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Volunteer In India - Should I Choose Delhi or Dharamsala?

Volunteering in India - should I choose Delhi or Dharamsala

Regardless of whether you are intrigued by the adrenaline rush of Delhi, or drawn in by the peaceful atmosphere of Dharamsala, choosing to volunteer in India with International Volunteer HQ will be the best decision you make in 2016!

India is on the bucket list for many, and not without reason. The culture is intriguing, colourful and diverse and when combined with a vast variety of natural and manmade sights, it keeps even the most seasoned traveler busy. Not to mention this is the land of curries, roti and samosas! On the other hand, choosing where in India to volunteer is not as easy.

To help you decide between the two volunteer programs, we've compiled 5 standout characteristics of the Delhi and Dharamsala volunteer experiences:

Reasons you won’t regret choosing Delhi...

  • The utter excitement and joy of the kids in the slum schools when volunteers come to teach
  • The chance to enjoy comfortable suburban home stays, while only being a metro ride away from the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi, spice markets and bazaars
  • Delicious food – there are endless authentic Indian food stalls and restaurants to be explored in Delhi
  • This is an easy location for weekend trips far and wide, whether you want to visit Goa, Amritsar, Agra or Varanasi it is simple to arrange transport from Delhi

Slum teaching in Delhi with IVHQ

Reasons why choosing Dharamsala is for you...

  • The peaceful atmosphere of living among the foothills of the Himalayas
  • The intriguing Tibetan culture and the unique opportunity to live with Tibetans in their family home
  • The ability to engage and share knowledge with monks of all ages
  • Bir, is a world renowned paragliding location – just imagine the sheer beauty of seeing this area from above, let alone the adrenaline!
  • There is a slight chance you may actually come face to face with the Dalai Lama – who resides in a monastery near the volunteer accommodations

Tibetan culture in india with IVHQ

If you’re torn between these two locations, and would be happy in either, the climate could make the decision for you! 

The summer months in India (April to August) can bring heat and humidity that is so extreme that it can often become unbearable. The volunteer accommodation in Delhi is equipped with fans, however power cuts are not uncommon. In recent years, Delhi has experienced some of the hottest summers on record, and placements where volunteers work during the day generally do not have air conditioning or fans.

The IVHQ Dharamsala, India volunteer program is located at a higher altitude, which means it is much cooler and more temperate. Our recommendation is that if you are indifferent between the two programs, the Dharamsala program will be more pleasant from April through to August. However, if you are not adverse to the heat, you will be fine on the Delhi program.

On the flipside, winters can be very cold in Dharamsala, and heating is minimal in the accommodation. It is definitely necessary to layer up your winter woollies and bring a sleeping bag to supplement your bedding if you would prefer Dharamsala, and are volunteering in winter. Alternatively, you might be more drawn to Delhi during this time, which offers more warmer temperatures.

Exploring an Indian Market with IVHQ

Still can’t decide?

Why not combine the orientation week in Delhi with a volunteer program in Dharamsala, or go one step further and sign up for two programs back to back to allow you to experience the best of both worlds? Contact us to talk more about your options or learn more about each program on the Delhi or Dharamsla webpages. 

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