Teaching English to Buddhist Monks

Overview

This program is designed for people who are interested in religious culture, to teach English in one monastery for a period of two months or more. EFN Nepal can provide longer stays upon request. Volunteers will teach English to the monks, both young and old, for around two to three hours per day. In turn, the monks will share their teaching-at-buddhist-monastery-in-nepalknowledge and culture with the volunteers. Meditation practice, as well as field trips to Hindu and Buddhist holy sites, will be included in the program.

For the first one week, the volunteer will take intensive language classes, as well as teacher training, everyday at the EFN Office, in Kathmandu. The monks will be able to speak both languages so it is really a matter of the volunteers preference; however, most people find Nepali easier to learn. the volunteers will visit holy sites around the Kathmandu Valley. After one week, they will be placed in a host family near to the monastery depending on the availability of place stay in the monastery, where they will stay for a total of six weeks or more. This program combines religious research, through an experiential approach, with volunteer English teaching. Due to the fact that the monks spend their lives inside the monastery, this program provides them with the amazing opportunity to learn English, as well as experience another culture, from an international volunteer.

As a volunteer in Nepal teaching English to Buddhist monks in a monastery, you will primarily work as English instructors to the monks. You’ll teach English to monks for 2-4 hours a day. You are encouraged to hold discussions and debates as this will greatly increase the ability grasp and speak English. Daily activities may include:

  • Teaching English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Planning lessons and curriculum development
  • Leading classes to teach basic conversational English
  • Organizing extracurricular activities such as dancing, games, music, sports, art, etc.
  • Helping monks with their homework
  • Assisting monastery administrations
  • Fundraising for the monastery
  • Helping around the monastery

Note: in addition to teaching, you’ll also be allowed to sit, observe and learn about the rituals, prayer ceremonies and meditations inside the monastery and learn about Buddhism from the monks.

Once you arrive we organize an introduction for you. We deem this to be highly valuable and it’s a program valued by many volunteer in the past. By means of an introduction you can acclimatize and prepare for your volunteering. You can begin at you project rested and prepared. In this way you can be really effective.

introductieArriving to work in a foreign country can be a nerve-wracking experience, this is why at EFN we provide a friendly and in-depth welcome. The in-depth welcome encompasses basic language training, cultural training and sightseeing through Kathmandu and surrounding. This is what you can expect from the moment when you touch down at Tribhuvan Intl. Airport. The program may vary depending on your time of arrival. We will manage to include all below mentioned activities in you introduction program.

You will be met at the airport by one of our staff . Together with our driver, Bimal, you will be taken to either the EFN office or a hotel. Here you can drop your bags and relax. The EFN director will come to meet you to clarify you program for the first days. Depending on when you arrive, you will begin Nepali language class or a sightseeing tour of some of the world heritage sights of the Kathmandu valley. In the evening you will enjoy your first Nepali dinner.

introduction-3After a leisurely start and breakfast, so you can recover properly from your journey, you will start your Nepali language course at the EFN office. After meeting the entire EFN team you will have 2 lessons from around 10.30 to 12.45 with our highly experienced language teachers. This will also give you a chance to meet any other volunteers joining at the same time. In the afternoon, one of our staff will take you round the local area of Pepsi-Cola where the office and home-stays are for the induction period.

Later that afternoon, you will be driven round being shown where all relevant amenities are: the nearest bank, shopping centre, internet café, food shops, post office. You will also be shown the local buses to that can take you to Kathmandu or to Bhaktapur and also where you can catch a taxi. You will also be told where to keep your valuables and general information about life in Nepal.

In the end of afternoon, you will be driven with our guide to see some of Kathmandu’s famous UNESCO world heritage sites. One of our guides have over 15 years experience taking foreigners round the ancient city and can answer any questions you have on ancient and contemporary Nepal. During your introduction, you can visit the famous Buddhist Boudanath and Swayambhunath stupas as well as the Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath. The Durbar squares on Patan and Kathmandu are also essential visits. If you have other sites you are particularly interested in then this may be integrated as well.

Volunteer NepalIn the morning we will continue the Nepali language training. Be aware we are aiming for a basic understanding. For example to say ‘yes and no’ and to introduce yourself. We do not expect you to speak the language fluent after the training. After the lesson, you are driven round some of EFN’s projects in the Kathmandu Valley. This may include the new CBIA school, our women centre, our orphanage, or a visit to the village of Sunakoti where you will see new toilets, drinking water systems and environmental projects that have all been recently implemented by volunteers and fundraising efforts.

In the afternoon, you can do more sightseeing with our guide in Kathmandu, or if you desire to take some time for yourself that’s even so possible. This afternoon, it’s also a good opportunity to stock up with anything you may have forgotten before heading up to a rural placement. The tourist hub of Thamel will be able to furnish you with anything from Marmite to an extra pair of Merino socks.

After about two days of language classes and sightseeing, you will be moved to the host family. They will be fully trained about hosting volunteers and you won’t be left in the dark about anything: toilets, drinking water, bedding, how to work the shower, where to buy anything you need nearby, basic etiquette. If you want an early night then that is fine, but you will also be given the opportunity to ring home or send emails from the EFN office so any parents or loved ones won’t be worrying about you.

It’s possible we already start this day at your project. If times appears to be short, we will start the next day in the morning. Our EFN director  will discuss and finalize you program at arrival so you know what to expect the first days in Nepal.

While you volunteer with Everest Foundation Nepal you will be staying with a Nepali host family. Be part of a Nepali family. Eat together with the family. Play with the children. Experience the rich Nepali culture firsthand. Many volunteers tell us this unique insight into the culture of Nepal is a key part of why they come back again and again.

teej-festivalAll our host families have conducted a training regarding hosting volunteers adequately. They know how to ensure hygiene and provide security. They will treat you as a member of the family. To secure the knowledge of the western culture and desires we train our host families yearly.

Although we do not experience it frequently and it can be considered very rare, it could be possible you are not satisfied at your host family. In that case, it’s possible to switch host family. We want to guarantee your happiness and secure the positive experience of Nepal.  Hence, we remain contact if every runs properly at your host family during your stay.

When you arrive on placement you will be introduced to your host family by the EFN representative and given a full tour of the premises. Many of our host families have children and it seems many of our volunteers enjoy helping them with their English, learning to cook Nepali food and mixing in with their life. The other way around, we experience volunteers learn a lot from the hosts and children regarding the life in Nepal.

kitchenurbanAt the host families you will stay with or without fellow volunteers. You can clarify you preference and we will take that into account while arranging your host family. It is always possible to stay as a couple or group of friends in one host family. You should consider the host family as you temporary family in Nepal. As they will treat and value you as a family member. They can even so help you regarding how to discover the neighborhood, advice on travels and offer you warmth in times of homesickness.

gastgezin-2You should not expect luxury on your stay in Nepal. Nepal is a developing country and may well be different from what you are used to at home. However, you will have your own room unless requested otherwise, and the rooms are always clean and comfortable. The quality of toilet and washing facilities vary significantly between placements. If you are based in Kathmandu you may find you have a hot shower and a Western style toilet in your homestay. However, if you are in a rural placement then it is more likely that you will have a traditional squat toilet and a cold shower. If you feel like having a hot shower and flushing toilet is a priority then make this clear when you are applying and we will see if it is possible to find you one of our better equipped host families.

The electricity supply in all areas is limited. Due to nationwide electricity shortages the government imposes power cuts of around 12-14 hours a day. In the cities some houses have backup batteries that will run low power bulbs in key rooms, but in the rural areas you can expect to use candles. A head-torch is a very useful thing to bring.

Volunteer in NepalOn placement you will usually eat with the family and share the same food as them. At least two meals a day are provided for you while volunteering. The usual meal times are between 9 and 10 AM and 6 and 8 PM. You will usually be served the national staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari which is a tasty and filling plate of rice, vegetable curry, lentils and pickles. It may occasionally have meat such as chicken or mutton in it, although if you are vegetarian this can easily be explained. This may be supplemented occasionally by noodles, eggs and other snacks dependent on your host family and placement

Your hosts family will provide you with clean drinking water on your placement.

The Teaching at Monastery Placement is available at the following beautiful places:

Kathmandu Valley

kathmanduThe Kathmandu Valley lies at the crossroads of ancient civilizations of Asia, and has at least 130 important monuments, including several places of pilgrimage for the Hindus and Buddhists. The cities of Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur and Chobhar are located in this valley, and each displays excellent examples of Newar art and architecture. The valley is the cultural and political hub of Nepal, but this melting pot of traditions and different Nepali >>>>


 


 

Himalayan Region:(Mt. Everest)

Salleri and Garma, Solukhumbu
salleri-phapluSalleri is a small Himalayan town that serves as the headquarters of Solukhumbu District. It is everything you would imagine from the Everest mountain region: beautiful landscape; hillsides dotted with villages, a lively weekend bazaar, a Tibetan refugee camp, and many spectacular Buddhist monasteries. Recently road has been connected with Salleri and regular jeep service operates from Kathmandu. The duration of Jeep drive is about 10 hours.>>>>

 

1) Will volunteer be staying at monastery?

No, Volunteer will not be staying at monastery, EFN will provide Buddhist host family that will be near the monastery where they will be provided food and accommodation but volunteer can take part in all the activities of monastery. Please see above section for the day to day activities of monastery

2) Will I be able to practice meditation?

Yes, of course you are free to perform meditation but keep in mind that not all the monastery performs meditation.

3) Will I be given a lesson on Buddhism?

The main reason to work at monastery is to be involved culturally and religiously with monks. Being in monastery you would be able to observe monks day to day activities and practice Buddhism but for in-depth lesson EFN can help arrange a class if requested by volunteers.

4) How many classes are expected to teach?

Volunteers are expected to teach atleast 3 to 4 classes a day.

5) How many monks will be there in one class and of what age?

One class can consist of 35 to 40 monk’s age ranging from 7 to 25 years old.

6) Is there any teaching curriculum or materials provided at monastery?

There is no set curriculum for English lesson therefore volunteer are expected to make a lesson plan every day and arrange needed material themselves .If requested EFN might help with materials.

7) Will there be some other teacher assisting me at classes?

As monastery doesn’t have set curriculum for English lesson, volunteer are expected to be a sole in- charge of the class.

8) Are volunteer allowed to organize other activities like painting, games and other creative activities?

We encourage our volunteer to be more creative and proactive in classes, as there is no  set curriculum volunteer are expected to make a day to day lesson plan be it a games or art.

9) Will volunteer be able to take part in various other activities perform by monastery?

Yes, Volunteer will be able to take part in day to day activities of monastery.

10) Is there any specific time limit that volunteers should commit to work at monastery?

We expect volunteer to commit at least 3 week s to 12 weeks before applying for this placement.

 

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