too much for him anish recognized that we needed a different form of transportation for our journey and that made all the difference in our experience. We also wanted to experience Nepal not as just tourists and we were given opportunities to live in villages and help schools that were outside Kathmandu. I did have a lot of culture shock and would recommend people that are coming to travel with a partner to help with this but I would also come back to help with the plans that I am recommending be put in place.

How can this program be improved?

Knowledge of up and coming experiences.

Default avatar
Muhammad
Male
20 years old
Islamabad, Pakistan
Other

an adventure of a lifetime

9/10

I don't know where to start from, Nepal is a travelers paradise. extremely cultural, overly polluted with people and shamelessly amazing. just one thing, whenever do you plan to come to Nepal, forget what people say to you about it and just pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime. the people are beautiful inside out (they dress so well) and there are 7 UNESCO world heritage sites just in Kathmandu valley. the school faculty with who I collaborated with were so eager to welcome volunteer and the children were amazingly naughty and rambunctious. believe me that place is 100% safe, my driver back in Pakistan is Nepali and he told me even at 3 in the morning you are as safe as at back home and he was right, I left my wallet in a taxi and the cab driver found me and gave it back to me. Nepal is surely not a place to miss from the amazingly cooked daal bhat and momos to its exuberant tourist destinations.

Default avatar
Veronique
Female
24 years old
Melbourne, Australia
RMIT

Couldn't have asked for a better experience

10/10

I studied International Development for a couple of years before heading to Nepal for a three month volunteering stint with ELI Abroad, so I'd had a fair few experiences with meaningless "voluntourism", huge expenses to volunteer, and organizations just in it for the money.
My experience with ELI was the opposite to everything I had feared - the costs were reasonable (better than reasonable), the support staff were accessible and in it to help, not to make a quick dollar, and - most importantly - I felt like I had the chance to actually impact others and set up a lasting program.
I taught English at an orphanage to a beautiful group of children. The orphanage was (and is!) struggling - the owner tries her hardest and has put her own personal finances into the orphanage, but they need all the support they can get. It was so amazing to see how little they got by on, and how much they appreciate volunteers. It was amazing the way they would offer me food, drinks, time... they may have not had very much, but they were endlessly generous.
I had so much fun learning and participating in cultural activities, learning about Nepal and Kathmandu, planning lessons for the children, and building relationships with the staff.
Living in the volunteer share house in Kathmandu was fun, it was so great having people to travel with on the weekends. The staff there were beautiful and so willing to go out of their way to help us out with travel plans, lesson ideas, cultural quirks. They provided us with a home, a place where we felt safe and comfortable.
I'd recommend ELI as an organization, and Sarita's Orphanage as a volunteer experience, to anyone. I'd love to volunteer again, and would no hesitation planning any kind of experience with ELI.
I'd recommend Nepal because it's everything I never expected, because it's an entirely different world, because it's loud and busy and poor and yet, beautiful and spiritual and generous.
Sarita's orphanage is filled with love, and anyone who wants to visit the children there will be welcomed with open arms.

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David
Male
57 years old
Durango, Colorado
Southern Methodist University

Money Can't Buy Experience

10/10

I went to Sarita's in Kathmandu thinking I would provide this altruistic SERVICE and also learn something that would benefit me. While both became true, However, the priorities were reversed. I worked primarily with Veronique Murphy from Australia with the children in the school each day. Initially, I saw myself teaching these beautiful children in a poverty-stricken country English. There is a saying, "the teacher arrives when the student is ready." Well I discovered I was the student and the children were the teachers. While I did not know their native language, Nepali, we discovered the universal language of LOVE expressed through feelings, interactions and activities regardless of age, culture, religion or IQ. These children activated my soul that had become dormant through my deadening life experiences in the materialistic world of the Western culture in the U.S.A. It became clear that the relationship was most important and these children were grateful for any positive interaction. Each day we were met with a dozen smiling faces :) :) :). It made no difference that they may have only ONE MEAL a day, shabby clothes, unclean water, and one bed to share with 2-4 others they thrived on the time they shared with the volunteers. I am going to sound Selfish but if you want to be a better person, discover your new gifts and develop skills that will guide you through the rest of your life...volunteer your services to the children at Sarita's Safe Haven Orphanage in Kathmandu. As for the children, I have no doubt that they will be blessed by your presence.

My Highlight Experience - a Nepali friend, Hari, took me on a trek to a Hindu temple high on a mountain in the north Kathmandu Valley. As we walked through a poverty stricken village, a grandmother guided her 3 year old granddaughter to my path. As I approached them, the little girl bowed with her hands folded to give me the NAMASTE GESTURE. I was initially stunned but recovered to kneel in great awe and appreciation and return the Namaste and to "blow her a kiss" that was spontaneously returned. Once again I learned the meaning of: "and a child shall lead them!"

Greatest Difficulty - My greatest difficulty was LEAVING the wonderful children, Sarita's staff, VolNepal staff and the Nepali people. I plan to return.

How can this program be improved?

I believe that every experience can be growthful. Veronique, my partner, and I felt that it would be helpful if we had some document helping us to understand the setting at Sarita's, the routine, the needs, our role, how to best interact with the staff. We felt we could contribute to the lives of the children BUT were there structures and How to Do Manuals that we could establish that would assist those volunteers who followed us. Veronique took up this task and did a wonderful job of writing papers and manuals to assist others. One must understand that many of the human service practices of Nepal are very primitive and undeveloped. The fundamental needs of food and shelter have been the priority. ELI (Experiential Learning International) is a major contributor to assisting this country place human services at the front of its priorities.

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Jmilard
Male
24 years old
New York City, NY
Stony Brook University

A once in a lifetime experience

10/10

An average teaching day for me with ELI started with about a twenty minute walk to Aruni English School (in Balaju, Kathmandu) where I volunteered for a month teaching English to 5th,7th, and 9th graders. I walked alongside an Australian volunteer who taught there as well and we would take in the sights and sounds making sure to avoid fast moving vehicles or puddles from last night's rain. Together we would wait in the principal's office until the day and begin exchanging our lesson plans for the day. We arrived at the school around 11am despite classes starting at 8am since we each only taught three periods each. We would teach about two classes and get fed some Nepali food which usually involved some type of curry (potatoes or chickpeas) and various types of bread (roti). This food was probably some of the tastiest I've had in Nepal and the food there is great so that's saying a lot. My lessons with my students generally involve working out of their English grammar books or any supplementary materials I provide. The students were very well behaved and very grateful for the opportunity to learn English from a native English speaker. I only had to deal with one discipline issue and that can be easily handled if you send the student to the office. As I left for the day, I would receive a resounding "Thank you sir for teaching us, have a nice day, see you tomorrow, bye bye". After the school day ended for us, we worked with the school's basketball team to share our knowledge of the sport. (I didn't know too much but the other volunteer did so it worked out better than expected).

I think back on these days now and then and I still find it hard to describe how incredible of an experience I had teaching in Nepal. My name is Jonathan Milard. (That's me in the black shirt!) I'm currently a sixth grade Social Studies teacher in New York City. I volunteered for the month of September in 2012. I absolutely loved my experience. I loved it mainly because of the staff support, the students, and the country as a whole.

The staff at the volunteer house is great: They give you all the support you need, pair you with other volunteers if you fear your task might be too daunting, and even show you around the area and set up trips for you don't know who to turn to to plan excursions. They also respond to your emails quickly. They also let you know when other volunteers will be at the volunteer house so you have a bunch of buddies to explore with. And even if you travel at a time with not many other volunteers, you can easily make friends in Thamel, which is a 10 minute walk from the volunteer house.

In terms of teaching, I wanted to teach abroad to gain some experience teaching and I definitely did that during my experience with ELI. The students were also very respectful so teaching them was a great experience for me. I would sing songs from the U.S with them and learn some Nepali from them as well. Teaching abroad seems like a daunting task, but the support that I needed was given and since all Nepali high school students have to take an English test, more students have a basis in English than you would expect. The real challenge with them is to work on their conversation skills, but that comes with practice. I highly recommend teaching in Nepal if you are interested in teaching or want a change of pace.

One more reason I recommend volunteering through ELI abroad is that the country is amazing. I chose Nepal simply because I had a friend who also volunteered through ELI and loved it, but I wish I took the initiative to learn about it before. If I did, I probably would have gone sooner. The people are friendly, it's a very safe country, the food is cheap and delicious (momos.), and there is a lot to do and see, whether it be visiting historic sites, going on an elephant safari, going on yoga or meditation retreats, celebrating religious festivals, getting a massage, bungee jumping (highly recommend that), going on a trek, or just hanging out in Thamel.

Volunteering abroad is a scary thing, but you're in good hands if you do it with ELI. Nepal can provide you with some experiences you can hold on to for life. I could not speak more highly of this program and I hope you take advantage out there! Just be willing to walk, willing to accommodate, and be willing to experience adventure. Namaste.

How can this program be improved?

This program actually changed one of my main issues with it! The cost! The cost is much lower than it was when I volunteered, so I suggest that others take advantage of this opportunity!

About The Provider

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ELI is a registered non-profit organization, founded in 2001, that partners with organizations from around the world that make a difference in their communities. We work closely with these groups to ensure ELI volunteers get meaningful experiences at reasonable prices.

ELI's full name, Experiential Learning

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