Volunteer Teaching Program

  • Program Location Program Location
    Dharamsala - Palampur
  • Program Duration Program Duration
    1 to 12 Weeks
  • Starting Program Cost Starting Program Cost
    $500 (1Week)

Palampur is a hill town in Northern India and although English is spoken all across the country quite fluently, the kids in Palampur are still far away from grasping the language. Volunteers joining the Teaching Program will work in primary schools in and around Palampur and teach kids about the basics of English so that the base of their language is strengthened. This will be beneficial for their higher education.

Volunteers will teach kids between the age of 6 to 14 years. Apart from English, the other subjects that are to be taught include Maths, geography and General Knowledge. Activity based learning and interactive sessions are more beneficial while teaching these little ones.

This Teaching volunteering project in India will provide invaluable experience of working in a school without any prior teaching experience or TEFL qualification. Volunteers will teach for approximately 4-5 hours/day, five days a week.

In this program, volunteers can work by themselves or alongside other teachers in the schools. Volunteers can also assist the teachers and help them find more creative ways of teaching.

Let’s take a quick glance at what the volunteers need to do:

  • Teach the basics of English to the kids, and help them to converse well.
  • Assist the teachers to develop their spoken English skills.
  • Teach kids maths, geography and polish their general knowledge.
  • Help kids as well as the teachers to learn how to use the computer.
  • Organize interactive sessions to fuel the creativity of the kids.
  • Create a playful environment by encouraging kids to learn arts and crafts, singing, dancing etc.

Living

Volunteers are provided accommodation in volunteer house accommodations. You can get a clear view of the Himalayas from the place where you’ll be staying.

Rooms are allotted on ‘same gender sharing’ basis and there are attached toilets with the rooms.

The accommodations are neat and clean and provide a safe living environment. Both our houses provide dongle internet facility, hot water and heaters during winters, modern toilets and comfortable beds to sleep on.

Volunteers are provided with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the accommodation.

Meals are freshly prepared by the cook in the house. Local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for pleasant walk in the vicinity.

Meals

We have cooks at the home who prepare meals for the volunteers. A sample of the meals you can expect are below:

Breakfast - Paratha, 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.

Orientation

An orientation session will be organized for the volunteers on the first day before the program begins. Volunteers will be explained about the program and work schedule, about the place in general and things to do in Palampur etc.

Our in-country coordinator will be glad to clear all your doubts at the orientation session, as well as later, whenever required.

 

Itinerary

Participants joining the Teaching Volunteer Program with Volunteering India are required to follow a basic routine on a daily basis.

A generic daily schedule for volunteers is as follows:

  • Sunday : Arrival in Palampur
  • Monday : Orientation and a tour of the neighbourhood. Orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering important areas such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behaviour, food, and other suggestions over things to do in Palampur.
  • Tuesday to Friday : Volunteer work at the placement site.

Breakfast - 08:30 am onwards.

Working hours at the placement - 10:00 am (leave the accommodation by 09:30 am) to 04:00 pm.

Lunch - Between 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Dinner - 06:00 pm onwards.

The same volunteer work schedule will continue from the second week onwards.

Weekends : Free to explore the city (No meal is provide on Sunday, as volunteers are encouraged to try the local cuisines).


On the weekends, you will have the opportunity to choose to take part in different activities such as do a weekend trekking trip from Dharamsala, or go for paragliding at Bir, or visit the different Tibetan monasteries in the area. You can also take a weekend trip to visit Golden Temple in Amritsar. Our coordinator will help you to plan your weekend trips.

Cost / Start Date

Program Cost
Program Duration Program Fee Registration Fee Total Fee
1 Week $275 $225 $500
2 Weeks $415 $225 $640
3 Weeks $515 $225 $740
4 Weeks $615 $225 $840
5 Weeks $715 $225 $940
6 Weeks $815 $225 $1040
7 Weeks $915 $225 $1140
8 Weeks $1015 $225 $1240
Extra Week $120 $225 $120

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

Included

  • Pre-Departure Guidebook
  • Airport pickup and drop from Dharamshala airport
  • Accommodation at volunteer house
  • Orientation
  • Three meals a day
  • Local Market Tour
  • Visit to tea gardens and tea factory
  • Tour of the nearby places, within a radius of 20km
  • Yoga and meditation class, once every week
  • 24/7 assistance by in-country coordinator

Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Visa Costs
  • Vaccinations
  • Local transportation
  • Any sort of personal expenses

Program Start Date Available Fast Filling Not Available
Months 2018
January 0721
February 1024
March 1024
April 1428
May 0519
June 0923
July 1428
August 1125
September 0822
October 0620
November 1024
December 08

Reviews

Volunteering Daycare program Palampur-Dharamshala; India

Matt Hayes

Playing cricket with three different groups of people, meeting other volunteers and also forming bonds with the children at the daycare and tea garden.

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Adriana DeLuca

The kids were really cute and grateful. It was nice to see them smile each day. The accommodation was comfortable. I was thankful for air conditioning.

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Volunteer To Teach English In India

Kelsey Beier

I really enjoyed the placement I was given. The atmosphere made it difficult to teach English in a whole class setting, but the children were all very enthusiastic to learn in smaller groups.

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Volunteer to Teach English in India

Sally Smith

It was an experience I will always cherish. Those kids will always have a piece of my heart. The Pre Departure booklet was very relevant and contained useful information.

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Volunteering Teaching English Program

Clare McCartney

Incredible working experience. They learned from me and taught me things too. I was surprised how organized and formal my center was.

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Teach English

Lene Thomas

The Pre Departure booklet was helpful. I loved being at placement. The children are awesome. The country coordinators were very supportive.

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Claire Swift

Yes, we loved teaching the children. It was a great experience. We really enjoyed our stay in Palampur and got the real taste of India.

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Mesfer Alqahtani

The most highlighted things are visiting India and at the same time explore with Indian Culture. Also, I get a chance to see things, visit places and be present and to feel them differently.

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Volunteer Teaching English

Carrie Gamble

I loved every minute working on the project. It was a fulfilling and rewarding experience. The children were a joy to be with and they touched my heart.

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Teaching English

Tanya Singh

The Palampur placement is very rewarding and the staff is very nice too. The children are very sweet and it is easy to get attached to them. It is rewarding to know that you are making a difference in their lives.

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Kristen Macaluso

I would recommend the program to anyone who is willing to volunteer in India and has a good understanding of what to expect. Working at the school was my favorite part of the experience.

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FAQs

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 Palampur volunteer programs?

Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the India volunteer projects :

  • Volunteers must be 17 year 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.
  • Need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. 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.
  • Must be in good health.

 

When do I need to arrive in Palampur for my program? What will happen once I reach Palampur?

All volunteers need to arrive in Palampur on the starting date of the program. Volunteers will be picked up from the Gaggal Airport in Dharamsala by a driver assigned by the local coordinators. Dharamsala is connected to Delhi by daily direct flights. Volunteers who have opted for the Orientation Week in Delhi, will travel to Palampur post the completion via bus or flight, depending on their choice.

 

After you arrive at Dharamsala airport, you will be picked up by our local coordinator and transported to Palampur. On the way, you can enjoy the scenic view of the Himalayan mountains and lush green landscapes.

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

Does Volunteering India helps with Visa?

All enrolled participants are provided information on 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 modes of transport to arrive in Palampur?

Volunteers first need to arrive in 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 Finnair.

From Delhi, you can take a connecting flight to Dharamsala Airport (Airport Code: DHM). Air India and Spicejet 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 & Safety

How safe is India and Palampur in general?

India is a country of diverse cultures and practices. 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 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.

 

Accommodation and Living

How do I get to the program location?

Your program coordinator in Palampur will take you to your 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 and the mode of transport which you can use. Most preferred mode of transport within the town is the public bus, and the coordinator will be more than happy to guide you regarding that.

I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?

Volunteers are provided accommodation in volunteer house accommodations. Participants of same gender share rooms together and there are attached toilets with the rooms. Volunteers are provided with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the accommodation. Meals are freshly prepared by the cook in the house. Local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for pleasant walk in the vicinity.

What if I have my own accommodation. Can i still volunteer for the project?

Unfortunately the entire volunteering experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the housing that we have set up, by being with like minded people. Additionally, for safety reasons all volunteers must live in the allotted accommodation.

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?

Depending on your project placement, you may get  evenings and weekends free to travel and explore the place.

Palampur is a great location for volunteering since you also have ample options for quick weekend getaways. Hill stations like Mcleod Ganj, 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.

Volunteers can also go to Amritsar and visit the famous Golden temple and Jallianwala Bagh.

Are there more expenses once I arrive in Palampur?

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 $40-$50 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you choose to go on weekend trips out of town.

For how many hours will I volunteer every day?

Depending on the project, volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday, 4 - 5 hours daily. You will have the weekends to travel and explore. 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 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.


Where can I change my money in Palampur? Are there ATMs in the city?

ATMs of major banks like HDFC, ICICI and SBI are available in Palampur and money can be easily withdrawn. Currency Exchange Counters are also available in some of the banks in the city.

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 Palampur while volunteering, Click Here.

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