START DATES

EVERY MONTH

PRICED FROM

$2280 + $249 REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

12 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD

REAL ASIA ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Asia Encounter takes in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries to volunteer in over a mind blowing 12 weeks. South Asia is an area that varies from the steep mountain ranges of the Himalayas that perches between Nepal and Bhutan, to the tranquil and picturesque islands of Sri Lanka and Maldives all engulfed around the powerhouse and dominating presence that India brings with it. South Asia’s abundance in physical diversity and variety is one of its standout features.


 

Your first stop is Nepal which has been a hotspot for travellers, dating back many years. Whilst the world has changed, Nepal is still catching up – one of the many reasons that makes it such a fascinating country. Its landscape is diverse and harsh yet beautiful beyond belief. Many of its people live in poverty yet remain as proud and welcoming as ever. You may leave Nepal at the end of your 4 weeks but you are certain never to forget it.

Combine adventure travel with community volunteering as well as ticking off all the ‘must-do’s’ on Nepal’s list. You can choose to volunteer and live in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery teaching monks English and learning about their way of life; teach young people English to give them a much better future through education or make a difference to the lives of neglected children in this visually arresting, off the beaten track destination.

 

Your next stop is India. Architectural splendours, chaotic street life, tranquil havens and culture shocks are all guaranteed on your 4 week adventure to this vast, endlessly diverse and hugely inspiring country. India’s Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country’s north-west – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Jaipur, capital of the largely desert state of Rajasthan, is home to the iconic Amber Fort as well as some of Asia’s best bazaars. You could spend weeks in Delhi, the sprawling, fascinating Indian capital, and not see it all, while Agra, once the heart of the Moghul empire, boasts the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal, adorning the banks of the Yamuna river.

 

Your volunteering choices are very varied. Contribute to the lives of children with learning difficulties; teach English to help children reach their full potential; gain practical medical experience and insight on elective programmes; become engaged in the lives of underprivileged children in orphanages or join a social initiative providing vocational training for young women in the community.

 

Your last stop will be Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may small but it has 2,000-plus years of culture, 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites, endless beaches, lush rainforests, welcoming people, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea, oodles of elephants, wonderful food and so, so much more. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still uncrowded so now is the time to go!

 

Your 4 weeks on this largely undiscovered little island, will give you the chance to explore its length and breadth as well as make a positive difference volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Ambalangoda runs throughout the year and you will have a choice of; Teaching English, Construction & Renovation Project; Medical Experience; Sea Turtle Conservation and Elephant Experience.

 

You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some projects.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (KTM) on your chosen Sunday start date.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Arrival

 

You should arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (airport code KTM) on the selected Sunday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

Day 2 (Monday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Monday Our local team will teach you about life in Nepal, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community. Our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Kathmandu. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

Day 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work on Tuesday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinator throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

 

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

PMGY volunteers are offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country with volunteer programmes in Chitwan, Pokhara & Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way. This off the beaten track destination offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungle and there are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland.
Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons.

 

Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 9-28 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it.

 

Day 29 (Sunday) Goodbye Nepal – Hello India!

 

Sadly Sunday is your last day in Nepal but the adventure continues as you fly to India. We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.

 

Welcome to India! Volunteers will be met at Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of our local team, or one of our appointed drivers, who will be holding a PMGY sign. They will take you straight to our Volunteer House, which is about 40 miles away. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to depending on the traffic. It can be a bit crazy! The rest of the day is relatively informal, as we will have volunteers arriving throughout the day. This is the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest, to get to know the rest of your group and get familiar with your accommodation. After dinner on the Sunday there is then the opportunity for volunteers to explore the local market if they wish to do so.

 

Day 30 (Monday) Orientation

 

After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast, we will begin the orientation day. We will start with the theoretical part covering all the essential information you need to know for your time in India. This will include issues of health & safety, language, money matters, cultural differences, rules & regulations etc. This is also a great chance for the group to really get to know each other and ask our local team any questions you may have. This part of the orientation usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours in the morning. We will then go for a tour of the local area so that you can use the ATM/exchange money, buy a SIM card and any other essential amenities.

 

Volunteers are strongly advised to purchase an Indian SIM at a cost of roughly 300 rupees (including 100 rupees credit). This means that volunteers are required to have an unlocked phone. Cheap, unlocked phones can be purchased at local Indian markets at prices between £10-£15. SIM cutting (at a small cost)is also available in these markets for those wishing to use an unlocked smart-phone. SIM cards are very important as it allows PMGY India members to contact volunteers and vice versa, which is particularly vital in times of emergency. Mobile numbers must be exchanged upon arrival. In the afternoon, volunteers can then travel in groups to a range of activities and communities based in the Delhi region. This includes options from visiting a monkey temple (500 rupees), village orphanage (dependent on the children present and permission of the orphanage staff), pottery lesson (600 rupees), sector 15 market and a culture class. Such afternoon activities are voluntary and thus the costs associated including travel costs are paid for by volunteers dependent on participation. Please note that all activities are not guaranteed and are weather and staff dependent The evening is free for volunteers to relax or arrange to go into Delhi if they so wish.

 

Day 31-34 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

On Tuesday, you will start your volunteer placement. The first couple of days should be spent learning the ropes and getting to know the people at the project. As the week goes on you will find that your role develops as you begin to get more comfortable. You will have regular interaction with our local coordinators who are always there for you. Whatever the problem, big or small, rest assure that you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY. On average, you will volunteer for around 4 to 5 hours per day (depending on which project you go to). Remember, that volunteers are always encouraged to take part in multiple projects, so there is always additional project work available should you require it. The possibility of getting involved in more than one project can be discussed with our local coordinator once you’re in India. However, if you have any specific requests at this stage then please let us know in your online application.

 

Day 35-36 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

The choices are endless! You can visit the Taj Mahal, go sightseeing in New & Old Delhi or even take ride an elephant in Jaipur, India’s pink city. As PMGY receives a high number of volunteers to India, particularly in the summer months, you will have no problem finding a travel buddy or two (usually a lot more) to travel around at the weekend with! Our local team can assist you in organising trips you wish to undertake. There isn’t a huge amount to do in Faridabad itself and evenings during the weekday tend to be quiet, so you should take the opportunity to travel at the weekend. You should budget between $75-$150 spending money per week for weekend travel.

 

Day 37-55 (Monday-Friday) The Following Weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it.

 

Day 56 (Saturday) Goodbye India – Hello Sri Lanka!

 

Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to India but get ready for Sri Lanka! Spend your last day packing, buying any last minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way. Our local team can help arrange a taxi to the airport.

 

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a PMGY sign. The journey to Ambalangoda will take around 3 hours, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know your fellow volunteers.

 

Day 57 (Sunday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Our local team will teach you about life in Sri Lanka, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community. If you wish to take part in multiple projects during your time with us in Sri Lanka then this can be discussed during your orientation. In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Ambalangoda, including the longest sleeping Buddha statue in Asia, an original blue moonstone mine and some famous Buddhist temples. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

Day 58-62 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work on Monday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinator throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

 

Day 63-64 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Sri Lanka has it all. The following weeks Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 65-83 (Monday-Friday) The Following Weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it.

 

Day 84 (Saturday) Last Day

 

Saturday is your last day on the South Asia Encounter. You can stay a few extra nights, providing we have space at the Volunteer House, for a cost of £20 per night including 3 meals a day. This rate only applies to a maximum of 3 nights additional stay. If you plan to spend more than 3 extra nights with PMGY then you will need to pay a weekly rate. Please note that if you decide to extend your trip then you must let us know in advance so that we can extend your insurance policy. If you fail to do so then your policy will become invalid. If you purchased your insurance elsewhere then you should let your insurers know as the same principle applies. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee. A taxi from the Volunteer House to the airport will cost around £47.50 (9,500 LKR).

 

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A TRIP

What are the programme start dates?

The programme start dates are as follows –

 

5th March 2017
2nd April 2017
7th May 2017
4th June 2017
2nd July 2017
6th August 2017
3rd September 2017
1st October 2017
26th November 2017
3rd December 2017
7th January 2018
4th February 2018
4th March 2018
1st April 2018
6th May 2018
3rd June 2018
1st July 2018
5th August 2018
2nd September 2018
7th October 2018
4th November 2018
2nd December 2018

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.

 

Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.

 

You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

Please make sure you arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (KTM) on your chosen Sunday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The programme ends in Sri Lanka on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

Generally the average age range of volunteers is 18-22 but this is by no means definitive.

 

There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

 

It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.

 

It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of $60 and is subject to availability.

 

You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

 

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

 

In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

 

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university of college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on [email protected] to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If however you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course to teaching english abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.

 

As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.

 

The cost of the course is $150. If you’ve already signed up to one of our programmes and would like to enroll on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our UK and in-country team, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.

 

We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowd funding website GoGetFunding.

 

This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.

 

The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.

 

The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our JustGiving fundraising page.

 

100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some really invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.

 

There are two to choose from and it is well worth attending both:

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.

 

You will receive an email invitation to join these sessions once you have confirmed your place the programme.

 

The first webinar is designed to cover all of the essential pre-departure information you need to know and things you need to do before you go and the second webinar is more programme specific with advice and information for whilst you’re on your placement.

 

The webinars are hosted by a member of our UK team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, good internet connection and a pair of headphones.

 

If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well then they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.

 

Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.

 

For peace of mind, PMGY holds a T-ATOL Licence (T7420) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

 

If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.

 

When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.

 

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY do everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.

 

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to insure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 75 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Disclosure Scotland (which serves all people in the UK).

 

This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Disclosure Scotland is outlined in the volunteer handbook you receive once you are signed up to the programme.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that effect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that effect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly effects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy in the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.

 

It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find $75-$150 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

 

Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.

ACCOMMODATION

NEPAL

Project Residence – Some of the orphanages we support have separate living quarters for volunteers (these are located next to the project). Rooms will fit between 2 and 4 people with bedding provided. Wi-Fi may be available, but will be intermittent if so. Volunteers have their own space and privacy Volunteers have their own space and privacy and should expect cold showers. The orphanage mother will prepare meals for you and the children. You’re more than welcome to lend a hand in the kitchen and learn how to cook traditional Nepalese dishes.

 

Host Family – Staying with a host family is a great way to become immersed in the Nepalese way of life. You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers and you can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family.

 

Monastery – Volunteers will live at the monastery in separate volunteer living quarters. Accommodation is basic but comfortable. The monastery in Chitwan is located in a rural setting so volunteers should not expect western style toilets, hot water showers or internet access. The accommodation in Kathmandu is more modern.

Living at the monastery is a truly unique experience that can bring with it some amazing views. You’ll hear the gong go off at 5am every morning to call the monks for prayer and meditation – something you’re welcome to take part in! Living life side-by-side with the monks is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

 

It is important to note that accommodation in Nepal is comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western style toilets however some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!

INDIA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in India you will live in our Volunteer House located in central Faridabad, a satellite city 15 miles from Delhi. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs all within walking distance. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is large, basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 7 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet.

 

The house has free Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables with our local team in their private area. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled. There are facilities for volunteers to hand-wash and dry their clothes. A laundry service is also available for a nominal fee.

 

Volunteers are housed with a wonderful host family who coordinate our projects in India. Volunteers have their own separate living quarters, but still have regular interaction with our local coordinator. This accommodation setup offers volunteers the unique experience of living with lots of other volunteers as well as getting the cultural immersion of staying with a host family. It really is the best of both worlds!

 

The majority of our projects are not within walking distance of our Volunteer House. PMGY will take you to and from the project each day and the cost of this service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

SRI LANKA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in Sri Lanka you will live in our Volunteer House which is located in a peaceful suburb of Ambalangoda. Just 20 minutes drive from the centre where you will find local restaurants, small convenience stores and ATMs. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with Wi-Fi (there will be a small charge). Each room has bunk beds with up to 9 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Sri Lanka is hot and humid all year-round!

 

The house has Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables with our local team in their private area.

 

A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have around the clock support and security.

 

The majority of our projects are not within walking distance of our Volunteer House. PMGY will take you to and from the project each day either by tuk tuk or minivan and the cost of this service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

MEALS

NEPAL

You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day by your host family. Traditional Nepalese food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yogurt and lots of rice so its may take a little getting used to.

 

Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.

 

Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complimented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

INDIA

You will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indian dishes that can be typically quite spicy and made up of vegetarian ingredients, although pasta and other such western dishes are prepared every now and then. If you are not a huge lover of spicy food don’t worry, there will always be a more mild option available!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

SRI LANKA

You will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available. A weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!

 

If you fancy some western comforts, you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals in the nearby town of Hikkaduwa. Hikkaduwa is a 20 minute journey from Ambalangoda and the cost to get there by tuk tuk is around £3 per way. This is a popular place that volunteers go to in the evening, as it is a trendy backpackers town.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

VOLUNTEER FEES

DURATION

PROGRAMME FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

12 weeks
$2280
$249

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

From start to finish I couldn't critique a single aspect of Plan My Gap Year.

WALEED SALEEM, 19 - UNITED KINGDOM

SRI LANKA ORPHANAGE VOLUNTEER

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAMME FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPS (24 HOURS)YES
  • AIRPORT DROP OFF (NEPAL)YES
  • PRIVATE TO PROJECT (INDIA & SRI LANKA)YES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORT

    YES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR UK-BASED SUPPORT YES
  • COMPREHENSIVE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION YES
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • NEPAL MEALS DURING ORIENTATION ($15)NO
  • NEPAL ORIENTATION ENTRANCE FEES ($15)NO
  • FLIGHTS ($1250-$1750)NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE ($20 PER WEEK)NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERS ($75)NO
  • VISAS ($130)NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (VARIES)NO

PLAN MY GAP YEAR

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  • Phone USA: 1-813-422-5109

  • Mail: [email protected]

                   

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