India Himalaya FAQ

Where do I arrive?

You arrive at the Delhi International Airport.

Where do I stay when I arrive? Do I get an orientation?

Once you arrive, we will take you to our Delhi office for orientation. You will stay at our hostel in Delhi. Every volunteer gets orientation upon arrival. We suggest you to join one week language program in Delhi

How do I go to Dharmasala? Who is responsible for transportation?

From Delhi, you can either fly or travel by bus/train to Dharamsala. Both options are open. Volunteers are responsible for transportation.

Who takes care of me in Dharmsala?

Our local coordinator will meet you once you arrive in Dharmasala. The coordinator will have all the information about you before you arrive there. He will welcome you and provide you orientation. He will introduce you to the host family and the project. He is there to look after volunteers 24/7. We request our volunteers to share any issues or problems to the local coordinator so that he can solve your problems right away.

What can I do in my free time?

There are different activities you can engage in during your free time. Please read below for details.

  • Manali trip(1 night/2days)
  • Amritsar 1 day trip (golden temple)
  • Amritsar 2 day/1 night(golden temple and bagha border)
  • YOGA (5 DAYS)
  • Trekking

Can I communicate with my host family?

Yes you can, upon arrival. This is because we fix the host families 2 weeks before the volunteers arrive. We have many host families; however, you can call our country coordinators before you come to India. They are always ready to provide more information.

Is it safe?

Yes, Dharamsala is a safe place. It is also called mini-Tibet. The Dalai Lama lives there, thus it is known as holy land. The majority of the population comprises of Tibetan refugees. Dharamsala is also a tourist destination for Indians and foreigners. The temperature is mildly cold; tea gardens and the White Mountains are other attractions. On the other hand, we have local staff there to make sure volunteers are alright. We have never had any problems in the past. Volunteers’ safety is our first concern.

What will be my food and accommodation during my stay?

IFRE will make appropriate provision for your food, room and supervision during the time of your volunteering. During the first week of the language and cultural immersion program, volunteers stay in IFRE’s hostel in Delhi where cooks will prepare a variety of Indian food (Nan, curry, dal, chapatti, rice and pickle). During volunteering programs, volunteers stay in the project hostel or with their host family. In both places you’ll be offered a clean, simple, and safe accommodation and local food 3 times a day. While with a host family, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about local culture and you’ll find a warm and welcoming environment. IFRE’s staff will visit or call volunteers every two-four week to check your progress and inquire if you’re satisfied and happy.

Do I need to bring any items on my trip?

You may bring personal medicine, a sleeping bag and toiletries. Light warm clothes in winter and long sleeved cotton shirts & trousers in summer. Please do not forget to bring mosquito repellent.

Any other suggestions for me:

We request all volunteers to bring their cell phones. You can buy sim cards upon arrival at the airport or anywhere in India. Please bring an unlocked cell phone. Mobile connectivity is excellent in all of India. This helps volunteers to be connected with the people in India as well as back home.

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