Teach English in the Himalayan Foothills of India.

Location
India
Length
1 - 52 weeks
Age
16 - 60 years
24 travelers saved this program

Video and Photos

About This Program

Poor education standards, illiteracy and high student dropout rates are some of the more glaring issues for educational reform in India.

Schools, especially rural schools suffer severe shortfalls in resources and iSpiice volunteers help by assisting local staff and giving lessons in various educational institutions. The most commonly requested subjects for teaching are English and Computers – both which come naturally to most volunteers.

Usually, our volunteers fly into Delhi International airport on every Sunday all year around, where an iSpiice team member meets them and escorts them to our volunteer location in Dharamsala.

iSpiice also offers meaningful travel opportunities in India, including optional week end add-on tours to world's famous sites such as Taj Mahal tour, Himalayan Trekking tour, Adventure Tour in Manali, Jaipur and a 2-day tour visiting Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Highlights

  • Pick up from Delhi International airport at the time of arrival by iSpiice staff member.
  • Transfer to Dharamsala with iSpiice staff member. On off days, hike Dharamsala's snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys.
  • Optional add on trips like Golden Temple, Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Manali adventure trip and trekking in the Himalayas during the weekends.
  • Morning or Evening yoga classes, Walk around the Kangra Tea Gardens. Take trips to the Dalai Lama Monastery.
  • Enjoy projects are in the stunning Dharamsala region of Himachal Pradesh.

Volunteers work on their two preferred Programs per day. For example Teaching English in
the morning and Street Children in the evening.

During the week your days at iSpiice will for the most parts, follow this schedule

 7:30am -Wake up and enjoy a chai.
 7:45am - Yoga class (60 minutes)
 9:00am - Breakfast and work preparation.
 10:30am - Program 1 (2 hours).
 12:45pm - Break for lunch and work preparation.
 2:00pm - Program 2 (2 hours).
 4:30pm - Afternoon chai and work preparation.
 7:00pm - Dinner.
 7:30pm - Relax, go shopping, prepare for tomorrow's Programs.

iSpiice volunteers will have weekends free and time available to participate in Add On Tours.

What's Included
Accommodation
Meals
Transportation
Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Airport pick up from Delhi airport, all meals, accommodation at volunteer house, transport, teaching materials, local sightseeing, Internet (Wi-Fi), filtered water, morning or evening yoga.

What's Not Included
Airfare
Visa
What's Not Included (Extra)

Airfare, travel insurance and Indian visa.
Spending money for bottled water, snack foods and dining out whilst on weekend excursions.
Add On Tours such as Taj Mahal, Himalayan Trekking, Jaipur + Taj Mahal, Golden Temple and Manali Adventure Trip.

iSpiice Volunteer House and Programs are situated in the villages of Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh (North India). Dharamsala is a region in the Kangra Valley district sitting at 1500m above sea level. Famous for its lush green vegetation, it’s sheltered by the magnificent snow capped Dhauladhar range in the Himalayas. The location is peaceful, beautiful and spiritual – also home to the Dalai Lama.

Our village of Sidhwari is close to Dharamsala town and McLeod Ganj town. Both areas are buzzy with international and Indian tourists - great for shopping, taking yoga classes and eating out.

Volunteers stay at the iSpiice Volunteer House with the iSpiice staff. Accommodation is clean and comfortable with western style toilets, hot running water and access to the internet. We have separate male and female bedrooms and bathrooms.

Hosted by iSPiiCE

iSPiiCE (Integrated Social Program in Indian Child Education) is a voluntary social organisation that builds partnerships between International volunteers and rural Indian communities. With 80% of India’s population living in rural areas an iSPiiCE...

Varun Verma
Program Coordinator
Have a question?
Send Varun a Message

Availability

Two Weeks
$900 USD
Three Weeks
$1050 USD
Four Weeks
$1200 USD
Five Weeks
$1350 USD

Reviews

93%
based on 23 reviews
  • Benefits 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Facilities 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 23
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Bethan
10/10

Absolute amazing time!

I had the best time in India with ispiice, While teaching for the first time was challenging, there were supports both from other volunteers and programme leaders to make sure you were coping ok. I would do it again in heart beat .Varun who runs everything out there was so helpful and a lot of fun he would tell us the best places to go how to get there. I'm already missing spending time with them. India is an incredible place to volunteer as the people are so happy and kind. Had an absolute amazing time, the organisation were very helpful throughout my trip. I would definitely recommend people volunteering through this organisation, the volunteer handbook we received before starting our journey was very helpful as it gave me all the essential information I needed.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Martin
9/10

Everything you need to feel calm and confident.

I have very much enjoyed the street children education programme and have found it extremely rewarding. The children were fantastic, very well mannered, polite, enthusiastic, cut and friendly. The accommodation was very clean with everything that I required. The food was always delicious. The program itself is wonderful, as you get to interact and really make a difference in these children's lives. Coming from a western country, all the little things are so enjoyable, such as cows and goats roaming around in the streets, the colorful trucks, and the bumpy rides back home in an auto rickshaw. I also travelled to Agra, Amritsar and Dharamsala on the weekends of volunteer work. Everything was well-planned during the travel. The volunteer house, the food, the transport, the people, everything is so good. I will definitely return to India one day! I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants an amazing volunteer experience and wants to enrich themselves through the Indian culture.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Chad
9/10

Unforgettable

“I really enjoyed being here and being an iSpiice volunteer. “I had a very wonderful experience that way exceeded my expectations. iSpiice offers a great mix of volunteer and tourist opportunities – working with the kids was very rewarding as was seeing their eagerness to learn. Initially I was worried about getting sick, but thankfully it wasn’t an issue with iSpiice, or in India overall. ”The resources at the iSpiice camp were very helpful in lesson planning, and discussing lesson plans with the other volunteers was always beneficial. If you’re thinking about iSpiice- do it. You won’t regret it. The iSpiice volunteer programme is truly one of a kind. Not only is it a volunteer programme, but one also gets the opportunity to see some of the many beautiful landmarks of India.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Barbara
10/10

Keep up the good work!

Working with ispiice has been a phenomenal experience. From its mission, to the people who run it, to the Programs we volunteer at. I’ve loved working with all the people behind ispiice because they’re all nice, funny, accommodating and such joys to have around. I’ve loved it all and am so glad to have had this experience. I made so many wonderful connections with the amazing women and children that I taught. Thank you so much for one of the best experiences of my life. I’m so glad I was able to see the Taj Mahal and Golden Temple while volunteering. ispiice changed the way I view India and my home country and taught me so many things I couldn’t have learned from a travel guide.” Overall, my month in India was really wonderful thanks to Varun and ispiice!”

Yes, I recommend this program
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Estefania
10/10

Best Experience of my Life!

I had the opportunity to work with ispiice and their amazing team of staff in India. It was an experience that I truly treasure, and was one of the best summers of my life. “I never thought that I would be brave enough to go to India by myself, but I am so happy that I did. iSpiice is such an incredible experience – it changes the way you see life and you meet so many amazing people along the way. India is a beautiful, crazy place and once you’ve taken part in this volunteer program you will take all of it’s kindness, adventure and spirit back with you. If you’re thinking about iSpiice- do it. You won’t regret it.” I was able to see the Taj Mahal and Golden Temple while volunteering. Overall, my month in India was really wonderful thanks to Varun and iSpiice!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Gia
9/10

Unique opportunity.

I attended iSpiice this past May, and had an amazing experience. iSpiice staff is absolutely amazing, iSpiice volunteer house is nice and clean. Project was absolutely safe. There is never a moment where I felt unsafe. I am very thank full to Varun he is a fun loving guy. You can learn how to make other people laugh and reduce lots of problems by doing volunteering. I wish him and his team to work like this and create more volunteering opportunities for the world. This place is truly does care about the volunteers. All the best!!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kamiya
10/10

A once in a lifetime opportunity.

I really enjoyed being here and being an iSpiice volunteer. I thought everything was very organized and we were very well taken care of. I loved the staff at iSpiice so much! Everyone was so helpful and caring while we were here and made being away from home easy. I will definitely recommend iSpiice to friends and family, it was a great way to see India and volunteer even i have visited India before.” I must say that iSpiice will challenge you, inspire you, and change you. I will never forget my great experience volunteering in India with iSpiice.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Zoe
9/10

Awesome experience!

iSpiice (Integrated Social Programs In Indian Child Education) is awesome! I’ve spent a month in Dharamsala within this volunteer program. I meet nice people; I’ve seen wonderful landscapes; I’ve discovered a country full of history, religion, love to share…The volunteer organisation was safe, clean, good atmosphere, friendly…I totally recommend this organisation! I taught English and Computer Skills to women and kids. I will always remember the moments I’ve spent with all of them…My best adventure abroad ever!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Caroline
10/10

Amazing.

I really enjoyed myself here both the people and program’s have been interesting. Teaching in the slum and school was great experience. The kids are really enthusiastic and want to learn which makes the teaching less stressful and more fun. Having access to the internet to help with lesson plans was a great help. It was well worth all that it took to get there.
The experiences iSpiice have given me will be one I will never forget.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sharron
8/10

Great Experience.

I am so grateful to have been able to support this outstanding organization. The iSpiice team is making a noticeable difference in the community and I am thankful to have been a part of it. Everything was so carefully organised and cared.The iSpiice team is so dedicated to their jobs and everyone in the community is thankful for your hard work. I can honestly recommend iSpiice for anyone who wants to volunteer in India.

How can this program be improved?
I will not change anything!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Irina-Maria
5/10

Not coming back

I must confess that overall my experience here was disappointing and far away for what has been presented in the borchures.The experience had both good and bad parts, of course, but the latter proved to be stronger. Among the good things I can think of the contact with the lovely, curious children, the breathtaking landscapes and the care of the staff for our safety. The programme however cost way too much for what it has offered. I later found out that the site facilitating contact between the organization and volunteers takes away no less than 40%, which is a hug amount that basically goes to the profit of some third party. Then I was very dissatisfied with the room. I myself am highly allergic to mold and humidity and unfortunately the place I stayed in was full of it. I understand it was monsoon season but the room had a broken fan, cracked walls full of mold, a dirty rusty bathroom and everything was soaked. The bedsheets were disgusting and looked like they hadn't been washed in a very long time. The matresses were also in a very bad state. Basically everything was deteriorated and dirty. My request to swap the room at least with one with a working fan went ungranted so in just a few days I found myself troubled by my sinusitis which has prevented me from focusing on other important things. During the trips I stayed at very cheap hotels which also had numerous problems (dirt, ants, very bad neighborhood). Again, quality was not reflected in the huge amount of money I paid for the project. Now about the school. It was baffling to me to see the deplorable state of the children's space and I wonder why nothing has been invested so far in the community. I tried asking questions to the organization's manager but I was given vague answers. The children were adorable but the classes were quite disorganized. Because volunteers come and go and everyone has other ideas about what's to be taught, it can get really confusing for them. Ok, let's say that is somehow understandable and we have to adapt to the needs and resources, but the fact that the accomodation is in such poor condition has no excuse whatsoever. They could at least pay for someone to clean once a week. The kitchen also looked horribly dirty. All I would have liked was cleanliness and a decent room. As for the impact, I am not sure how much I was able to help. I am seriously questioning the utility of short-term volunteering projects as I can see both from my experience and from others' that local communities don't really benefit from them. You get there, have the chance to explore a little and talk to people, but it's not enough. The programme should have included more hours per day, 6 or 7. We had gaps when there simply was nothing to do. The kids at school should also be better monitored, maybe with diaries assessing their levels and what has been done so far. My impression overall was that the organization was not interested in such aspects. Everything seemed a huge improvisation. And to repeat, what annoyed me most was the lack of respect for the guests perfectly reflected in the VERY poor quality of the accomodation. As you can also see below. In the future I will most definitely try to find something directly, no intermediaries because otherwise it's a big scam!

How can this program be improved?
FIX THE ACCOMODATION.
Response from iSPiiCE

Dear Irina,

Thank you for sharing the review. We will be careful from now on about the accommodation.

So sorry to hear your experience wasn't good with iSpiice.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Maria
10/10

Nice Place for teaching

It was my life changing experience after joining iSpiice. I can say with complete honesty that this was one of the best experiences of my life. I had always wanted to go to India and am so pleased that I chose to do it with iSpiice.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Larissa
9/10

Immersion in India

I volunteered for six weeks in iSpiice and it was a nice and safe way to discover the North part of India and also delicious culinary specialties. I have wonderful images stored in my head of beautiful children and magical memories of trips I had the opportunity to to alone during weekends.

How can this program be improved?
- Have a clearer program about the skills pupils have already acquired and which skills we should work on (grammar, vocabulary, ... -> a clear list of topics seen and those that need to be study)
- Work in more than one school and more than one slum
- Don't write on the website that you can help women when you can't in reality
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristyn
10/10

Authentic India

I believe iSPiiCE is one of the most authentic ways to experience the beautiful country of India. The staff is supportive and ensures your safety at all times, while allowing you to interact in the community. Teaching computer skills, English, and helping at daycare centers provided me with wonderful memories! The students were respectful and very enthusiastic! On the weekends, my group was led on wonderful excursions: from a trek in the Himalayan Mountains to a visit to the Taj Mahal! I strongly recommend iSPiiCE and I hope I can return someday!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Margaret
10/10

Mature Volunteers

I was 65 years old and a recently retired School Business Manager when l flew out to India to help on three projects. Teaching touch typing to young married women in one of the ladies own homes. What a delight, eager to learn, supportive of each others efforts and very curious about my background. They all worked very hard on the lessons and improved daily.

Playgroup or Angarawi and ten little children learning through play. We used playdough, rhyme, books and music and they played some of there own games out, 'stalking tiger' and 'cattle in the stall', such fun.

Primary School, more formal lessons. Children well mannered, respectful and hungry for knowledge.

In return l was guided to places of interest off the beaten track, housed on a beautiful farm and given a room overlooking the Himalayas. Our food was cooked here with local produce, delicious.

I had a life enhancing experience and would recommend this organisation without reservation.

How can this program be improved?
It was perfect, l was well looked after throughout.
Yes, I recommend this program

Questions & Answers

All my living costs were met by iiSpice from Delhi onwards. Meals, travel and accommodation are all in so you only need money for personal spending. I also used my bank card for cash and *buying larger items so that I was not carrying large amounts of money. * I bought some jewelry, stayed in the Tibetan hotel in McLoud Gange overlooking the Tibetan Temple and took advantage of a massage in a...

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