Volunteering India hosts this 1 week special Language and Orientation Program where participants are brought closer to the Indian culture through various means. Volunteers are given a chance to soak the ‘Indian-ness’ and enjoy every bit of what Delhi has to offer!
Although learning Hindi isn’t necessary, but knowing a few words would definitely help you steer your stay in India quite comfortably. This program is exclusively designed, keeping in mind all the specialties that we thought you should experience while in the country.
(This week is only optional and those who choose not to do it, can start their volunteering after the general orientation on arrival.)
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.
Sunday: Arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. You’ll be received from the airport and dropped at the volunteers’ house where you can relax. If you want, you can take a walk in the neighborhood. Housed in a posh, safe and friendly locality in South of Delhi, you are safe and sound with us.
Day 1: Our in-country coordinator will orient you about the program as well as about Delhi in general. Also, learn about your week’s itinerary and the details about your volunteering program in India to follow after the first week.
In the evening, we’ll arrange for a welcome dinner with the coordinators 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: There will be an interactive session with the local coordinator. Participants can ask whatever they wish to know about India and its culture, heritage, religious practices, tourist destinations, so on and so forth. This is your chance to clear all your doubts and ask as many as questions as you want to. Hindi language class will start in the afternoon and you’ll be taught some basic words and phrases that’ll be very useful for your volunteer trip to India. In the evening, volunteers are free to explore the local markets and different tourist spots in the city.
Day 4: Hindi language class will continue on Day 4 morning as well to make you familiar with some more words and phrases. Later in the day, you’ll be shown a Bollywood movie to understand the language better. You will have a chance to test yourself! And FYI, India makes more movies in a year than Hollywood!
Day 5: Temple Day Today. Visit Akshardham Temple and Birla Temple.
One of the most beautifully built temples in Delhi, the trip to Akshardham temple is bound to leave you spellbound. Second in line is Birla Temple, it’s spread over 7.5 acres, adorned with many shrines, fountains, and a large garden with Hindu and Nationalistic sculptures.
For lunch, we’ll take you to a good restaurant where you can savor the authentic flavors of Indian food.
Day 6: On this day, you’ll be traveling to Agra, the city which houses one of the seven wonders of the world - Taj Mahal - the epitome of love built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz.
Cost $250 for this 1-week program.
Taj Mahal trip cost - $100.
Note: The program cost includes all meals but excludes the entrance fee for all monuments. Volunteers should keep $55-60 handy as the monuments entry fee.
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Note: You will be required to pay USD 225 / GBP 185 / AUD 320 / EUR 220 as an Application Deposit which is part of the program fees mentioned above, at the time of application to confirm your spot.
A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment
People from which countries can join the volunteer programs offered by Volunteering India?
We welcome people from any part of the world to join our programs irrespective of which part of the world volunteers belong from outside India. Majority of our volunteers are from USA, UK, Europe and Australia.
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Delhi volunteer programs?
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the India volunteer projects :
Will I get an airport pickup facility?
Volunteering India representative would be there to receive you at the airport, holding placards, displaying your name. You’ll be picked up from the airport and taken by a car to your accommodation. Volunteers need to send us their arrival information at least 10 days in advance so that we can facilitate your airport pickup.
Can I volunteer as part of a group?
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.
Does Volunteering India helps with 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.
What are the recommended airlines to fly to Delhi?
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.
How safe is India and Delhi in particular?
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 do's and dont's.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need ?
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.
Do I need to buy health insurance?
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 India. 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.
I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?
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.
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, that is not a problem at all. In fact, volunteers are served vegetarian meals at the accommodations in India.
Would I have free time during my program ? Can I do sightseeing during my program ?
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 in Punjab as well as Amritsar. 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.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in Delhi?
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.
For how many hours will I volunteer every day?
Depending on the project, elected volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday. You will have 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.
What if I do not speak the local language? Would that interfere with my volunteering experience?
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.
Where can I change my money in Delhi? Are there ATMs in Delhi?
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.
To know about the necessary items that you should pack before setting out for India, Click Here.
To know more about the things to do in Delhi while volunteering, Click Here.