India is an eclectic and intoxicating cultural experience like no other! Home of the famous Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the sacred Ganges river, and over 1 billion people of varying languages, cultures and beleifs, India is sure to push you to the boundaries of your comfort zone.
IVI is focused on establishing sustainable employment and education through volunteering efforts in India. Children in some of the regions we service have not had basic nutritional background. Over 950,000 newborns per year in India die from infections. Education about health for families provides a strong foundation for self-care in the communities we service in India.
Location of Projects
IVI’s volunteer in India programs are situated in various parts of the country, however our preference is the state of Bihar which is the poorest region in India with the most needs. If you haven’t been to India yet…. Go! It’s truly an amazing experience no matter what part of the country you visit. The following is an overview of the key regions we service for volunteering, however note the road trips involve heaps of other destinations including Agra (Taj Mahal), Mysore (Yoga Capital of India), Munnar (Southern Tea Plantations) and much more!
If you want a real India experience with truly unique culture and inspiring grass roots volunteer project that is transforming communities, say yes to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is certainly the most fascinating and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world and the place where Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One in approx 525 BC. Bodhgaya, is famous for Mahabodhi temple which stands above the Bodhi Tree. Its architectural effect is mesmerizing. This is a very poor region with many needs from social and civil infrastructure, education, healthcare where volunteers can really make a substantial difference. At the heart of this placement is truly inspired people making positive changes in the world. Volunteers are encouraged to learn as much Hindi as possible in advance of this placement.
Sikkim is a small state in northwest India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Spectacular scenery coupled with buddhist monasteries are the highlight of this fascinating region. Here you’ll be interacting with monks on a regular basis, learning about their way of life and exchanging ideas and intercultural learnings. This is a project in it’s early days of development so volunteers in Sikkim looking for off the beaten track should choose this option.
The beach goers destination with the right mix of infrastructure and order coupled with that crazy un-ordered Indian charm. Here you will join a well established project that has been helping the poorer communities in education and community support for over 10 years. Goa is a really fun destination, with plenty of party goers and a relaxed funky vibe great for the free spirited types who want a more ‘westernized’ taste of India!
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Visited on the India Road Trip, Shimla, ‘The Land of snowy mountains’ is situated 2,205 metres (7,234 ft.) above sea level. Famous for the many cheeky monkeys which love to steal your juicy mangos (or anything they can get their hands on) it was declared the summer capital of the British Rule in India in 1864. It’s an incredibly picturesque and uniquely cultured destination that is a must see any time of the year! Local markets and street vendors are present everywhere. Due to its pleasant climate, it attracts a favourable blend of Indian and International tourists throughout the year.
Visited on the India Road Trip, Udaipur is commonly called the Venice of the East and nicknamed ‘the city of lakes’ is located in the state of Rajasthan. Primarily known for its art and architecture, it has temples dating as far back as 950 AD and palaces dating back to the Rajput era. The Lake Palace (Jag Niwas) located in the middle of Pichola Lake is an architectural and cultural marvel. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above enhances the beauty of this magnificent city. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, crafts and its famed miniature paintings and perfect for those who want to experience the history and culture while volunteering in India.
Accommodation & Meals
All accommodation is included during your volunteer program. Accommodation will be comfortable, clean and is single gender either twin share or dorm style with adequate bathroom and toilet facilities including running water. Please click on the projects below for specific details about the volunteer accommodation.
Single supplements are available to volunteers at an extra charge (approx $150 p/room p/week).
3 meals are provided each day. Volunteers may be expected to help prepare meals and clean up depending on the program. The volunteer working week is generally Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 3:00pm with weekends free to relax and explore your local surrounds.
Airport pick-up is included in the volunteering cost unless specified. This may involve either a local pick-up by your volunteer host or a public transport ticket where necessary. These details will be finalized with you upon making a booking as this will depend on your arrival information.
24/7 Program Support
Throughout your stay, you will have the support and guidance of our local ground operator program coordinators, they will provide every volunteer with competent assistance and help with anything that you may need. Additionally, the IVI head office exists within Australia providing additional support where necessary 24/7.
You are welcome to come with a group, with a friend, with family or own your own. If you are coming on your own don’t worry you will make lots of new friends! Generally, volunteers must be 18 years of age, however we can cater to as young as 16 years old depending on the application There is no upper age limit. Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular with many mature guests, some of retirement age looking to give back to developing communities.
Our programs are designed for proactive individuals with a mindset of supporting the less fortunate and/or gaining specialists skills. The more you put in, the more you will get out. A high degree of patience and understanding is also necessary as it’s likely that conditions will be very different to your home country.
Weekends and Extra Tours
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organize additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency. As a volunteer you will gain access to local knowledge, opportunities and value you simply would not find if staying as a standard tourist.
- Arrival Airport Transfer
- All internal transfers (bus, train and taxis)
- 3 Meals p/day
- Accommodation (Volunteer Centers & hostels – shared dorm style rooms)
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Certificate of Completion
- Internal airfares as specified in itinerary (Road Trips)
- Entry fees to all monuments specific in itinerary (Road Trips)
- English-speaking guide wherever required (Road Trips)
- Comprehensive project volunteering guide
What’s Not Included
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
- Inbound/Outbound Airfares & Visa fees
- Souvenirs, Spending Money