We make sure our volunteers are guided through all they need to know about Nepal’s culture, traditions and etiquette before beginning their placement
After your arrival in Nepal you will be given an introductory orientation by Volunteer Society Nepal staff. This orientation is highly valued by our volunteers as it prepares them for not only life in Nepal, but also life as a volunteer so that they can be maximally effective in their placement.
Arriving to work in a foreign country can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with VSN you’re guaranteed a friendly welcome and knowledgeable orientation to help you settle into life in Nepal. This orientation encompasses basic language training, cultural training and sightseeing through Kathmandu and surrounding areas.
Here is what you can expect from the moment you arrive at Tribhuvan Intl Airport to help you feel at home during the first days of your volunteer experience in Nepal.
Day 1: Arrival
You will be met at the airport by one of our staff (Gelu Sherpa, Bishal Shrestha or Anjila Joshi). Together with our driver, Bimal, you will be taken to either the Volunteer Society Nepal office or straight to your homestay where you can drop your bags and relax. The VSN director, Dinesh Rajbhandari, will meet you to clarify your program and answer any initial questions you might have. Depending on what time you arrive, you may begin Nepali language classes or join a sightseeing tour of some of the world heritage sights of the Kathmandu Valley, before enjoying your first Nepali dinner in the evening with your homestay family.
Day 2: Nepali lessons begin, a trip to local amenities and sightseeing
After a leisurely start and breakfast so you can recover from your journey, you will start your Nepali language course at the VSN office. After meeting the VSN team you will have 2 lessons from around 10.30 to 12.45 with our highly experienced language teachers. This will also give you a chance to meet any other volunteers joining at the same time. From here one of our staff will take you round the local area of Pepsi-Cola where the office and homestays are for the induction period.
You will be driven round being shown where all relevant amenities are: the nearest bank, shopping centre, internet cafe, food shops, post office. You will also be shown the local buses to take you into Kathmandu or to Bhaktapur and also where you can catch a taxi. You will also be told where to keep your valuables and general information about life in Nepal.
After this you will be driven with our guide to see some of Kathmandu’s famous UNESCO world heritage sites. Our guide Gelu Sherpa has over 15 years experience of taking people round the ancient city and can answer any questions you have on ancient and contemporary Nepal. You can visit the famous Buddhist Boudanath and Swayambhunath stupas as well as the Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath. The Durbar squares on Patan and Kathmandu are also essential visits. If you have other sites you are particularly interested in then this may be integrated as well.
Day 4: Nepali lessons and a visit to VSN’s projects in the Kathmandu valley
Continued Nepali language training in the morning. After lessons you may be driven round some of VSN’s projects in the Kathmandu Valley. This may include theÂ CBIA School, Orphanages & Women Centre in Pepsi-Cola suburb, Center forÂ Children with Intellectual Disabilities
In the afternoon you can do more sightseeing, or if you would prefer you can take the time to explore on your own. It’s also a good opportunity to stock up with anything you may have forgotten before heading up to a rural placement. You can find several small departmental stores and grocery stores at Pepsicola town planning area or near any other host families. The tourist hub of Thamel will be able to furnish you with anything from Marmite to an extra pair of Merino socks.
Day 4: Transit to placement and inductions with your new host family. Final preparations to start work the following day
If you are on a longer placement of more than 2 months, this induction period will be extended to up to a maximum of a week. This will be to enable you to focus even more on Nepali language lessons to ensure you are as well prepared as possible for your time here.