Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
When should I arrive?
Any time of the year. We are very flexible in starting your placement any time you arrive.
How do I get from the airport to the guest house/Hotel and NFS office?
You will be met outside the airport terminal by an NFS Nepal representative holding a placard with your name on it who will then escort you to the guest house/ Hotel and plan for travel NFS office location at chitwan. Travel to Chitwan is 5 hours by tourist bus.
Is there any way of securing valuable things at the NFS office?
You can give your passport or plane ticket to a staff member at the office and they can keep them in the safe. Normally, your room at your placement will have a lock on the door or a locked compartment, and you should use it because the kids and your host family are really curious about you and they will rifle through your stuff. It is harmless but can get annoying and can account for the occasional misplacement of items.
How can I pay for the program fees?
The program fees are due when your Orientation commences. We do not accept traveller's cheques or credit cards. We prefer payment in Euros, USD, and Nepalese Rupees.
Do the fees have any insurance included in it? Do I have to provide my own, if so what do I need to have covered?
There is no insurance and so we recommend that you get your own travel medical insurance to protect yourself in case of illness or lost or damaged property.
Is there an Orientation program?
Yes, depending on your length of stay, you will receive 1 day of Cultural and Language training from our facilitator.
Where will my placement be?
Currently, we are sending most volunteers to villages within Chitwan, but also to Kathmandu and its surrounding villages, the rural areas around Lamjung District of Nepal.
Do you select my placement area?
Yes, placements are decided based upon program vacancy and volunteer's skills.
How can my family contact me during my placement?
Depending on your particular placement, your host family may or may not have a telephone within their home. Most villages will have one phone that can accept incoming and outgoing international calls. In addition, most placements are within an hour travel to a major city that provides email/internet and/or international phone service.
That said, in case of an emergency, your friends/family may contact NFS staffs or team. We will do our best to get a message to the individual as quickly as possible.
Does NFS staffs stay in the village with me during my placement?
NFS staff member will be in your placement village for few days for settle all the requirements of volunteer. However, each village has a local 'point person' to assist the volunteer with any issues that may arise in the village. If there is a problem that he or she cannot resolve, then they will contact an NFS staff to provide support 24/7.
What sort of Health Care services is available?
In Chitwan and Kathmandu, health care is relatively good - and also very inexpensive. In your placement, however, the same cannot be said. In some placements like Lamjung there is a facility of health post, but some placements may be far from health care.
How hard is it to get E-Mail access where I will be staying?
There are cyber cafes in most areas in and around large cities like Kathmandu or Chitwan. The price is generally 40-60 rupees/hr. Some host families will offer you internet, but it is better you do not accept, or only go online for a few minutes as this is extremely expensive. In our most remote placements, there is no internet access.
Is it value while bringing a digital camera and/or video camera?
Digital Cameras and video cameras are a good idea. You can also buy these quite affordably in Chitwan or Kathmandu. Nepali children all love being filmed and having their picture taken. It is a good idea to make sure you have a large memory card and extra batteries, or ones that can take ‘AA’ batteries if you’re in a pinch.
What is the weather like in Nepal?
The width of Nepal is only about 200 km on average, but within this short distance the altitude of the land rises from lowly 60m to all the way up to above 8000m(Mt. Everest). Hence the weather depends upon the altitude of the place in Nepal. However, in general Nepal has four climatic seasons: Summer, Monsoon, autumn and winter.
Summer is from March to May. The temperature of this season fluctuates between 20 °C to 30 °C.
Monsoon lasts from June to August. These are also the pre-monsoon months with occasional evening-thunderstorms and hot temperature.
Autumn starts from September and ends by November. During this period, the climate is dry and mild with temperature fluctuating between 20 °C to 30 °C.
Winter starts from December to February. The morning and evening are very cold while the afternoon is pretty sunny. The temperature during these months rises from 15 °C to 20 °C.
How much money should I bring with me?
It's difficult to give an exact amount of money that you should bring. Costs will vary according to how much time you spend travelling on your own, whether or not you go trekking/travelling, if you drink beer (?), how often you phone home / use the internet etc.
That being said, living in the village is very cheap as you will not have to pay for your main food or accommodation and there is very little for you to spend your money on! During your training and placement you are responsible for any incidentals that you may accrue. We suggest hiring one of the travel guides, such as the Lonely Planet for Nepal to help you estimate how much money you may need. Don't forget that you also need to financially plan for NFS’s program fees, visa fees and your flight and any extra activities, extra transportation and extra food.
What is the best way for me to access money once there?
There are ATM's in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. You can also exchange your money into rupees at a number of locations in Thamel, or cash traveler's checks at a bank. If you're in a pinch, there are Western Union facilities in both Kathmandu and Chitwan.
Is there anything I can bring with me that would be useful to your organization?
We would be very grateful for educational books (grammar, science etc.,) illustrated books, English novels and children's books. Also very much appreciated are donations of clothes, art supplies, and stationery.
What should I bring for my host family?
The Nepali people are very friendly, and giving gifts to the volunteer on the day of their departure is very common. If you would like to bring gifts for your family, below are some suggestions,
• A small photo album with pictures of you and your family/friends from home
• Posters, stickers or magazine pictures from your country
• Children's books
• T-shirts from your country
What Should I bring for myself?
This will vary depending on what non-information activities you want to participate in (trekking, white water rafting, etc.) and how much you need to be comfortable during your placement. With the exception of medicine, first-aid-kit and high-tech trekking gear, you can buy everything that you would need for your placement in chitwan (likely cheaper than in your home country). Here are a few suggestions:
• Sleeping Bag
• Hiking boots
• Fleece jacket (during winter months)
• Light-weight cotton clothing
• Waterproof jacket
• Mosquito repellent
• Sun cream
• Water purification tablets and/or good quality water purifier
• First aid kit
• Flashlight (torch light )
• Books about your country
• Photos of your family / friends / home
- Souvenirs for your family and staff from your country
• A few examples of your local currency
• Music CDs
• Basic Learner's English/Nepali/English dictionary
• Coloured pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers
• Books on teaching English/English Grammar for your reference
What types of sanitary items are available in Nepal? What do I need to bring from home?
Most things are available here - shampoos, soaps, shaving products, toothpastes. It is recommended, however, that women bring tampons (if they wear them), as you cannot get those in Nepal. Hand sanitizer/ wipes should also be brought from home, as well as any name-brand/prescription medicine.
What vaccinations should I consider having prior to arrival?
You should consider the following vaccinations, however, please consult your doctor / local travel clinic for the latest recommendations regarding vaccines and Nepal:
Hepatitis A & B
The following attribute are essential for survival, regardless of the program!
Good problem-solving skills
eagerness to share
willing to learn about new cultures