Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Nepal

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About

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.

Volunteer in Nepal and help improve conditions for local children by volunteering in a Care or special needs center, or by Teaching English in a local school. You can also choose to focus on providing care and support for those affected by HIV/ADIS. If you are more interested in nature, our Himalayan Mountain Conservation project would be perfect for you!

Efforts to renovate and rebuild damaged schools after the earthquake in 2015 are also still running in Nepal. Join us in our Building project.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 23 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 23
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Jessica
10/10

Adventure and Friendship in Nepal

My time in Nepal was life-changing, and not just because I was in one of the most naturally gorgeous and culturally rich countries in the world (although that, of course, was part of it!). A big part of why my trip was so rewarding was due to the people who made it possible. Projects Abroad staff made sure that every aspect of my journey to and time in Nepal was perfect, even beyond my project. Even before I left I was in contact with PA staff who walked me through my pre-departure preparations, with any answers I needed being just a phone call or email away. This staff accessibility continued throughout my journey, with my volunteer coordinator and other staff at my placement actually becoming good friends. Even after my placement ended, PA staff was there for me whenever I needed it-they even helped me to organize my solo travel (a trip to Chitwan and time in Kathmandu) so that I didn't have to worry about a thing! The community was also fantastic; I made friends on my trip who I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life, and loved getting to know both my fellow volunteers and the locals who call Ghandruk home. I also greatly enjoyed my day-to-day; I felt truly fulfilled by the work I was doing and further had a lot of fun doing it. I can't wait to travel with Projects Abroad again!

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Jessica, it does sound like you had a terrific time in Nepal. We understand the big role our local staff play in making your experience go smoothly, so they are always going out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and that you feel safe. Thank you for sharing!

Yes, I recommend
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Lydia
10/10

Nepal - Physiotherapy

Nepal was my first time out of the country, but it was an experience I will never forget. I knew that if I ever needed anything in Nepal, I had 20 different people I could call for help. The Projects Abroad staff was so awesome and helpful. They made sure to place us with a caring and kind family, and with supervisors who wanted to teach us. My time in Nepal is something I value very much, but the knowledge and background that I now have for physiotherapy and foreign countries is so much more.

My favorite part of Nepal was my host family. I stayed with 3 other volunteers and now have 3 new best friends from around the world. My host mom was the absolute sweetest human being I had ever met. She was constantly making sure that we were all comfortable and happy. Her three sons were always there to help and even pick us up from town if we needed a ride. My roommate could not figure out how to get home from her placement, and kept getting lost. My host family was always ready to pick her up when she was lost and even walked to and from work with her for a week. My host mom had a knack for making maps to help us to get work and to town and I will never forget them. The food was impeccable and we experienced true Nepali culture. My host mom will always hold a special place in my heart.

Outside of work and home, I got to get really close with the other volunteers. Going to a foreign country for 5 weeks could be a taxing challenge, but having 30 other people to do it with made it so much easier. Every Friday, the staff at projects abroad organized a group activity. We learned about Nepal culture and food, while getting to see all the volunteers. This allowed us to get to know each other and have friends to hang out with on the weekends. Besides our Friday night activity, the staff also organized outreaches weekly. This meant that typically once a week, we went out to the community and participated in something related to our placement. In physiotherapy, we typically went with the medical volunteers to talk to schools and kids about hygiene, health and activity. Other times, a doctor or physiotherapist would come in and teach us something new. I valued this experience because it was constantly challenging me in my field. Along with the challenge, I got to exchange information and knowledge with people who valued the same stuff as me. The Projects Abroad staff always made sure that our outreaches pertained to our field and were important for the community or us. Overall, my experience in Nepal is something that I will never forget.

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Lydia. Thanks for sharing! It's great to hear you feel so supported by our staff and welcomed by your host family. We believe these are key aspects of your volunteering abroad experience. It's also important to be part of an international community of volunteers, so you are able to make friends with similar interests from around the world. Thank you for all your help and disposition in your project - I am sure your patients are just as grateful!

Yes, I recommend
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Jennie
10/10

Conservation in the Himalayas

My experience during the Himalayan Mountain Conservation Project in Nepal with Projects Abroad was absolutely incredible and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Ghandruk is a beautiful village with a breathtaking view of the Himalayas and it's worth the trip just to see the mountains! The people in Ghandruk and in Nepal as a whole are the nicest people that I have ever encountered.

The trip was very organized and all of the Projects Abroad staff members were helpful, full of knowledge, and always available if I had any questions. The actual conservation work in Ghandruk taught me quite a lot about the plants and wildlife in that area of the Himalayas. I was able to see certain animals and plants that I have never seen before, such as a snow leopard on the camera trap (which is very rare). There are many stairs that make up the village so you will get a great workout and be in fantastic shape by the time your project is over. You will also meet other volunteers and form friendships with people from all around the world. I would recommend this project for anyone that loves nature and is looking for a bit of an adventure. I promise that it is an amazing and life changing experience from beginning to end.

Yes, I recommend
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Melissa
10/10

Excited to go Back!

HIGHLY RECOMMEND! I volunteered in a Physiotherapy clinic in Nepal through Projects Abroad and I absolutely loved my time there and want to go back when I finish grad school. I learned so much at the clinic and absolutely loved the people of Nepal! The Projects Abroad staff in Nepal were very kind as well. They made access to themselves very available and helped us in literally anything we may have needed from planning weekend trips to giving the taxi directions.

How can this program be improved?
They need to update the information on the clinic a bit more often for a clearer image of what was going to actually be asked of volunteers in the clinic, but staff in Nepal were very helpful once there.
Yes, I recommend
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Hannah
9/10

Physical Therapy in Nepal

My experience with projects abroad was completely positive, which allowed me to have the most wonderful journey in Nepal. I spent 5 weeks in Nepal performing physical therapy work. I was unsure of which organization to do my project through. But due to the variety, price, and review of projects abroad I decided to do my project through them.
Getting ready to travel abroad was a very confusing process for me as I had never traveled sole to a foreign country. However, Jessica, my pre-departure support staff, was helpful. She was a little slow to answer my questions, but she always responded and answered my questions fully and to the best of her ability. I also used the pre-departure website all the time- as it was extremely helpful.
During my stay in Nepal, I have no complaints whatsoever about my experience. The host family was amazing and completely accommodating to certain health restrictions in my diet and everything. I was placed at a rehabilitation center for children with cerebral palsy. I learned so much from the physical therapist and got a lot of hands on work. At one point my placement was no longer suitable for me to work in. Because of the help of the staff, I was able to change placements and begin a new journey at an official physical therapy clinic.

Yes, I recommend
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Julia
9/10

Physical Therapy in Nepal

Volunteering through Projects Abroad was a wonderful experience. From the time you book your trip to the time you land at your final destination their staff are with you 24/7. Working in a hospital was exciting because we saw a variety of patients. Many cases we saw in the physical therapy department were different than cases you may see in your native country. For example, many farmers had lower back pain from bending over all day; this was a common pattern diagnosed and treated in the clinic. Many women were treated for wrist and elbow problems from repeatedly wringing out wet clothes. A man once came in with half his face paralyzed from a rare virus that entered through his right ear. Cases like these were so interesting to diagnose and treat. It's important as volunteers to assimilate as best we can into the lives and culture of Nepal. For me, this was best achieved by getting to know the patients. It is so important as therapists to sympathize and understand our patients. That was my favorite and most enriching part of volunteering: conversing with the patients and doctors enough to try and understand the Nepalese situation and way of life. Although it's tough to do, I found it to be the most important impact of my volunteer work.

Yes, I recommend
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Jordan
10/10

Earthquake Disaster Relief

Projects Abroad made my time in Nepal volunteering so, so amazing! As a volunteer, I was supported so much by them throughout every step of my trip - before even leaving my country all the way through being dropped off at the airport at the end of my project. I had never traveled outside of the United States prior to this trip, so I was quite nervous about pretty much everything. I needn't have worried, however; the staff had planned out everything to make the whole process run smoothly, and were well prepared to take on any problems that arose throughout my time there.
On the Disaster Relief Project, volunteers stayed in large guest houses, with about 20 volunteers as well as the host family that lived there. Living conditions were, admittedly, a bit crowded with this many of us, but it was all a great part of the experience. Also, you really get to make some great friends with other volunteers from all over the world while living together, which is truly amazing.
At work, we were given the task of rebuilding a school that had been destroyed in the earthquake. I went in knowing nothing about construction, building, or anything of the sort, but with the help of other volunteers and the staff, you pick up on everything very quickly. We spent our days digging, mixing cement, passing bricks/buckets of sand and dirt, making walls, painting, and laying floors, among other tasks. On top of that, being monsoon season in Nepal, conditions were very wet, rainy, and muddy. Walking across the site often consisted of slipping through the mud, or sinking ankle deep in muckier areas. Everyone is in the same situation, however, which really makes it quite fun, and the rain provides some relief from the hot Nepal sun that can make all of the hard work even more exhausting.
Volunteers also have the opportunity to spend one or two days at the end of every week going to one of three sites - and children's HIV center, a malnutrition/earthquake victim center, and a school - and spend the day with the kids there. This is such a great way to have a direct impact on the children of the area, and it's so much fun, as well as a nice break from the hard work being done all week on site.
Weekends consist of either traveling to the major tourist sites of Nepal - Chitwan National Park or Pokhara - which is all organized by Projects Abroad, or staying in Kathmandu, where volunteers get to see many of the major attractions and sites around the city.
This project is truly so amazing. In the short period of time I was there, I watched the school we were building come along so far. It's really great seeing first hand the impact you're making. Projects Abroad does a great job taking care of their volunteers, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to do a trip abroad.

Yes, I recommend
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Katharine
10/10

Himalayan Conservation Project

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 can 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.
Yes, I recommend
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rcheu
10/10

NEPAL - Projects-Abroad

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 can this program be improved?
Perhaps more instructions on what to bring at certain times of the year
Yes, I recommend
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Allison
10/10

2 Week Special Medecine

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 can 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!
Yes, I recommend
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Kelsey
10/10

Journey in Nepal

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 can this program be improved?
I would go during winter. Summer in the area I was placed was sooo hot! About 115 degrees everyday!
Yes, I recommend
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Lauren
10/10

2 Week Special in Nepal

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 can this program be improved?
N/A
Yes, I recommend
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Yoyo
9/10

2-week special for medicine!

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!

Yes, I recommend
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domorackisr1
10/10

My senior project

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Volunteer2011
3/10

Nepal

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..

No, I don't recommend

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About Projects Abroad

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...