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Volunteer Nepal Monastery
Have you dreamed of immersing yourself in the hallowed halls of a Buddhist monastery?
How would you like to help teach young monks English and empower them to spread their message of peace to the world?
Although 80% of Nepal’s population is Hindu, this mystical country high in the Himalayan mountains is actually the birthplace of Buddhism.
Home to elaborate temples and monasteries people from around the world pilgrimage to seeking spiritual enlightenment, Nepal offers a fascinating look into the Buddhist culture.
More than 150,000 Tibetans live in exile in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Of those exiled, nearly 20 percent live in Nepal, where they are now free to practice their religion and rebuild their cultural heritage. As a result of this, there are several large monasteries in and around the surrounding mountains of Kathmandu where monks live and devote their lives to Buddhism.
With globalization and other developments, there is a great need and desire for young monks to learn English. As there are no English teachers in the monasteries, our volunteers can teach English to volunteers so they can spread their message more widely.
When you join IFRE’s Buddhist monastery volunteer program in Nepal, you teach the monks English and help them spread their important teachings to a modern and changing world. This will make a huge difference in both the lives of the monks and of those that come to them to learn the message of Buddhism.
Contact IFRE today to learn more about volunteering to teach English at a Buddhist monastery in Nepal!
Volunteer Responsibilities and Impact:
This project is not available year-round and is closed the end of December through the end of February.
You will be teaching English to young Buddhist monks between the ages of 5-17 with the assistance of a Lopon, or Buddhist master. You can expect to conduct 3-4 classes per day, each about an hour long. You will also organize fun extracurricular activities like singing, indoor games, dancing, drawing, etc. Mornings and late evenings will be free, which is the perfect chance to witness monastery rituals and participate in meditation and prayer ceremonies.
Volunteering in a Buddhist monastery Nepal is an amazing chance to immerse yourself in the Buddhist culture and learn and grow spiritually. By teaching English to the young monks, you are enriching their lives and giving them the tools they need to spread their message of peace and acceptance to the world.
Skills and Qualifications:
Other than a fluency in English, there are no specific skills or experience needed to join this teaching project.
The most important qualification for this project is a desire to help young monks learn and to make a big difference in their lives. You must be 18 years or older and speak English. Volunteers with a strong interest in Buddhism and learning more about monastery life will get the most out of this experience.
Nepal monastery volunteers must show a high level of respect to the monks, the Sherpa community, and the rules and customs of the monastery. You should behave as a good role model for the young monks, and dress conservatively. Shorts and tanks tops will not be permitted except in the privacy of your own room.
Each day you work in the monastery will be an amazing experience as you immerse yourself in Buddhist teachings and the way of life of the monks.
At this unique project, your daily schedule will revolve around the activity of the monastery. Your day will be punctuated by times of prayer, ceremony, and reflection. Your schedule will likely vary from day to day, but here is a sample to give you an idea of what to expect:
- 5:30 AM: Begin your day by joining in the traditional Puja (prayers).
- 7:30 AM: Enjoy breakfast to fuel up for a day of volunteering.
- 9:00 AM To 11.00 AM: Have a great time teaching English to the young monks.
- 11:00 AM To 11.30 AM: Teatime.
- 11:30 AM To 12.00 PM: Your classes continue.
- 12:00 AM To 2.00 PM: A break for lunch. A great time to connect with your students.
- 2:00 AM To 4.00 PM: Class time resumes, and you and the Lopon continue teaching the kids.
- 4:00 AM To 4.30 PM: Teatime .
- 4:30 AM To 6.00 PM: Refreshments are served, and you can join the evening Puja.
- 6:00 PM: Dinner. Another great chance to learn more from the monks in the monastery. Get some rest so you can wake early and join the prayers the following morning. Spend some time reflecting on the things you have learned.
Volunteer Nepal Monastery : Dates and Fees
IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.
IFRE is the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to travel internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured; we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly program fee goes directly to your host family, and includes housing, food, project donation and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.
Language and Culture program $250
Program Fees Cover:
- Accommodation (volunteer house or host family)
- Food (local food 3 times a day)
- Program Orientation
- In-country support
- Personalized project
- Pre-departure information
- Certificate of completion
- Fundraising ideas and letters
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program Fees Exclude:
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
Accommodation and Meal
Male volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal will have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of living in the monastery. Women are not allowed to stay in the monastery overnight and will be placed in the safe and comfortable home of a local host family. Your volunteer fee includes three local meals a day.
Free Time and Weekends:
This project is perfect for volunteers who want to spend their free time observing and participating in prayers and rituals taking place in the monastery, and spending their time learning more about Buddhism. You can venture into the surrounding areas during free time, but you are expected to return to the monastery before dark. Use the weekends to explore exciting and beautiful Nepal!
Safety and in Country Support
Your safety is our main priority here at IFRE. We have a fantastic in-country team who will support and guide you every step of the way while you are volunteering with monks in Nepal. We have carefully vetted every single aspect of your trip and will make sure you have a secure and successful volunteer trip abroad.Learn more about IFRE’s safety and in-country support in Nepal.
Volunteer Nepal Monastery : FAQs
Arrival and Departure
You will fly into the Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal. As part of your volunteer fee, we’ll make sure one of our trusted local representatives is right there waiting for you when you land. They’ll take you safely to your accommodations. We suggest arriving a day early to get some rest so you can start your project refreshed and ready to go.
After you complete your teaching English Nepal volunteer program, you’ll be responsible for your own departure transportation. Have a chat with our local project staff, and they’ll be happy to offer you advice on how to set up a taxi to the airport.
You are probably wondering whether or not you’ll need a visa for your volunteer trip. To demystify the process, we break it down for you. Depending on your nationality, you may be able to obtain a tourist visa upon your arrival at the airport in Nepal. The lines can be quite long during peak tourist season, so we recommend applying for your visa ahead of time through your home country’s consulate.
You will get a 90 days tourist visa and you can extend it by visiting the immigration offices located in Kathmandu. Before joining our Nepal monastery volunteer program, we suggest you do your research ahead of time regarding what travelers need to do coming from your home country. Check outNepal’s immigration website to learn more.
The last thing you want when you’re in the magical country of Nepal is to get sick. Getting vaccinated prior to travel can help reduce this risk considerably. Make an appointment with a travel doctor to discuss what vaccines you’ll need.
The main recommended vaccinations for visiting and volunteering in Nepal programs are Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Meningitis. However, you may also need vaccinations against Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies depending on your project placement.
Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada or Travelers' Health United Kingdom for more information.
What is the name of the monastery I will be placed in?
You will receive all the details on your final placement and accommodations after your application has been processed.
What is the age range of the monks in the monastery? How many monks are in the monastery? How many of them are in each class?
This varies, but for the most part you will be teaching monks aged from 8-15 years old. The average number of the monks in the monastery is 50-150, with 10-12 monks in each class.
Will I be handling the classes on my own or will there be someone assisting me while volunteering teaching in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal?
This depends on your level of experience. If you are a professional teacher with a background teaching in a classroom, you can lead the class yourself. Others will act as assistant teachers to a Lopon, or Buddhist master.
Does the monastery have a teaching curriculum?
There are very few monasteries that follow a school teaching curriculum, therefore in most of the monasteries; volunteers have to design teaching material for the monks on their own. You will evaluate the level of English spoken by the students and plan your lessons accordingly.
How many hours a day do I need to volunteer teaching Buddhist Monks in Nepal?
You will teach about 3-4 hours a day in the monastery Monday- Friday. For the remainder of the time, volunteers are invited to participate in monastery activities like chanting and praying. This is a unique chance to really immerse yourself in the Buddhist culture and grow spiritually.
Do I need to bring teaching materials? Or does the monastery have teaching materials I can use?
The monastery does not have educational materials and you are encouraged to bring story/vocabulary books, pens, pencils, notebooks and any additional materials you think will help you in teaching your students.
Any important information you want to share about this unique project?
The lifestyle within the monastery is highly disciplined and all visitors and volunteers are expected to respect that, fully by abiding by the rules set forth. While outdoor games are prohibited, indoor games are allowed.
Physical attachment is completely prohibited, and the monks are not allowed outside the area without permission. Alcohol and smoking are completely prohibited inside the monastery and volunteers should return to the monastery in a timely manner before dark.
Why volunteer in Nepal teaching English in a Buddhist monastery?
Sense of Achievement
There are few greater feelings than doing something that you are truly passionate about while making a significant difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate. Even a few weeks of your time can be exceptionally precious to the young monks.
Deeper Knowledge of Buddhism
At this project you will be fully immersed in monastery life, and have the chance to attend ceremonies, rituals, and join in prayers. The monks will teach you about their beautiful faith, and you will gain a much deeper knowledge of the sacred Buddhist culture and beliefs.
If you are a teacher or aspiring to become one, volunteering teaching English to monks in Nepal is a fantastic way to gain valuable professional experience teaching in a classroom setting, developing lesson plans, and connecting with students.
The Buddhist faith has many beautiful tenets that the modern world could use more of, such as peace, acceptance, humility, and more. Teaching the young monks English will give them the tools they need to spread these much-needed messages to the world.
Nepal is a mystical and beautiful country high in the Himalayan Mountains. Experience this amazing destination and learn all about their fascinating and diverse culture.
Contact IFRE today to visit a Buddhist monastery and make a difference in the lives of young monks!
Other volunteer opportunities in Nepal
With IFRE you can make a difference in Nepal in a variety of ways. You can work in an orphanage, teach English to disadvantaged children, learn photojournalism, help conserve nature, provide crucial medical care, and much more. Contact IFRE today to learn more!
Monastery teaching volunteer opportunities in other countries
Buddhist monks are in need of English teachers in many other countries besides Nepal. See our list below for some of our most popular English teaching programs in monasteries around the world: