Volunteer and Travel in Asia with Youth International
from $9950 USD
Volunteer and Travel in Asia with Youth International
Duration: from 3 Months
Countries: India, Nepal, Thailand, United States of AmericaLive with a tribal family in the mountains of Thailand and help build a school for their community, visit the Taj Mahal, meditate with Tibetan monks in the Himalayan mountains, hike along ancient footpaths connecting remote tribal villages in the hills of Nepal, and much more... Travel in local style and share these adventures with a small group of like-minded backpackers aged 18 to 25, led by two experienced leaders.
Youth International is now accepting applications for the Fall 2013 programs in South America and Asia. Youth International is an experiential learning program that combines international travel, inter-cultural exchange, outdoor adventure, volunteer community service work, and homestays. For a full 3-month semester, the teams travel together and explore three different countries. The Asia program visits Thailand, India, and Nepal. The South America program visits Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands. All programs begin with a group orientation session at a camp in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Youth International has been sending groups on learning adventures abroad since 1997. Through a balanced combination of experiences, each team member is set up for an intense and dynamic first-hand education about the region in which they are traveling. At the same time, they are presented with a unique environment and opportunity for self-discovery. (*Youth International does not affiliate with, or adhere to, any specific religious or philosophical doctrine, and has no political affiliations or agenda).
A full daily itinerary for the Fall 2013 Asia program follows:
Colorado, USA: September 14 to 17
Sept. 14 to 17: Rocky Mountains:
For three days team members will live together in residence at the YMCA of the Rockies Conference Centre in Estes Park, Colorado. In the midst of this spectacular Rocky Mountain setting they will take part in a series of orientation workshops covering topics such as team building, health and safety, cultural sensitivity, and more, in preparation for their time abroad.
*A detailed orientation schedule will be handed out upon arrival in Colorado.
Travel from Colorado to Bangkok, Thailand: Sept. 17 to 18
Sept.17 to 18: Flight to Asia:
The Team will depart Colorado’s Rocky mountains on the morning of Sept.17. They will fly together from Denver, across the Pacific Ocean, to Bangkok, Thailand.
Thailand: September 18 to October 16
Sept.18 to 20: Bangkok:
Time to begin exploring this great Asian capital, including such sites as the Grand Palace, the floating markets, and the National Museum.
On the evening of Sept.20 the team will board an overnight train heading north to Chiang Mai.
Sept.21 to 22: Chiang Mai:
Time to explore the endless temples, and bustling markets of Thailand’s large northern capital city.
On Sep.22, travel by bus to village home stay.
Sept.22 to 29: Village Home Stay:
For one week the team will live in homes with Thai families in a small village about two hours outside of Chiang Mai. They will learn about local life by living it themselves. Days will be split up into three sections. Early mornings will be spent helping families with household work and chores, and possibly work in the fields or forest. Late mornings will be spent attending workshops on local culture and sustainable living techniques, including organic food production, and natural building. Late afternoons the team will be helping volunteer on a community project. On the morning of Sept. 29, the team will depart the village and travel north by truck and bus to Chiang Rai.
Sept. 29 to Oct. 7: Northern Mountains Trekking and Home Stay:
The team will live with host families in a tribal village in the northern mountains outside of Chiang Rai. They will learn about daily life by living it themselves. During this week in the village team members will volunteer their help to work on a community project. They will also do some trekking in the surrounding hills, and visit other tribal villages.
On the last day they will return to Chiang Rai and have the opportunity to explore the city's night markets.
On Oct. 7, the team will travel by bus from Chiang Rai back to Chiang Mai and then will take an overnight train from Chiang Mai to Ayuthaya.
Oct.8 to 9: Ayuthaya:
On bicycle, the group will explore the spectacular remains of this ancient Thai capital city. Overnight train on Oct. 9 from Ayuthaya to the southern islands.
Oct.10 to 14: Southern Islands:
By boat, snorkelling, kayaking, and deep sea diving, participants will explore and enjoy several spectacular beaches, crystal waters, and abundant underwater wildlife for which Thailand is renowned.
Oct.15 to 16: Bangkok:
Time for final exploration of Bangkok. Thailand wrap up, and preparation to move on to India.
Oct.16: Flight to India: The team will fly together from Bangkok to Delhi, India.
*Flight details to follow.
India: October 16 to November 21
Oct. 16 to 18: Delhi:
Time to explore India's bustling capital city, including sites such as Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India) a local Sikh temple, Raj Ghat, the Gandhi Museum, and city markets.
Travel by bus from Delhi to Agra on Oct. 18.
Oct. 18 to 19: Agra:
Visits to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Free time.
Travel by bus from Agra to Jaipur on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19 to 24: Jaipur:
For five days the team will live with host families in this colorful, culturally rich, bustling capital city of Rajasthan. Here, they will begin getting intimately acquainted with Indian life. Each day will start with a yoga class, followed by survival Hindi language lessons. Days will be rounded out with various excursions within the city, visits to local sites, and introductory talks and workshops on various aspects of India’s culture and history.
Travel by overnight train on Oct. 24 from Jaipur south to Udaipur.
Oct.25 to 26: Udaipur:
The team will have a day and a half to explore one of India’s most colorful and romantic cities. They will tour the twisting streets of the old city, Monsoon Palace, and Fateh Sagar Lake, and will attend a workshop on Batik art.
There will also be a visit to a local NGO, and an introductory talk on development issues in local "Adivasi" communities, in preparation for the group’s time in Jhadol.
Travel about two hours by bus from Udaipur to the village of Jhadol on the afternoon of Oct. 26.
Oct.26 to Nov.2: Jhadol:
During this week the team will live with host families in the small rural village of Jhadol, near Udaipur. While learning about village life, by living it themselves, team members will also volunteer to help on community projects. The team will be helping with the ongoing construction of a local school. They will also be teaching and running activities with children at local schools. Some time will also be spent helping families with household chores and with work in the fields.
On Nov. 2, the team will return by bus to Udaipur.
Nov. 2 to 3: Udaipur:
Free time to continue exploring Udaipur. Reflection on this section of the Indian experience.
Depart Udaipur on the night of Nov. 3 on an overnight train to Delhi, and continuing north to Amritsar.
Nov.4 to 6: Amritsar:
For two nights, the team will live with other "pilgrims" in residence at the Golden Temple. While staying here, they will tour and learn about this holiest of sites for the Sikh faith. They will also have the opportunity to attend an India-Pakistan border ceremony.
Travel by bus north from Amritsar to Dharamsala on Nov. 6.
Nov. 6 to 20: Dharamsala:
This small town, tucked in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains of northwestern India is home to the Tibetan government in exile and a very large population of Tibetan refugees, including their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. During this nearly two week time period the team will split up and live in separate homes with Tibetan families. Days will be spent working on a variety of community service projects within the Tibetan community and also taking part in set activities to enhance their understanding of Tibetan culture, history and contemporary issues. Those who chose to may also attend an introductory meditation course/retreat practised in the Tibetan tradition. The team will also do a day hike in the Himalayan foothills above Dharamsala.
Overnight train returning to Delhi on Nov.20.
Nov. 21: Delhi:
India wrap up. Fly from Delhi to Kathmandu, Nepal.
*Fight details to follow.
Nepal: November 21 to December 12
Nov.21 to 24: Kathmandu:
The team will have two full days to explore the colorful and exotic capital city of Nepal.
*Travel by bus from Kathmandu to village on Nov. 24.
Nov.24 to 30: Village Home Stay:
A full week living with families in a typical small rural village. The team will learn about Nepalese life by living it themselves. They will also help out by volunteering to work on a community project. Other activities to learn about local life will also take place.
Travel by bus from village to the city of Pokhara on Nov. 30.
Nov. 30 to Dec.2: Pokhara:
Preparation for Himalayan trek. Some time to explore this beautiful city at the base of the Annapurna Mountain range.
Dec. 2 to 10: Himalayan Mountain Trek:
Nine-day hike in the Himalayan Mountains, through Nepalese villages, to Annapurna Base Camp, which is surrounded by some of the world’s highest mountain peaks. Return to Pokhara.
Dec.10 to 11: Pokhara:
Rest and recover from trek. More time to explore Pokhara.
Travel by bus from Pokhara back to Kathmandu on Dec. 11.
Dec. 11 to 12: Kathmandu:
Time for final exploration of Kathmandu. Program wrap-up, closure activities, and preparation for return home.
Dec. 12 to 13: Fly Home:
Return flight(s) from Kathmandu, Nepal to Denver, Colorado, USA. The group's journey is finished upon return to Colorado.
How to Apply
You may submit an online application available on the Youth International website, or request an application to be mailed or emailed to you. Youth International will normally be in contact within one week of receiving the application to schedule a telephone interview. Teams are filled on a “first come” basis for those who are selected. Applications are accepted at any time for upcoming semesters, so early ones do have an advantage.
This fee covers all program expenses, including all flights and overland travel while abroad, all food and lodging, all scheduled program activities (including the cost of all outdoor adventure activities and site seeing etc…), team leaders and in-country staff, all costs for orientation in the USA, educational materials, and other miscellaneous expenses related to the program.
The only costs that the program fee does not cover are personal items and individual free time activities. Personal items include health insurance, visas, transportation to orientation in the USA at the beginning of the program, and round-trip flight between the USA and the initial overseas destination.