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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
Official languages: 
Rupee (NRs.)
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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.​


Volunteer programs begin on the 1st and 15th of every month until April, 2015. From April 2015, 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 20 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 must be 18 years or older on the volunteer program start date, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Nepal. Volunteers participating on the Medical Elective and Remote Health Post projects must have at least 2 years medical training. Volunteers must send their CV, practicing licence or proof of study to our program staff in Nepal at least 4 weeks before their program start date. Proof of study must be provided in the form of a verification letter from a professor and an academic transcript.


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. Many volunteers teach English in the mornings before arranging sports, drama and song in the afternoon. 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. Volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on this project, however IVHQ offers volunteers with the opportunity to upskill for their Teaching projects by gaining an internationally recognized TEFL certification. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn more.


In developing countries like Nepal, thousands of children are left orphaned, leaving them with no real home, family or education opportunities. Volunteers on the Childcare project in Nepal are placed in an orphanage/care house where they assist local children in their day-to-day routines. The general 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 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.

Medical Elective

Volunteers on the Medical Elective project 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, a medical college in Bhaktapur, or a hospital in Chitwan, 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 (3+ 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 staff during orientation in Nepal.

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. This will be included in the fees 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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