Cultural Exchange and Home Stay program
Nepal is a country full of rich and diverse cultures and is home to a number of different tribal groups; who celebrate their own festivals, practice different styles of dance, art and language. From the elephant and tiger inhabited jungles of the south, to the rolling foothills of the Himalayas leading to the home of six of the highest mountains in the world in the north; including Mt Everest, Nepals scenery is as diverse and stunning as its culture and people.
Nepal can be visited all year round, with the weather typically being divided into 4 seasons.
Winter = December - February
Spring = March - June
Summer = July August
Autumn = September - November
Nepal is one of the worlds top destinations for trekking, rafting and an array of other outdoor activities that many volunteers may want to experience. The best times of year to visit Nepal to take part in these activities is from Autumn through to Spring.
Alliance Nepal offers home stay and volunteer programs for students, adults and over 60s; generally anyone with an interest in learning about and experiencing Nepali culture. The home stay and volunteer programs are flexible and catered to your interests. We offer placements in both rural and urban areas with families experienced in having foreign volunteers stay with them.
Whether your interests are research based or you wish to have a holiday with a purpose Alliance Nepal is here to help you make the most of your time and have a fantastic trip to Nepal.
No specific skills are required to volunteer or take part in a cultural home stay, though you should be;
Flexible and patient, as you will be in a different culture, with those who are used to working in different ways.
Sensitive and respectful to cultural differences.
Understanding of prevailing work ethics; your ideas on changes are always useful and helpful to the development process, but dont impose your ideas and values as right; it is about cultural exchange.
Able to use your initiative and work independently.
Enthusiastic and open to learning and trying new things.
Able to work as a team.
If you are arriving to Kathmandu by air then you will be picked up from the airport, alternatively if you are arriving overland you will be picked up from the bus station. You will spend one night in Kathmandu where you will meet with a member of Alliance Nepal staff who will brief you on code of conduct whilst volunteering or taking part in the cultural home stay. They will also discuss with you your volunteer project and placement. The following day you will travel to the lakeside city of Pokhara where you will continue with your pre placement orientation.
Your orientation will include;
3 days of sightseeing
2 language lessons
1 cultural lessons
Dates and Duration
The program starts on the first and sixteenth of each month.
You can volunteer from 2 weeks to a maximum of 5 months in a calendar year.
Your accommodation will be very basic as Nepal is a poor country that is developing slowly. If taking part in a home stay you will have a room within the family home; depending on the number of volunteers this may be shared. Some houses many not have electricity and they will either use solar power or candles. Houses will generally have an outside toilet, with no shower, so you will have to shower outside. If staying in a hotel for the duration of your volunteer placement then you will be in a comfortable room with a shared toilet and shower room.
During your orientation in Pokhara there will be a wide range of restaurants to choose from; including choice of Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Italian and many more. During the length of your placement you will be provided with traditional Nepali food; Daal (lentil soup) Bhat (rice) with vegetable and occasionally eggs or meat if you are not vegetarian. If the family has buffalos or cows then you may also get non-pasteurized milk. Daal Bhat is eaten twice a day; in the morning at 8.30pm and in the evening around 7.30pm. In the afternoon you will be provided with a snack such as puffed corn, beaten rice, noodles or other.