Program & Schedule
During this program, you will teach different subjects including English and have one on one English conversation class to the monks at the monasteries. You will also get a chance to learn about Buddhism while doing this. You will be teaching to novice monks, both adults and children! You will be staying either in the monastery or in an accommodation nearby, this will allow for fully immersing into the lifestyle of the monks!
After your introduction week at Kathmandu, During the monastery teaching phase at the Monastery, you will be accommodated at the monastery itself. You will be sharing room with other participants. We have monastery in different locations – Kathmandu, Pharping, Namobuddha, and Serlo – Everest region. In Kathmandu, the monastery is in Tinchuli, Boudha. When you are teaching at Tinchuli, Boudha monastery, you will be staying at the house in Kathmandu because this monastery is damaged by the earthquake so there is no space to stay at the monastery. But for other monasteries (Pharping, Namobuddha and Serlo) you will be staying at monastery.
Serlo monastery is the one furthest one which takes about 12 hours of jeep drive and stay overnight in Phaplu and then the next day of about 4 hours hike to the Serlo Monastery. Monastery in Namobuddha is about 4 hours drive from Kathmandu. Pharping is about 2 hours driving from Kathmandu.
Aims & Objectives
To help teach monks English and reversely, to get our participants immersed into the lifestyle in a monastery and to help them learn about Buddhism.
Monday to Friday
You will teach different subjects including English to the monks, both young and old, for about 2 to 3 hours every day. Apart from this activity, you are free to also take part in other activities such as kitchen gardening or at the library etc.This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: 18
Maximum age: 65
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: On Signup
Resume copy required: On Signup
Required qualification: Completed high school
There are no specific requirements.
Living & Location
Your new home will be an authentic buddhist monastery. According to availability you can choose between different monasteries in or around Kathmandu. While the nearest one is just within Kathmandu, the farthest takes a 12 hour (overnight) bus ride and 4 hours of hiking to get to. Did we already say it’s authentic?
We take care of the (public) transport to the monastery and back at the beginning and end of your program.
You will be accommodated at one of the monasteries itself, sharing a room with other participants.
The meals are a mix of Western and Nepalese food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about once per week. You can choose to eat out at any of the local restaurants.
Our monastery is located about three kilometers away from the city center, where you can find anything you might need. The nearest ATM and supermarket are located a 15-25 minute walk away from the accommodation. But we would advise you to use the ATMs available in Kathmandu before leaving to the most farthest Monastery.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Shopping in Kathmandu is an experience itself. Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hotspot, is where shoppers can find Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian artifacts, wood carvings, handicraft and an assortments of unique clothing and apparel. There are also several malls where you can find fashionable clothing and grocery stores, offering everything from wine to breakfast cereals. There are numerous dining options available throughout the city, including Italian, Indian, Thai, Korean and Chinese in addition to a variety of local cuisine.
From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):
Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Population: 26 million
Currency: Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Time zone: UTC +5:45
Namaste and welcome to Nepal, a country of high Himalayan Mountains, artistic monuments, exotic wildlife, and diverse cultures. Located between 80 12' east longitude and between 26 22' and 30 27' north latitude, the kingdom of Nepal extends along the south slopes of the Himalayas in central Asia.
Although Nepal is small, it has the greatest latitudinal variation of any country. The land rises from the southern plains of the Terai, barely above sea level at 70 meters, to the top of the Mt. Everest, the highest peak on Earth at 8848 meters above sea level, in a distance of less than 200 km.
Weather conditions in Nepal vary from region to region. Summer and late spring temperatures range from about 28C in the hill region of the country to more than 40C in the Terai. In the winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a brisk 7C to mild 23C. The central valleys experience a minimum temperature often falling below the freezing point and a chilly 12C maximum. Much colder temperatures prevail at higher elevations. The Kathmandu Valley has a mild climate, ranging from 19 to 27C in the summer and 2 to 20C in the winter. In the winter, it only snows in the high elevations, around 9,000 feet. In the highest elevations, it snows year-round. The monsoon can last from mid-June to mid-August although the majority of the rain arrives in July.
Winter: From December to February, the mornings and evenings will be cold; in the daytime, you will be fine with a sweater or thin jacket.
Spring: From March to May is the best time to be in Nepal as it is neither hot nor cold. However, it does get quite windy.
Summer: June to August. Hot, humid and monsoon season.
Fall: Very pleasant and mild weather. It gets a bit windy but you will be fine with a sweater or a jacket.
Nepal's many ethnic groups are as varied as its land with their own languages and cultures. A wide variety of ethnic groups occupy the mid-hills. In the Kathmandu Valley the major population that we find is Newars, whose culture and artistry have earned them an international reputation. The Sherpas are known as tough mountain climbers. Brahmins and Chhetris are scattered over the hills and valleys, and Tamangs are found in the districts around the Kathmandu Valley. The Rais, Limbu, Gurung, Magars of the mid-hills have earned fame as Gurkha soldiers. Lowland ethnic groups such as Maithili, Bhojpuri, and Tharu enhance the colorful mosaic. The population of Nepal is about 23 million.
Do’s & Dont’s
- Namaste to those older than you in age, rank or position. Only once on the first meeting each day. You may also shake hands with people of same sex. Don't shake hands with a person of the opposite sex.
At the table
- If someone offers you something to eat, do not say “no” directly. If you do not want to eat, you can say, "I have just had….." or "I do not feel like eating now " or "I never eat/drink…."
- Brush your teeth, wash your face before eating breakfast.
- Wash and rinse your hands before and after eating food
Public displays of affection
- Affection between men and women is seldom expressed. Public kissing, hugging, or hand holding (different sex) is offensive to Nepalese.
- However, you will often see men holding hands with other men, and women holding hands with other women. This is acceptable and is not indication of homosexuality.
Shoes, feet & legs
The Nepalese believe the feet are the most polluted, profane part of the body. That is why
- Before entering a temple always take your shoes off
- Most Nepalese take off their shoes before entering the inner rooms of the house
- Don't point the soles of your feet at another person
- Don't step over any portion of another person, food, utensils, books, stationary, etc
- Accidentally touching someone else with your feet should be apologized for immediately by touching your hand (or making a motion) to the other person’s feet and then touching your head while repeating Vishnu's name, in essence saying "Your feet are higher than my head"
- Crossing your legs in front of someone senior to you is considered offensive
Left hand - right hand
Your right hand is your more sacred and pure hand, and your left hand is the less sacred and pure. That is why..
- Don't give or receive things with your left hand
- Eat with your right hand only. If you are left handed its considerable
- Your left hand is generally reserved for cleaning yourself in the toilet
The head is the most sacred and pure part of the body. That is why..
- Avoid patting people, even children, on the head.
- Don't ever take a man's hat from his head, even in jest.
- The Nepalese are conservative people; try to respect their local dress, even if many tourists do not. Women should not wear short-cut shorts, halter-tops, or tank tops. Knee length shorts and T-shirts are acceptable.
- Women: Long skirts and conservative pants are best. Anything that is not tight or revealing is acceptable. Men: Long pants and shirts are most preferable. Shorts can be all right if they are relatively conservative. Going bare-chested is unacceptable.
- Wearing traditional clothes is greatly encouraged by Nepalese. It shows that your respect and are interested in their culture.
Much of Nepali cuisine is a variation of Asian themes, with a lot of roots from Tibet, India and Thai food. The national dish is daal bhaat tarkaari, which is spiced lentils over rice served with tarkari and cooked with spices.
Cow meat is forbidden because Hindus consider cattle to be sacred. In fact, many tribes and communities in Nepal are strict vegetarians.