Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
1. Who are we?
Third Eye Volunteers Nepal (TEV-Nepal) is a charitable organization founded on a belief that we could do more for volunteers and bring difference to create better world, better humanity. In our team we are university graduates, business personas, local social servers, teachers, meditation center director, and journalist, Doctor who are vibrant and in their youth who are determined to bring their dream come true. We believe in neutrality, transparency and truth. We reach up to really needy persons. We believe that human service is the greatest religion. Director Mr Ghimire when read the book “The city of Joy” by Dominique Lapierre he decided to spend his days for betterment of humanity so this society got birth.
2. What is our mission?
Enable international volunteers to make a significant contribution to the ongoing development of Nepal
Develop the strength and capacity of Nepali children to work towards their own development and that of the nation as a whole
EMPOWER WOMEN: Work with women to develop their economic and social independence through education and skills training
PROVIDE SKILLS TRAINING IN POOREST COMMUNITIES: Help train, educate and support the poorest communities to allow them to manage their own development projects
3. Why are we different?
•Third Eye Volunteers Nepal is a wholly Nepali management structure, which means more money goes direct to projects.
•We charge lower fees by cutting out the middle man
•We have a range of placements in both developed urban and traditional rural areas
•We are flexible in helping you find your chosen work and we can easily combine multiple projects in one visit We have large choice of programs than any other organizations
4. What is the volunteer program duration?
Third Eye Volunteers Nepal provides programs from two weeks to ten months. We also help for research scholars who come Nepal for PhD programs and other education related programs. Some western peoples love to learn tantra , hypnotism , from Nepali local witch doctors which we help them. We also help who come Nepal for journalism, Filming and meditation camps.(see: http://www.dhamma.org and see www.tapoban.com)
5. How soon can I start volunteering in Nepal?
You can start as soon as you like, but it is far better if you confirm that you are coming at least two weeks before you arrive in Nepal. This allows us time to prepare necessary accommodations, training and placement.
6. Can I schedule my own volunteer service for the dates that interest me?
Third Eye Volunteers is very flexible on when volunteers can start the program, and it’s possible to start any day of the year. It just depends on your wish.
7. Can I volunteer in Nepal with a friend or be placed near other volunteers?
Third Eye Volunteers Nepal welcomes individuals, couples, families, small and large groups, students and experts, as well as senior and young professionals. We have placed 15 health volunteers in one village before and often get requests from smaller groups too. We will do everything we can to place people together if that is what you would like.
8. Do you work with schools and societies abroad?
We are always looking to develop ongoing relationships with organizations and schools abroad. The chance to set up cultural exchanges is a great way of developing understanding from both sides. If you are interested then please Contact Us by email directly or call on our phone.
9. What personality characteristics are Third eye volunteer Nepal looking for?
If you are enthusiastic, initiative taking and motivated to help needy people, especially school children, youth and women, you are perfect and exactly what we are looking for. In our volunteer programs we have mentioned your expected qualification for that program.
10. Do I need specific skills and past experience to volunteer in Nepal?
No, but if you do have some then we can find a placement that will put them to good use. For legal experience we can get you advising women on their legal rights, for subject specific teaching we can get you teaching direct or teaching teachers, or for health expertise we have a range of placements to suit your level. We also organize sufficient in-country training programs for all selected volunteers to enable them to work effectively with target groups.
11. Are Third Eye Volunteer Nepal’s programs only for international volunteers?
No, not at all. We recruit local Nepali people to work alongside our overseas volunteers as their counterparts. This gives them a chance to work with foreign/English speaking people and gives them valuable exposure to other cultures. We also co operate with local organizations and governmental authorities.
12. Do I need to speak English to become a volunteer in Nepal?
It is important that you speak some English, but it is perfectly acceptable if you speak English as your second language. When you arrive in Nepal you will be placed into a training program that includes an intensive language course on basic Nepali phrases that you may need while volunteering which will also help you settle in. see in our learn basic Nepali page
13. Do I have to be from a certain country to volunteer in Nepal?
No, you can come and volunteer with us from any country. The majorities of our volunteers come from the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia Taiwan or let’s say from all round the globe. In the year 2010, we had volunteers from more than 21 different countries.
14. Why do I need to pay to volunteer in Nepal?
Third Eye Volunteers tries to keep costs as low as possible. Third Eye volunteering programs in Nepal are the most affordable. Volunteers have to pay for their food and accommodation, training, sponsoring Nepali children, the costs for their Nepali counterparts, and travel; all of which is included in the overall fee. For a detailed look at what your money pays for please look at our cost page
15. Can you give me any help raising funds for volunteering?
We find lots of our volunteers raise additional funds to their program fee before coming out. This means they can see where their money goes to. We can provide you with lots of fund-raising tips and advice as well as a fundraising pack that will give you all the information you may need to pass onto potential sponsors.
16. What is included in the program fee?
•All Food and Accommodation from the day you land to the end of the placement
•Transfer to and from your placement
•Nepali language lessons
•Cultural Induction of up to a week incl. guided tours of key UNESCO world heritage sites of Kathmandu
•24hr support from the TEV-Nepal team throughout your placement •Fundraising support if requested
•Costs of moving placements if reason deemed appropriate
•Access to TEV-Nepal office for internet usage when in Kathmandu
17. What is excluded from the program fee?
•Flights: To Kathmandu from home country or if the volunteer chooses to fly to their placement
•Visa: $30 USD for the first two months and $30 USD per month thereafter •Immunizations: consult your GP for exact requirements
•Travel Insurance. Previous volunteers recommend Insure and Go
•Departure tax from airport: $23 USD
•It is also helpful to have a weekly budget of approximately US $10
. This can cater for all your personal expenses like extra bottled water, toothpaste, personal hygiene products, beverages and entertainment
18. How do I make the reservation to become a volunteer with Third eye Volunteer Nepal?
Third Eye Volunteer Nepal does not have complex process for making reservations. You can send inquiry for the program mentioning your program of interest, a small sized picture, a short resume, your tentative arrival date and the duration of time you will be volunteering to and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
19. How do I pay for my volunteer placement?
As the confirmation of the program just deposits $100 on our bank account or can send through money transfer services. Remaining money you can pay us when you come here. Money can be paid in Nepali rupees, American Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros in cash. This will be arranged as part of your induction.
20. What happens if I leave the volunteer placement early, can I get my money back?
Once the volunteer makes their decision and pays for the program fee, upon receipt of invoice, Third Eye Volunteer Program does not refund any program fee under any circumstances. However, if the volunteer has unavoidable circumstances (such as illness, death in the family, etc) they may request to leave the program, and Tev-Nepal will consider returning 25% of the host family cost (if the volunteer is registered for more than 30 days program). No refund will be made for programs lasting less than 30 days, or if the volunteer chooses to leave the program on their own.
21. 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. Make sure you look into the details of the policy. Find out if it covers airfare in case of a medical emergency.
22.Who organizes my flights to Nepal?
You do. You will need to organize your trip to and from Nepal, but we can help you to find affordable flights.
23.Do I need a Visa to volunteer in Nepal?
You will need a tourist Visa for your visit to Nepal. These can be obtained for up to 3 months on entry and extended to a maximum of 150 days within a year whilst you are here. The current fee $30 USD for the first two months and $30 USD per month thereafter. Up to date information can be found at: http://www.immi.gov.np/touristvisa.php
24.Where can I obtain a VISA?
Most of our volunteers obtain visa upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport, which is very easy. You just need to bring a passport size photo with you and payment as per the above.
25.Where do I fly to and how long will it take to get to my host site?
Kathmandu has the only international airport in Nepal, so all international flights arrive and depart from there. Our representative will meet you at the airport. On your first day you will be staying n Hotel in Thamel Kathmandu. This is only about 20 min drive from the airport.
26.Will there be anyone at the airport to receive me?
Our volunteer representative will be there to meet you on arrival.
27.Will I get chance to explore Kathmandu during my language and culture program?
There will be plenty of time for you to explore the Kathmandu Valley during orientation. We offer full day guided tours of Kathmandu valley as a part of the language program, but you can request free time if you prefer.
28.How do I change money? Is Master/Visa or other cards accepted? Nowadays, there are ATM services in most of Nepal’s cities, which will be open during the day. There are also several banks and money exchange services. You can bring MasterCard/Visa card, cash $/ Euro or travelers checks, these all are accepted. Solo, Cirrus and Maestro debit cards are rarely accepted in ATMs.
29.What are the living arrangements when volunteering in Nepal?
We will help you find a quality, inexpensive place to stay. During induction: During initial language training and cultural induction, you will stay at, or very near, the office in Kathmandu Thamel with other volunteers. This initial training may also involve spending time in a local village with a Nepali family, to practice what you have learned. While you are there, you will be housed and fed by the local people who are compensated by TEV as part of your program fee. On placement: Your style of accommodation will vary according to where you choose to volunteer. If you are working in Kathmandu then you will be in a home-stay in a modern house with electricity, gas/solar heated shower and Western toilet. However, while volunteering in a rural area you may be living in much more basic accommodation. Nepal is a developing country and you should not expect Western style luxury.
30.What is the food arrangement on placement?
At least two meals a day are provided for you while volunteering. The usual meal times are 10am and 6pm. You can expect the national staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari which is a tasty and filling plate of rice, vegetable curry, lentils and pickles. This may be supplemented occasionally by noodles, eggs and other snacks dependent on your host family and placement. If this is not enough food for you then snacks will be available in the local area for very little cost (under $2 for a large plate of food). Your home-stay will provide you with filtered water during your meal times. You are advised to buy your own bottled water once you arrive in Nepal, and only drink filtered/boiled water during your home-stay.
31.What if I have allergies or am a vegetarian?
With ample time to make arrangements this isn’t a problem. Specific allergies to staples of rice and pulses may make it difficult in rural placements to eat well and an urban placement may be a better option.
32.What should I bring for the host family?
It is not compulsory for you to bring a gift for the family but it is a welcome gesture. You could bring gifts like a t-shirt, key-chain, toys for the kids, books, chocolate etc. Something specific to your home country is a good choice.
33.Can I change my volunteer placement if I get dissatisfied?
Third Eye Volunteers is very flexible, and we consider any requests from our volunteers for changes in their work-places seriously. It is possible to change the working areas to meet the expectation of volunteers. We cannot change position frequently, however, without genuine reasons.
34.Will I have access to communication such as e-mail, telephones and a post office?
This all depends on your placement. Every placement has access to a phone, and almost all will have access to a Post Office. If you are in a city, there are many places in which you can use a phone and have access to e-mail regularly. On arrival we make sure you are able to send an email home as soon as possible.
35. Am I able to take some time off during my volunteer placement to do some trekking while I Nepal?
Of course! The majority of our long term volunteers take a break during their stay with TEV for various trekking expeditions. TEV –Nepal supports and encourages any volunteer wishing to take a leave of absence from their duties to explore the natural beauty of Nepal. We simply ask that any major projects you are overseeing to be managed appropriately prior to your departure.
36.What types of clothes am I allowed to wear? Should I wear specific types of clothes on the volunteer placement?
We advise female volunteers not to wear short skirts in villages. Nepalese people dress modestly and girls cover most of their body; it is the Nepalese tradition. Men in roles of authority such as teaching should wear a collared shirt if possible when they are in front of the class.
37. How safe is it to volunteer in Nepal?
It is very safe to volunteer in Nepal. Some foreign embassies have had warnings in place about traveling to Nepal for over 13 years, but in this time not a single tourist has been attacked and the tourist trade continues to thrive with 655,000 visiting in 2010. TEV always ensures our volunteers are placed in safe environments. We are proud that despite having had more than 100 volunteers every year, we have had no mention of any of them feeling unsafe.
38.What steps are taken to avoid illness?
We always do all we can to ensure that all food and water during training and placement is safe and clean. Third Eye Volunteers Nepal trains the host families regarding the safety of their water and food and all of them have experience accommodating past volunteers. They will always give you boiled water and well cooked food. However, there is still a chance of contracting illnesses like diarrhea in Nepal so you need to be very aware of personal hygiene like washing hands thoroughly.
39.How readily available is medication and treatment on placement?
Nepal offers basic medical services but there are several International standard hospitals in Kathmandu for emergency medical treatment. However, if you are taking any prescription medicine, we suggest that you bring an ample supply from your home country.
40.Do I need to speak English to volunteer in Nepal?
Yes, it is important you speak Basic English, but it is perfectly acceptable if it is your second language. When you arrive in Nepal you will be placed into a training program that includes an intensive language course on basic Nepal phrases that will also help you while volunteering.
41.Do I have to speak the Nepali language to volunteer in Nepal?
Many people in Nepal understand English, but speaking a few sentences in Nepali will make your life easier. Your orientation will include a week of intensive introduction to Nepali language and culture, and you most volunteers learn the Nepali language quickly. It helps if you are able to speak basic Nepali and great fun as well. Volunteers on our short-term (2-3 week programs) will only have very basic teaching but this still helps. We can send you a few lessons of our course book in advance upon request
42.Why volunteer in Nepal?
Volunteering will help you to see the world from a different perspective, which enables you to develop your critical thinking and cross-cultural skills. In addition, by leaving the familiar behind to go encounter new people and places, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you. Experiencing another way of life firsthand will enhance your independence, understanding, education and self-awareness. These life-skills are all invaluable.
43. Why Nepal?
Above all, the rural children, youth, schools and communities need your help. You may know that 97 out of 100 children and adolescents still live in villages, and that 31% of all Nepali people live under the poverty line. The education and health facilities in rural areas are insufficient; and the rural schools lack trained teachers, as well as a sufficient number of teachers in general. Every year, hundreds of children leave their villages to arrive in small and big cities in search of work. Most of these children are deprived of educational and other opportunities, so after coming into the cities they work as child laborers in restaurants, hotels, and factories. In such a messy situation, the small efforts from volunteers can bring hope for greater change in all rural communities. Ask your heart whether or not it is your responsibility to help the needy people of developing countries, as a member of this global village?
44. Can you recommend a trekking company which is reliable and affordable?
Third Eye Volunteers recommends Nepal Spiritual Trekking (P) Ltd’ which provides excellent services for those interested in trekking or touring in Nepal. Several of our previous and current volunteers have utilized their services with great success. If you are considering a mix of volunteering and traveling then choose our volunteer trekking programs.