Residential monasteries are available in the Kathmandu Valley, in Pharping (2 hours’ drive) and Namobuddha (4 hours). For the intrepid volunteer seeking extreme remoteness and solitude, Serlo Monastery in the Everest region involves a 12 hours overnight jeep journey, followed by a 4 hour hike – a truly amazing experience !!
On arrival at the monastery, you’ll be introduced to the monks and staff and given your schedule so that next day you can get right into your teaching role.
You’ll very soon find your rhythm in the classroom, and the experience is sure to be as much fun for you as it is for all the monks. Your monastery classes will relish your presence and the young monks will love to learn from you. It’s a cliché, but the more you put in the more you’ll get out – prepare your lessons well and work hard to fill the contact time with your energy and enthusiasm – you’ll love the feeling when your students start to use your slang to banter with you (and the proper stuff too, of course!). Your attentive pupils are generally well behaved, if at times a little mischievous. Class times vary, but generally operate in the mornings. You will live and eat with the monks, getting to know them as you spend time with them.
There is plenty of time free to plan lessons or to explore the local area. This is also the perfect opportunity to join meditation, rituals, prayers and songs with the monks, who will welcome your participation and interest. As you would expect, the monasteries are quite conservative so you’ll be expected to dress modestly. No visible tattoos or piercings please, and no drinking or smoking at the monastery. Further weeks follow the same structure and the longer you are here, the greater the impact you will have and the more comfortable you will become with life in the classroom.