does Cultural Week Involve?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: CULURAL ORIENTATION WEEK
LOCATION: GOA, UDAIPUR & SIKKIM
START DATES: 1ST & 3RD MONDAY OF EACH MONTH
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PROJECT COSTS: From US$275 + APPLICATION FEE
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 the ideal way to become comfortable in your new surroundings.
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.
The beach goers destination with the right mix of infrastructure and order coupled with that crazy un-ordered Indian charm. 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!
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.
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. Our projects here are in the early days of development so volunteers in Sikkim looking for off the beaten track should choose this option.
- Learn about the local language, culture and norms
- Interact with the community and other volunteers
- See some local sights and get to know your new surroundings
Food & Accommodation
In Udaipur, 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, 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! 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.
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.
In Sikkim, you will stay either at a monastery or close by in our volunteer centre. Spectacular scenery surrounds the Buddhist monasteries and you will see some incredible views from your accomodation! Please note, this project is in the early stages so please contact us for more details.
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.
If you want to gain a head start on your projects and feel comfortable in your new surroundings, before you begin, this week is a fantastic way to do just that! It gives you time to adjust before your project begins, to explore the local area and to learn more about the culture and customs. This can greatly help you to communicate with the locals on your projects.
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
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 finalised with you upon making a booking as this will depend on your arrival information.
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
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organise 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.
No extra requirements for this program.
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.
India’s climte ranges from tropical down south to alpine up in the northern mountain regions.
From April until the start of October is summer, and in most places in India, is very hot. In June the monsoon rains start in Kerala down south, and move inland. Further north and in the rural areas of Rajasthan, it can get pretty cold from December to January- sometimes as low at minus 5 degrees!
Be prepared for some hot temperatures but if in the Sikkim region, bring along some warmer clothing as it can get cold in the mountains.
India is a country FULL of culture! From the beautiful colours, different religions, ancient traditions and the smells of spices- India is a country like no other. It’s the the second most populous nation after China, with over 1.2 billion people.
The most prominant religions are Hinduism and Buddhism and around 13% of the popualrtion are Muslim. Because there are so many religions, India celebrates a large number of festivals throughout the year. Some of these include Diwali, Holi, Eid and Good Friday.
In India, the cow is considered to be a Holy animal and you will see cars either driving around, or simply waiting if a cow is in the road holding up traffic! In some parts of India it is forbidden to eat meat or drink alcohol.
You will see many temples in India, as well as colourful clothing, particually the sari’s that the local women wear, and many cultural dance shows and activities.
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IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.
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