Friends for Asia’s Teaching English in Monasteries Project offers volunteers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Buddhist monastery life in one of the world’s most spiritual countries.
Volunteers contribute to the education and personal development of hundreds of children in Kathmandu and play their part in preserving Tibetan culture and Buddhist practice. If there is anywhere to experience authentic Buddhist monastery life, this is it. Volunteers can also teach at Tibetan refugee camps in the city, where Tibetan culture and Buddhism are an integral part of daily life.
By nature, monastery life is both simple and rewarding. The day starts early, often well before dawn, and much of the morning is devoted to prayer. Usually, teaching takes place in the afternoon for 3-4 hours. During their time at the monastery, volunteers will have plenty of opportunity to get to know the monks and Buddhism. The monks here are invariably open and friendly, and will only be too happy to discuss Buddhism, spirituality, life, and the world in general. Many an hour can be passed in deep discussion, and remember, their own English skills probably grew from the help of the teachers and volunteers of the past.
The main duty of volunteers is to teach English. The age of students ranges from 5 to 20 years old, so ability can vary significantly. This can be a big plus. With class division from nursery to class 10, it provides volunteers with an opportunity to teach at every level and use a variety of teaching styles. In fact, variety really is the spice of life here. Attendance at classes is voluntary and class sizes vary from day to day, so flexibility is important. Volunteers are often left to their own devices and will be responsible for planning lessons, conducting workshops, and organizing games and other activities. Outside of class time volunteers may also be asked to help supervise extra-curricular activities and sports.
It is difficult to emphasize just how much the work of our volunteers benefits these kids. Even a basic knowledge of the English language will open doors and expose them to new possibilities. Many of the children at these monasteries go on to use their English skills to circulate Buddhist teachings and practice around the world. Even for those who are just beginning to learn the language, exposure to people from different countries and different cultures enriches their lives immeasurably.
The minimum age requirement for volunteers in the Teaching English in Monasteries Project is 18. Our volunteers do not need teaching qualifications or experience to participate in the project. However, we do require volunteers to have a good level of English and ask them to bring plenty of enthusiasm to the job.
Participation in the Nepal Teaching Monks Volunteer Project starts at $799 for two weeks, with each additional week is $99.
Program Fee Includes: Airport pick up and drop off, accommodation during orientation and entire project time, 2 day orientation, 10 hours of basic Nepalese language lessons, all meals during project placement, 24/7 assistance support.
Program Fee Does Not Include: Plane tickets, international medical insurance, cost of transportation to and from work location.
The 1st and 15th of every month are the start / arrival dates for this program. An orientation is provided in the days after arrival, and prior to actual start in one’s service program.
Please visit our Additional Project Info page for more information on this and all of our other Nepal volunteer programs.