Buddhism in Nepal is the second-largest religion and is home to major Buddhist monuments and monasteries in the capital city of Kathmandu.
Every year, the city usually receives travelers from all over the world, visiting the Buddha Stupa Boudhanath and the Swyambhu Maha Chaitya Swayambhunath stupas. These are famous architectural sites found only in Nepal.
Nepal has many spectacular Buddhist monasteries. Hundreds of monks are trained from a young age and raised inside their peaceful walls, where they mostly use the Tibetan language in their studies, having limited chances to learn English. These monasteries are welcoming and calm places following Buddhist philosophy and are open to local and international visitors. A week here is the perfect volunteer vacation for those interested in an immersive cultural experience centered on spirituality and learning.
You'll land on Sunday, with a full day of sightseeing in Kathmandu the next day. The rest of the week is at the monastery, teaching, doing cultural activities, and exploring your surroundings. You will be visiting one of four Kathmandu monasteries, where the young monks' age ranges from 7 to 14 years old. Chholing, Chovar, and Nala are the boys' monasteries, and Nanarry is for girl monks.
Your volunteer teaching time will be around 4-5 hours daily. You'll be teaching young monks English, arts & crafts, and sports while learning about Buddhist philosophy, their practices, traditions, and joining in on celebrations!
FOOD AND LODGING
All meals are included. Nepali cuisine is heavily influenced by India, China, and Tibet, adding an authentic culinary twist. Expect meals of rice, flatbreads, and a variety of side dishes. Beef is generally not eaten or requested.
Our Mystic Nepal program offers you the chance to live at the monastery during your week!
There are four rooms at each monastery, two rooms with two single beds and two rooms with three single beds. Western toilets are available in the common area and reserved for the volunteers' use only. Internet facilities are available, although the signal may be weak. For hot water, electric kettles are available to heat bathing water in the wintertime ( which starts in October and ends in February).
It's important to note there is a strict 7 pm curfew at the monasteries, which volunteers also have to follow. Yoga sessions with the monks are at 5 am, which volunteers will not be able to join. We provide you with a private yoga instructor, who will hold sessions at the hotel or monastery when available.
Your hotel in Kathmandu will be a 3-star or equivalent hotel. Two people can share a room; however, you can book a private room for an additional price of $279. Please inform us ahead, so that we can book the private room for you. Rooms will have running water and western toilets. If you choose a hotel, there is no curfew after you have completed your day volunteering and exploring. Do not be alarmed by the occasional power blackout and spotty hotel wi-fi. The monasteries will be 10-15 minutes away by foot.
You can purchase a sim card upon arrival in Nepal, with the help of the coordinator, which is highly recommended. Transportation will be provided to and from your project site.
Your week will also include:
- Nepali language workshop.
- Nepali dress workshop.
- Yoga and meditation workshops.
- A city tour with an English-speaking guide.
- Kathmandu sightseeing of famous Buddhist monuments.
- Free time to shop in Thamel market, in the heart of Kathmandu.
- Farewell meal with the monks.
If you would like to see some additional monuments or sites in or around Kathmandu, please contact us ahead of time, so we can plan with our coordinators for an additional out-of-pocket cost. Please be understanding of any potential weather and time constraints.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be landing and departing from Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you will meet your Globe Aware coordinator and be dropped off at your accommodations, where you can catch up on some rest.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Nepal has a low crime rate; however, you should take sensible precautions. Watch out for pick-pocket purse-snatchers, particularly in airports, buses, and areas popular with foreign nationals. You should take care when walking around at night.
There have been reports of smugglers trying to entice travelers to assist in smuggling items. Under no circumstances accept - smuggling is a criminal act. Do not buy any illegal substances, the penalty in Nepal is severe. Exercise general caution and feel free to ask your coordinator for assistance or clarification of a given situation. You will need to apply for a visa to gain entry into Nepal.