Gap Year Program

Global Gap Year: Overview

 

Global Gap is an innovative volunteer program for gap year students who want a far-ranging international experience that spans various areas and different service opportunities. By offering immersion opportunities in local communities around the globe, Global Gap offers a unique way to explore new places, learn about important global issues and help out on worthwhile volunteer projects.

The Global Gap program is designed for high school graduates taking a year off before university. The program consists of a four week orientation and Care program in different parts of Nepal. In each of these areas, volunteers will work closely with our local staff members on projects that lend insight into important issues in developing countries like housing, education, environmental conservation, and human rights.

Choice of Project in Nepal

 

 

 

Nepal is a small yet stunning land of snow-capped mountains, majestic Buddhist temples, and the ancient capital city of Kathmandu. Although Nepal is known for the Himalayas and Mount Everest, it is actually one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet. Aside from mountains you will also find windswept deserts, green paddy fields, and jungles teeming with exotic wildlife.

Our office is based in the labyrinthine city of Kathmandu, –city; full of jostling crowds, rickety ox carts, and noisy auto-rickshaws. Kathmandu is slowly transforming into a vibrant, modern metropolis with western-looking businessmen or even monks chatting on cell phones. However, there is still plenty of evidence of traditional life, with countless religious festivals and temples to visit.

Participants can choose one of several projects during their one month in Nepal. The projects available are teaching English in schools, helping out in care centers or orphanages, or observing doctors on a Medical internship. You can also choose to get involved on theDisaster Relief program, where a great deal of assistance is needed to help the Nepalese people recover from the devastating earthquake of April 2015. Most of these volunteer placements are located in Kathmandu itself of the wider Kathmandu valley. However there are also some medical projects available in the lowlands area of Chitwan, about five hours away from Kathmandu. Participants can also choose to work at our stunning Conservation site in the Annapurna mountains – a few hours away from Nepal’s second city, Pokhara.

Similar to the other destinations, Global Gap participants will go on a weekend trip with staff to explore sites like the foothills of Mount Everest or Chitwan National Park.

 

Volunteer Teaching in Nepal

 

  • PLACEMENT LOCATIONS: Kathmandu
  • TYPES OF SCHOOLS: Elementary Schools, Secondary Schools
  • AGE OF STUDENTS: 4 – 18
  • CLASS SIZES: 15 – 30
  • ROLE: Teacher or Teaching Assistant
  • REQUIREMENTS: None
  • EXTRA-CURRICULAR ROLES: Art, Music, Drama, Sports
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host families
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

 

A large portion of the population in Nepal lives below the poverty line and there is widespread unemployment. With great trekking and adventure sports, there is a living to be made from the tourist industry, and so learning the English language is one way in which people can improve their chances of building better futures by securing a good job.

Dedicating your time, energy, and skills as a volunteer teacher in Nepal is a great way to spend your gap year, career break, or extended vacation. You can gain valuable work experience without any previous teaching experience, and you are not required to have a TEFL or TESOL qualification. Your English speaking abilities and enthusiasm are all that is needed to make a difference in schools where there is a lack of conversational English language teaching.

The impact you have on your students will be obvious as they start to develop their language abilities, but you will also be part of a much larger network of volunteers, which is making a positive and ongoing contribution to the wider community.

Volunteering as a Teacher in Nepal

WIN-NEPAL works with a variety of schools in Kathmandu. You can choose between teaching in elementary schools, with children between the ages of 4 and 12, or in secondary schools with children from the ages of 13 to 18. The schools have very basic facilities and the main resources you will have in your classroom are a blackboard and a piece of chalk. Despite this, the enthusiasm of the children and the appreciation of your colleagues are sure to make volunteer teaching in Nepal a highly rewarding experience!

On average, a class has around 20-30 pupils, and a volunteer will normally be in charge of half a class (the other half being taken either by another volunteer or a local teacher). It may be the case that you are placed in charge of the whole class, so you need to be prepared for that challenge. Most of our Teaching placements require you to work between four to six hours per day from Monday to Friday.

The children will often have some English language skills but there is always lots of room for improvement. Your most important resource is yourself – your knowledge and your interests – so be sure to draw on them whenever possible. To do so will greatly enhance both your students’ and your own experience.

Local teachers are often very capable at providing their students with a good structural knowledge of English, including grammar and vocabulary, but having had little conversational English practice themselves, they often lack the confidence to get the children speaking English. Once you are able to break down this barrier, you are likely to find that students and teachers alike will be able to make rapid progress.

DID YOU KNOW?

For many years, school in Nepal consisted of home schooling or a ‘gurukula’, a residential school where pupils learned from a local Guru. A Guru is an expert or master in a certain field of knowledge.

Although your main role will be to teach English, you will also teach additional subjects such as math, general hygiene practices, and life skills. Local staff will also be eager for you to organize extra-curricular activities such as art, drama, music, and sports. Participating in these activities will give your students a creative outlet, as well as helping to boost their self-esteem. Your skills and abilities in other areas will make you even more popular within the school, and you will be able to discuss organizing these activities with your supervisor when you arrive.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Nepal Teaching Management Plan

 

International Medical Internships in Nepal

  • Project Overview
  • Nepal Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan
  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Kathmandu and Chitwan
  • ROLE: To work alongside skilled local staff observing in various different departments
  • REQUIREMENTS: None
  • TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Hospitals and rehabilitation centers
  • MAIN DEPARTMENTS: General Health Services, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Dental Services, ENT, Neurology, X-ray, and Ultrasound.
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 1 week
  • START DATES: Flexible

As a WIN-NEPAL Medicine intern in Nepal you could work in a wide variety of settings to gain medical experience abroad. Interns can work at medical facilities in and around Kathmandu or in the region of Chitwan, about a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu.

We have medical placement in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for disabled children in the Kathmandu Valley or Chitwan. The work can involve a combination of working with doctors and being involved with care and rehabilitation services.

Some of our placements are the leading referral centers for the functional mobility of physically disabled children. Most of the cases are neglected orthopedic conditions, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal injuries.

You could also work at a center dedicated to providing the best available care in the field of trauma, orthopedics, and rehabilitation.

Interns in Chitwan can work at a large teaching hospital that provides intensive care, emergency, and highly sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic services at comparatively low prices, with the aim of best serving the local community. This makes for a great environment for interns to be exposed to a wide range of medical procedure and learn from experienced instructors.

Volunteer Profile

Karen Choe

You are given a lot of independence in the project. With friends from the program, you learn together how to navigate the village until it becomes second nature. You get to the hospital and it is your call to talk to the doctors and nurses or not. So this project is entirely what you make of it! You must be forward and vocal. Language barrier is no excuse, because all the staff I worked with could speak great English. Read more…

Interning Abroad in Medicine in Nepal with Projects Abroad

Departments available at the various hospitals include general health services, orthopedics, ophthalmology, dental services, ENT, neurology, x-ray, and ultrasound. If you let us know your particular interests when you apply we will try to arrange for you to intern in that specific area.

Depending on where you are working, you may be able to take part in outreach programs organized by the hospital. These programs take place on a monthly or bimonthly basis outside of the rainy season (June to September) and offer free health checks and basic medication to suburban or remote communities in Nepal. Interns working in Chitwan may also have the opportunity to visit local schools to lead health and hygiene classes.

DID YOU KNOW?24 hour Emergency medical care has only been available in Nepal since 2011, and only in the Kathmandu Valley.

No matter where you are working, Medicine interns will have the opportunity to attend monthly lectures or training workshops organized by WIN-NEPAL.

While interning in Nepal with WIN-NEPAL you will live with a local host family or in a hostel, depending on where you are located.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Nepal Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.

Medicine internships in Nepal are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.

If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills volunteering abroad as a professional in Nepal. If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Nepal.

 

 

Disaster Relief Volunteer Work in Nepal

  • Project Overview
  • Monthly Reports
  • Annual Report
  • PLACEMENT LOCATIONS: Kathmandu
  • ROLE: To assist with ongoing relief work and help renovate and rebuild schools damaged or destroyed by the earthquake
  • REQUIREMENTS: None
  • ACCOMMODATION: Guesthouse
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 1 week
  • START DATES: Flexible

Dozens of communities across Nepal are still struggling to recover from the devastation caused by the earthquakes that struck in April 2015. After the immediate emergency response was completed, WIN-NEPAL launched the Disaster Relief Project in June 2015 to help communities recover and rebuild. Since then, our volunteers have made a significant progress in the Kathmandu Valley. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done and volunteers are needed to continue helping communities get back on their feet.

The major focus of the project is on helping children in affected areas. This is especially important for WIN-NEPAL, as we want to make sure that every child in the community has access to a safe learning environment. More than 50,000 classrooms were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake and there is an urgent need to set up alternative learning spaces.

With the assistance of volunteers, WIN-NEPAL has worked on and completed several reconstruction projects so far. Damaged schools have been rebuilt and renovated and in communities where this has been impossible, new temporary or permanent classrooms and school buildings have been constructed.

 

We have also partnered with Nepal Youth Foundation UK, an international NGO with over 25 years’ experience. Their work has made a significant impact on improving the health and education of Nepal’s children. Through this partnership, we are able to repair or rebuild public schools that were damaged in the earthquake and that the Nepalese government has not been able to fund yet.

As a Disaster Relief volunteer in Nepal, you will work at sites based in urban and semi-urban areas in the Kathmandu Valley. The project will expand into other regions as work is completed and participation grows.

Your Role as a Disaster Relief Volunteer in Nepal

At the Disaster Relief Project, you will be involved in tasks such as:

  • Clearing sites
  • Digging foundation trenches
  • Mixing and laying cement and concrete
  • Laying bricks
  • Painting

The type of work you will do is dependent on what stage of the construction the project is at when you arrive. You don’t need any previous construction experience to participate, as our volunteers work under the supervision of a professional mason and a qualified construction engineer, as well as a WIN-NEPAL coordinator. They will teach you everything you need to know about building.

Volunteering on the Disaster Relief Project in Nepal

You can join this project at any time and stay for as long as you choose. You must be reasonably fit to participate.

During your time in Nepal, you will be accommodated in a guesthouse and you will be supported by full-time local Projects Abroad staff.

You can join the Building Project in Nepal from one week if you don’t have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period and may not see the completion of some of the building work.

If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Nepal.

 

 

Volunteer with Children in Nepal

  • PLACEMENT LOCATIONS: Kathmandu and Chitwan
  • TYPES OF CARE PROJECTS: Special needs centers, specialist care centers (malnutrition and HIV/AIDS), early learning classes in schools, day care centers
  • AGE OF PEOPLE CARED FOR: new-born – 20’s (some adults with disabilities)
  • NUMBER OF PEOPLE CARED FOR: 2 –30
  • ROLE: Volunteers work on achieving the goals set out in the Care Management Plan, including improving literacy levels and English skills, providing emotional support, and helping improve general hygiene.
  • REQUIREMENTS: None
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host families
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 1 week
  • START DATES: Flexible

A lack of adequate infrastructure and high unemployment rates are some of the biggest challenges that Nepal faces today. Sustainable development is vital for uplifting Nepalese communities, especially for children and young adults, which is why your help is needed. As a WIN-NEPAL volunteer on a Care Project in Nepal, you will work to ensure that children receive the best care and education possible. By giving them this kind of educational and emotional support, you will give them the tools to build a better future for themselves.

Our Care Projects are based in Kathmandu and Chitwan. We have a variety of different placements available and you can choose to volunteer in a day care center, early learning class at a school (with pre-school or kindergarten-aged children), or a special needs center. You might also be interested in volunteering at a specialist care center, where you can work with children affected by malnutrition and HIV/AIDS.

 

DID YOU KNOW? Transmission of HIV from mother to child can happen to 50% of births if precautions are not taken before the baby is born, yet around 75% of Nepalese women do not receive HIV testing or counseling during pregnancy checkups.

These placements often suffer from a lack of resources, so your experience as a volunteer will be a challenging one. Some of the children are malnourished or come from difficult backgrounds. However, these children are the ones most in need of assistance. Your support and friendship will be essential to helping them grow and develop into well-adjusted adults.

You do not need qualifications or previous experience to volunteer at a Care Project in Nepal and you can participate as part of a vacation, summer break, gap year, or career break. Projects Abroad believes that each volunteer has something to contribute to the communities we work in, and you will make a difference not only to the lives of the children but also the many other people you will meet along the way.

Volunteering at a Care Center in Nepal

 

 

You can get involved at a day care center or early learning classes at a school in a number of different ways. You will help by:

  • Teaching basic life skills such as health and hygiene, including the importance of brushing teeth and washing hands
  • Teaching basic literacy and numeracy, such as ABCs and 123s
  • Helping with basic physical exercises
  • Organizing and running creative activities such as arts and crafts (this can be therapeutic for some of the children you will work with)
  • Raising children’s awareness of environmental issues

If you have an interest in healthcare, you can also help with childcare work at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre. The center was set up to provide a stable and nurturing environment for impoverished children suffering from varying degrees of malnutrition. If you would like to get involved at this placement, let us know when you apply.

Volunteering in Special Needs Centers in Nepal

In Nepal, you have the option to volunteer at community-based rehabilitation centers for children who have physical and mental disabilities. The children and staff will appreciate the interaction and support that you will provide on a day-to-day basis. You will find yourself working with children who have been neglected, and by giving them your support, you can work toward raising their self-esteem.

You might find that some of the children with disabilities are cared for in a way that they would not be in your home country. It is important to remember you are working in another culture, and your presence alone is beneficial for these children.

Volunteering at a Care Placement in Nepal with WIN-NEPAL

 

 

 

 

 

At whichever placement you find yourself, you need to be prepared for a challenge. Many of the children and adolescents will have health or behavioral problems, or may require extra attention due to mental or physical disabilities. It is important to remember, however, that the children will benefit enormously from your presence and support. By contributing to the goals set out in our Care Management Plan, your impact will be significant and long-lasting.

You can read more detailed information about these goals in our Nepal Care Management Plan.

In order to support our Care volunteers, our Care Coordinator in Nepal organizes regular workshops for our volunteers. The workshops provide you with tools and tips on how to better organize your work at your placement, depending on the age and abilities of children with whom you are working. These workshops are a great way for you to discuss and solve any issues you may be having with the coordinator and other volunteers. The Care Coordinator will also teach or suggest new activities and ideas you can use to make more of an impact at your placement.

Volunteer Profile

Diana Dahl

For the first month or so, I spent a lot of time working with the youngest children. I would organize games and crafts, and help them with the basics of English. There was also a lot of soccer playing, goofing around and getting to know each other during this time. Read more…

 

 

 

 

Volunteering on a Care Project in Nepal is a chance to make a significant difference to these children’s lives, not merely through the development of their social and life-skills, but also through exposing them to new ideas and cultures. Your assistance will also support the dedicated (but over-worked) staff who will always appreciate having you there to help.

The Care Project in Nepal is available from one week if you do not have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.

Projects Abroad also has an HIV/AIDS Care Project in Nepal for volunteers interested in supporting those affected by the illness.

If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Nepal.

If you are aged 50 and above, we recommend taking a look at our  Grown-up Special program in Nepal.

Himalayan Mountain Conservation in Nepal

  • Management Plan, Data & Reports
  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Ghandruk, Annapurna mountain range
  • ROLE: To preserve local biodiversity and conduct wildlife research
  • REQUIREMENTS: None
  • MAIN RESEARCH FOCUS: Conservation of the common leopard, leopard cat, barking deer, Asiatic bear, red panda, reptiles, amphibians, numerous bird species, and rhododendron forests
  • LOCAL ENVIRONMENT: Himalayan Mountains (2000m altitude)
  • ACCOMMODATION: Family-run volunteer hostel
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

Volunteers with an interest in helping to preserve the environment and contributing to important wildlife research can make a significant impact on WIN-NEPAL’s Himalayan Mountain Conservation Project in Nepal. This project is located in the spectacular Annapurna Mountain range in the Himalayas, where WIN-NEPAL works closely with a national conservation organization, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).

The ACAP is a government entity which helps to preserve and enhance biodiversity in the area, and we work with them on all aspects of protecting the area. The Annapurna area is home to a diverse range of wildlife such as the common leopard, leopard cat, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, and several bird species including numerous endangered species of vultures.

No previous experience is needed to take part in this project. Volunteers are welcome on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or as part of a volunteer vacation. Please note that the project involves a lot of walking and hiking, so a reasonable level of physical fitness is an advantage.

 Your Role on the Conservation & Environment Project in Nepal

Volunteers on this project can get involved in a wide variety of activities, such as:

  • Wildlife Research: As with any conservation area it is vital to monitor the populations of wild animals. Falling populations of wild animals or population shifts where certain species begin to dominate an ecosystem are indicators that an area is under pressure from human activity. We consider it fundamental to gather this information and create a strong database which we can use in designing conservation strategies. Our surveying techniques include sensor camera traps, walking surveys, and scat identification.
  • Endangered Species: We place a strong emphasis on researching threatened and endangered species. Nepal is home to some of the rarest and most elusive animals on the planet and we have already caught images of leopards, bears, and civets on our cameras.
  • Bird Surveys: Nepal is home to 867 species of birds, a staggering 8% of the world’s total and we are committed to researching these species. 35 of these species are globally threatened and we use the MacKinnon List technique to study them. To date we have identified over 200 species in the area and have published research papers on rare species such as the Pied Thrush.
  • Butterfly Project: Lepidotera (butterflies and moths) are the second most diverse group of insects on the planet. We are currently creating an inventory of species and studying which species are resident and which migratory to the area around Ghandruk.
  • Herpetology Study: While it is a mountainous area, the Annapurna range is home to 40 species of reptile and 23 species of amphibian. Using night walks and opportunistic encounters we are compiling a list for the area around Ghandruk and researching which habitats suit which species.
  • Rhododendron Regeneration Survey: This study will attempt to determine whether the claim that the area hosts the largest rhododendron forest in the world is true. You will measure species composition and look into how anthropogenic effects may be impacting regeneration of the forest.
  • Conservation Education: Running workshops and events in the community. This work often depends on your interests and length of stay. On certain occasions we also arrange anti-poaching education in the village.
  • Weather Station: Our volunteers collect temperate, humidity, and rainfall data daily as there is no weather station in the area.
  • Community Activities: Volunteers learn about and participate in local festivals.
  • Community Clean-ups: While these activities are not taking place at the moment, this is something important that we plan to do in the future. This activity will be crucial for the area. With the help of the local community, we plan to clean the river, forest, and the village. We hope that these clean ups will teach the locals about the importance of recycling rubbish (glasses, plastic bottles) and the harmful effect of pollution in natural habitats.

All volunteers undergo training and a comprehensive induction in Pokhara by WIN-NEPAL staff. This ensures that each volunteer understands what each project involves and its contribution to the management of the area. Each program contributes to the overall aim of preserving and enhancing biodiversity in the region.

Given the variation in Nepal’s climate – with the wet season from June to September and the dry season from October to June – these activities may not be possible at all times. Work on the projects will be arranged depending on the season and the weather conditions.

The Goals of the Conservation & Environment Project in Nepal

The primary goal of the Annapurna Conservation Project is to preserve and enhance the natural resources within the area, along with aiding social development in Ghandruk. The area is rich in biodiversity and features 1,233 species of flowering plants, 102 mammals, 488 birds, 40 reptiles, and 23 amphibians.

Nepal’s geography and biodiversity is unique. Its habitats are diverse and range from tropical forests to high altitude mountainous areas. With Nepal being home to the world’s largest mountain, Mount Everest, and having over 240 peaks over 20,000 feet, many of the conservation efforts are being focused within these areas. Due to the pressures of human encroachment, climate change, and loss of habitat these areas are being continuously threatened causing loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Nepal Conservation Management Plan.

Accommodation and Food in Nepal

Due to the sheer size of the management area, volunteers will stay in a family-run hostel in Ghandruk, located about 3 hours away from Pokhara. The facilities will be very basic.

Living in Ghandruk will give you a unique cultural experience and meals will be provided at the hostel each day. As all Conservation volunteers live in the same hostel there will always be other people around to work and socialize with.

Pokhara is the third largest city in Nepal and one of the most popular destinations among trekkers and tourists looking for an adventure in the Himalayas. It also offers a more tranquil and relaxed urban environment than Kathmandu.

 

Volunteer Profile

Alexander Murphy

This trip, this experience, was without a doubt life changing for me. The independence of being away from normal support channels, the physical and mental challenge of it, the chance to meet some lovely and extraordinary people making wonderful friends from all over this beautiful world and seeing a most beautiful and richly diverse country all made this trip exceptional. Read more…

 You can join the Conservation Project in Nepal for two weeks if you don’t have time to join us for four weeks or more. Please be aware that it can take up to three days traveling to get to and from the Conservation project base. If you join us for three weeks you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely on the project, however you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.