1. How will I get to headquarters from the Airport?
There is nothing to worry about. One of our staff will be waiting for you at the outside of the airport gate. He will be holding a sign with your name or organization name on it. Please do not forget to send your detailed flight itinerary.
2. Can I schedule my own volunteer service for the dates that interest me?
In order to adjust the flight schedule of the volunteer and to make our schedule more flexible, FORD NEPAL organizes language and culture orientation programs four times a month(1-8-15-23).
FORD NEPAL suggests volunteers adjust their flight schedule according to language program schedules. It is very unlikely to make extra arrangements for missed classes. Interns, volunteers can stay and wait at the hotel on their own expense to start the program from the beginning. Please click here Schedule of language & Culture program.
3. Do I need to prepare my self for teaching English before my arrival in Nepal?
It would be helpful for you to brush up on your grammatical knowledge. You could also bring a grammar book and English language text book which is helpful for you during the placement time, as they are difficult to find in Nepal.
4.What kinds of volunteers do you work with?
FORD NEPAL has bounded with Institutions, universities and colleges, other organizations and clubs, church groups, youth groups, and families to arrange for meaningful volunteer experiences in Nepal.
5. Cost of program?
FORD NEPAL volunteers need a reasonable fee for its service. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or any question regarding cost of program.
6. What's the 'registration' fee paying for?
The registration fee is needed to run the organization (office space, computers, Internet, supplies and Staffs). FORD NEPAL volunteers maintain one central office at Kathmandu and field office at Chitwan. It has other contact offices at Germany and UK to run the coordinated program. Part of the fee goes to maintaining these offices.
Further more, FORD NEPAL has been running an Eco-Model Village Project in Chitwan to offer more safe environmental learning opportunities for children and housewife of Nepal. We are also developing some conservation and construction projects. Not only these, we collect your some part of fees and donation as a fund for Lower caste(so called DALIT) students study and organizes the non-formal teaching to them. The remaining money of the program directly goes to support these programs and our offices. Please find time to visit these projects.
7. Is there age limit on program?
You must have to above 18 and have good health and Specially Working helpful in Community Development.
8. Will there be any other volunteer present during orientation time?
FORD NEPAL long-term (more than three weeks) volunteers join the language and culture program. We offer a language and culture program in fixed dates to make a small group. Please see our culture and language program for detailed information. For short-term volunteers, we offer a short orientation program about project, host family, villages, working conditions, etc. individually at our Kathmandu office. We encourage volunteers to ask many questions during orientation and make adjustment in program to ensure that our program meets your need.
9. What are the living conditions of my placement?
The living conditions of the placement depend on the area. One should not expect luxurious accommodations here in Nepal. You will be placed within a family setting with your own room. Most placements have electricity. (If electricity is an asset it can be arranged). Our host families are mostly educated, well respected in society, and experienced with international volunteers. Some members of host families may speak English.
10. Do I have any input in the location of my placement?
FORD NEPAL offers placement in collaboration with local partners and villagers. FORD NEPAL has its own Eco-village and conservation project and community development projects in Nepal. Some of the volunteer work is in our own projects. Most of our projects are in the Rural village area of Nepal.
11. What is volunteer's contribution?
a) Social contribution:
- Directly, manpower through participation.
- Indirectly, volunteer participation encourages local community to be involved in community development by them. Volunteers are as catalyst for community development.
- Sharing of knowledge and skills with the community.
b) Ecological contribution:
- Exchange and share of ecological knowledge and training to the community people.
- Involving in conservational and eco-work.
c) Economical/ financial contribution:
- Teaching materials for schools, clothes and other materials for orphans, tools and other equipments for various projects, donation made to the projects.
12. What is language training?
Ford Nepal organizes a week intensive Nepali language course four hours each day. Though, there is some excursion between the classes. During this week, volunteers are learnt Nepali phrases, useful words for their projects and so on as they have to stay in a family and work with local projects. So, they can use local language for easy communication and make their stay effective. The Nepali language expert will train the volunteers about the language; make them practice before they go to their placement or project. This is only recommended for those volunteers who would like to join with more than three weeks.
13. What kind of cross-cultural opportunities do you get?
While you stay in a host, you may have opportunity to witness the Nepalese lifestyle, their religions, rituals and culture etc. It is not recommended to come over to the Nepalese culture and religion but one can chat / talk openly about each other culture and religion without demarcation. This opportunity provides volunteers to experience its culture and religion.
14. What is medical camping?
Medical camping is a camping set for the public at their place for general medical check and treatment organized by hospitals or clinic or any health associations. Ford Nepal volunteer can also be involved where there is medical camping. But volunteers must have any proof or certificate of being a doctor, nurse or medical student.
15. What is environmental training and eco-work?
Environmental training is training provided to the community people, school children or house wife about safe and clean environment around their community, schools or any public places.
Eco-work and conservation is any work which is for soil or forest conservation. Eco-work and conservation work includes plant nursery management, seed collection, plantation, digging, diversion making on the river, fencing, terracing, non-degradable waste management etc.
16. What kinds of thing do I need to bring with me?
- Sleeping Bag
- Hiking Boots
- Fleece Jacket (during Winter months)
- Light-weight cotton clothing
- Water-proof jacket ( a fold away wind-cheater is fine)
- Sarong( or you can buy lungi cheaply in Nepal) for women
- Mosquito repellent/net
- Sun cream
- Water purification tablets and/or water filter
- Photos of you family/friends/home
- A few Examples of your local currency
- English/Nepali/English Dictionary- for simple definitions (buy a Nepali dictionary on arrival in KTM)
- Colored pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers Grammar book
17. Does FORD Nepal provide any financial support to volunteers?
Unfortunately, we are in not that position, however if past volunteer joins our program we will deduct some amount on fees.
18.Where will I have to stay during the training period?
During the first phase you will receive training in Katmandu. For the second phase you will move to Shankaharapur village. Where you will stay with Nepali family.
19. Can I change my volunteer placement if I want?
FORD NEPAL will consider prior request of volunteer seriously for the change of placement and in many cases it is possible to change the working areas to meet the expectation of volunteers. We cannot change position frequently without genuine reason. You should Inform to Ford Nepal Office if you want to change your Placement at least One week before.
20. Do I need travel and Medical insurance?
Yes, we strongly recommended that you must have travel and medical or health insurance.
21. Does FORD Nepal pay for my rafting and trekking?
No this is non activity so you need to pay yourself for this. We can give you rafting and trekking agencies contacts. You will get special discounts rates.
22. Will I have time to explore Kathmandu during my language and culture program?
There will be plenty of time for you to explore the Kathmandu Valley during orientation. FORD NEPAL offers full day cultural excursion tour of Kathmandu valley in between the language program.
23. How much extra money should I bring?
FORD NEPAL manages food and room for volunteers from the first to last day of program so there won't be need of more money. You may need some extra pocket money if you plan on taking part in activities outside the organization such as trekking, travel to other places or drinks or if you just want to buy some souvenirs. You must also remember the VISA fee, which can range from $25-60 US dollars depending on the length of stay. Now-a-days Airtport Tax is included with your flight ticket.
24. Will I have access to communications such as, e-mail, telephone, and post office?
This all depends on your placement. Almost all placements will have access to a Post Office. If you are in a city placement there are many places in which you can use phone or access e-mail. But this information will all be given to you before your departure to Nepal.
25.Can I come with a friend or can I be placed near other volunteers?
We allow people to come with a friend or even in a large group. You sometimes may be placed in different homes located within 1-2 miles. We can place any volunteer near to another volunteer already working in the field. Please be reminded that two different genders of volunteers are not allowed to stay in same room of the house unless they are a married couple.
26. What happens if I decide to return home before the placement is over?
Once the volunteer makes a decision and pays for the program fee, upon receipt of invoice, FORD NEPAL does not refund any program fee under any circumstances. S/he should be for that particular program. But if the volunteer have unavoidable circumstances (such as illness, death of in the family etc) may request to leave the program, FORD NEPAL will consider to return 50% of the host family cost, if volunteer are registered for more than 30 days program. No refund will be made if program is less than 30 days and if volunteer leave program in their own decision.
27. What kind immunizations/vaccines do I need before coming Nepal?
This all depends on what vaccinations you already have and what country you are coming from. We suggest that you consult a travel doctor from your country before you arrive. (NOTE: Some vaccinations are needed as much as 2 months before arrival to Nepal). Please take malaria pill as a precautionary measure FORD NEPAL does not cover liability and insurance of volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must have appropriate insurance before joining the program.
- Hepatitis A & B
- Japanese B
28. How can I familiarize myself with the country I will be traveling to?
Once you have registered for FORD NEPAL program, you will receive a volunteer booklet that includes a short-introduction to the country and region you will be traveling to. Other sources of information can be found at your local library, bookstore, or on-line. Please visit our links page for great websites that will help you get ready for your volunteer experience.
29. Where do I fly to and how long will it take to get to my host site?
Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu is only the international airport in Nepal, so all international flights arrive and depart from there. Our representative will meet you there at the airport.
30. What is the best time to travel in Nepal?
Any time of year is a great time to be in Nepal. If you wish to trek the best times are from September through November and March through May. The summer is the rainy season and as a result trekking is difficult. The winters are mild in Katmandu with no snow. Even though Nepal is home of the worlds highest mountain range, the country is at warm atitude, the altitude offsets the sub continental heat leaving a very pleasant climate.
31. Is Nepal safe?
Nepal is a very poor country; however unlike many developing countries Nepal is quite safe. People are very honest, helpful for the foreigners except There are some instances of petty crime in Katmandu; however in the rural areas crime is rare. We provide safety measures and tactics to our volunteer to be aware from those corruptions.
32. How is the current Political Situation in Nepal?
33. Do I have to speak a foreign language?
Volunteers on our short-term (2-3 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'll learn Nepali language quickly.
34. What can i do if i missed the airport pickup by FORD NEPAL staff?
If your flight delayed or you missed FORD NEPAL staff at the airport we would duely request you to call.
35. Extra Information
Clothes and Climate in Placement Areas
Nepal is not always as cold as people think. The country is geographically divided into three parts. The Himalayan region of Nepal is very cold in winter while the mid hill region (Kathmandu and Pokhara) and mid-terai region (Chitwan) of Nepal have a different climate in different seasons. The weather is cold from December to March but warm and moderately hot in the summer. The spring and fall are cool and very pleasant. Please bring your winter cloths (think layers!) if you are coming in Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb and summer clothes for the rest of the months. 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.
General suggestions for clothes
- Regions Jan -March April - August Sept - Dec
- Chitwan Winter and warm clothes Summer and light clothes Warm and winter clothes
- Kathmandu Winter clothes Summer and warm clothes Warm and winter clothes
- Pokhara Winter clothes Summer and warm
- clothes Warm and winter clothes
*FORD NEPAL suggests incoming volunteer to find placement areas in map of Nepal and prepare for climate and clothes accordingly. Volunteers changing placement, please aware of changing climatic condition. warm and winter clothes are necessary during trekking
All payments have to be done at the beginning of the volunteer program in Nepali currency. FORD NEPAL doesn't accept monthly installments. If you want to stay longer than your committed period, you have to inform FORD NEPAL and pay accordingly.
Food and accommodation
FORD NEPAL manages food and accommodation from the first day of the program to the last day in collaboration with local host families. Nepali foods include rice, daal (soup), vegetables, meat (occasionally), and pickle. For the volunteers who arrive earlier or who want to stay longer, it is impossible to offer accommodation, and foods. FORD NEPAL will help volunteers to find a good and cheaper place for food and accommodation.
Any traveler in Nepal can stay on a tourist visa for 5 months each year at $2 per day. You can get the tourist visa at the Nepalese embassy in your country or at the Tribhuvan International Airport up on 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. FORD NEPAL 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.
Visa extension: Obtainable from the Department of Immigration in Katmandu or Pokhara. Extensions are valid for 30 days (whether you need for a day, a week or a whatever) 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), paid in rupees. For overstay periods of less than a week this can be processed at the airport on departure.
If you are planning to travel Nepal after or before work camps or volunteer programs, you will need some extra money. Nepal is a cheap place for shopping and travel. If you want to buy gifts for family and friends, you can buy it in Kathmandu. You can change your major currencies and travelers checks in Kathmandu and at the airport. Please pay FORD NEPAL in Nepalese currency. It is good idea to change your travel check at the airport. It is possible to get $5-$10 hotel room per night in Kathmandu.