Work and Travel in Nepal
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN NEPAL FOR TRAVELLERS
Nepal is often the start of a Himalayan adventure. With a rich culture and spectacular landscapes, travel in Nepal is always popular amongst backpackers.
But this remains a poor country. Consider giving back by taking up some of the volunteer opportunities in Nepal. After being devastated by earthquakes, the people need your help in this most challenging of environments.
If you’re tough enough for work and travel in Nepal, then you’re in the right place. This travel guide to Nepal is going to show you just how you can help this mountainous country.
1. Reconstruct Rural Nepal
Even today there are so many areas of the country still in the process of rebuilding. Backpacking in Nepal will soon reveal just how bad some of these areas are.
International organisations have stepped in and they need volunteers to work in Nepal as builders. It could be redecorating newly constructed buildings or helping to rebuild Nepal from scratch.
All you need is a good work ethic and the willingness to live in similar conditions as the locals live in. Your host should provide you with full details prior to starting the project as conditions can vary wildly.
2. Help Street Kids in Kathmandu
One of the big problems in Kathmandu is the number of street kids. Many of these kids were simply abandoned at a young age, but others lost their parents in the earthquake.
Charities are reaching out to them in an attempt to get them off the streets. They provide both health and educational services through temporary and long-term volunteers.
Whatever skills you have, they will find a use for you. Even if it’s just interacting with the children, this is a truly rewarding volunteering opportunity in Nepal.
3. Teach English in Nepal
The option to teach English in Nepal is a well-trodden path for travellers and backpackers for decades. And there’s nothing wrong with that because it provides a skill that the locals lack.
Ideally, you need to possess a TEFL qualification, or the equivalent of a TEFL qualification, to get the work you want. But many backpackers in Nepal do decide to just teach on an informal basis.
However, be prepared to work harder if you want to secure work without formal qualifications.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR NEPAL
Nepal offers one of the simplest visa systems in the world. Every nation in the world, with the exception of some African nations, can obtain a visa-on-arrival without the need to apply at an embassy in advance.
India is the true exception as Indian citizens are able to enter and reside in the country with the same rights as citizens without much hassle.
Everyone else from around the world should pay for their visa when they arrive. It’s also possible to pay online using the brand new Nepal eVisa system introduced back in 2014.
The Nepalese authorities are extremely welcoming and generally don’t hassle any foreign tourists, regardless of their business.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN NEPAL
Understand that there are five different climate zones in Nepal, which makes it one of the most diverse nations on the planet. But spring offers the best climate. It’s known as the second best trekking season of the year.
This tells you that outdoor projects are in high demand at this time of year. Construction projects and any outdoor rural development initiatives are traditionally in full swing throughout spring.
The summer in Nepal is characterised by its monsoon season. Obviously, this is less of a factor in the Himalayan region than in other parts of the country. Where you are doesn’t just define how much rain you’ll have to deal with but how much sun you’ll experience.
We recommend sticking to the urban centres, like Kathmandu, throughout the monsoon season. This is where you can teach English in Nepal and experience the local culture without the risk of getting stuck somewhere.
This is also the time of year where many child protection programmes are crying out for volunteers in the urban centres. It coincides with a natural uptick in volunteers at this time of year.
The monsoon season lasts until the end of September, so you should refer to the previous section for more information on the beginning of autumn.
The rest of the autumn season is the ideal time to be in Nepal and it’s when the height of the trekking season hits. You have two options for work and travel in Nepal at this time of year.
You can either enjoy the country or refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for more information about autumn work in Nepal.
The winter season makes the high areas of Nepal impassable and bitterly cold. It’s strongly recommended that you avoid these areas at this time of year, unless you happen to be trekking there.
The backpacker skills needed in Nepal at this time of year tend to be confined to medical programmes, educational programmes, and English teaching. This is considered to be the low season of the year for volunteering in Nepal.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL
You may have wondered why we made no mention of work and travel in Nepal with regards to the Himalayas, as well as working in guesthouses. The reason for this is that it’s simply impossible and not recommended that you even try.
The Nepalese are extremely protective regarding these industries. You need licensing, which isn’t given to foreigners, and it’s the lifeblood of many of the locals. They will offer a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to any outsiders attempting to take any of their business.
This has nothing to do with nastiness. It has everything to do with the fact this is the one way they have of feeding their families, so we’ve only included sustainable volunteering opportunities in Nepal on this page.
Stay within the industries we’ve stated here and you’ll have no problems making the most of your time in Nepal.
Do you have what it takes to work and travel in Nepal?
- Edited on May 22 2018 by Roman