Affordable Volunteer Programs in India from $250

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About

Are you ready for a meaningful adventure in India? Join International Volunteer HQ - the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization.

You can choose from 4 volunteer project options and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in local homestays or a volunteer house, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for India, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure training.

If you thrive on fast-paced city life, an abundance of opportunities to grow, exciting experiences at every turn and authentic interactions with local people, volunteering in Delhi is for you.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects Available in India:

  • Childcare
  • Teaching English
  • Slum Teaching
  • Health
Highlights
  • IVHQ’s India - Delhi program is available year-round, starting on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month
  • Highly affordable program fees from $250 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 20 and 40 other IVHQ volunteers who start in India - Delhi each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer experts, and joining a network of 80,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Nope! When I was in India, our orientation group had volunteers of various ages!
It all depends how long you are staying for, while volunteering you do get meals with the families you stay with but some may not like the food and want to eat out, generally India is one of the cheapest places you can visit, if you are purely just going to volunteer and don't intend doing any other activities which is doubtful in India then you won't need much at all, if you are the type to live...
I took a look and you can find the price breakdown for both programs in India here: https://www.volunteerhq.org/affordable-volunteer-fees#fees185 https://www.volunteerhq.org/affordable-volunteer-fees#fees379 Hope that helps!

Reviews

97%
based on 83 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 83
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Michael
10/10

Teaching in India

I had an absolutely incredible time teaching English with the IVHQ program in New Delhi, India. Before even leaving for India, IVHQ provided an informative and useful pre-departure guide, furthermore IVHQ staff readily made themselves available should I have any questions or concerns. Upon arriving in India, I was immediately greeted by staff and fellow volunteers. The initial culture shock of India was somewhat overwhelming, but my host family and IVHQ staff did a superb job of trying to make me feel at home, while providing me with useful information regarding the cultural difference between the US and India.

As mentioned above, I taught for 3 weeks at a school in the slums. Previous volunteers had left notes and materials for activities that were successful in their classroom, which helped make my first few days drastically easier. IVHQ staff also routinely checked in at the school to ensure that I was doing alright. Throughout those 3 weeks I fell in love with my compassionate, caring students; and my only regret is that I didn't volunteer for longer. Additionally, the food IVHQ provided was AMAZING! I would catch myself consistently going back for seconds and thirds. Traveling to a foreign country is always a little unsettling, but IVHQ does a tremendous job of preparing volunteers before departure and then providing continued support throughout the program. I'd highly recommend volunteering with IVHQ for anyone that wants to travel throughout the world at an affordable rate.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Michael, thanks for taking the time to share your experience, it sounds like you had an amazing time in India! I agree it can be quite a culture shock when you first arrive, however as you mentioned you soon fall in love with the culture and the amazing food!!! Thanks for recommending IVHQ and your insight will be very helpful for future volunteers! We would love to have you volunteer with us again! ^Samantha - IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Alice
10/10

IVHQ Delhi

I volunteered in New Delhi, India in a Slum School placement from February 17th for 3 weeks. My experience in India with IVHQ was brilliant, from the moment I registered to my flight home. The admin staff answered all questions and concerns that I had while applying very promptly and the website layout was very user friendly. All the information you need including Visa information / specific country information is there in a informal format that was very useful for me. Anything that wasn’t there was answered within 24 hours via email.

The staff in Delhi were also outstanding. They went above and beyond to make all the volunteers feel comfortable attending to our every need. We felt very valued and like part of the family from the get go! They even helped us organise tourist trips over weekends, finding us good price hotels and transport... very helpful when we need a translator! They are clearly passionate and made our experience 100 times better.

Our accommodation was clean and comfortable in spacious apartments... there was 3 to 4 beds to a room but if you require a private room this could be catered for for an extra price. The food was AMAZING. Every day was different and there was plenty of it! All made very fresh and piping hot. Filter water available for free water bottle refills.

Our placement in the slum school was crazy but we eased in rather fast. Our placements were definitely in the most in need areas which made them challenging but all the more rewarding. I will always remember the children I worked with and my amazing experience teaching them. I feel very lucky.

As long as you come with an open mind, ready to work hard and ready to receive a whole lot of love from the kids you will love IVHQ Delhi.

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I would suggest is to have a better hand over from old volunteers to new ones. It took quite a while for us to figure out where the children were at with their learning which was a little time wasted. I think if we had a handover we could have got straight into teaching the kids things that would benefit them / at the correct level for them.
Yes, I recommend
Giorgia
9/10

IVHQ INDIA, New Delhi healthcare program

The program is amazing: you'll get to work in a slum clinic and experience the real India with the opportunity to learn a lot from the local doctors about general medicine and being able to do hands on assesment of the patients.
The host family (Dr. Prabhat's) is amazing and they'll become your new mom and dad.
The weekends will be free, so you'll get the chance to do some sightseeing too.
To help the people in the slum you're more than welcome to bring with you any medications or material that will be extremely useful for the daily practice like gloves, hand sanitizer, betadine, ecc.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Giorgia, Thank for sharing a little of your time on the Medical project in India! It sounds like you had an incredible time and it looks like you were joined by a great group of volunteers. Thanks for your recommendations and we would love to have you join us again in the future!
Sarah - IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Leah
10/10

Across the World - India

Two weeks I will never forget. I went to India with IVHQ this summer in June. My time there was a beautiful experience. As my first trip abroad and as a relatively new traveler, I was a bit hesitant to fly across the world alone to a country in which I knew no one. My family and friends thought I was crazy to want to go there on my own, but I did not care. I had no idea what to expect when I landed in Delhi, but I had been planning this volunteer trip for over a year by that point, so I was more than ready to go. I had dreamed of seeing the world for as long as I could remember. Dreamed of experiencing different cultures and meeting the diverse people across the world. India's culture intrigued me, so I chose to go there. Once I landed in India and met the other volunteers at the airport, I felt so relieved. I was finally there. After all of the anticipation.

Talking with volunteers from all over the world was so exciting. After orientation, we were taken to our host families and projects. Staying with a host family was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It is a great way to be submerged into a country's culture/lifestyle. Plus, I gained a new family!

Our orphanage on the Childcare project was a small Christian one; there were about 12-15 kids ranging from 8 to 18 years old. The first day the other volunteers and I went to the orphanage, we met the kids and we drew pictures with them, learning their names and where they were from. Over the short span of two weeks, I had grown close to them and I did not want to leave them. I had struggled with the idea of having people come into your life and then parting ways with them too soon. But I will always carry them with me, and hope to see them again some day. Throughout my time in India, I met various people who shaped my soul through their words and actions. I learned a lot from the people I was surrounded by. From my host families to the local staff to the children at the orphanage and in the slums to the people we met in passing, I always felt welcome in their country.

The other volunteers and I got to travel on weekdays after the orphanage and weekends. We had a lot of time to explore, which was so cool! My time in India was an incredible experience overall. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. India is a complex and intriguing place. The only thing I would change is the duration of my stay - I wish I had stayed longer than 2 weeks! I will definitely be back one day to continue exploring! Thank you, IVHQ, for helping me see the world and showing me all the places I want to go next.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Leah, Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful review! It is lovely to hear that you had an unforgettable time on the program; meeting other volunteers from all over the world, living with a local family, helping at your placement, and exploring "Incredible India" in your spare time. Thanks for joining us and we can't wait to see where you will volunteer next!
Louise - IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Diego
10/10

Life changing experience

At first going into my ivhq program I was kinda scared and filled with questions, but at the very moment I arrived to India I knew there was nothing to be scared off. The local ivhq staff greeted us at the airport and was really kind. When being placed in our programs they were really understanding and were really flexible in what we as volunteers wanted and thought fitted us the best. My homestay was also really good, the family was so kind and so welcoming that they made me feel like home. I have no words to describe how amazing the volunteering was, since day 1 y knew this was going to be a life changing experience and I can say it really was, I feel like I really left a part of me with the kids at my slum teaching program but I can as well say I took a part of them that I will for always remember. I have nothing else to say but to give it a go and not be scared, it will truly change you as a person.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Diego, Thanks for sharing. We are so glad to hear that you pushed through your initial nerves to have an amazing volunteering experience in India. It is awesome that you felt supported by the local team and welcomed by your host family. Thanks for encouraging others to give it a go and for being an excellent volunteer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Ashley
10/10

I LOVED IT!

The IVHQ program in India was awesome! All the staffs were very helpful and so nice! The orientation was very organized and super fun! I made so many friends from all over the world during my stay in India, along with so many cherishable memories I would never forget. However, the one thing I would never forget during my stay in India would be the time I spent with the children in the slum teaching program. All the children in the B.V.N Slum School were amazing, funny, and eager to learn English! I taught 4th grade through 10th grade and they were all so special that I even went to school on Saturdays to teach them! I regret volunteering for only 4 weeks here, if I could, I would have stayed so much longer! It broke my heart to say goodbye to all the children I taught because we became so close over my short period here. I'm happy I chose IVHQ India for my first volunteering abroad experience because they helped me tremendously to transition smoothly for my stay!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ashley, What an awesome review! Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little about your time on the program in India. It sounds like you had a really special time and we are glad that we were able to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for your kind words and for being an IVHQer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Julia
10/10

India will open your heart in ways you never imagined.

HOMESTAY
Arriving in India was easy. Immediately greeted by a long-time staff member of IVHQ, I could breathe easy and enjoy the chaotic drive to my temporary homestay. Over my first weekend I explored the city with some new friends while other volunteers slowly arrived from the airport. Our house "parents" were so kind to immediately offer a ride to the market for water and toilet paper upon arrival. The orientation was very helpful- covered basics about the culture, the volunteer program, languages, etc. The volunteers were then sent to our permanent homestays for the duration of our programs. The other volunteers seemed wonderful so it was sad that we didn't get to know each other more before being split up. Auntie and Uncle at my homestay were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They were always there to answer questions, make sure we are enjoying ourselves, and keeping well. All accommodations have wifi, not necessarily good wifi- but 3am is usually a good time to sign on. Auntie walked us to our school on the first day of teaching and made us all memorize her house number which saved us on numerous occasions :) The IVHQ staff members checked in every Tuesday and Thursday to make sure we were happy and comfortable.

FOOD
The food was always delicious, but quite heavy with bread, rice and potatoes. Don't worry about gaining weight because you walk, sweat, and drink too much [bottled] water to retain any fat. We would buy fruit a lot for breakfast because we needed to switch it up. Having an upset tummy is pretty much inevitable, but don't hesitate to ask for a doctor visit- it is so cheap and you don't want to ruin the rest of our trip!

TEACHING
The school was extremely disorganized, but I attribute that to Indian culture ;). We had no idea what we were supposed to be teaching, what the students were previously taught, etc. I think the local teachers had a hard time seeing situations from the volunteers perspective because they were unable to offer much guidance. The classrooms were mixed with different age groups and levels so it took a few days to get settled into a routine. Once in a routine, each day proved itself to be a rewarding experience. A note to future volunteers: be prepared to discipline as much as you teach and know that the local teachers will use corporal punishment on the kids. The younger ones can be quite rambunctious, so sometimes pairing with another volunteer helps to keep control of the classroom. On the positive side, the kids were so eager to practice their English and volunteer during activities. They adore games, but resources are quite limited. I recommend planning out some games ahead of time that would work for larger groups of kids without extra resources. They will tell you what they want to play, but their favorite games are not usually educational (which is obviously ok every now and then). I also brought colored paper and pencils from home which brought plenty of afternoon entertainment! Travelling to the city after class and on the weekends is pretty easy, it just takes a lot of energy especially during the hot months.

TRAVEL
We were able to travel to the Taj Mahal through IVHQ, but found out that we probably could've gone for much cheaper on our own. Everything works out- by going with IVHQ we didn't have to work out a single travel detail all day..peace of mind is sometimes worth the price. We used the weekend to travel to Jaipur where we made new friends, painted elephants, fed monkeys, and shopped till we dropped (literally- we were so exhausted!). Mohit, an IVHQ staff member, is super cool and coordinated the taxi that picked me up to take me to the airport on my last day. I couldn't have planned a more smooth trip.

SAFETY
I always felt safe in India- of course that doesn't mean I didn't travel with precaution. The buddy system is a must everywhere you go, especially for women. The metro offers cars and separate security lines just for women. Always stand alert (not staring at your phone) and walk with a purpose to lessen your risk of an uncomfortable situation- this obviously applies everywhere you go, but it is something to keep in the front of your mind when you are in a unfamiliar place. As part of the orientation, IVHQ reminds women to dress modestly- this is also to reduce unwanted attention. Anyone who looks European will still get plenty of attention regardless, but for safety don't feed into it by dressing skimpily which is so tempting in the heat. From my pre-departure research I anticipated being groped on the trains, but luckily never had to deal with that situation.

OVERVIEW
From the beginning Louise, the IVHQ-India coordinator, was always responsive, friendly, and amazingly professional. She checks up on you during your stay and follows up with you when you return home. Everyone already knows that India is chaotic, dirty, and known for scams, but what you don't realize until you get there is that the pros outweigh the cons. The beautiful sites, the strangers that offer help and don't ask for your money, the laidback "India time" concept, the compassion of the different religions represented...all of these things remind you of what is important in life and teaches you to live more simply and enjoy each day.

I originally signed up with IVHQ because it offered short or long term programs which fit my life and what I was looking for. IVHQ was the easiest, best decision for volunteering overseas and I recommend it to everyone. I plan to volunteer again and definitely use IVHQ.

So....I hope my book of a review is helpful, especially to those new to travelling! I also included some pics that I think summarize my experience with IVHQ. Louise at IVHQ has my email in case anyone wants to reach out.
*Namaste*

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Julia, What an awesome review! Thanks so much for taking the time to write an in-depth review from your time on the program in India, we really appreciate it. We are so glad that you found your homestay welcoming, the food delicious, the teaching work rewarding and managed to explore India in your free time. It sounds like you had a really special time and we are glad that we were able to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for your kind words and for being an IVHQer. We can’t wait to have you back!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Tasha, NZ
Tasha
10/10

Best Thing I've Ever Done

I was fortunate enough to spend January 2017 in India with IVHQ, in particular, the most amazing family and compassionate children at one of the slum school volunteering programs in Faridabad.

Mohit and Chandni, as IVHQ staff and a host family, very quickly became trusted friends and in every regard, my family. When I was feeling isolated and unhappy in my first homestay placement, Mohit and Chandni were incredibly helpful, as staff, when they came to check in. They personally provided the best support and concern for my wellbeing. When I asked, they were happy to move me into their house due to being more familiar with the volunteers already living there, already knowing Mohit as my orientation guide, and knowing that as a more social individual, I would be more comfortable there.

Mohit and Chandni both, along with Raj and Aryan, the 2 guys living with them, undoubtedly provided me with some of my most treasured moments, and loudest laughter during that month. I cannot thank all of them enough for the Bollywood dancing, movie nights, late night discussions, laughter, amazing food (I am still dreaming about puri and poha) and endless helpful advice and answers on the ins and outs of everything India. But most of all I value their friendship, and for welcoming me into their home where I felt the happiest I have been in a long time.

The school was a definite challenge at first. It was something I found I was unable to prepare for. The style of teaching and classroom layout definitely induced some fear in the first few days as I observed what appeared to be complete madness. I questioned if I would be able to give any form of beneficial service to the school. But, I began to build relationships with a few of the students through interaction and discussion, allowing their conversational English to be extended, as well as developing a personal connections, genuine friendships, and sharing of cultures. It was an absolute pleasure to meet such compassionate and eager kids who were willing to include you in afternoon cricket sessions in the nearby park; as well as taking you back to their homes after school to be introduced to their families, and experience their way of life. A unique side of India that would be inaccessible by travelling in any other way.

My time in India I can confidently say was the best and most beneficial experience I have had in my life. Travelling during orientation week was effortless and stress free, and the best way I could imagine to meet genuinely good people, and see so much of New Delhi in such limited time. As well as weekends away with the kind souled volunteers I met, whom I know I will remain in contact with for a lifetime; the kids I built firm relationships with; and the most incredible host family I could ask for. It’s clear to me that I will be back to visit as soon as I possibly can.

After the initial culture shock and adjustment to an alien environment (which truly knocks you off your feet!) all wears off, the magnetism of India remains long after you leave. I could not recommend more highly visiting for yourself and soaking up as much of the culture, beauty and chaos as possible.

Thank you Mohit, Chandni, Raj, Aryan and IVHQ head office for making my stay incredible, and something I miss every single day back home!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tasha, Thanks for sharing this beautiful and insightful review from your time in India! It is heartwarming to know that you were so well supported by Mohit, Chandni, and the local team, and found considerable happiness in their company. We are thrilled that you were able to push through the challenges at your placement to have a meaningful volunteer experience. It is apparent that you made the most of your time in India and we’d like to thank you for your recommendation and for being an amazing IVHQ volunteer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Chuck
10/10

Living again

My experience was absolutely incredible. I learned so much and came home with different values for life I never even knew about. It taught me things in life I've only came across in dreams. I came home learning realize there are things in life we cannot change and we need to let them go. I seen how much beauty is in this world from seeing the lights, the colors and smiles from one place. Letting go is when the fun starts.

How can this program be improved?
Volunteers are sent at different times. There should be one time where groups are sent at once. Better way for people to socialize.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Chuck, We are stoked to hear that you had an incredible experience on the program in India! Learning to let go of the things in life that you cannot change is an incredible lesson to have learnt. Thanks for being an awesome IVHQer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Ashlyn
10/10

My Second Home

In just five weeks, not only did I come to think of India as my second home but I came to think of my Indian host family as a second family. By offering homestays, IVHQ offers FULL cultural immersion - the only real way to experience and learn about a different culture - and with a culture as distinct and rich in history as that of India, there is no other way to volunteer in India short-term as a college student than to do it through IVHQ. Easily the highlight of my trip was my homestay, which enabled me to learn about Indian travel tips, food, music, pop culture, customs, religion, and history through the eyes of one amazing family - a family that I am now broken-hearted over saying goodbye to. In addition to the homestays, I fell in love with the students at the school where I taught English. In the time I was blessed to have spent with them, not only was I able to help them practice their English skills, I was also privileged to be invited to visit students' homes and play cricket with many of the students after school. I was stunned by their generosity, curiosity, and pure joie de vivre and formed incredible connections that left me in tears on my final day. Centrally located within India, I was able to tour New Delhi, Jaipur, Rishikesh, and Varanasi with relative ease - something I would not have been able to afford were it not for the EXTREMELY low cost and high value IVHQ offers in the Delhi program. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact me if you are considering doing IVHQ, have any questions or reservations, and I would be overjoyed to help you out.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ashlyn, Thanks for your fantastic review! It is heartwarming to hear that you came to find a second family in India, and a place where you could immerse yourself in Indian food, music, pop culture, customs, religion, and history. We love hearing how you assisted and interacted with the students at your school placement – I am sure your willingness to connect would have been greatly appreciated. Thanks for kindly offering to help potential volunteers with any questions and reservations they may have. It has been a joy to have you volunteers with IVHQ and we would love to have you back one day.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Anna
10/10

Career Break :)

Well, I'm at the end of my stay here in India, I've been here for a month now volunteering at a slum school with IVHQ. I decided to do the program over the Christmas break as this would allow me a full month off work...I'm 36 and wanted to experience a different culture whilst also helping a good cause. I can highly recommend this program to all ages...I loved my homestay with Mohit and Chandni and I loved my placement at the school. Go for it xx

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Anna, We are so glad that our program in India allowed you to experience a different culture while helping a good cause. Thanks for your recommendation and for being a wonderful volunteer.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Diana
10/10

Wonderful experience with IVHQ

My time in India was for sure the most adventurous experience of all my life, I was here for 5 months and I only wish I could stayed longer. Everything about India was great, the volunteers that I met, the children at the school, the weekend trips, the babies at the adoption center and for sure my host family. I swear everyday in India was an adventure, something new was waiting for me to explore and experience. India is so diverse and the fun never ends in this country. India is full of culture, history, religions and of course full of amazing people. I had the best time and I would do this trip again.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Diana, Thanks for your brilliant, short and sweet review! We are stoked to hear that your time in India was full of adventure, fun, culture, history, religion, and amazing people – this is what we like to hear! Thanks for being a great volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Kathryn
9/10

IVHQ INDIA - DHARAMSALA

I volunteered on the IVHQ INDIA - DHARAMSALA in the town of Bir for 2 months in 2014, and I'm going back again for another trip in 2017. The program is a perfect mix of culture, self-realisation and volunteering.

I did the English teaching program, which meant I taught monks in one of the 4 local monasteries in Bir. The monasteries are all within a 5 min walking distance from the homestay. Volunteers are generally the only teachers in the classroom, and classes in English are taught around their schedule of Buddhist classes. Volunteers are expected to teach things like maths, cultural studies and english on weekdays, with a morning and afternoon session and a break in the middle of the day for lunch back at home. The young monks are VERY energetic and sometimes uncontrollable, but they are generally eager to learn and being able to help with that is rewarding. There are plenty of resources already in the homestay to use for lessons, and there is a local printing shop down the road which can be used for photocopying at around 2 rupees per sheet.

The local homestay is a 3 storey Tibetan home, with a rooftop balcony. The home belongs to a Tibetan family who live in and run the house with the help of a local cook/maid. They are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet, and English is well understood. The house has a TV with local channels and wifi. Running water is generally constant, although hot water is solar powered and can be unpredictable. There are washing lines already set up on the balconies, and there is a washing machine, although most volunteers generally did their washing by hand.

Bir is up in the Himalayas, and there are lot of things to do on the weekends. You can go to Macleodganj for the weekend, which is a tourist hub around 2-3 hours away, which has lots of western (and tibetan) restaurants, souvenirs and scenery. The Dalai Lama's residence is in Macleodganj, and you can visit while you're there. I'd also recommend doing the overnight hike to Triud, going to Amritsar, Manali, Chauntra and Barot.

Bir is a very small town, but there are many local shops which sell things like toilet paper, water, biscuits, chocolate and other necessities. For more western items, the best place to go in Macleodganj.

To get to Bir, you can either fly or take the bus. The bus is the cheaper option, departing from Delhi at night and arrives in Macleodganj in the early morning. From there, IVHQ will send a taxi driver to pick you up with a project co ordinator and take you to Bir. Be aware that the bus can be challenging is you are prone to motion sickness, and many people have raised concerns in terms of safety, especially if travelling alone. However, I took the bus with another young women, and we were fine. For my next trip, I will be flying to Dharmsala airport, and then getting a car to Bir.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is particularly interested in Tibetan of Himalayan culture, Buddhism or traditional Indian practices like yoga and meditation - Bir is a fantastic place to experience all these. The lifestyle is very relaxed, and it's a great place to make friends with the locals and learn about their culture whilst also helping the community through your volunteering!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kathryn, We are so excited to have you join us again this year! It will be interesting to hear your perspective on how the program has developed since you were last there in 2014. Thanks for posting such a detailed review of the India Dharamsala program that will be incredibly helpful to future and potential volunteers. We couldn’t agree more that this program is the perfect mix of culture, self-reflection and volunteering!
Louise - IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Valentyina
10/10

Wonderful Experience

It's very hard to explain about my experience in India because it was awesome. The pick up was well organised. From the Airport I was taken to the host family. I did the orientation week. It was very helpful because I get to know about tradition and culture of India. After a week I was shifted to the host family ( Mohit and Chandni) They were so welcoming. I felt very safe with them. The food was amazing. I tried so many different food. The slum school I went was not so far from the house. Children were so lovely and willing to learn. I am going to miss them alot. I am so sad to leave but I will be back soon.
Thankyou IVHQ!!!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Valentyina, We are thrilled to hear that your volunteer program in India was awesome! Thanks for being an IVHQer and we can’t wait to have you back.

Yes, I recommend
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Nicola
8/10

Spice of Life

If your are looking for a once in a lifetime adventure, then look no further than India! Having spent two weeks in Delhi, I can honestly say it was one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

Highlights definitely included riding the Tuk Tuks, which made me fear for my life a few times! Driving in India is like nothing you have ever seen before! Order amongst chaos is the only way to describe it!

The Taj Mahal - whilst it did take 5 hours to get there, the mausoleum was definitely a sight for sore eyes! It's no wonder it's one of the seven wonders of the world! My friend and I were stopped by a very handsome young Indian man asking to take a picture with us (not uncommon in a land where white is seen as intriguing ). It seemed like a simple enough request so we politely agreed, not knowing that this would lead to a whole series of questions followed by him wanting our contact details. We decided to make a run for it and spent the next hour hiding from our 'stalker'.

But what really made the whole experience worth it, was teaching the kids at Tender Heart NGO. They have such zest for life and despite all their hardships, they are all so eager to learn and make a better life for themselves. I am so glad I had the chance to spend time with these precious little souls, and I hope to visit them again sometime in the future.

How can this program be improved?
I definitely think there could be more interaction with the host families. Our host never once ate dinner with us which was rather disappointing, as we were expecting to share our traditions/stories with each other over meals.

Also, I think there should be a more clear outline of what we should be teaching the kids, as it was quite hard to know what exactly was expected of us.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nicola, Thanks for your great review! It is brilliant to hear that your time on the program in Delhi was one of the most enriching experiences of your life. We will be sure to take your feedback on board and would love to have you join us again in the future.

Yes, I recommend

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About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...