Cultural Immersion and TeachingProgram Fees
VIN’s Cultural Immersion and Teaching Project is designed for those who wish to learn about Nepali culture by becoming a part of Nepali society and contributing towards it.
Nepal is a country of geographical and ethnic diversity. From the Terai plains to the summit of Mount Everest, there are over 10 different ethnic groups and as many as 100 languages. Despite this diversity over 80 percent of the country follow the Hindu religion. Aside from the large temples, small ones crouch on street corners or are pressed within brickwork. Throughout the year many festivals celebrations take place to mark the enduring culture and beliefs of the religion.
Yet despite the Hindu majority, Buddhism continues to strongly influence Nepali culture. The religions exist side by side, to the extent that Buddhist and Hindu temples have become shared places of worship. Nepal is known to have been the birth place of Siddhartha Gautma, the Buddha, and now the home to thousands of Tibetan exiles, the country is a conduit between the Buddhist beliefs in India and China. Unsurprisingly, Nepal hosts some of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world.
As a volunteer you will enjoy a home-stay in a rural location with a Nepali family. During the day you will learn Nepali, the official language, from an experienced teacher, who will also teach Nepalese culture to you. When you are not learning, you will be able to assist at the local community school.
By learning the Nepali language and living with a rural Nepali family you will have the chance to become integrated into the culture and community. Nepali people are very friendly, so you might find yourself with a second family. But please remember, they will be interested in your culture too; bring a little something from home to share with them.
Learning a language means to assimilate into the culture of that target language. This is the concept on which the Cultural Immersion and Teaching Project is based.
Language acquisition will play a large part in your placement. VIN uses experienced, professional language trainers who can usually arrange lessons at a time to suit the student. Lessons are given using a learner-centred approach in a comfortable and friendly environment. And while VIN has designed its own language book, lessons can be given according to the needs and suggestions of the student.
Our language lessons are structured in two ways. Either short-term (hourly basis) and long-term (a period of over two weeks). Over the long-term period you can begin to understand different cultural norms in addition to the basic Nepali language.
Your home-stay will be a significant part of your experience. To get the most from it we advise you to organise your placement between August and December. During these months many Hindu festivals take place and experiencing these celebrations will add a riot of colour and depth to your stay.
While what awaits you on your placement is exciting, we do understand that it can also be daunting. Throughout your volunteer placement you will have the full support of VIN. Your safety is our highest priority. On arrival you will be greeted at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transported to your hotel (alternative arrangements can be made for those already in Nepal prior to the start of their placement). You will then receive a comprehensive three-day induction, during which time you will be provided with information about your particular placement as well as general information, including basic Nepalese language and culture. This is also a good time to mix with other volunteers or interns who may be great sight-seeing companions and a source of support during your volunteer placement.
During the induction you will be accommodated in a hotel. You will then be taken to your host family, accompanied by a VIN employee. All our host families are experienced in accommodating volunteers – although their ability to speak English will vary – and they understand their responsibilities toward you in terms of serving food and water and other basic needs. In the event you need it you will have 24 hour access to contact and support from our staff members during your placement.Apply nowFees