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Volunteer in Nepal

Volunteer Abroad in Nepal with IVHQ
Volunteer in Nepal with International Volunteer HQ! IVHQ has a wide range of volunteer abroad projects in Nepal, including Teaching English, Childcare, Medical Elective and Remote Health Post.
27.47 million
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Weather and climate: 
The climate in Nepal varies largely due to the variations in typography across the country. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons with dry weather and moderate temperatures. The Kathmandu Valley and other areas of high altitude experience summer temperatures of up to 28°C (82.4°F) and in winter, temperatures range between 2°C (35.6°F) and 20°C (68°F). The summer temperatures in Chitwan can reach up to 35°C (95°F) and in winter they range between 7°C (44.6°F) and a mild 23°C (73.4°F). The climate in Pokhara is similar to that of the Kathmandu Valley, with slightly warmer temperatures.

About the Nepal program


The IVHQ Nepal volunteer program has volunteer placements located in four main areas within Nepal – Kathmandu, Chitwan, Chitlang and Pokhara. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal, and placements here are located on the outskirts of the city in rural and urban areas. Chitwan is located approximately 150 kilometeres from Kathmandu, in the middle of Terrai, a flat fertile plain that borders India and stretches right across Southern Nepal. Chitlang is rural, about 2 hours drive from Kathmandu and accessed through tough terrain. It is located in mid-hills along the Mahabharat range, to the south west of Kathmandu valley. Pokhara is located in mid-western Nepal and is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its amazing mountain views.​


The Nepal volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.


If you wish to experience a taste of volunteering in Nepal, you can register for a special 1-week program. You will spend the first two days of your week participating in orientation, gaining a cultural insight into Nepal and learning the local language of Nepali. This will be followed by 3 days visiting different volunteer placements to gain an understanding of what it is like to volunteer. During this time you will also get a guided tour to different cultural and natural monument sites in Nepal. Please note the special 1 week program has a surcharge of US$50 to cover transport, meals at local restaurants, accommodation upgrade at a guesthouse, sightseeing entry fees, materials for volunteers to donate to placements (such as paint brushes, sporting goods, cleaning products etc). This surcharge is paid directly to our local staff once you have arrived to the program.


Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ's local team on arrival in Nepal. Additional requirements apply for Medical Elective and Remote Health Post volunteers, please read the project descriptions below.


All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.


Between 30 and 60 volunteers start on our volunteer programs in Nepal each month. What does this mean for you? More people to socialize and travel with, more people to meet from different cultures, more people to volunteer with, more projects to work on, more staff support, better infrastructure for volunteers and lower fees!

Nepal volunteer reviews

"The placement was fantastic and I've made a promise to myself and everyone at the Kathmandu orphanage that I will return as soon as I get the chance. The experience was unreal and the love and relationships I built in such a short space of time with the elders as well as the children was truly amazing. It was a completely humbling experience that children with absolutely nothing can have so much happiness in their lives regardless of the situation that they are in." - Jitesh Mistry (Orphanage Work Volunteer in Nepal)
Visit our Volunteer Abroad Reviews page to read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Nepal.

Nepal volunteer project descriptions

Teaching English

The large majority of Nepali children do not have access to a good standard of education. This is due to the lack of financial and physical resources in Nepal, as well as the remote mountain geography of the country. Volunteers on the Teaching English project teach English in public or private schools in Nepal, depending on the need for volunteers at the time of placement. Volunteers on this project can also assist in creating low-cost teaching materials for the schools and help organize health checkups for students. Volunteers are also involved in organizing other school activities, such as sports or sanitation programs. It is important to be aware that volunteers may be required to teach other subjects during their time on the Teaching English project, including Maths, Science and Social Studies. As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, they do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training. Visit our Online TEFL course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.

Childcare – Kathmandu

Volunteers on our Childcare project in Kathmandu work in orphanages based in the suburban outskirts of Kathmandu, rather than in the central areas of the city. This project offers a different setting to what you might expect and is based in the hills and farms surrounding Kathmandu. The general role of the volunteer is to act as an older sibling to the children and  assist local children in their day-to-day routines. The specific tasks of each volunteer vary depending on the orphanage in which the volunteer is placed and the assistance required at the time of placement. As the children attend school during the day, volunteers tend to work in two shifts: one in the morning preparing them and often walking them to school; in the afternoon volunteers may walk them home from school and again take on the role of an older sibling. The tasks involved on the childcare project ranges from caring for children, to teaching, assisting with homework and arranging activities, such as painting, singing, and sports activities. Within our Kathmandu placements there is scope to do construction/maintenance work around the placements and our local team are very supportive of these initiatives. There is also the opportunity to work within a special needs school in central Kathmandu, where volunteers are able to assist in the education and therapy treatments for children and young adults. If you are after a challenging and rewarding volunteering experience then our Kathmandu Childcare placements are for you.

Childcare - Pokhara

Placements on our Childcare project in Pokhara are located in and around the small tourist city of Pokhara. As Pokhara is a very popular tourist destination the placements here have greatly benefited from our past volunteers, resulting in the majority of these placements being well-funded and well organized. Volunteers should expect to be focusing on sustaining these rejuvenated placements, rather than implementing and funding new initiatives. The Childcare project in Pokhara offers volunteers a platform to contribute their enthusiasm and creativity in order to brighten up the days of the children and advance their English language skills by engaging them in fun and educational activities. While these placements are reasonably well-funded, they often lack the structure that volunteers may be used to at home and volunteers are encouraged to arrive with their own initiatives and ideas of activities to arrange for the children. We encourage volunteers to not be afraid to get involved in the day-to-day running of these placements. The role of the volunteer is to act as an older sibling to the children and the specific tasks of each volunteer varies depending on the orphanage or childcare center in which the volunteer is placed and the assistance required at the time of placement. Examples of typical volunteer work can include teaching, assisting with tuition of general life skills and health education, organizing games and activities, and drawing and painting with the children. The Childcare project in Pokhara is perfect for first time volunteers or for those who have not worked within a Childcare center before.

Medical Elective

Volunteers on the Medical Elective project is well suited to medical and nursing students, who have the opportunity to experience first-hand the stark contrast between medical practice in the Western world and the realities of medicine in developing countries. Volunteers are either placed at a hospital in Kathmandu, Chitwan or Pokhara where they shadow fully qualified physicians and nurses. Whilst hospitals in Nepal are under resourced and equipment is basic, these institutions are bound by government regulations and cannot allow international volunteers to perform tasks independently. Typical tasks that short-term volunteers can assist with include; observing the operating room to become familiar with procedures in the surgery ward; working with children to move and exercise their limbs in the physical therapy department; examining burn wounds and changing patients’ dressings in the burns unit; participating in emergency room rounds; following the main emergency room physician; learning about family planning and immunizations; and helping mothers of new born babies. Qualified volunteers may request to work in their area of expertise or training, and it is important to note that volunteers are only able to perform tasks relevant to their skills and qualifications. Volunteers can work in the following departments: ICU, radiology, oncology, emergency, surgery, burns unit, gynecology, pediatrics and pharmacy. Longer-term volunteers (2+ months) will have more scope to assist with hands-on tasks. Please note, there is a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks for this project and there is also a surcharge of US$35 per week to cover training and resources used. This will be included in the program fee quoted to you when you apply. Volunteers need to have completed at least 2 years training at medical school or nursing school and are required to present a copy of their qualifications and certificates to our local team during orientation in Nepal. Please ensure that you apply for the Medical Elective project at least 6 weeks before your chosen start date, to allow our local team the needed time to arrange a suitable placement that aligns with your study or qualifications.

Remote Health Post Work

Remote health clinics in Nepal struggle to attract qualified doctors and medically trained personnel, let alone acquire sufficient equipment and medicine. Volunteers on the Remote Health Post project in Nepal work in rural health clinics and assist local medical staff in performing day-to-day tasks. Tasks can include dressing wounds, drawing blood, screening and organizing patients, collecting medicines and generally helping in whatever capacity they are required. There is also the need to conduct seminars to motivate and educate local villagers on healthcare initiatives. Please note, there is a minimum duration of 2 weeks for this project and volunteers need to have completed at least 2 years training at medical school or nursing school. Volunteers are required to present a copy of their qualifications and certificates to our local staff during orientation in Nepal.


On arrival in Nepal, volunteers are accommodated in a guesthouse in Kathmandu for the 3-day duration of orientation. Volunteers are then accommodated together in homestays run by local host families, who have been approved by our program staff. We give your host family a fee for your support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a host family, providing you with a unique opportunity to learn about the Nepalese way of life, meet local people, try local food and speak the local language. Please note, host families in Nepal speak limited English. Living is basic but comfortable and most homestays have electricity and running water, however some rural homestays do not have electricity or running water during the dry season. Squat toilets are the norm in Nepal and you will not come across many western toilets. Volunteers can also expect low-pressure showers that are generally not heated. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one to three other volunteers and bedrooms are comprised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. It is recommended volunteers bring their own sleeping bag and mosquito nets for any trips away.

The staple meal for most Nepali families is dal bhat, which consists of lentil soup (dal), rice (bhat) and vegetables in curry (tarkari) and/or meat (masu) with side of pickle/sauce (achar). Indian and Tibetan influenced dishes also very common in Nepal, including plenty of curries, breads and potato-based dishes. Volunteers are served two meals per day at their homestay and can purchase additional food to supplement this if they wish. Bottled water is readily available in Nepal and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 liters per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.


Orientation is taken by our Nepal team in Kathmandu and runs over the course of 3 days. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Nepal – Introduction to Nepal, Nepalese Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Nepal, Introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.


First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays: While a volunteer daily schedule will vary depending on the specific placement, a typical day is as follows:

7.30 AM Breakfast at the homestay.

8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break.

2.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.

7.00 PM - 9.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.


During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Nepal. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield and engage in tourist activities, such as trekking, jungle safaris and visits to temples.

Nepal Volunteer Fees: 
Volunteer periodProgram fee US$
1 Week250
2 Weeks350
3 Weeks450
4 Weeks550
5 Weeks650
6 Weeks750
8 Weeks950
10 Weeks1150
12 Weeks1350
To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $279 USD on top of the Program Fee. The Medical Elective project has an extra cost of US$35 per week to cover training provided and resources used. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply. 

What do my fees pay for?

Registration Fee (refundable if you choose not to go*) – ongoing support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, IVHQ Fund, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

What additional costs will I have?

Visa, flightstravel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, in-country trips and tours, souvenirs, spending money (volunteers in Nepal generally find US$20 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).

* - Terms and conditions do apply.

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