English Teaching to Buddhist MonksDue to winter activities, the monk teaching project is not available from the last week of December to 2nd week of February. Please confirm this with us before applying for the program.
- Program:Volunteer in Nepal
- Projects:Teaching Buddhist Monks in Nepal
- Start Dates:1st and 3rd Mondays of each month
- Departures:Tribhubhan Airport, Kathmandu
- Language Need:Fluency in English
- Accommodation and meals:Homebase, residential or host family and Nepali meals three times daily
- Working Hours:25-35 hours per week
- Activities:teaching English to young Buddhist monks and local students
Overview of the Project
More than 150,000 Tibetans live in exile in India, Nepal and Bhutan. Of those exiled, nearly 20 percent live in Nepal, where they are now free to practice their religion and rebuild their cultural heritage. As a result of this, there are several large monasteries in and around the surrounding mountains of Kathmandu where monks live and devote their lives to Buddhism. But lately, with globalization and other developments, there is a great need and desire for young monks to learn English. As there are no English teachers in the monasteries, our volunteers stay there with the monks and teach daily classes. Volunteers really enjoy this project, as they not only get to learn about, observe and even participate (if they choose) in the culture and Buddhist practices in the monastery, but they also find the monks to be enthusiastic students and incredibly appreciative of their work!
Role of Volunteer
As a volunteer in Teaching Buddhist Monks Program, you will provide basic conversational English instruction to young monks. Volunteers also organize games, paintings, drawings and other creative activities. As a unique facet of this placement, volunteers will witness and participate in traditional Buddhist rituals. Gaining insight to Nepalese language and culture is a good idea – consider enrolling in our one week Nepal Language Studies & Cultural Immersion program.
There are no specific qualifications needed to join our teaching Buddhist Monks program in Nepal. However, volunteers must be respectful of the monks’ high social status and their attention to commendable life rules. Only very focused and disciplined volunteers should join this project.
Major FAQs - Teaching English to Buddhist Monks Project
What does a daily routine suppose?
Please note that this schedule may differ from monastery to monastery.
5:30 am – Puja prayers
7:30 am – Breakfast
9:00 am to 11:00 am - English teaching classes
11:00 to 11:30 - Tea time
11:30 to 12:00 - Tibetan Class continues
12:00 - Lunch time
2:00 - 4:00 - English teaching classes
4:00 - 4:30 - Tea time
4:30 - 6:00 - Snacks and evening Puja (prayer)
6:00 pm - Dinner
7:00 - 8:00 - Daily lesson review
9.00pm - Retreat to bed
*Volunteers are welcome to retreat to their quarters following dinner
What's the distance between accommodation and monastery? What's the commuting alternative?
The volunteers in Nepal monasteries will, usually, live in the monastery. There are few exceptions in which females aren't allowed to remain after sundown. In this case, the volunteers in Nepal will stay with host families that live in walking distance from the monasteries. The country coordinator will be in charge with setting up opportune accommodation facilities.
What's the monastery I'd be staying in Nepal, called?
All information regarding your placement and accommodation will be sent to the volunteers in Nepal upon completion of the registration form.
What age are the monks that we weill be teaching while volunteering in Nepal?
The age depends on the particular monastery you will be appointed to. Usually the age varies between 8-15 years.
What's the average number of monks in each monastery? How many monks are there in a class?
You should consider a 10-12 class. A monastery usually has an average of 50-150 monks.
Am I going to be the sole teacher or will there be others assisting me? Will I be assisting a teacher in Nepal monastery project?
It is custom that the volunteers in Nepal monasteries asses the level of English utilized in monasteries and plan the English lessons according to it., You would be solely in charge of the English classes. There will be no assisting teacher involved.
Is there an existing teaching curriculum?
No, there is no set curriculum. It is up to the English teaching volunteers in Nepal to set up the treaching material.
How many hours per day will I work in the school in the teaching in monasteries project in Nepal?
Normally, a Monday to Friday week should be considered, about 2-3 h/ daily. For the rest of the stay in the monastery, the volunteers in Nepal are invited to sit in the chanting and praying sessions the monks have.
Will I be using my own teaching stuff? Will I be using the materials the the monastery provides?
The monastery has no such materials, in such the volunteers in Nepal are expected and encouraged to bring their own stuff (books, pencils, notebooks, extra material, etc)
Is the monk volunteer teaching in Nepal placement program all-round the year?
This project is closed between the end of December to the end of February.
Are there specific details I should know about the monk volunteer teaching project in Nepal?
All volunteers to the monk English teaching project in Nepal should be aware that life in a monastery requires a lot of discipline and it is custom that all habits of the monastery life are respected. As an example: monks are not allowed to wonder around the area, outdoor games are prohibited, alcohol and smoking are completely prohibited. Volunteers are allowed to visit the premises and the area but are expected to return in a timely fashion.
Volunteer in Nepal: Project Locations and Free Time Options
Most Global Crossroad volunteers are placed in and around Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and core city, and in Pokhara, which is also about 4-5 hours west of Kathmandu and famous as a starting point for many wonderful treks.
Kathmandu stands at 4600 feet and the Kathmandu valley is only slightly smaller than Singapore in terms of area. The city sits in a bowl created by four major mountains: Shivapuri, Phulchowki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri. Kathmandu has two sister cities nearby, Patan or Lalitpur, and the area is often referred to as Tri-City. In Kathmandu, urban adventures are plentiful. A city unlike any Western city experience, Kathmandu calls to travelers offering adventure and discovery at every turn. Immersing in the city can overwhelm your senses with all the traffic, noise, colors and city chaos, but there is serenity, outside the city’s mainstream, in simple temples and peaceful courtyards. Kathmandu is the starting point for most adventures in Nepal, so the tourism infrastructure is solid and dependable. Volunteers can find many free time activities ranging from participating in a simple Buddhist ceremony to a 7-day trek in the Himalayas.
In Pokhara, volunteers will have many things to do and experience. Pokhara is the end point for the famous Annapurna Circuit trek and the starting point for a dozen more treks through the mountains of the Annapurna Range, including through Jomsom and to the Upper Mustang region, where a King still rules his small kingdom and people are mostly of ethnic Tibetan background.
The area around Phewa Lake is full of tourist hotels, restaurants and night time entertainment. But if you travel just outside of Pokhara, you can still witness the traditional lifestyle of Gurungs and Magars, the indigenous people of the region.