does Cultural Week Involve?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: CULTURAL ORIENTATION WEEK
LOCATION: KATHMANDU, NEPAL
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PROJECT COSTS: From US$275 + APPLICATION FEE
This 1 week placement is designed for all standard programs to provide an in depth insight into Nepalese culture & religion so that you can understand social practices and get the most out of your volunteering experience.
You’ll receive a welcome ceremony, cultural overview, language training, cooking demonstrations, hiking/treking, yoga practice & instruction, local market tours and more….
This week helps volunteers develop an awareness and better understanding of the cultural differences and how to best approach situations to ensure a rewarding and unforgettable volunteer experience.
Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, is an incredible place! The contrast of decaying buildings, smell of incense, street sellers, historic temples and incredible mountain views will invigorate your senses and keep you inspired to learn more about the amazing history and culture. For several hundred years, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. The highlight of Kathmandu has long been Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temples and monuments of varying shapes, sizes, styles, and faiths can be found here. This small, mountain-sheltered valley is the historical centre of Nepal, a place where kingdoms rose and fell, where palaces and temples were built and rebuilt, and where Nepali art and culture was developed and refined.
- Visit the local sights and surroundings
- Learn more about the local culture and develop a deeper understanding of local norms
- Meet your other volunteers and feel settled before the start of your project
Food & Accommodation
Located in the heart of Kathmandu, about 1 hours drive from the airport, the volunteer centre houses up to 20 volunteers with 3 to 4 people sharing one room (single gender rooms). They have modern bathrooms; a modern kitchen and dining room, mini library, a fully furnished living room, TV, computer, DVD player, fans, live-in staff on call 24/7, a garden complete with a comfortable covered area and 24/7 security. Centrally located, there are several gym’s nearby as well as local supermarkets, ATM’s, mobile phone shops etc.
*For couples or those wanting more privacy, there are upgrade accommodation options available for an additional cost (approx US $150 p/room p/week). This must be booked well in advance and is subject to availability.
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
An arrival airport transfer from Tribhuvan International Airport is provided so long as you arrive on a Saturday or Sunday. Volunteers arriving any other days will need to find their way to the centre or we can arrange a transfer at additional cost. We’ll provide full details on how to do this in the volunteer welcome pack.
Local travel to/from the project sites each day will be by public transport. This is very inexpensive but must be paid directly. You’ll have plenty of other volunteers with you to make it a fun experience. For long distance trips, volunteers will be expected to share taxis and for short distance, you’ll walk!
Example day to day (breakfast lunch, dinner included daily)
- Sunday – Arrival Day. Pick up in the airport/ Check in at the House Center
- Monday – Welcome ceremony, safety review, code of conduct, introduction games, cultural do’s & don’ts, Nepali language training
- Tuesday – Nepali language training, health & well being, cross cultural orientation
- Wednesday – Yoga & meditation (7am), Napali language training, schooling and education system overview, tour to Bouddhanath temple
- Thursday – Nepali language training, religion & culture training, local market tour and scavenger hunt
- Friday – Hiking day trip, cooking demonstration, feedback & evaluation, preparation for volunteer placements
- Sat/Sun – Free days at leisure
***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***
The weekends are always open for your leisure. The local team will assist you in organising additional travel plans with heaps of local knowledge. Shopping in Kathmandu is an experience all its own. Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hotspot, is where shoppers can find Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian artifacts, woodcarvings, 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.
No extra requirements needed.
Nepal is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. Nepal ﬁrst opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s. It is home to Mount Everest, the birthplace of Buddha, and an astonishingly beautiful landscape, ranging from the well-known peaks of the Himalaya to the low-lying regions of the Terai.
The Nepali people are as diverse at the geography, with over 70 languages or dialects and scores of traditional festivals celebrated throughout the year.
However, Nepal is also one of the most under-developed countries in the world, with low rates of literacy, high rates of poverty and a persistent gender imbalance. The government is frequently unable to provide adequate education and health facilities throughout the country and both urban and rural areas are forced to live without necessary resources to promote growth and development of their communities.
Nepal is a year round destination, and the cliate can vary between the North and South regions. The best overall times to visit are during spring and autumn (particually for trekking).
December to Febuary is winter, and it can get extremely cold in the mountains (down to sub zero). Summer in this region has a pleasent temperature but still bring some warmer clothing for the evenings.
Summer in southern Nepal can get extremely hot (plus 40°C) in some areas. Winter temperatures in this area can range from 7°C to 23°C.
Kathmandu has a pleasent climate on average. The monsoon rains start from June to September in Nepal.
The majority of Nepalis are either Hindus or Buddhists, but there are many other religions here too like Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Sikhism. You will find many temples and monasteries around Nepal. The right hand is used for important things such as passing money, eating and the giving of gifts.
Nepalese people love their food and much of it has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan cultures. Nepali people have a lot of respect for elders and will call each other didi (“older sister”), bahini (“younger sister”), etc, even if they are not actually related. The family unit is very strong and having a close knit family is important for the local people.
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