Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you ever wanted to know

Application

What are the term dates and application deadlines?

We accept applications on a rolling basis, although below are the final dates to submit your application for each season.  While the application itself does not require much time, the process to set up your personalized TTT experience can take our team a couple months.

While we coordinate with the school district and community partners that will host you in Nepal, we will also conduct weekly Skype meetings with you to help prepare you to teach English as a foreign language in the classroom. For this reason, we do ask that you try to apply at least 60 days before your desired departure date.

The final days to apply for our program are listed below based on the season you wish to go.  Please be advised that our Spring and Fall terms sometimes fill up significantly before the application deadline, so apply well in advance if you know the term you want to participate in.  Here are the dates:

  • Fall (October 22 – Dec 31) – August 20 application deadline
  • Winter (Jan 1 – March 7) – November 1st application deadline
  • Spring (April 10 – June 10) – February 10th application deadline
  • Summer (July 11 – Sept 12) – May 11 application deadline

Why Trek to Teach?

Trek to Teach pushes the boundaries of educational limitations for rural youth by developing relationships that ignite inspiration and passion for education across borders. We work within the existing curriculums in the communities we serve so the work we do is motivated by the communities and not by our organization.

We seek to connect passionate, talented, creative volunteers that are fluent in English with our communities so that the students we serve benefit from the knowledge of our volunteers. It is a win-win situation and really transforms the worldview of everyone involved. When you volunteer with us, you are signing up for an authentic experience to live and work in a small rural community.

What do I need to apply?

Our application process is very straightforward. First you will want to determine what term you would like to go to Nepal. This can be discussed and altered in the future if necessary. To apply you will need your resume and a cover letter (specified to why you want to participate in TTT). We do love to read personal references as well but that is not required. The application process also includes three short essay questions:

  1. Who has inspired you the most and why?
  2. What do you have to offer to Nepali students?
  3. What have you learned (or will you learn) in the past year and how has it changed you?

Our application process is as easy as 1-2-3! Just give us your contact information, your professional documents, and answer the essay questions and you will hear back from us within 48 hours!

Note to applicant: We do recommend you put thought into the essays, we have rejected many applicants based on a lackluster application.

Cost

What exactly does my program fee cover?

Your program fee covers:

  • All transportation (taxis and busses) for your journey to/from your village back to Kathmandu during your time teaching
  • All accommodations as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner during your time in Kathmandu, Pokhara, trek to your village, as well as stay in your village
  • Use of a corporate Sim Card and Nepali phone to contact fellow teachers and program coordinators
  • A payment for a trekking guide to your village
  • A trekking permit to allow you access to the trekking region
  • Any coordination you might need for getting baggage and educational supplies from Kathmandu or Pokhara to your village
  • Guided tour of Kathmandu
  • Guided tour of Pokhara
  • Skype training and information sessions prior to departure (4-6 sessions)
  • Educational sessions and orientation in Kathmandu on Nepali culture, history, educational systems, and language with our team.

Your program fee also provides much needed funds to contribute to the upkeep and expansion of our organization through normal operation costs such as: advertising, grant writing, program improvement, staff in Nepal, and office rental costs. Additionally, we often sponsor special school construction projects and use a portion of the program fees to fund these projects.

If you have any questions or concerns about the cost breakdown, please do not hesitate to reach out to our founder, Brad, at brad@trektoteach.org

How much does the program cost?

There are different program options available to the inquiring teacher. Each one varies for the amount of time and is dependent upon and coordinated with, the Nepali school’s term.

School session starts in the middle of April and ends in December. A teacher will be able to start teaching in April and will be able to stay for increments of a month, starting with 10 weeks and as long as 8 months.  The cost of the program, including the airfare that you will pay for, will likely add up to be less than the current cost of living your day to day life in an apartment in America or Europe.

  • 10 Weeks = $3,600  
  • Every week beyond the 10th will cost $200 USD.

Each program is priced based upon the amount of time you will be living with the host family and the different activities you wish to participate in.

Please contact us for more information »

Is financial aid an option?

Our best recommendation for financial aid is going to your friends and family for support. We have partnered with Classy.org to help you facilitate a crowd funding campaign. Create a campaign and send it to all of your friends and family.  You will be surprised at how quickly you raise money. In fact, this is the same way that Trek to Teach started! Our team will support your efforts to raise money by publishing the link on our social media platforms.

Program Expectations

How long is the Program?

Because of the administrative adjustments that our schools make to accommodate a volunteer, the shortest placement in a community is 8 weeks. Because of the training session in Kathmandu and the trek to the village, we need a volunteer to be able to be in Nepal for about 10 weeks.

We can arrange as long of a placement as you would like. Please be very clear with us about your time expectations. Because we place volunteers in an educational training session in Kathmandu and spend 3-5 days trekking volunteers to their communities, time limitations need to be known before organizing the trip.

Can I receive college credit?

Yes! If you are a student of the Oregon University System or at a school that participates in the IE3 programming, then you are able to get academic credit for your time with Trek To Teach. Contact us or IE3 Global Internships (http://ie3global.ous.edu/) for more information.
If IE3 is not a partnered program with your university, please contact your academic advisor and ask them how to make Trek to Teach into an internship.  Feel free to connect your advisor with our staff.

Will I be the only Trek to Teach-er in my village?

Yes you will, unless otherwise requested.  We have several schools within our partnership and we distribute our teachers between the communities. When we have more than one volunteer in the field at once, we do encourage them to get together over the weekends and trek to each other’s villages, as well as travel to new communities together.

We are building a community of current and past volunteers, all enthusiastic to help one another. We strongly believe that the relationships that form between you and other volunteers can become some of the most important in your life.

Where will I stay while in Nepal?

Once you get to your village, you will live in a guesthouse within the community. A guesthouse in Nepal is similar to a hostel where multiple guests can stay in different rooms. Depending on the time of year that you participate, there may be several trekkers spending the night on their way to the next village. This is a great way to meet many people from around the world!

There is a shared dining room and several different choices for eating. The guesthouses are owned and operated by a family, so while you will have your own bedroom, you will have a family around for all meals. The rooms are basic. It will have one or two twin-sized beds, and will have a pillow, sheets and blankets.  You will have access to shared bathrooms that include showers. Some bathrooms have squat toilets while others have Western-toilets.

The accommodations are basic but relatively comfortable. Each guesthouse that we partner with has a system for hot water. However, because of the systems used to heat the water there may not always be hot water available for your shower.

Do I get to choose which village I am placed in?

After you’ve been accepted, our team will determine which village we think will fit you the the best. We determine this based on your personality and preferences, and have found that we typically place our teachers in places that they are well suited to adapt to, however, if you have specific preferences or concerns, please feel free to bring these up to Brad during your final interview.

Do I have to teach just English?

Nope! Our primary focus is to teach English, but we have lots of teachers who express interests in teaching other subjects in addition to English. Some teach art, physical education, math, and science! Others are asked to take on other subjects due to shortages of Nepali teachers, and find themselves teaching things like handwriting, social studies or music classes! If there’s something else you’d like to teach, just let us and your headmaster know.

Is there a certain curriculum I’m supposed to teach?

Since TTT’s partner schools are public schools, there are government-mandated curriculums and s designed for different age groups. You will receive copies of these curriculums and s before arriving in Nepal for you to review and our TTT Nepal team will be able to answer any specific curriculum-based questions you may have.

That being said, in Nepal, structure and organization within education is mainly left up to the teacher. It will be up to you to create daily lesson plans, design assessments, and structure the content of your weekly schedule using the s and curriculums as guides. It is common that the students are not up to the standards held by the curriculums and that text s are often riddled with typos.

Therefore, through Skype training sessions and various teaching materials, you will be provided with example lessons and we will work with you to formulate realistic lesson plans that you can put into practice once you arrive at your school. In short, our teachers are expected to use the curriculum and s in effective and creative ways! This is done by focusing their instruction on student-based-learning through activities to increase student comprehension and desire.

How many days a week should I expect to be teaching?

Our teachers teach six days a week, from 10 am until about 4 pm, Sunday-Friday. Very often, schools have half-days on Fridays and frequent holidays (sometimes unexpectedly), which allows our teachers to explore the region they’re living in on leisure treks. Teachers are expected to teach for most of the day, but are always given a prep period and lunch.

What age will I be teaching? How many students will I have?

This is a great question that we really can’t answer with certainty.

Trek to Teach has partnerships with a group of schools in the Annapurna Region of Nepal. Once our teachers arrive in their village, it is really up to the headmaster of their school to place each fellow in the level and subject where they are most needed.

So the answer really is that our teachers can expect to be teaching anywhere from Level 1 (age 6) to Level 12 (age 18+), most commonly our teachers are with ages 6 – 12.  While our teachers are most likely to be teaching English, our teachers often have the opportunity to teach a much wider range of subjects.

The number of students per classroom greatly varies depending on which school our Trek to Teach-er is placed in. Somewhere like Chhomrong may have 5-6 students in lower levels whereas a larger, less isolated village such as Tolka or Ghandruk may have 20-25 students per classroom.

Do I have to start the program on the designated start dates?

While the dates provided are somewhat flexible, we really encourage our fellows to stick to them whenever possible.

We train our teachers and travel within Nepal, in groups, so logistically any large separation from those dates makes things a bit challenging.

We expect our teachers to their tickets to arrive within a day of their program’s start date, which allows us to train them accordingly, and trek to their schools for the beginning of their sessions. This also allows teachers’ entrances into their villages’ schools to be minimally disruptive, as we try to align our teachers’ arrivals with the Nepali school schedule as best as possible.

We’ve also found that in training our teachers together with their fellows, teachers are able to create a network for support during their stays in Nepal, and beyond. Getting to know your fellow teachers not only allows you to have more resources for question-asking, but also goes beyond that in forming lifetime friendships with your fellow Trek to Teach-ers.

Requirements

Are there physical requirements for the program?

To get to our partnering schools you must trek through the Himalayas. This trek is considered to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the world.  It will pass through countless waterfalls, some even flowing past your feet. The trek goes through several small villages and boasts views of some of the tallest mountains in the world.

The trek is very challenging! At some points, it will lead the trekker up steep hills for hours, ascending thousands of feet.  When trekking to each village, the trekker will be on their feet going up and down hills for 6 or more hours per day.

Am I the right type of personality for this adventure?

Only you can answer that question! Teaching English in Nepal is a life-changing experience. Whether it is the experience for you is a question that only you can answer.

If you are looking for an experience that will give you a completely new perspective, sharpen your leadership and teaching skills, and broaden your comfort zone, then this is the experience for you!

You need to be open to new experiences, able to be humbled by a change in your surroundings, and willing to really explore who you are and what you are capable of. You will both struggle and find great joy in the classroom.

Past volunteers have reported that their time in the classroom was the hardest and the best part of their experience.

What are the teaching requirements?

Our primary requirements are that you have a strong understanding of the English language! We have sent teachers from around the world, English does not have to be your first language, however you must be proficient enough to convince us of your skills in a couple short essays on your application and have fluent conversations via Skype interview. You will be teaching English in the classroom so it is a requirement for your English to be easily understood as well.

If you are a current student: While we recognize that grades aren’t everything, it is our belief that demonstrated skill in the classroom as a student will contribute to your ability to teach in a classroom, as it demonstrates your respect for the classroom and the structure of learning in that environment.

Because of this, we do ask for a minimum grade point average (either current, if you are still a student, or past, if you are not) of 3.0. That said, if you are close but just below – contact us! We would love to hear from you and have a conversation to determine if you will still qualify as a good fit for this program.

Do I need a college degree or TESL/TEFL Certification?

Nope! We train our teachers prior to their departure, and guide them as best as we can with trainers who have already taught through TTT. While teaching experience may be helpful, it is not a must, and neither is a college degree or certification.

We do, however, have a partnership with the International TEFL Academy where teachers can become TEFL Certified for a discounted cost. For those interested, this is absolutely an option for our volunteer teachers to become as trained and prepared as possible! Past volunteers have found it extremely valuable. For more information about this partnership, feel free to contact Shay ( shay@internationalteflacademy.com ) or go to their website .

Do I need to be an American Citizen to participate in this program?

Absolutely not! Our teachers come from many countries all over the globe! Our only requirements are that you have a will to change the world, are fluent in English, and are able to obtain a Nepali Visa for the amount of time you will be teaching in Nepal for.

How long does the visa in Nepal last?

All travelers’ visas for Nepal are limited to 150 total days: a 90-day visa that can optionally be renewed for an additional 60 days. This applies to our teachers as well.

The 6 Steps to Nepal

1. Application

Just click the “Apply Today” button anywhere on the website! Once you have written your three short essays and updated your resume, the application process should not take more than a few minutes.

2. Interview

As soon as we receive your application you can expect a response within 48 hours. At that point, we will schedule a 30-60 minute informal interview on Skype so we can make sure that you will be a good fit for our villages. No need to wear a suit to this interview, just have excitement and questions about the program.

3. Acceptance

If you wow us with your application and leave a positive impression in the interview, you will be accepted to our program!  We will send you a Welcome Packet, ask you to sign a couple of documents and we can get you ready for the experience of a lifetime.

4. Fundraise

If the cost of the program seems like it is out of reach, please know that you have options. Our goal is to positively impact the schools in the Himalayas and we can’t do that if we are not flexible or helpful! In the past many of our teachers have turned to crowd sourcing, we are happy to provide recommendations on best practices and compelling content for you to utilize.

5. Preparation & Training

Upon acceptance to Trek To Teach, we will send you a Welcome Packet that details what you can expect from the program. It will also give you valuable information about living in Nepal. It is a document that is intended to give you background and context. If you have any questions about any aspect of the program, all you need to do is contact either Brad or Emily. We will be here throughout the process to help you prepare for your time in the communities!

6. Fly to Nepal

Hop on the plane, read a book, and a few short hours later you will arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal. One of our Trek to Teach team members will be waiting for you at the airport with a welcome sign and smile. The next few days you will explore the city with our team and learn about the Nepali education system with our partners OLE Nepal.

Once you are adjusted to the timing and pace of Nepal, you will take a scenic bus ride to Pokhara and the following day you will depart on your trek to your school.

Got more questions?

Send us an email! We usually reply within a day.


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Apply today for the
Adventure of a lifetime