Are 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cost: Salary is 1000 RMB/month and food and board are free.
Time: Minimum 6 months to 1 year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org