Below are the steps for the application and placement process. Please note that throughout the process there will be additional information supplied through email correspondence with our staff and your questions are always welcome.
- Learn more about our program on the website
- Apply and Pay Application Fee
- Receive acceptance letter, Volunteer Manual, and placement information
- Correspond with VN staff about placement possibilities
- Finalize placement decision
- Make flight arrangements and send the details to VN staff
- Pay Program Fee
- Arrive, participate in orientation, and begin placement
Please note: Volunteer Nepal accepts application fee payments on PayPal through volunteernepal.com and volunteernepal.net. Please do not use volunteernepal.org to pay your fee since it is not affiliated with Volunteer Nepal.
The application fee covers processing expenses for staff time and work beginning with the application review to organizing your placement arrangements and welcoming you in Nepal. Upon acceptance into the program, the fee also covers the Volunteer Manual, which includes helpful information about the initial orientation program, housing and meal accommodations, a recommended packing list, and a Nepali phrase list, as well as a Teaching Manual for those considering a teaching placement.
Using the information gathered from your application, our staff will begin to discuss specific placements that match your interests and skills. You will receive background information about the organizations’ purpose and services, the assistance needed, its location, as well as housing arrangements at each site. You may have additional questions at that point and we will do our best to supply you with as much information as possible. In order to make the best use of your time in Nepal, it is to your benefit to make a final decision on a placement before your arrival.
Once you decide the timing of your travels, you’ll need to make flight arrangements to arrive at the Kathmandu airport. You’ll notify us of your travel dates and airline flight numbers so that we can be at the airport to greet you.
The program fee is best paid just before your departure to Kathmandu. The fee covers all accommodations, meals, and language and cultural sessions and sightseeing during orientation in Kathmandu, in-country travel to and from your placement(s), as well as staff support, and a donation to the placement, . The balance of the fee goes toward operating costs of Nepal Orphans Home. If for any reason you are unable to serve, this fee will be returned to you less the PayPal transaction fee. Learn more about the program fee here, and see additional information in the Volunteer Manual about how to submit payment of program fee.
The volunteer is responsible for the following:
- Airfare or other transportation to and from Kathmandu.
- Obtaining visa at the airport in Nepal (fees $25.00 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days, then $2 per day thereafter). Currently tourists are limited to 5 months in a calendar year. You are recognized as a tourist under the visa categories while in Nepal. See more about visas below.
- Insurance if you desire any.
- Personal trekking, rafting or other adventure activities that may interest you.
- Meals outside the Volunteer House.
- Personal time activities.
- There is a weekly surcharge of $150 for guided trekking to remote areas for the collection of oral histories, myths, and legends.
- Any food that you wish to purchase and prepare in the volunteer kitchen in lieu of eating the prepared meals by our staff.
- Souvenirs and or items you wish to give to Nepalese host families or new friends.
It is not with any scientific accuracy that we may suggest the amount of pocket money one should bring with them, as it depends entirely upon your spending habits. Kathmandu is a little expensive, especially in the areas catering to tourists. It is possible to spend very little since your meals and travel to and from placements will be covered by your fees.
We can offer rough estimates on specific purchases and will also provide tips on bargaining prices for purchases during your orientation sessions.
What else should I know?
Visas, available at the airport in Kathmandu upon arrival, are currently limited to five months in any given year; however, if you want to volunteer for more than five months, you can adjust your start time to begin in August, and then obtain a new visa and add five months of the following year. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to obtain and pay for his or her own visa.
Some of the Hindu festivals are large and exciting, and you might want to be there for them. There are also certain auspicious months for Nepalese marriages, and that can be a memorable experience as well.
Additionally, there are festivals that the Buddhists and Muslims celebrate that are poignant and moving. There are also festivals that involve the widespread sacrificing of livestock, goats and water buffalo. These can be difficult for those who are strict vegetarians and have a strong compassion for life. There are some common festivals celebrated by all, but for the most part a festival is meant to mark an important religious event in the particular sect's history.
Often during a festival all normal activity is brought to a halt and your assignment may be as well, but usually it is only for a few days and can be seen as a welcome change in your life as a volunteer.
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.