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Kathmandu - Teaching at Buddhist Monasteries

Ferðaáætlun

Kathmandu - Teaching at Buddhist Monasteries

About Your Location

Your new home will be an authentic Buddhist monastery. According to availability, you can choose between different monasteries in or around Kathmandu. While the nearest one is just within Kathmandu, the furthest takes a 12-hour (overnight) bus ride and 4 hours of hiking to get to. Did we already say it’s authentic?

Aims & Objectives

To help teach monks English and reversely, to get you immersed into the lifestyle in a monastery and to help you learn about Buddhism. Please note, however, that we cannot guarantee that you will be able to learn a lot about Buddhism at the monastery from the monks themselves, because only few monks can communicate well in English and it depends on whether they have time for you. In any case you will have a very good chance to observe the practices of Buddhism in Nepal.

Weekly Schedule & Activities

Arrival Day
Arrival day is Sunday, and you will be picked up at the airport between 06:00 and midnight. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the volunteer accommodation in Kathmandu. On Monday, you will get help booking a private transfer to the monastery (at own cost).

Introduction Day
Your project starts with an introduction day on the first Monday including a tour of the area surrounding the accommodation, available facilities, cultural "do's and don'ts", safety concerns as well as some basic local language lessons.

Monday to Friday
From Monday to Friday you will teach different subjects, including English, to the monks, both young and old, for about 2 to 3 hours every day. Apart from this activity, you are free to also take part in other activities such as kitchen gardening or work at the library etc.

Culture Week

This program also includes a Culture Week. Experience and get an in-depth knowledge of the ancient traditions, culture, language, temples, and Buddhist monasteries in this Himalayan country. Our Culture Week will get you kickstarted into this amazing country located at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. Not only will you get to learn about the language and lifestyle, but you will also visit temples, go on a hiking tour and even take part in a scavenger hunt race at a local market!

Aims & Objectives of the Culture Week
During this week, you will learn about Nepalese culture through a series of introductory culture classes which are designed to help you develop your Nepalese language skills and deepen your understanding of the Nepalese way of life complete with details on rituals and customs. You will learn about Nepal's history and the religious influences which have shaped it. Moreover, we will pay a visit to the local shops and markets that will get you learning as you go with the local culture and how to become a part of it. As part of your city tour and orientation, you will also visit some amazing sites such as the temple of Swayambhunath: one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Kathmandu.

Schedule***
Monday
Puja to the gods & goddesses and name-giving ceremony
Go over the week’s schedule and handling of documents
An introduction game to get to know fellow participants
Cultural seminar on social behavioral norms, dos & don’ts in Nepalese culture. Intercultural eating and drinking habits, bathing and clothing customs in Nepalese culture.
A little assignment for you to explore your neighborhood and find local civic places such as banks (ATM), temples, schools, restaurants etc.

Tuesday
A social interactive session to get to know each other and an opportunity to bring out concerns about your health etc so that we will be aware.
Nepali language training
Shopping at the local market
Orientation tour of the city of Nepal with an interesting game called “Scavenger Hunt”, we will tell you more about this when you are here
Movie Night

Wednesday
Yoga and meditation
Nepali cooking session
Cultural as well as historical orientation tour to Sleeping Bishnu, Jamchen Vijay Stupa and ISKON Temple as ISP

Thursday
A cultural as well as historical orientation tour to the famous Swayambhunath temple
A talk on schooling and education system in Nepal and placement sites
Culture Night

Friday
It’s all about hiking today! We will go on a nature trail into the mountains to get a view of Kathmandu valley.
Feedback sharing (evaluation)

***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

Public Holidays

This project isn’t affected by public holidays, but there may be slight changes to the Culture Week if it overlaps with public holidays:

2024
24 April
01, 23 & 29 May
17 June
19-20, & 26 August
06-07, 17 & 19 September
03, 10-12, 14-15 & 17 October
01-02, 07 & 15 November
25 & 30 December

School Holidays
Mid March to 3rd week of April every year - School Holidays - Term break

Volunteers can join the construction or kindergarten program. Please note that the school holidays are sometimes adjusted depending on the school’s plans

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
Basic level of competency in English
Educational requirements: High school graduate
Police Clearance Certificate on sign-up
Copy of CV/resume on sign-up
Passport copy required up on arrival
Travel & medical insurance
4 passport size photographs (that can also be taken locally at the start of your program)

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.
Samantekt

Hvað er innifalið?

Aukakostnaður á áfangastaðnum
None

Afþreyingar

Weekends free. Please note, however, that some monasteries have a different weekend system as they follow the lunar calendar.

Gisting

Project Accommodation at the Monastery
Rooms at the monasteries are shared normally between 4 to 6 participants with shared bathroom facilities. Wi-Fi is very limited at the monasteries. Please note that in Asia, cold showers are the norm.

We have monasteries in different locations: Kathmandu, Pharping, Namobuddha and Serlo monestary in the Everest region. In Kathmandu, the monastery is in Tinchuli, Boudha. When teaching at Boudha monastery, you will be staying at the volunteer house in Kathmandu because this monastery is damaged by the earthquake meaning there is no space to stay. For the other monasteries (Pharping, Namobuddha and Serlo) you will be staying at monastery.

Serlo monastery is the farthest one, and it takes about 12 hours by jeep and an overnight stay in Phaplu in addition to about a 4-hour hike the following day to reach the Serlo Monastery. The monastery in Namobuddha is about a 4-hour drive from Kathmandu, whereas the monastery in Pharping is about 2 hours by car from the capital.

Accommodation During Culture Week
During the Culture Week, you will stay at the volunteer house in Kathmandu. The volunteer house is 5 km away from the city centre and has rooms with 4 to 6 people sharing on a single gender basis and space for up to 36 volunteers. The modern bathrooms with hot showers are shared with your roommates. There is a modern kitchen and dining room, a frigerator where you can store food and beverages, a fully furnished living room, live-in staff on call 24/7, a garden with a comfortable, covered area for relaxing including a smoking area as well as 24/7 security. Other amenities available at the centre are a TV with SKY, DVD player and Wi-Fi. Unfortunately the internet connection might occasionally be slow and irregular. Laundry facilities are available at an additional fee. The nearest ATM and supermarket are located a 15-minute walk away from your accommodation.

Please note:
In the winter season it can get very cold.
It is not common for hostels and volunteer accommodation to provide heating, we would therefore recommend you take a warm sleeping bag or silk sleeping bag liner with you for extra warmth. Extra blankets are available locally, please make sure you ask for additional blankets, if you are feeling cold.

Staðbundnar samgöngur

Arrival Information
If your flight arrives on Sunday between 06:00 and midnight, we will pick you up from the relevant airport. Look for the 'The Green Lion Nepal' sign board at the airport outside the arrival gate.

Transfer Coordinator: Prema (she speaks English)
Mobile:+977 9860 270 140 / +977 9813 235 329
If you are lost or have any major concerns regarding your transfer, please try to contact the coordinator at the airport first.

Emergency: Rajesh Shrestha (he speaks English)
Mobile: +977 9851 034 651
Land line: +977 1 437 7623 / +977 14377696
Email: [email protected]
Use these numbers only in case of a GENUINE emergency. If you experience problems with your pick-up, please call the transfer coordinator at the airport first before trying these numbers.

Tourist Police: Dial 4226359 / 4226403
The Tourist Police of Kathmandu are trained to assist you in English. Direct any safety concerns to them.

Transportation to and from the Monastery is not included
Transfer is by private car/jeep. This is paid for locally and costs between EUR 11.50 and EUR 39 per transfer, depending upon the distance to the monastery. The exact amount will be confirmed before departure and depends upon which monastery has availability. All volunteers return to our centre in Kathmandu at the end of their project and leave the accommodation on Saturday morning. Departure transfer is not included as due to the many different personal plans and return flight times, it's logistically simpler for you to make your own way - whether it is to do more travelling or to catch your flight from Kathmandu Airport.

Máltíðir

Local (vegetarian) dishes on site, 3 meals a day during weekdays, 2 meals a day during weekends.

At the monasteries only tea is served, no coffee.

Frekari upplýsingar

Dress Code
Casual dress is appropriate during your time at the school, however, no see-through clothes or low-cut tops are permitted.

What to Bring
Toilet paper, towels, toiletries, mosquito nets and mosquito repellant are NOT provided so you will have to bring these along with you. Please also bring hiking shoes and tidy clean clothes for temple visits, and take care of malaria precautions.

Visa
Please remember to take care of the visa arrangements on time.

SIM Card
We highly recommend buying a cheap local SIM Card for your whole time in Nepal, not only for your own personal safety, but also for easier and cheaper communication with the other volunteers, staff and family back home, and especially if you are traveling to us by yourself. You can usually get one during the Culture Week. You will have to have 1 passport size photograph and a copy of the passport with your visa to get a SIM Card.

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