Under the Teaching Volunteer Program in India, you will have the opportunity to volunteer in government, primary and public schools in and around the beautiful town of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh; in northern India. Volunteers mainly teach children aged between 6-14 years. Typical subjects taught include English (Conversational and Written), Maths, Geography, and General Knowledge.
Volunteers mainly get involved in Teaching English to the students and helping them in improving their vocabulary and spoken English skills. Although English is an important language in India and is spoken widely, volunteers find that the conversational and vocabulary skills of the students in this area are not up to the mark. Having good English language skills is very important for the students as it plays an important role in getting good jobs in different parts of the country.
English Teaching Volunteering in India will provide invaluable work experience of volunteering in a school placement in India; without any prior teaching experience or TEFL qualification. Volunteers will teach for approximately 4-5 hours per day, five days a week. In this program, volunteers can work by themselves or alongside other teachers and volunteers. Volunteers are encouraged to use new and innovative teaching methods and teach in a play way method which would make the subject more interesting for the students.
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
Typical volunteer activities under the teaching volunteering program in India include;
- Assist the teachers to provide low-cost teaching material and fun for the children.
- Teaching Conversational English to students.
- Assisting in other subjects such as computer teaching
- Sharing new ideas with the students and exchanging their views on different topics.
- Creating a playful environment and enhance the creativity of the children through painting, playing games, singing
Volunteer Work Schedule
Volunteers joining the teaching program in India are required to follow a basic routine on a daily basis. This covers everything from meals to volunteer work and back. It must be noted that every placement functions at a different pace and on separate timelines making the schedule slightly differ at times. A generic daily schedule for volunteers is as follows;
- Sunday: Arrival in Palampur
- Monday: Orientation + neighborhood familiarization tour. The orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering topic areas; such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behavior, food, and other suggestion over things to do in Palampur-Dharamsala.
- Tue to Fri: Volunteer work
- Breakfast - 08:30 am onwards
- Working hours at the placement - 09:00 am to 01:00 pm
- Lunch - 1:00 pm onwards (volunteers are free to utilize their time as they wish post lunch)
- Dinner - 06:00 pm onwards
The same volunteer work schedule continues from the second week onwards
Weekends: Free to explore the city
Note: Please note, the schedule may vary depending on the particular project the volunteer is participating in.
We do not compromise on your living standards and tour arrangements. From arranging airport pickups to taking care of your volunteer placement, to putting you at the right volunteer house and helping you take up weekend travel, we help you plan and execute everything in a structured way.
Volunteers are picked up from Gaggal Airport in Dharamsala by a member of the local coordinating team. The airport is served with daily direct flights from Delhi. For those participants choosing to travel from Delhi to Palampur by bus, they will be picked up from the bus station and transferred to the volunteer home base.
You would be provided accommodation in our volunteer home base in Palampur. The accommodation offers spectacular views of the Himalayan mountains and provides a safe living environment for the participants. At the house, we provide same gender sharing dorm style rooms with attached western style toilets, lockers, TV, hot water, internet and a large common area for the volunteers to enjoy their free time. The volunteer house has a huge front and backyard with beautiful gardens where the volunteers can relax and even play outdoor games and activities such as badminton with other participants during the free time.
An orientation and briefing session will be provided by our staff in Palampur. We cover areas like culture, safety, locations, transportation etc. Volunteers also have the option to start their program by joining the 1 week Language & Culture Orientation week in Delhi.
The volunteer homebase in Palampur has full time cooking staff for preparing fresh meals for the volunteers. Volunteers are provided with three meals a day for six days a week. A sample of the meals you can expect are below:
Breakfast - Parantha, Bread, Tea (chai), Jam, Butter, Porridge etc.
Lunch/ Dinner - Dal (lentils), vegetable, rice, roti (Indian bread), pickle, yogurt may be provided along with some sort of curry.
During your Free Time
Volunteers can go and explore the market in Palampur and take long pleasant walks. The area in and around Palampur is very safe and volunteers generally prefer to walk down the nearby locations. You can also visit the beautiful tea gardens, temples and Tashi Jong monastery which is located in Palampur. Volunteers are also given a tour of the Palampur market, Tea Garden and Tea Factory and a Yoga class once a week.
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 £149 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 $259 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 €169 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?
- Pre departure information and support
- Airport Pickup from Dharamsala airport
- 3 meals a day for 6 days/week
- Welcome dinner
- Local market tour
- Visit to Tea garden and Tea factory
- Yoga Class - once a week
- 24*7 staff support
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Visa fee
- Any personal expenses (You would need around $40 per week for your personal expenses)
FAQ's Application and Program Details
16-year-old volunteers can participate in Childcare projects with a Letter of Consent from the parents.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. India is a country of different culture 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.
Participants joining the Medical Program, must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing student.
Participants must be in good health.
On the next day, you will be given a short orientation and told about the program, daily schedule, safety guidelines, market tour and weekend trip options.
Flights and Visa
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.
From Delhi, you can take a connecting flight to Dharamsala Airport (Airport Code: DHM). Air India and Spice Jet have daily flights between the two cities. Pickup by our local project coordinator is provided from Dharamsala Airport. Volunteers can also choose the option to take the direct overnight bus from Delhi to Palampur. Overnight air-conditioned bus service operates between the two cities. You will be picked up from Palampur bus station and transferred to the accommodation.
Health and Safety
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
The local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for a pleasant walk in the vicinity.
Palampur is a great location for volunteering since you also have ample options for quick weekend getaways. Hill stations like Mcleodganj, Dharamsala, and Manali are nearby which can be visited over the weekend. Adventure activities like trekking and paragliding can be taken up during weekends. Billing, which is a few kilometers away from Palampur, is a world famous site for paragliding.
To add to the project experience while you can also join the Language and Orientation Week in Delhi before beginning the program in Palampur. It's an optional week, besides that we recommend participants to brush up their Hindi skills (learn basic terms and phrases, greetings) before traveling.
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the ‘Meet a Volunteer’ section on our website.