The Language & Orientation Program is a week's plan that's highly recommended for volunteers to understand and soak in a bit of India before they start their volunteering program in India. It'll be a great opportunity for you to pick up some Hindi words that you can make good use of, during your volunteering days! This entire week would give you Hindi Lessons, teach you about the culture and history of India and let you explore the nooks and corners of Delhi. Of course, you'll get to visit the taj mahal as well - how can you miss that!
It's an optional week program that we would suggest you opt for before you kickstart your meaningful journey towards making a difference.
Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report. A parental consent form shall be required for Under 18 participants joining the program.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
- Learn the basics of Hindi language and try to understand Indian culture, closely.
- Observe the lives and lifestyle while living in New Delhi for a week.
- Know more about the history of the country, and how time has shaped things.
- Learn about the social problems that exist, and find out how you can make a difference through your active contribution.
Sunday: Arrival at Delhi airport and be welcomed by a local staff member. Head to the Volunteer’s Home in South Delhi.
Day 1: Welcome to India, introduction to the program in Delhi, safety issues, basic culture and history about India. Also, learn about your week’s program and details about your volunteering program in India to follow after the first week. In the evening, welcome dinner with the coordinator and other volunteers.
Day 2: Take a Tour to some of New Delhi's most well known historical and heritage sites. You’ll get to witness Qutab Munar and Humanyun’s Tomb, both of which are the symbols of the Mughal Rule in India. Additionally, you’ll also visit the India Gate, a memorial for martyred soldiers and Lotus Temple, a Baha’i place of worship. In the afternoon, lunch will be provided at a restaurant where you will get to experience authentic Indian food.
Day 3: Interactive session with the volunteers and the local coordinator on different topics such as the arranged marriage system in India and the joint family system. Hindi language class starts in the afternoon and you are introduced to basic Hindi words and phrases.
Day 4: Hindi language class continues till the afternoon introducing you to more words usage of which will be helpful during the volunteer placement. In the evening, watch a Bollywood movie at a cinema or in the volunteer house to understand, some of the terms you have learned, better and get a grasp of the culture of the country.
Day 5: Temple Day Today. Visit Akshardham Temple and Birla Temple.
One of the beautifully built temples in Delhi, the trip to Akshardham temple is bound to leave spellbound. Second in line is Birla Temple, a temple spread over 7.5 acres, adorned with many shrines, fountains, and a large garden with Hindu and Nationalistic sculptures.
Day 6: Finally the day to experience the quintessential bucket list experience of India. Take a day trip to Agra to see 'Taj Mahal' - one of the seven wonders of the world, along with the local coordinator or representative.
NOTE: Volunteers should keep $55-60 handy as the monuments entry fee.
Cost $250 for this 1-week program.
Taj Mahal trip cost - $100
The Language Week Starts on 1st and 3rd Monday of every month
When you choose to volunteer in Delhi, we make sure that your altruistic journey is comfortable and enjoyable. As a VolSol volunteer, you will not have to worry about the airport pick up, your accommodation or your stay.
Volunteers are picked up from the Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of the local coordinating team in Delhi. Pickup will be provided between 6:30am - 10pm on the program start date. Participants already in country or arriving early can also be picked up from a designated meeting point decided beforehand as well.
While volunteering in Delhi you would be staying at our Volunteer home base in South Delhi. The accommodations are neat and clean and provide volunteers a home away from home experience. Our homes are equipped with wifi internet, filtered drinking water, geysers, air conditioning, satellite television, modern toilets and comfortable beds. The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATMs, currency ex-changers, restaurants, cafes and shopping arcades. All placements are around 10 - 30 minutes from the homes and volunteers travel to the placements everyday and come back home in the evenings.
A half day orientation will be provided by our staff on the next day after your arrival. We cover areas like culture, greetings, locations, transportation etc. Start your volunteering experience by taking the 1 week Language & Culture Orientation Program in Delhi.
Indian food is famous around the world for its diverse flavours, colors and aroma. While staying at the homes, you would be provided with freshly cooked breakfast and dinner, we have cooks at the home who prepare meals for the volunteers. A sample of the meals you can expect are mentioned below.
Breakfast - Parantha, Bread, Tea (chai), Jam, Butter, Porridge etc.
Dinner - Dal (lentils), vegetable, rice, roti (indian bread), pickle, yogurt may be provided along with some sort of curry.
For lunch volunteers usually eat somewhere close to their placement at a local restaurant, our coordinators would show you around at the time of orientation. This also gives you a chance to eat a variety of food that India has to offer. You would be able to have a comfortable lunch for around $3-$4.
During Your Free Time
During the free time volunteers can visit the local markets, visit internet cafes and the different restaurants in Delhi and try out the different Indian cuisines. During weekends volunteers visit the neighboring states of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Our specialised Travel Desk can help you to book tours to any part of India or to neighbouring countries like Nepal or Sri Lanka.
Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of £179 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of $299 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Pick up from the airport
- Food (2-3 times a day)
- Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Return Trip to Airport (Can be arranged at extra cost)
- Local Transportation
- Visa Fees
FAQ's Application and Program Details
Delhi is one of the most popular volunteering destinations, and it is advised to apply for the projects once the volunteering/ traveling dates are decided as there are limited spots available. The application fee is valid for one full year and can be sent earlier than the desired year of volunteering for timely confirmation of the seat. As soon as you decide the travel dates, we suggest you to apply for the program and hold your spot. Every program has limited spots available.
Usually, it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and the booking confirmation is updated in your My Account and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the India volunteer projects:
Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project. Medical Program volunteers must be at least 18 at the time of joining.
16-year-old volunteers can participate in Childcare projects with a Letter of Consent from their parents.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
Participants must be in good health.
India is a country of different cultures and traditions, though it is modernized, the cultural sensitivities need to be kept in mind before volunteering in India. The volunteers should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Yes, you are welcome to take part in any of the India Volunteer Programs as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together in the Indian programs.
Volunteering Solutions India program has hosted large student groups as well as families coming to volunteer in the program. We have hosted groups from universities in UK, Europe, and USA as well as other countries, in Delhi.
Yes, most definitely you can as we believe every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.
All volunteers need to arrive in Delhi on the starting day of the program i.e Sunday. Participants are picked up from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi by the local coordinator or representative and are transferred to the volunteer accommodation.Orientation would be conducted the next day where you will also be shown the area around the accommodations, the nearest ATM, market, and will be given safety guidelines as well as information about your project.
Depending on the project, elected volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday. You will have the weekend off so you can travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
Do not worry, all the coordinators can speak and converse in English. Most of our participants are non-Hindi speakers and they’ve never had any problems while communicating. Like we say, love is expressed better through actions than the language.
To add to the project experience, you can also join the Language and Orientation Week in Delhi before beginning the program. It's an optional week, besides that we recommend participants to brush up their Hindi skills (learn basic terms and phrases, greetings) before traveling.
Flights and Visa
All enrolled participants are provided information about the appropriate Visa requirements for India in the pre-departure manual. You can also contact your pre-departure point of contact to know more about the Visa requirements.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is connected with all major airports across the globe and flights are easily available. Some of the major flight carriers operating direct flights to Delhi are:
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air India, Jet Airways, Etihad Airways, United Airlines, Swiss Air, KLM Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian, Air France, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Finn Air.
Health and Safety
India is a country of diverse cultures and practices. and Delhi being the capital city is home to varied ethnicities. Like in any new foreign country, participants are advised to follow the guidelines specified by the project coordinator to enjoy their Indian experience fully. The program coordinators are always ready to help and give helpful safety tips. During the first day of the orientation, you will be given safety guidelines and will be informed about the dos and dont's.
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to India. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to India, click here.
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Accommodation and Living
Your project coordinator will take you to your project placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc.
You will be told about the directions to the project from your accommodation as well as the best and the most affordable mode of transport you can use. Volunteers use a variety of modes of transport to commute to different locations in Delhi. Major modes of transport are Delhi Metro and auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk?).
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house or in a homestay (on request) accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. Two meals a day (Breakfast and Dinner) are provided to the volunteers from Monday - Saturday.
On Sunday, volunteers eat out and explore the different gastronomical delights that Delhi has to offer. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Air conditioning facility is provided during the night in the volunteer home accommodations. Wifi internet is also available for volunteers’ convenience. Some volunteers are also provided accommodation in the project premises itself. For example - volunteers working in orphanage project can be provided accommodation in the project premises itself in a separate room that is allotted for volunteers. All meals will be provided to the volunteers in that case.
Yes, that is not a problem at all. In fact, volunteers are served vegetarian meals at the accommodations in India.
Volunteers work from Monday - Friday and have their weekends free for sightseeing. You can utilize this time to visit local markets of Old Delhi, Janpath or simply visit the Central Park (Garden) and Connaught Place. During the weekend, you have the option to take a short trip to Jaipur and Agra, and the Golden Triangle tour. Strategic placement of Delhi also allows you to take quick weekend trips to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh as well as Amritsar, Punjab. There is a lot to do and explore, and the local Delhi office team would happily assist you in making travel plans and arrangements for short trips.
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $50-60 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on different weekend trips out of town.
On arrival at the IGI airport, you can change your foreign currency to Indian Rupees (INR) at the money exchange counters. India has a modern banking system and all the major credit and debit cards are accepted without any problems. ATMs are available in plenty and you will be shown the nearest ATM from the accommodation as well.
Connect with Past Volunteers
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
Volunteers can also view the volunteer testimonials of Delhi program participants by clicking here.