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Volunteering in Nepal

Updated on January 23, 2014
Volunteers in Nepal
Volunteers in Nepal | Source
An expatriate in Kathmandu, Nepal
An expatriate in Kathmandu, Nepal | Source

Nepal is the ancient land protected by Buddhist and Hindu Gods. Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, is in Nepal. Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of the world’s most sacred temples for the Hindus all over the world, which is also UNESCO World Heritage Site of cultural importance. Nepal is not only a wonderful travel destination but also a nice place to live and work. The government encourages foreigners to live and work in Nepal.

When you come to live and work in Nepal, you will not only get a lifetime opportunity to see the mighty Himalayas including the world’s tallest peak Mount Everest and the majestic Annapurna, but also get to know the people who belong to 103 ethnic groups and speak 93 languages. Nepal government offers different types of visas, including work visa and residential visa.

Non-tourist Visa or work visa is granted to the foreigners who wish to work in Nepal. You can obtain a non-tourist visa by applying in Nepalese embassy in your country, or in any other country. Remember, when you travel to Nepal on Tourist Visa, you cannot convert it into a work visa. To apply for a work visa, you have to present an agreement with your employer along with your visa form.

Nepal offers Residential Visa to the foreigners who want to live in Nepal. To apply for Residential Visa you have to be a person with international reputation, or invest at least one thousand dollars in Nepal.

Nepal government offers honorary Nepali Citizenship to the foreigners who have lived in Nepal for at least 15 years and who can speak Nepali language.

Nepali Faces

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A volunteer mellowing out her time
A volunteer mellowing out her time | Source

Jobs available for the foreigners in Nepal

Every year lots of foreigners travel to Nepal to live and work. They work in social and economic developments projects, international agencies like UN, Save the Children, etc. human rights organizations, conservation projects, and international media. Foreigners also work in health and education sector, hotels, aviation, tours and travel companies.

For English speaking Westerners, teaching jobs are easily available in school, colleges and universities, but you must be aware that payment is low compared to the Western standard, however, more than enough to live in Nepal. There is a craze for English and other European languages in Nepal, you can easily find jobs in language schools. Well paid jobs are available for foreigners in international agencies, travel and aviation companies, hotels, resorts, and aid agencies. For skilled professionals it is easy to find work in Nepal.

If you have some money and want to do a business in Nepal, you can apply for a Business Visa. Nepal welcomes 80 percent Foreign Direct Investment in every sector. Many hotels, restaurants, holiday inns, resorts, trekking agencies, travel companies in and around Kathmandu are owned by foreigners. The first luxury hotel in Nepal was operated by a Russian businessman. The first trekking company was established by a foreigner named Bill Tilman.

Nepali Art and Architecture

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Mount Annapurna I (8091 meters)
Mount Annapurna I (8091 meters) | Source
Mount Everest (8848 meters)
Mount Everest (8848 meters) | Source

Volunteering in Nepal

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Nepal. Foreigners may volunteer in the health care, education sector, Himalayan rescue operations, development and conservation projects, orphanage etc. One of the benefits of volunteering in Nepal includes easy visa extension.

When you choose to volunteer in Nepal, you are offered free food and accommodation. Student Partnership Wordwide (SPW) is one of the trusted organizations that offer free food and accommodation to the volunteers. SPW offers volunteering opportunities for students and places volunteers in different parts of Nepal to work in their health and education projects.

Many volunteering organizations expect volunteers to pay for their own expenses, some even ask you replacement fees. The charges depend on the types of organizations you join as a volunteer. You pay less for the local agencies, and pay more for the international volunteering agencies. The money you pay for the volunteering organizations is used to fund projects.

VSO is one of the most trusted organizations that specializes in volunteer placements in different countries, including Nepal. If you are skilled professional, you can apply for long term volunteering work, which lasts up to 2 years.

Organizations that places volunteers in Nepal

There are many organizations working in social, educational, health, and conversation projects in Nepal. These organizations hire people to work for their projects in different parts of the country. Travel agencies, hotels and resorts also operate childcare home, health and education programs, environmental and conservation projects for the sustainable tourism initiative. These organizations constantly hire foreigners to work in their projects.

If you want to volunteer in Nepal, you can start with Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project (KEEP). You have to commit for at least two months time and pay US$50 as a joining fee applicable for the entire year. KEEP arranges volunteer placements in different local non-governmental organizations. KEEP also hires volunteers to teach English and other skills to the porters and guides in July/August and December/January.

Some of the organizations that hire volunteers to work in Nepal

Volunteer Service Nepal works on social and education sector in Nepal

Helping Hands is an organization based in the United States. Helping Hands needs volunteers to work at their clinics in different parts of Nepal

Global Volunteer Network, an organization based in New Zealand, places volunteers in different countries including Nepal. Global Volunteer Network seeks volunteers to work for their health, education, childcare and development projects.

Cultural Destination Nepal offers a home-stay and Nepali language course along with one to three months volunteering placements.

Volunteer Nepal National Group seeks volunteers to work for education, conversation and development projects.

Global Vision International seeks volunteers for one month work in education and conversation projects in the Everest region. If you want to do volunteering work in the Everest region, this is the ideal organization.

Prison Assist Nepal seeks volunteers to help the children whose parents are in prisons

Himalayan Healthcare organizes medical treks in Nepal. If you want to do some volunteering work while trekking in Nepal, Himalayan Healthcare is the ideal organization.

Rural Community Development Program is an organization that arranges volunteering opportunities combined with trekking.

Insight Nepal not only organizes trekking in Annapurna region but also places volunteers for cultural and educational projects in and around Pokhara city.

Cultural Tourism Restoration Project seeks paying volunteers for trek and restoration work in Mustang. Mustang was closed for foreigners until recently.

Nepali Sathi arranges volunteer placements in central Nepal

Sustainable Agriculture Development Program seeks volunteers for their sustainable and organic agriculture projects near Pokhara city.

Ford Foundation provides free accommodation for the volunteers. Ford Foundation works on education and childcare.

Mountain Trust Nepal is an organization based in the United Kingdom places volunteers in variety of social projects in Nepal

Kanchenjunga School Project not only arranges trekking but also places volunteers in the villages in Kanchenjunga region for their health and education projects.

Esther Benjamins Trust provides volunteering opportunities for the people who want to work for trafficked and abandoned children.

© 2012 Vinaya Ghimire


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    • Vinaya Ghimire profile imageAUTHOR

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for your compliments. Nepalis are ready to welcome people from around the world.


    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for showing us a guide to living and working in Nepal, seems a beautiful place to live and work in as well! I vote this up and share.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile imageAUTHOR

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Hi DDE, thanks for reading and commenting on my works.


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thanks for wonderful insight of the topic

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile imageAUTHOR

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Hi Girish, thanks for always appreciating my works.


    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Awesome Nepal, Awesome Himalayas and awesome presentation, voted up.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile imageAUTHOR

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Vinaya,

      For those interested or thinking of living and working in Nepal, I would have them print this hub to use as reference guide.

      I did not know of they many volunteer opportunities available for foreigners.

      Loved the video and your pictures are wonderful.

      Voted up and away

      Have a good weekend :)

    • acaetnna profile image


      6 years ago from Guildford

      Wow this is so brilliant. The information and photography are outstanding - thank you.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      VG I love the photots first and this article is well descripted and well wriiten voted awesome :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow Vin, forget Fiji, Nepal here we come. Excellent article with neat vid and pics. It's a great pleasure here learning so much about other hubbers countries. Nepal is definitely on the A-list. Vin, have you ever heard of Nepalese monks in the past moving large objects like boulders with sound? Like, dozens of them in lines, facing a mountain, with some special constructed device in the middle?

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Vinaya your articles have reached encyclopedic level. The information is timely and encompassing. I just listened to the video. The photography is outstanding.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Vinaya, this video is beautiful. I love Nepal and you really are helping me to understand more about the country and people. You did a wonderful job on this Hub. It is perfect in every way.

    • Angelme566 profile image


      6 years ago

      A 5 star hub ! Your love to Nepal can't be accounted . Nepal is not that a very booming country , but here you doing all your best to promote your land. WoW ! What an amazing attribute you have.. a value which your heritage must be very proud of you..

      While reading , i guess many would then like to visit your place because you have promoted its tourism perfectly plus those beautiful snaps of faces and places there.. Voted all !

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Oh how I would love to visit Nepal - I wish I'd had the opportunity to live and work there when I was younger.

      Your photos are beautiful as always, thank you for the information.

      Voted up, awesome and interesting

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You have totally outdone yourself on this one Vinaya! The video and photos are outstanding and make me want to pack my bags right now. Thank you so much for sharing your Napal with us in such a beautiful way.

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The video music added to this piece immensley.Loved it.. I would love to visit Nepal, maybe some day. Thank you my friend....

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Liked the whole effect of this blog with the music, pictures, videos and the writing. It is a beatiful place. Looks like a place to visit.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Nepal is on my short list of places to visit. Thanks for providing all the information about volunteer opportunities there.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Seeing the Himalayas would be an experience to enjoy while working in Nepal. Your post with the photos and information make me want to visit there some day, don't know if working is still in my future as I am looking at retirement down the road. Great hub!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      You have me almost packing my bags Vinaya. This is an awesome hub. Loved all of the photos especiallly the artwork photos. Some very interesting buildings.

      It was interesting to see that one needed to live there for 15 years before applying for citizenship. I don't think I have seen anywhere else that takes that long, but I guess they must want to make certain people really want to become a citizen.

      Great informational hub and voting.

      P.S it is the first time I've seen 'Related slide shows' when going through the photos.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Nepal is one of those places that is like a dream to me, another world very spiritual, almost unreal. I would have loved the chance to live and work in such a place a few years ago, but alas, time has taken it's toll. But an amazing opportunity for the young and fit. phenomenal hub, loved the images.


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