Cultural Orientation Week - Goa | Udaipur | Sikkim

Enjoy a week to settle in to your new surrounds and learn about the culture and customs. Get to know your fellow volunteers, enjoy cultural excursions, temple visits, walking tours and adventures, cooking and language classes, traditional dance shows and more!

Cultural Orientation Week India – Goa, Udaipur or Sikkim

Project Type

Standard Placement – Volunteer Center accommodation shared rooms

Duration

1 Week

Start Dates

1st & 3rd Monday of every month (Cultural orientation week)

Location

Goa, Udaipur or Sikkim

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Program Fees

Whats Included

  • Arrival  airport transfer
  • 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Accommodation (Volunteer Centers – shared dorm style rooms)
  • Daily ground transportation (to/from project)
  • Training & supervision as required
  • Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
  • 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
  • Touring & excursions as per itinerary
  • Certificate of Completion 

Whats Not Included

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Airfares & visa fees
  • Additional tours, souvenirs, spending money
  • Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)

Background Information

For standard and specialty India placements, you can chose between 3 very unique experiences in either Goa, Updaipur or Sikkim.  Given the nature of India and it’s ability to culture shock even the most seasoned travelers, a one week orientation is included as part of all programs.   This is a great way to settle in and get to know your fellow volunteers while learning as much as possible about the destination, the culture and local customs so you can get the best our or your experience.  You’ll receive language lessons, cooking classes, yoga sessions, sightseeing, visits to authentic Indian homes, workshops that will introduce you to the culture, visits to our project locations and more.

Udaipur
The Royal city of Udaipur located in the state of Rajasthan is commonly called the Venice of the East and nicknamed ‘the city of lakes’. 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. Drawing several million tourists a year, it has loads to offer in terms of art, architecture, culture and cuisine. With all of this and more, Udaipur is one of the cities everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

Goa
Ideal for first time India travelers Goa offers that unique cultural experience with a bit more ‘western’  feel.  Besides the beautiful long sandy beaches, there are also many areas to explore from caves behind waterfalls and villages hidden in sandy coconut forests to spice plantations and mountain ranges and hiking tracks.  The UNESCO World Heritage site also has much architecture with churches, cathedrals and forts to explore.  It is also a free spirited place with many hippies,  markets and a great party scene.

Sikkim
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 those looking for off the beaten track should choose this option.

Indicative Schedule

Sunday – Arrive at your chosen destintaion.  Upon arrival, you’ll be picked up and transferred to the volunteer center to settle in.

Monday to Friday (A general overview)

  • Overview of India culture, religion, customs, history, geography, social issues and how you can help!
  • Group discussions, debates, lectures etc
  • Basic language lessons (English is widely spoken all throughout the country (especially Goa and Rajasthan)
  • Project Overviews and project visits
  • Cooking lessons, Yoga (most days start with Yoga),
  • Local sightseeing at various markets, nature sights and local attractions
  • Group games, team building exercises & emergency procedures etc

Udaipur Accommodation Overview

The volunteer center is located five kilometers from the heart of Udaipur’s where you’ll find all the standard things like ATM’s, gyms, shops etc, There is a mini library where you can read, a beautiful garden to relax in and dining and lounge areas where you can hang out with fellow volunteers.  The house is equipped with all standard western style amenities (eg. Fridge, running water, Wifi toilets etc).  Please note the quality of Wi-Fi will be slower than you’re used to!

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Indian food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about twice per week. You can also use the kitchen facilities to cook for yourself or eat out at any of the local restaurants.

Basic Amenities include 4-6 persons p/room, Wifi in public areas, laundry facilities (at a small fee), safety deposit box, lockable rooms, hot showers, private bathroom, bed linen provided, bring your own towel.

Goa Accommodation Overview

The Goa Volunteer center is a large western style house with a lovely garden and large outdoor area.  The house features and hot water (solar powered), WiFi, dining room, mini library and travel desk, lounge areas, television with satellite connection, safety lockers and lockable rooms, fridge and western style toilets and purified water.  Bed linen is provided, however you should bring your own towel.  You’ll be sharing a room with max of 4-6 volunteers at any one time in single gender rooms. You can wash your clothes by hand otherwise there is laundry services available for an additional fee.

The center is located located about 1 hour from the airport and about a 15 min walk to the nearest supermarket with ATM and personal SIM card for additional Wifi if desired as the quality of internet is not the greatest!   The closest city is Mapusa.

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Indian foods, consisting mainly of vegetarian foods including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about twice per week. You can also use the kitchen facilities to cook for yourself or eat out at any of the local restaurants.

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