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Career Break Teaching in Nepal

Caroline is a secondary school teacher from London who decided to take a career break for a year and volunteering around the world.


Caroline's class at her school in Nepal"I decided this year that I would like to take a career break. During my year out, I have decided to work in various volunteer projects. I hoped for it to be a two way learning experience and I would like to see how they teach with relatively less resources. I hoped to take away with me an understanding of a new and different culture.


I taught at Shree Krishna, a middle school in Nepal. The children there were fabulous, and clearly enjoyed having a volunteer at their school. The teachers I worked alongside were friendly and helpful. I also volunteered two evenings per week at the street Childrens' centre. That was really good fun - definitely make this a part of your volunteer teaching experience if you can. It's only 10 minutes up the road from where you'll be staying. The kids really enjoy your visits, and look forward to the next one. Taking along a game of some sort is a good idea, as they'll enjoy playing with you. It can be as simple as a skipping rope!


The accommodation was really comfortable. Having my own room and bathroom was a luxury! Bindu and her A skipping rope was much appreciatedfamily are lovely, and it was both good value for money, and culturally, to eat dinner with them most evenings. Although the food in Pokhara itself is cheap, you sometimes can't beat a home cooked meal! With regards to taking resources with you, you can probably get most of what you need in the city centre. There's no need to bring paper, etc. Perhaps some stickers would be good, but I think you can get these in Pokhara, too! Just be prepared to get stuck in and enjoy your time in Nepal and volunteering. I managed to fit a few other things in while I was there. I did paragliding (great fun!), a five day trek, and factored in time at the end of my trip to really explore Kathmandu. There is always something to see at the weekends around Pokhara, if you enjoy looking at caves, temples, etc. Otherwise, chill out with a coffee by the lake! All in all, a great experience. Plus you get to see the Himalayas! They never failed to take my breath away on my walk to school when the clouds had cleared. Stunning!


Got up at 8am. Had breakfast at Bindu's (porridge, tea and toast!) Left for school at 9.45 for a 10am start. Taught alongside a teacher, or alone, until 3pm. Then came back to Lakeside, and either went down to the lake, or sat up on the balcony reading and watching the sun set! Had dinner either at Bindu's at around 7pm, or out - by lakeside there is tons of choice.


Caroline on her last day of volunteering at her school in NepalIt's cliché, I know, but there's no way you can experience a country culturally unless you really spend a good amount of time in one place. Working somewhere too allows you to get to know local people, visit them in their homes and really get an idea about what a place is like. It's a step up from just a holiday, that's for sure.


I chose PoD because there is more a feeling of independence. I didn't want to stay in a family, and staying at a hotel was ideal. There was a family there to interact with, but also a sense of independence, and as I'm a bit older than the average gap year person, this is what won me over. The price was also reasonable compared to other voluntary organisations."


Caroline Price's Teaching Placement in Nepal in 2011 was arranged with PoD (Personal Overseas Development).



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they no longer waentd young volunteers because they only land them in trouble with the police or are extra work because staff have to babysit them to ensure they dont get into trouble. Still considering the huge amounts of good work that volunteers (the sensible ones) have done in the past and continue to do, I have high hopes for volunteerism. My only plea to those of us that assist in any way to get young volunteers abroad is that we should ensure they undergo some sort of cultural orientation that emphasises 1)respecting others' culture and laws no matter how strange they seem ( Eeeuw! as half my students would say) 2)Being aware of how helping across cultures can make or break stereotypes and that they are a part of it and 3)Particularly for their mental well-being, also realising that they cant change the place in one trip so not to be too hard on themselves. I have of course contributed to this discussion mostly from what I'm familiar with. Western volunteers in developing countries. Well prepared volunteers may indeed be one small contribution towards fairer international co-operation. Particularly the young whose ways are not set and who are future leaders
Comment made: Tuesday 25th September 2012

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