Cultural and Introduction week in Kathmandu
If you’ve chosen to take part on a volunteer program in Kathmandu, this wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture, traditions and scenery is an absolute must! An array of spectacular experiences is available for the taking! It’ll kick-start your experience as a volunteer in Nepal and get you acclimatised to your new surroundings.
Setting you off on the right foot, taking part in this project will give you an excellent introduction to the culture, customs and people of Nepal. You will find great differences between your own cultures and those of the Nepalese from Religious practices to dining, school, and even toileting! But there will also be some similarities.
In this week you will be introduced to everything you will need to know to settle into your new location and learn about do’s and don’ts. But it won’t all be about rules and regulations. Nepal is full of national treasures for you to discover and you’ll have a taster of some of these through visits to local markets, taking part in yoga sessions, trying your hand at traditional cooking techniques and taking some lessons in useful words and phrases of the local language. Part of your orientation will also take you on a guided tour of the historical Boudhanath, one of Kathmandu’s sacred locations. Remember that you have a lot to offer too, the local people will be just as interested to learn about your culture and customs as you are to learn about theirs, there will be plenty of opportunities to share your experiences with them.
On arrival, you will be met by a transfer coordinator at a designated meeting point, who will ensure you arrive safely at the accommodation centre on the Sunday before the project begins.
Starting your morning with a Puja – or worship – to the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism, you will witness Religious rituals which are central to the culture. Discovering the importance of murtis (images), mantras (prayers), and yantras (diagrams of the universe), you will also find out about the importance of the personal nature of Hindu worship and the significance of individual offerings.
Following some fun activities to get to know the rest of your groups, the remainder of your morning will be spent discussing the schedule and safety of the program. You will be required to sign in agreement with the code of conduct, the child protection policy and to release liability from the company.
You’ll have a lunch break midday to reflect on the morning and then continue with a helpful session on acceptable social behaviours whilst travelling in Nepal. After this you’ll have a Nepali Language Training session which will introduce you to some essential words and phrases to help you communicate more easily with the locals.
Your day begins with a Nepali Language Training course to get you into the swing of using the language. Another great opportunity to extend your knowledge of words and phrases to really help you settle into your project. This will be followed by a hugely important talk about travelling safely whilst taking part on the program, looking at health precautions and general safety. There’s a break for lunch and then a cross cultural orientation session for an hour and a half to bridge the knowledge gap regarding dining, drinking, bathing, clothing and toileting customs in the culture of Nepal.
After a busy start to your week, today begins with an early morning, relaxing session of yoga and meditation. Another Nepali language session after yoga should see you starting to become familiar with some useful greetings and conversational phrases before you hear about Nepal’s schooling and educational system. The afternoon session takes you on a 2-and-a-half-hour tour of Boudhanath, one of the most sacred, and historically significant, landmarks at Nepal.
Your last Nepali Language Training session for the week kick starts your morning. Buzzing with enthusiasm to try out your developing conversational skills, you’ll have a lecture on Religion and culture, a refreshing lunch break and then head out to a local market. Here you’ll get to try out your new skills as you scavenge for some local, authentic Nepali souvenirs.
Today is all about hiking! Following a beautiful nature trail, you’ll set off up the mountains to reach a spectacular viewing point over the Kathmandu valley. After a lunch break where you can relax and recharge your batteries, you’ll have a chance to evaluate your week’s activities, giving and receiving feedback and asking any questions you may have. A culinary delight is prepared for you in the evening as you take part in a lesson about traditional Nepali cooking techniques.
** Please note: This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances. **
Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, is like no other city in the world. The decaying buildings in the heart of the city are a contrast to the lively atmosphere that permeates the streets. The smell of incense wafts from the stores while street sellers push their wares, and people go about their daily lives, all against a backdrop of historic temples and carved statues.
For several hundred years, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. Situated in close proximity to each other, today these three almost run together. The highlight of Kathmandu has long been Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temples and monuments of varying shapes, sizes, styles, and faiths can be found here.
Kathmandu’s Durbar Square was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake, with many buildings destroyed beyond repair.
For most visitors to Nepal, Kathmandu Valley is the arrival point and the primary focus of the visit. This small, mountain-sheltered valley is the historical centre of Nepal, a place where kingdoms rose and fell, where palaces and temples were built and rebuilt, and where Nepali art and culture was developed and refined. Rivers and streams interlace with the landscape, the brick-red villages cling to ridges to preserve precious land and even from the bustling centres of each of the cities, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the snow-capped peaks of the majestic Himalayas against the intense blue skies.
Accommodation & Food
There is a mini library where you can read, a beautiful garden to relax in and dining and lounge areas where you can hang out with fellow participants. Rooms are shared on a single gender basis 4-6 people a room, there are also private rooms available, this is subject to availability. There is a curfew of 22.30 at the house,to ensure the safety of yourself and others.No alcohol can be brought into the houses.
You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Nepalese food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about once a week. You can also choose to eat out at any of the local restaurants.There is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store food and beverages.
Our house is located five kilometres away from the city centre, where you can find anything you might need. The nearest ATM and supermarket are located a 15 minute walk away from our accommodation.
Sights & Surroundings
Shopping in Kathmandu is an experience in itself. Thamel, Kathmandu tourist hotspot, is where shoppers can find Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian artifacts, wood carvings, handicraft and an assortments of unique clothing and apparel. There are also several malls where you can find fashionable clothing and grocery stores offering everything from wine to breakfast cereals. There are numerous dining options available throughout the city, including Italian, Indian, Thai, Korean and Chinese in addition to a variety of local cuisine.
From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):
- Buddhist Monastery
Trip Country Info
Population: Approx. 28.98 million
Currency: Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Time zone: UTC +5:45
Namaste and welcome to Nepal, a country of high Himalayan Mountains, artistic monuments, exotic wildlife, and diverse cultures. Located between 80 12′ east longitude and between 26 22′ and 30 27′ north latitude, Nepal extends along the south slopes of the Himalayas in central Asia.
Although Nepal is small, it has the greatest latitudinal variation of any country. The land rises from the southern plains of the Terai, barely above sea level at 70 meters, to the top of the Mt. Everest, the highest peak on Earth at 8848 meters above sea level, in a distance of less than 200 km.
Book your volunteer travel holiday and experience one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world as well as the highest mountain ranges. Nepal has lush valleys that team with exotic wildlife ready to be explored on your gap year adventure. It is a beautiful country located in South Asia bordering both India and China. As you enjoy your volunteer travel experience in Nepal you will come across many remote monasteries and villages that adorn the stunning landscape where you will experience the best of Nepal. The outstanding beauty and friendly Nepalese people are the main reasons people book gap year holidays to Nepal and why they are a popular choice with us. We have a compreshensive selection of gap year holidays in Nepal with a number of teaching and community programs on offer.
Have a look at our latest gap year experiences in Nepal or contact us for more about work & travel in Nepal or your questions about specific programs. The volunteer Nepal program is a very good way for you to experience the most of what the spiritual and enchanted land of Nepal has to offer. You may also choose to trek Mount Everest or smaller mountain hikes like Poon Hill.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
No requirements have been provided.
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Airport drop off
- Travel insurance