Make a positive impact during your time in this gorgeous, diverse country. Teaching English enables young people to have a much better future through education.
Education is the key to driving economic, political and social development. However, the education system in Nepal is of an extremely low standard. It seriously lacks real investment and many teachers are under-qualified, particularly in teaching English. The sad result is that 41% of the Nepalese adult population is illiterate.
Tourism is Nepal’s biggest industry and source of employment, aside from agriculture. Working in tourism brings in serious money and offers huge employment opportunities. However, a key requirement for a job in tourism is the ability to speak English. As a result, the ability to speak English opens up so many doors for young people in Nepal. However, the level of English in government schools is poor and so effective English tuition is only a viable option for children from wealthy backgrounds.
PMGY volunteers teach at community centres that provide education to Nepal’s poorest communities. Your main role is to teach English but there is also the chance to teach other subjects such as Maths and Arts when required. The community centres have staff who will assist volunteers but most of the time volunteers lead their own lessons. The lessons are largely informal and volunteers have the freedom to be creative with their lesson plans.
You should arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (airport code KTM) on the selected Sunday start date. Programmes start on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The programme ends on the Sunday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.
Can I use this program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.
The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.
In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.
All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you.
The community education centres generally run in the mornings and afternoon, as the children attend school during the day. Depending on your placement location and needs of the projects at the time, you may be able to get involved in working at a day-care centre during school-time. This involves providing care and basic education to children of pre-school age.
Teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of these children’s education. We expect all volunteers to spend an hour or two each day lesson planning.
The community education centres have very basic resources. Some of the project sites do have outdoor space and playground facilities as well as a range of toys and books to engage the with the children. These can be limited at times so you may wish to bring some extra educational books or games to assist with your teaching.
Class sizes generally range from around 20 – 30 children with ages varying from five years old up to lower teens.
Flash cards and stickers are a good idea too. You will find it much cheaper to buy resources in Nepal and that puts money into the local economy too! Souvenirs from your home country can also be a great resource, especially for introducing yourself to the children and helping them learn about you and your culture.
IN & AROUND CHITWAN, POKHARA & KATHMANDU
PMGY volunteers are offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country with volunteer programmes in Chitwan, Pokhara & Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way.
This off the beaten track destination offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungle and there are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland.
Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons. This is a guide to just a few of them.
Chitwan is located in the vast flat and fertile Terrai region close to the Indian border, offering a different landscape to that of Kathmandu and Pokhara, which are closer to the Himalayas. The main city in the region of Chitwan is Bharatpur and the region generally has a much hotter climate than the rest of the country!
Paddy fields, ox-towed carts and an array of wildlife, make this a perfect location for those seeking a quieter and more rural atmosphere. However, at the weekend there is still so much to do – elephant bathing, jungle safari, white-water rafting…there is definitely something for those seeking adventure! Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscapes.
Far from the earthquake epicentre, and almost unaffected by the disaster, Pokhara is blessed with spectacular scenery and a booming adventure sports scene. One of the worlds best paragliding spots, surrounded by white-water rivers and gateway to the world famous Annapurna range treks, what’s not to love about this laid-back, lakeside town with views of snow-capped mountains just 20km away.
You’ll find everything you need from western restaurants to international hospitals. But if you prefer a more rustic experience we have placements in quaint rural settings just outside of Pokhara.
This square, where the city’s kings were once crowned and ruled from, remains the traditional heart of the old town and Kathmandu’s most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. It’s easy to spend hours wandering around this Unesco World Heritage Site with its popular watch-the-world-go-by temples.
On-arrival into Indira Tribhuvan International Airport you will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. It is advised that volunteers purchase a PMGY volunteer t-shirt and wear it on their flight, as this makes it easier for us to identify you at the airport.
Staying with a host family is a great way to become immersed in the Nepalese way of life. You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers and you can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family.
It is important to note that accommodation in Nepal is comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western style toilets however some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!
You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day by your host family. Traditional Nepalese food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yogurt and lots of rice so its may take a little getting used to.
Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.
Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complimented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.
Volunteers are advised to notify our local team if the food is not to their taste who will aim to adjust the food appropriately.