New Hope Volunteers
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FAQs Nepal

Why choose Nepal?

Humanity breaks down the differences between countries and cultures. Almost 50% of Nepali people live under the poverty line. The education and health facilities in rural areas are insufficient. Rural schools lack trained teachers, as well as a sufficient number of teachers in general. Due to poverty and insufficient educational facilities, hundreds of children in rural areas drop out school and leave for cities in search of work. In cities, they work as trash collectors, laborers in restaurants, hotels, and factories. Your small effort may help them to see a brighter future.

Is Nepal safe?

New Hope Volunteers always ensures that volunteers are placed in safe environments while volunteering in Nepal. There are no cases of serious security threats for foreigners in Nepal. Nepal is a very poor country; however, unlike many developing countries Nepal is quite safe. There are some instances of petty crime in Kathmandu; however, in the rural areas crime is rare. Nepal receives more than 400,000 visitors per year. Nepal’s Maoists have come to be involved with mainstream politics. No foreigners have targeted by them.

What is the program duration?

Our volunteer opportunities start on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month and run throughout the year for 2 to 12 weeks.

What age do I have to be a volunteer?

You must be at least 18 years old to be a volunteer and you should be in good health; there is no upper age limit.

Do I have to speak a foreign language?

Volunteers on our short-term (2 to 3 week) programs do not need foreign language skills. Those volunteers interested in participating on one of our long-term programs need to have intermediate language abilities in the spoken language of the program country. Orientation will include an intensive introduction to Nepali language and you will learn Nepali language quickly.

Why should I pay a registration fee?

The registration fee is required to help run the organization (office space, computers, Internet, supplies and staffer salaries). New Hope Volunteer maintains one central office at Kathmandu and a field office at Chitwan. It has international office in the US to run the coordinated program. Part of the fee goes to maintaining these offices. Furthermore, we have been running school construction and renovation project in Chitwan to offer more schooling opportunities for children of Nepal. We are also developing some conservation projects. The remaining money of the program directly goes to support these programs.

How can I make my payment?

All payments have to be made at the beginning of the volunteer program in Nepali currency. We do not accept monthly installments. If you want to stay longer than your committed period, you have to inform us and pay accordingly.

Are MasterCard, Visa and other cards accepted?

Nowadays, there are ATMs in most big Nepali cities, which are open during the day. There are also several banks and money exchange services. MasterCard or Visa credit card, cash (US dollars or euros) or travelers checks are accepted.

Do I need travel insurance?

As with any overseas traveling, health insurance is recommended. Please obtain necessary health and travel insurance before coming to Nepal. Talk to your travel agent about this or search on the internet to see what offers are available, and make sure you look into the details of the policy. Find out if it covers airfare in case of a medical emergency.

What should I bring for myself?

This will vary depending on what activities you want to participate in and how much you need to be comfortable during your placement. With the exception of medicine, first-aid kit and hi-tech trekking gear, you can buy everything that you would need for your placement in Kathmandu (likely cheaper than in your home country). Here are a few suggestions:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof jacket (a fold-away windcheater is fine)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sun cream
  • Water purification tablets and/or good quality water purifier
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight (torch)
  • Penknife
  • Books about your country
  • Photos of your family/friends/home
  • A few examples of your local currency
  • Basic Learner’s English-Nepali Nepali-English dictionary for simple definitions buy a Nepali dictionary on arrival in Kathmandu)
  • Colored pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers

Will there be someone to pick me up from airport?

One of our representatives will be waiting for you at the airport, holding a sign with your name on it. Please do not forget to send your detailed flight itinerary in advance.

How much extra money do I need?

We manage food and accommodation for volunteers from the first to last day of program so there will not be need of more money for the basics. In general, things in Nepal are a lot cheaper than in developed nations. You may need some extra money if you plan to take part in activities outside the organization or if you just want to buy some souvenirs. You must also remember the visa fee, which can range from $30-60 depending on the length of stay. There is also an airport tax, which you pay upon your departure of Nepal. This can range from $15-25.

Will I have communications access?

This all depends on your placement. Almost all placements will have access to a post office. If you are in a city placement, you can have phone and e-mail access. However, this information will all be given to you before your departure to Nepal.

Can I bring my cellphone from my home country?

Please bring your cellphone. You can use most mobile handsets with a local SIM card in Nepal. Moreover, cellphones are available for a cheap price in Nepal.

Can I work and travel with other volunteers?

We allow people to come with a friend or even in a large group. You sometimes may be placed in different location situated within 1-2 miles. We can place any volunteer near another volunteer already working in the field. Please note that volunteers of the opposite sex are not allowed to stay in same room unless they are a married couple.

Is it possible to change placement if I get dissatisfied?

New Hope Volunteer will seriously consider the request of volunteer for the change of placement to meet the expectation of volunteers. We cannot change the position without genuine reasons.

What about vaccinations and medication?

This all depends on what vaccinations you already have and what country you are coming from. We suggest that you consult a doctor from your country before you arrive. Some vaccinations are needed as much as 2 months before arrival to Nepal. New Hope Volunteer does not cover liability and insurance of volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must have appropriate insurance before joining the program. However, you should consider the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Yellow fever
  • Rabies
  • Tuberculosis
  • Malaria tablets

Are New Hope Volunteer programs only for International volunteers?

We mobilize national volunteers along with international volunteer as their counterparts.

What about visas?

Any traveler in Nepal can stay on a tourist visa for 5 months each year at $1 per day. You can get the tourist visa at a Nepalese embassy or at Tribhuvan International Airport upon arrival. A non-tourist visa is difficult to obtain and are twice as expensive as the tourist visa. It is the responsibility of volunteers to manage their own tickets and visa. New Hope Volunteer suggests volunteers do not stay more than 5 months. Please call the nearest consular or embassy of Nepal to confirm that you can get a visa at the airport.

What about visa extensions?

Visa extension is obtained from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Extensions are valid for 30 days (whether you need for a day, a week, etc) and cost in Nepalese rupees the equivalent of US$50 at the government exchange rate. You must pay for visa extensions.

You are allowed to stay up to 120 days on a tourist visa then for any extension up to 150 days total you are required to show an airline ticket with a suitable date on it, with OK status (i.e. not wait-listed). If you overstay your visa, the fine is US$1 a day and US$50 (i.e. for a month’s extension), payable in rupees. For overstay periods of less than a week this can be processed at the airport on departure.

Traveling

If you are planning to travel Nepal after or before work camps or volunteer programs, you will need extra money. Nepal is a cheap place for shopping and travel. You can buy gifts for family and friends in Kathmandu. Please pay Himalayan volunteers in Nepalese currency. It is possible to get $8-$10 hotel room per night in Kathmandu. You can change your major currencies and travelers checks in Kathmandu and at the airport. It is good idea to change your travel check at the airport.

Where is the arrival and departure point?

Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal, so all international flights arrive and depart from there. Our representative will meet you at the airport.

Emergency Contact

You have three parties available to you 24/7 in case of emergency, health-related or otherwise: New Hope Volunteer staffers, your host family, and your program supervisor. Make sure to have contact information for all three parties before you arrive. If you cannot find our representative at airport or if your flight details change, please go directly to Hotel Eden located 6 miles from the airport. It is reasonably priced hotel with moderate standards. Please call our office from the hotel.

What are the characteristics of good volunteer?

If you have attributes like independence, patience, a sense of humor, tolerance willingness, flexibility, self-motivation and open-mindedness, you get the most out of your stay in Nepal.

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