Volunteering in Tibet

April 4th, 2010  |  Published in Destinations  |  9 Comments

Teach English in TibetAre you interested in an intimate, service-learning experience in Tibet? Try volunteering. Teach English at a primary school in a nomadic area or spend some time helping fix up an orphanage. Join in on NGO projects or find other ways to give back to local Tibetan communities.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Jatson Chumig School
Lhasa, Tibet

Details: Jatson Chumig is an orphanage and school that supports itself in part through 5 handicraft workshops staffed by handicapped workers. At the school, teach English to the kids, help some of the handicapped kids with physical therapy, or find other ways to pitch in.
Website: www.jatsontibet.org
Cost: As the orphanage is based in Lhasa, you will need permits to go there, and you will also need to pay for your food (you can eat lunch with the kids), accommodation, and expenses.
Time: As the restrictions on foreign travel in Lhasa can make staying there a long time expensive and difficult, we recommend 2-4 weeks.


Shechen Orphanage
Dege, Sichuan

Details: Shechen Orphanage welcomes volunteers and provides free accommodation to those who stay there. You can teach or help out in other ways. There is usually at least one teacher there who can speak English.
Website: http://www.shechen-school.org/
Cost: You won’t need any permits to go here, and accommodation is free. However, you will need take care of food and other personal expenses. You can get to the orphanage by taking buses from Chengdu.
Time: As long as you’d like! Just beware that the winter is cold if you go then.


Flowers in the Heart Tibetan Charity School
Diqing, Yunnan

Details: Flowers in the Heart Charity School is a combined school and orphanage looking for volunteers to teach English, French, or German. The school is located in a mountain village on the banks of the Yangtze River about 100km from Shangri-la’s airport.
Website: http://www.tibetanflowers.org/Home/EnglishFull.aspx?Id=8783
Cost: Salary is 1000 RMB/month and food and board are free.
Time: Minimum 6 months to 1 year.


University Teaching Positions

For those interested in staying in Tibetan areas long term, there are English teaching posts at universities in Lhasa, Tibet; Xining, Qinghai; and Chengdu, Sichuan. All of these cities have substantial Tibetan populations, and your students are likely to include at least some Tibetans. In addition, these schools offer Tibetan language programs for foreigners.

  • Tibet University in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region
  • Qinghai Normal University in Xining, Qinghai
  • Qinghai Nationalities University in Xining, Qinghai
  • Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, Sichuan

Xining and Chengdu are the gateways to the Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham. If you want to get a better idea of where they are situated in relation to Tibetan areas, see our Map of Tibet.


Other organizations to contact:


For more information on volunteering in Tibet, contact us at info@snowliontours.com


  1. Annette says:

    October 22nd, 2011at 10:33 am(#)

    Please contact me about volunteering. I am intererested in teaching English at universities.


  2. snowlion says:

    November 13th, 2011at 5:41 am(#)

    please send us an email with your resume, we will contact some universities in Xining in Amdo Tibet region.

  3. Fiona says:

    January 19th, 2012at 3:00 am(#)

    Are you still looking for volunteers for english language in universities/schools etc. Please let me know.

    Thank you

  4. Ale Jaime says:

    March 27th, 2012at 9:23 pm(#)

    Good evening,

    I am interested in volunteering, and will like to contact you where can I contact you??


    Ale Jaime Fayad Gómez Palacio
    International MBA candidate

  5. snowlion says:

    April 17th, 2012at 3:01 am(#)

    Hi Ale,

    You can contact us at info@snowliontours.com. Though volunteering in Tibet is getting a little hard these days, but we will try our best to make some connections for you.

  6. Annabelle de Borja says:

    September 9th, 2014at 4:39 am(#)


    I am from the Philippines, female, 35 years of age and interested to volunteer to help in any ways in your orphanage from December 15 to 30, 2014. I am currently working in a manufacturing company here in the Philippines and the Dec. 15 to 30 time frame is my available schedule at the moment.

    I have management background and have taught English in an alternative learning school for kids in less than a year (2013.

    Please consider my request. Thank you.


  7. Alex King says:

    January 26th, 2015at 1:48 am(#)

    Hi, I’d like to volunteer at Flowers in the Heart Tibetan Charity School as an English teacher. Please send me an email to where I may send my resume.

  8. Tanya says:

    February 7th, 2015at 1:15 am(#)

    Hello!I am Ukrainian and I have pedagogical education. I am willing to teach English at orphanages or just help however I can. But I don’t know Tibetan and can speak only English. Is it possible to become your volunteer?

  9. Esther Kern says:

    June 14th, 2015at 7:29 pm(#)

    Hello. We are three ladies,60’s,who will be arriving in Tibet middle of September,approximately Sept. 18-21. Our interest is in visiting some Tibetan orphanages while there,to give gifts to children,.Our tour/travel guide here in States suggested we take private car and hire driver . Do you make any arrangements while in Tibet for such day tours ? Thank you so much.

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Like what you see? Interested in traveling to Tibet? Contact us at info@snowliontours.com. We look forward to hearing from you!