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Primary School and Kindergarten in the Himalayas

Internship and Volunteering Possible
We organize internships and volunteering in teaching at schools and kindergartens in the Himalayas in India. There are small state schools in Junga, near Shimla, amidst scenic mountain terraces at an altitude of about 1600 m and outside the town of Dharamshala, the sanctuary of the Dalai Lama. The private school in the village in the valley of Bhawarna outside Palampur also has a kindergarten.

Project Details


Small mountain schools in Junga (Shimla) and Dharamshala

The school is located within the boundaries of the village Maheshu in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the Himalayas, at an altitude of about 1600 m above sea level. From Delhi, it is around 350 km; the city of Shimla is half an hour away by car.
The area is sparsely populated and is characterized by natural forests, meadows and slopes, and agriculture on a small scale. There is also tourism to an extent, especially with urbanites from Delhi, who spend their weekends here walking, meditating or rock climbing in nature; one also finds foreign tourists who travel in the Himalayas or the Chail Nature Reserve, which is only 20 km away. There is pure and fresh mountain air and a stunning mountain backdrop.
You can travel by train from Delhi; the last stretch will be made through the mountains in a historic narrow-gauge steam locomotive, the "Kalka Shimla Hill Railway".
The people here are mostly modest and reserved. They are financially very poor; since everyone here has inherited land and does agriculture, they have to migrate to overpopulated cities for a much higher standard of living. Migration from these places is much more than any other Indian region.
In the five classes of public elementary school, a total of only 21 children aged 4-10 years learn, as there are not more children in the area. The children come from their farms through steep hills and narrow dirty tracks, but this is not a problem for them as they have grown up in this environment. Just 2 miles away is a comparable small school with about 30 children. The lessons take place from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
The school has only two teachers - one teacher teaches grades 1-3 and the other, 4-5. There is also a chef at the school.
Volunteers/Interns can familiarise themselves and then, teach at this school. Teaching is possible only for female participants who would mainly teach English, since the other subjects are taught in Hindi. Even the four-year olds begin by learning English along with the Roman alphabet and the Hindi script.
Other subjects taught are mathematics, Hindi, Social Studies and Environmental Studies. The specialist teaching environment is interesting because it also includes yoga and traditional Indian knowledge alongside the content of biology, geology and geography.
The school in Dharamshala is comparable in size and offering.
Participants can choose the location and are housed in two locations at the Chrysalid outdoor camp. At these schools, one can participate from one week duration to more, as per one’s convenience.

Dhanladhar Convent School

The Dhanladhar Convent School in Palampur is a simple private school in a village, about half an hour by public bus outside the city center. The school aims to offer a better standard of teaching than the public schools in rural areas.
There are 12 classes in the school with 13 teachers and 250 students, from kindergarten to 10th grade (3-16 years). The children learn English from kindergarten onwards.
Volunteers and interns teach English (especially conversation), math, the sciences and Sport (speedball, badminton, Hide & Seek), particularly in grades 1-5 (6-10 years old); these children can communicate well in English.
The school hours are from 9.00 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. followed by 90 minutes workshop to 4.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
Holidays are during the month of July, and 10 days in early January; but during the holidays, there are always holiday programs . These include free computer lessons for women from the village, as well as children. There are two groups with 20 participants each (one for women and one for children). Volunteers/interns can teach computer lessons - an introduction to beginner level in the use of Windows.
Mid-January to mid-March are not good times for an internship or volunteering in this school, since examination take place during this time, and the children have little time for other activities.
The facility is funded through school fees of Rs. 250 per month for kindergarten and Rs. 500 per month for the other children. For families who send more than one child, there is a discount; children from very poor families are given free education.
Volunteers and interns can rent a room with a family in the village. The minimum duration is one month.
Info Box
Location: Palampur, Maheshu in Shimla and Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh)
Availability: All year, Start date flexible (see holiday / exam times)
Minimum Duration: 1 Week (Palampur 1 Month)
Maximum Duration: 6 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Hindi
Palampur: Family in the village or Guest House in the city; Maheshu and Dharamshala: Chrysalid Outdoor Camp
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Teacher
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

More Info




Accommodation at the Himalayas




Guest House in Palampur

The guest house is located in a good residential area on a hill at the fringe of the city and offers holiday apartments, which all feature a large bedroom with a queen size bed, cable TV, an en-suit bathroom with hot shower and Western water toilet, a small dining room and a small kitchen. In front of the rooms there is a terrace from where you can enjoy wonderful views into a valley with a little steram, and into the high mountains on the other side of the valley. 
The landlord is staying at a separate building on the same plot. His house has a restaurant area for guests where traditional Indian home cooking is offered that you can order at extra cost.
By public bus you can reach the city centre from the Guest House in around 10 minutes.

Kayakalp Spa and Therapy Centre in Palampur

Kayakalp is a Spa and Therapy Centre a little outside of Palampur. It is peacefully located within a wide park area. Kayakalp offers the accommodation option "Niket" to our participants, which includes modern double rooms, all with en-suit bathroom, cable TV, hot and cold water. The rate are on FULL BOARD (ayurvedic, natural vegetarian food) and also include participation at Yoga (every day at 6am and 5pm).
Tea, coffee and soft drinks are not offered at Kayakalp and it is not allowed to bring outside food into the premises. Furthermore, the consumption of tobacco and alcohol is prohibited.

Interns of Physiotherapy and Ayurveda at Kayakalp can stay at Kayakal's Basera dorm rooms for 650 Rs/night incl. full board and Yoga.

Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre

The accommodation is at the Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre. This is a camp in the mountains, which is now available in five locations: Near the village Maheshu in Junga Tehsil, Shima District (altitude 1550 m); in Dharamshala close to the famous Temple Indru Nag (altitude 1520 m), in Sitlahket (altitude 2130 m) in the Himalayan region Nanda Devi, on the banks of the river Tirthan, a tributary stream of the River Beas at Sai Ropa on the border of the Himalayas National Parks (altitude 1220 m), as well as in Tamil Nadu, South India in Yercaud, amidst coffee and orange plantation (altitude 1550 m). In the Camps, "team building" activities, as well as outdoor sports activities are organized for groups. You live in a comfortable tent, in which you can stand, with electricity, bed and desk. At some sites there are firmly walled bathrooms with western toilet and hot water attached to a private tent; in other places there is a central room with toilets and showers. The accommodation includes service and catering, including the typical Indian bed coffee (about 2 hours before breakfast), breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/coffee with snack, soup, dinner and a one-liter bottle of mineral water per day.



I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
 wu servicepackage
1 Person
350 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
300 EUR 400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
  • Arrangements of the Documents you need for your Visa Application and assistance with local registration (if required) but not the official government fees for the visa (See costs below)
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Dharamshala Airport (DHM; for placements in Palampur) or Shimla (see tab "Getting there" for travel information to Shimla) on arrival and departure
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Palampur/at your location
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • Local SIM Card with 600 Rs. airtime credit
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • Donation of 50 USD (in domestic currency) to your placement organization (in case of charitable organizations)

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from India (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
Rates in Indian Rupees or USD! Convert Currency Short-time stay
(1-31 Days)
Long-time stay
(32-365 Days)
(You pay proportionally per day)
Guest House in Palampur without meals
1 Person
(Single Room)
800 Rs/Day 24,000 Rs/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
400 Rs/Day 12,000 Rs/Month
Kayakalp Centre Palampur, Niket Deluxe Room on Full Board incl. Yoga
1 Person
(Single Room)
3000 Rs/Day (March-Okc)
1500 Rs/Day (Nov-Feb)
90,000 Rs/Month (March-Oct)
45,000 Rs/Month (Nov-Feb)
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
1500 Rs/Day (March-Oct)
750 Rs/Day (Nov-Feb)
45,000 Rs/Month (March-Oct)
22,500 Rs/Month (Nov-Feb)
Chrysalid Camp Shimla or Dharamshala on Full Board
1 Person
(Single Room)
210 USD/Week 900 USD/Month + 3.9 % Service Tax
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
210 USD/Week 750 USD/Month + 3.9 % Service Tax
Incomplete months you pay proportionally per day. In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates.

Overview of other costs:

  • Visa around 60-130 EUR (75-160 USD) depending on activity and duration; to apply prior to your travel
  • If meals are not included: 40-100 EUR (50-130 USD)/Month (Estimate)
  • Small local expenses (Internet, Local Transport): ca. 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month

How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.



Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.



Photo Gallery: Himalayas


Maheshu (Shimla), Palampur, Dharamshala

Landscapes of Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas are perhaps the most impressive of all over India - framed by majestic snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan mountain range, are fresh valleys such as the Kangra Valley.
The region is sparsely populated and characterized by natural forests, meadows, steep inclinations and small-scale agriculture. There is also a limited amount of tourism, particularly by Delhi urbanites, who come here over the weekend to do hiking, meditation or rock climbing; also by foreign tourists who proceed deeper into the Himalayas, visiting Dharamshala, the place where the exiled Tibetans and the Dalai Lama live or visit the Chail Conservation Area, which is only 20 km away. You will find pure and fresh mountain air in breathtaking mountain scenery.
It is possible to travel to < strong>Maheshu by train from Delhi, whereby the last part of the way through the mountains will be traversed using a historical narrow gauge train, the Kalka Shimla Hill Railway, which is a UNESCO world heritage.
Palampur is a small town in Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude of about 1300 m, about 470 km from Delhi. Also known as the "tea capital of north India", Palampur is a popular travel destination for nature and outdoor enthusiasts, with countless streams and rivers coming down from the mountains into the valley and alternate with tea plantations and rice fields in a unique scenic beauty. There are also many ancient temples and buildings from the British colonial period.
Dharamshala, which is also situated in the Kangra valley, about 60 km from Palampur, lies at an altitude of 1450 m and is home to many Tibetan exiles, of which the Dalai Lama is the most famous. Again, there are many Buddhist and Hindu temples here.
In the area of Palampur and Dharamshala, you can do many outdoor sports like hiking, climbing, paragliding, rafting, mountain biking, etc.
The people in the Himalayas are usually modest and reserved. They are financially quite poor; as they often have inherited land and have to rely on agriculture for income, they migrate for a higher standard of living, more than many other Indians, into overpopulated cities.
The country's population speaks Hindi. People with better education, usually speak good English.


Located at the foot of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a famous pilgrimage town. The Ganges flows by the town, which features not only by mythological significance as a holy river, but also with clear water and scenic beauty. The Ganges leaves the Himalayas from here, and then continues to flow through the plains of northern India to the Gulf of Bengal.
In Rishikesh, there are a number of temples and ashrams (religious hostels), both historical and built in recent times. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists, both from India, as well as from western countries. It is home to several yoga centers, in keeping with an age old tradition. Rishikesh therefore, has the reputation of being the "yoga capital" of the world. Hindus believe that meditation in Rishikesh, as well as a dip in the holy river Ganges, leads them closer to salvation (Moksha).

Our Coordinator in the Himalayas


Our coordinator in Maheshu, Dharamshala and Rishikesh is Vikas and his team from the Chrysalid Oudoor Camps. In Palampur, we work with Atul, a guide.


Getting There


Getting to the sites at the Himalayas

india map
Shimla (Junga):
You book your flight to New Delhi (DEL). For the projects in Chrysalid camp in Shimla, you travel further by train. We send you a transfer from New Delhi Airport to Delhi railway station. From there, you take the train to Kolka (daily at 7:40 and 17:25). In Kolka, you step into the historic UNESCO World Heritage train "Himalayan Queen" ( connection is only possible with the morning train from Delhi). You disembark in Kandaghat. This train ticket is included in the price, but we have to book several weeks before your arrival! In Kandaghat, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation. If you take the evening train, you will be picked up in Kolka and transferred to your accommodation. If you have to stay a night in Delhi, hotel and transfer costs together will be approximately 40 EUR.
Palampur, Dharamshala:
The easiest way is to travel by flight to Dharamshala (DHM) - the airport is called Gaggal Airport. There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Palampur and Dharamshala.
Alternatively, you can fly to New Delhi (DEL) and then travel from there by bus. Transfers to the bus station and the bus tickets are included in the cost. The bus to Palampur takes about 8 hours, and about 11 hours to Dharamshala. At the respective bus stations of Palampur and Dharamshala, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from Delhi airport or Dharamshala even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course, you can do this - most of our participants do so. However, when the travel destination is too far away, it may not be possible over a weekend; these, we would recommend you keep for before the projects begins or after the completion or during holidays. You can travel around India with an internship visa.
When is the rainy season and can I travel to India during this time?
The monsoon begins in early June in Kerala, Mumbai, in mid-June and the Himalayan region, early to mid-July and ends in September. The Thar Desert in Rajasthan (location Setrawa), barely gets rain during the monsoon and Jodhpur is rather dry.
During the monsoon, it usually rains heavily for several hours every day. As a result, there are often floods in the streets of the cities, because the drains cannot absorb the amounts of water. An internship or volunteering is possible during the monsoon, and the only nuisance will probably be wet clothes and shoes, which are often difficult to dry because of the high humidity. You might want to carry a few extra shoes and a change of clothes with you (or buy them locally). You can even buy an umbrella or a raincoat locally. An advantage to traveling during the monsoon, is that the fares are cheaper and accommodation during the off season is cheaper.
Can I travel to India as a young woman alone? The media constantly reports of rape - how high is the risk?
For decades, India has been a safe country for women and now the impression, given by the media, is that the number of rapes has skyrocketed and India is unsafe for women. More cases are coming into light now, as women previously would not speak about rape, but are now empowered to do so. Compared to the number of cases in relation to the huge population of India (almost twice as many as the whole of Europe), even if projections of unreported cases are included, there is much less rape than in many other countries. There are 2 cases that happen per 100,000 inhabitants in India (in comparison: Central Europe: 8.1 cases; 14.7 cases in Latin America; 28.6 cases per 100,000 population in the US).
Of course you have to be careful as a woman, as far as the style of dressing and dealing with local men are concerned. In schools, boys and girls are often strictly separated and many young men have no experience in dealing with women who are not their own mother or sisters; your behavior, based on dealing with Western men, might be misinterpreted as “easy” or “loose” behaviour. The rural areas of Himachal Pradesh are conservative and it is not possible for women to buy alcohol in shops or go to bars; relations with foreigners are considered to be very negative.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in the Himalayas?
In the Himalayan region, we have fewer participants than at the other sites in India, so it may be that no other participants are at the same time in your project or at your location.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info - PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
You find housing options in the tab "Accommodation".
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
At Guest Houses, there is wifi internet, but usually only in the common area. Host families do not provide wifi internet facilities.
How can I do my laundry?
Ask at your accommodation about a good laundry service and negotiate a price, especially if you bring in linen and other clothes regularly. The prices are unusually per piece (pants, shirts, sheets, etc.).
Can I cook in the accommodation?
There are rooms with cooking facilities at the guest houses. At the Chrysalid camps, catering is included in your accommodation.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Yes, India is a paradise for vegetarians. Almost all restaurants are clearly marked, whether they are vegetarian ("Veg") or not ("Non-Veg"), and there are separate menus. About 40% of Indians are vegetarians.
What language skills do I require?
You should be able to understand and make yourself understood in English.

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