How can I pay
for the program fees?
The program fees are due when your
training commences. Currently we do not accept traveler's
cheques or credit cards. We prefer in Euros or dollars but
can accept Nepalese Rupees as well. If you wish to extend
you volunteering program you must discuss this with ACDF and
pay the fee in advance.
When should I
Volunteers must arrive in Pokhara at
least one day before the training program starts. Depending
on your departure location, you may experience jetlag or "
Culture Shock" for a few days after your arrival, therefore,
we recommend arriving in Kathmandu at least three days
before your training beings.
How do I get from the airport to
the guest house / training facility?
You will be met outside the airport
terminal by an ACDF Nepal representative holding a placard
with your name on it who will then escort you to the guest
house. Please provide us your flight information as soon as
possible so that a punctual pick-up can be assured.
What happens if I decide to return
home before the placement is completed?
Once the volunteer commences training,
having paid the fee and received a receipt, ACDF Nepal does
not refund programme fees. However, if due to unavoidable
circumstances (e.g. Serious Illness, Family Bereavement, the
volunteer may request to leave the programme, ACDF Nepal
will consider a refund of 30% of the Host Family Costs,
provided the volunteer is registered for a programme of more
than 30 days. No refund will be offered for prgrammes of
less than 30 days.
Is there a Training program?
Yes, depending on your length of stay,
you will receive up to two weeks of cultural and Language
training from the ACDF staff. The first phase of the
training includes basic cultural and language information
and will be conducted at guest house in during you time in
the village, the staff will continue to provide the
training. For more information about the t raining program,
please review the program section.
How is the program length
The length of your time is equal to the
training period plus your placement period. For example, if
you program length is two months, then you will spend two
weeks in training and six weeks at your placement.
Where will I stay during the
During the first phase of the training
period, you will stay at a Guest House. The Guest House will
have facilities similar to Western Standards. Starting with
the first date of your training class, ACDF Nepal will pay
for you hotel and basic food costs during your stay. You
will be responsible for the costs of your accommodation and
food for the period before and after your placement.
An ACDF Nepal representative will accompany you to and from
the placement locations.
Where will my placement be?
Currently, we are sending volunteers to
villages within the rural areas around Pokhara. We have
different 200 Host Families asking for volunteers.
Do you select my placement area?
Yes, placements are decided based upon
program vacancy and volunteer's skills, however we try to
take into account any special preferences / needs of the
volunteers. If you have any preferences, please let us know
as soon as possible so that we can endeavour to accommodate
them. You placement village will be finalized during the
second week of training.
How can family contact me during my
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 hours travel to a
major city that provides email/internet and/or international
That said, in case of an emergency, your family/ friends may
contract, ACDF Nepal. We will do you best to get a message
to the individual as quickly as possible. You must
understand that the infrastructure in Nepal is not as
reliable as in more developed countries. In some cases in
may be hours or even a day before a message can get through
to a volunteer.
Does an ACDF staff person stay in
the village with me during my placement?
An ACDF Nepal staff member will not be in
your placement village throughout your stay. 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 can not resolve, then will contact an
ACDF staff person to provide assistance.
During the placement an ACDF staff person will provides site
visits (the number determined by your length of stay), and /
or will contract the volunteer via phone to provide regular
How can I prepare for teaching
English prior to my arrival?
You will be provide basic TEEL
instruction during your training period, but it would be
helpful for you to brush up on your grammatical knowledge of
the English language. You could also consider bringing any
English language textbooks, and or TEEL books that you may
find useful as they are difficult to find in Nepal.
Should I be concerned about Maoist
Obviously, this is an issue that is
currently affecting Nepal, however, we place all of your
volunteers in areas and with families that we know to be
safe / trustworthy. Please remember, there are always
inherent risks when traveling abroad, especially to
developing countries. We advise you to contract your embassy
to make informed decisions regarding your stay in Nepal. If
you would like to speak with one of yoru volunteers about
this issue please contract us at mail @acdfnepal.org.np and
we will get you in contact via email with a current or
recent volunteer or country coordinator.
To date, none of our volunteers have had any encounters with
Maoists. The Maoists are not targeting foreign nationals
although whilst trekking you may encounter them asking for
donations, but this is rare. Volunteers will probably
experience going through army security checkpoints whilst
traveling, but in general, the army only looks through the
bags of the Nepali people (they leave the tourists on the
buses alone). This process is basically similar to going
through security screening at an airport and is for general
I am from United States (or country
X). Should I be concerned about anti-Americanism (Country
X-ism) while in Nepal?
The Nepali people are very welcoming to
tourists, and are very interested in speaking with people
form other counties. We have had volunteers from all over
the would participate in our program; none of them have
experienced any 'anti-x country' sentiments.
What is 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
Hence the weather depends upon the altitude of the place in
Nepal. However, in general Nepal has four climatic seasons:
spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Spring starts March to May. The temperature of this season
fluctuates between 200 C to 300 C (68 0F to 86 0F). Summer
starts 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 0C to 30 0C (68 0F
to 86 0F). 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 0C to 20 0C (59 0F to 68 0F).
How much money should I bring with
It's different to give an exact amount of
money that you should bring. Costs will vary according to
how much time you spend traveling on your own, whether or
not you go trekking / traveling, if you drink beer (!), how
often you phone home / use the internet etc.
That 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 you money on! During
you training and placement you are responsible for any
incidentals (sodas, snacks, etc). that you may accrue.
We recommend purchasing one of that 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 budget ACDF program fees,
visa fees and your flight and any extra activities, extra
transportation and extra food.
Is there anything I can bring with
me that would be useful to your organization?
We would be very grateful for educational
books (grammar, TEFL, science, health, etc.,) illustrated
books, English novels and children's books. Also very much
appreciated are donations of clothes and stationery.
What should I bring for my host
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 framed picture of yourself and your Nepali family (you
can have this made while in Nepal)
• A small photo album with pictures of you and your family /
friends from home.
• A 'coffee table' books of your home town or country.
• Posters, stickers or magazine picture from you country.
• Children's books
• T-shirts (new) from your country.
What should I Bring for myself?
This will vary depending on what non ACDF
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 Pokhara
(likely cheaper than in your home country). Here are a few
• Sleeping Bag
• Hiking boots
• Tevas / flip flops
• Fleece jacket (during winter months)
• Light - weight cotton clothing (see program Guide and
Volunteer Room for details)
• Waterproof jacket (a fold-away windcheater is fine)
• (Women) Sarong (or you can buy a lungi cheaply in Nepal)
• Mosquito repellent
• Sun cream
vaccinations should I consider having prior to arrival?
You should consider the following
vaccinations, however, please consult you doctor/ local
travel clinic for the latest recommendation regarding
vaccines and Nepal.
• Hepatitis A & B
• Yellow fever
• Malaria tablets
What makes a good Volunteer?
ACDF Nepal does not ask for any formal
qualifications from our volunteers. All we ask is that you
have a genuine desire to help people and are committed to
seeing the program through. A positive and flexible attitude
will also help you to get the most out of your stay in
If you are applying to teach English, a strong command of
the English language is a necessity. Similarly, if you are
interested in volunteering at a Health Post, some prior
medical experience and first aid skills would be useful. If
you are applying to teach computers at the Resource Center,
to the environmental awareness program, or income generation
program, you should possess the skills and knowledge
necessary to work within these programs.
The following attributes are vital for survival, regardless
of the program !
• Good problem-solving skills.
• Sense of humor/ ability to laugh at yourself
• Willingness to share
• Open mindedness
• Enthusiasm to learn about new cultures