India is a vast country, rich in history, culture, and amazing food, that offers numerous opportunities for volunteers of all ages, from teens (17 years and older) to retirees. In this article, you will be taken on a journey through some of the best volunteer, intern, and teach abroad projects available in amazing cities like Delhi, Palampur, Faridabad, Kochi, Jaipur, and Udaipur, just to name a few. During the time you call India “home,” you will have plenty of opportunities to do exciting things like visiting the Taj Mahal and explore the Himalayas. To locate the best, volunteer, intern, or teach abroad project for you, you must carefully consider the following: location, activity, duration, dates, and cost, as well as the organization’s reputation. You don’t have to worry about the latter because we only feature responsible and ethical programs committed to sustainable projects. Let’s go…
Ways to Volunteer Abroad in India
Gain experience working with special needs children in GVI’s Volunteer Healthcare Project in India, a program with a duration of 2 to 12 weeks. As a volunteer, you will complete specialized training and be allotted time to explore the city of Kerala. This program includes a trip to Fort Kochi, a traditional dance show and tours of popular sites. The volunteer program starts at $1,795 for two weeks.
One project focuses on medical volunteering along with education opportunities: The Volunteer Healthcare Project provides volunteers with the chance to work with special needs and disabled children in a school setting. You will be responsible for leading physical exercises, therapy sessions, games, art, music, and sports as well as assisting with healthcare needs and vocational training at a relief settlement. There’s even an eco-garden that you can use for activities with the residents.
Human Rights and Women’s Empowerment
Women in India tend to be limited to domestic lifestyles and lack education and career opportunities leaving many illiterate. Women empowerment programs are designed to address human rights issues commonly found in male-dominated cultures through activities that build skills and increase self-confidence.
The India Women Empowerment Volunteers is a two- to 24-week program that focuses on helping women in Faridabad. This city is located within a few miles of Delhi and boasts a beautiful lake, a unique dam structure and a tourist complex that houses an international craft fair. The woman empowerment program starts at a cost of $330 per week.
Volunteers may take part in one of two projects:
Eco School Empowerment Project – Volunteers in this program work with 5 to 20 teens and young adults helping them to develop vocational skills. Opportunities including teaching in classes on dressmaking and craft design as well as English and numeracy.
Isabella School Empowerment Project – Women in this project typically fit in one of two groups depending on their English language ability. Volunteers assist beginners with the basics of learning the alphabet, vocabulary and sentences and those at a higher level with grammar. In addition, you may teach math and computer skills and help out with sewing and crafts.
IVHQ’s Volunteer in India – Kerala is a volunteer abroad program for students and others who want to work with women in a slow-paced environment. Unlike programs in large cities such as Delhi, this program exposes volunteers to port city living in Kochi. This coastal town is popular for tourists where you can go boating, surf, participate in a yoga retreat or explore the unique colonial architecture. Program fees start at a cost of $360 per week.
The programs feature a project devoted to adolescents and young mothers who live in the small city of Kochi:
Women’s Education Project in Kerala – This project helps girls and young women learn how to earn business income through making jewelry or tailoring clothes. Volunteers teach English, leadership and entrepreneurial skills to the women in the project. You will also help by working closely with stakeholders on community initiatives including those focused on self-help, health and hygiene and basic life skills.
While society has placed an emphasis on women marrying young and maintaining domestic duties and children have been left to fend for themselves, overseas volunteers have the power to make an impact in the lives of many women and children in India. Whether you’re looking to teach English overseas, desire to help women to be business owners or enjoy motivating children in educational and recreational activities, these volunteer-abroad experiences are truly unforgettable.
Medical Volunteering for Those Interested in Medicine
While internships are typically limited to students with specific majors and career objectives, there are other opportunities for those interested in medical volunteering.
Plan My Gap Year offers opportunities for current students as well as those who have already graduated or are looking to gain experience overseas before continuing on to graduate school or professional training. The organization currently offers an India Medical Volunteers program that you can take part in for $289/week. The program allows participants to volunteer for anywhere from two weeks to six months in Faridabad, India. If you have medical experience, you are encouraged to get hands-on experience. Those with no medical background can observe. This program lets you choose from any of the following areas of medicine:
- Accident and Emergency
- General Surgery
- Maternity and Midwifery
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Occupational Therapy
If you’re open to doing many different things and are finding it difficult to decide, you may find the multiple activity volunteer program to be the best choice. This program cost starts at $435 for a two-week adventure which takes you through some of India’s most beautiful and fascinating sites.
Intern in India
While you’re still in college or even during a gap year, gaining first-hand, on-the-job training through an internship is a great way to enhance your record. Whether you’ll be looking to gain employment in a specific career or continuing school at a more advanced level, listing an intern position on your resume and application will give you an edge over the competition. Volunteer or intern abroad for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be exposed to the Indian culture and healthcare system while making a difference in other people’s lives.
Medical internships, in particular, can significantly boost your resume and applications to professional schools where volunteerism is one of the top criteria sought after by admissions officers. Whether you are pre-med, studying nursing or in another health-related major, a medical internship in India is a great way to gain hands-on experience in a healthcare setting.
Medical Internship for Students in the Field of Medicine
International Volunteer HQ offers students the opportunity to work on the Volunteer in India – Kerala medical project. This affordable program starts at a cost of $250 per week, and you can participate for as long as 12 weeks. Expect to get valuable hands-on experience side-by-side with a physician because this program is only open to medical students, college students studying nursing and those in related medical fields. Select from one of the following departments and more:
- Transplant surgery
Teaching in India
There are many ways to volunteer in India for anyone interested in teaching children. Make an impact by working with street children, teaching English to school-age children or working with the disabled. The teaching overseas programs opportunities in India let you make a real difference in summer internships abroad.
Teach English to Impoverished Children
Many teachers in India speak limited English, which makes it difficult for them to teach English as a foreign language. While teaching English skills to students and teachers will be the primary focus of your volunteer work, you also can expect to teach a variety of other subjects, such as science, geography, and math. Volunteers should take an online TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language) class before traveling abroad.
There are several teaching opportunities available in India, including:
PMGY (Plan My Gap Year) – Volunteers teach in either a public school (Eco Slum School) or a private school (Nerhu School) setting near Faridabad, India. Programs run from 1-24 weeks and start at $330.
IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ) – Teaching volunteers work an average of four hours per day in one of the public schools in Delhi. Programs run from 1-24 weeks and start at $250.
Love Volunteers – Teaching volunteers will work in schools in Jaipur, India. Programs run from 1-12 weeks, starting at $429.
A Broader View – Teaching opportunities are available in both Jaipur and Udaipur. Programs run from 2-8 weeks, starting at $860.
Working with Street Children
India is home to more than 100 million street children, many of which have no access to public school education. In an effort to break the cycle of poverty in India, volunteers work in makeshift slum schools that reach out to educate as many of these street children as possible. Volunteers work directly with local teachers to provide the necessary support, that includes teaching general education material, creating lesson plans, chaperoning day trips, teaching life skills, and more.
If you want to work with street children in India, there are several opportunities available, including:
IVHQ – (International Volunteer HQ) – Volunteers go into the cities in and around Faridabad. Volunteer programs last from 1-24 weeks, starting at $250.
Love Volunteers – Volunteers work in the streets of Delhi, India. Programs run from 1-12 weeks and start at $429.
Teach Disabled Children
There is a great need for volunteers to work with disabled children in India. In too many cases, disabled children are neglected and ineligible for many educational opportunities. Volunteers work with local workers to help teach valuable general education and life skills, as well as provide one-on-one support and help with therapeutic activities. These children have a variety of disabilities that range from Down Syndrome to physical disabilities to autism.
There are various volunteer options available, including:
PMGY (Plan My Gap Year) – Volunteers will work at the Sehyog Clinic Centre. Volunteer programs start at $330 and run from 2-24 weeks.
A Broader View – Volunteer opportunities are available in Jaipur. Programs run from 2-8 weeks, starting at $860.
Whether you’re looking for volunteer, internship or teaching opportunities in India, you’re sure to find one that closely matches your desired location, activity, date and cost with all of the options available to you. Consider only credible organizations with a history of offering safe, sustainable, community-oriented, culturally immersive and award-winning volunteer programs in India, like those featured here, and you’re bound to have the experience of a lifetime.