We arrange volunteering and internship placements at two English medium schools in Navi Mumbai that have kindergarten, primary and secondary sections - Mahima International, a school started by a Korean lady and Avalon Heights, an international school that strives to give students an alternative education system. Avalon Heights also has opportunities for psychologist volunteers.
This placement is possible as a Remote / Virtual internship from home! Tasks for Remote Interns: You will teach English to the students remotely; ideally 1-2 lessons per day x 30-40 minutes, 5 days a week. There are existing teaching materials and a curriculum for this. You can also counsel/support children one-to-one who suffer from the lockdown situation, e.g. they have worries about their future. You can listen to them, encourage them or just distract them with conversations, games, etc. The remote internship is 450 EUR for the first month and 100 EUR additionally for any additional month or part thereof. Just submit the inquiry/order form form and mention "Remote Internship"!
Mahima International Kindergarten and School
Mahima is an English Christian school of very high standard, which has kindergarten (the children are 3-6 years old) and Primary and Secondary School (6-18 years).
The school follows the American curriculum, with English as the medium of instruction. Since two years, it has been offering the Indian curriculum, which makes it easier for students to get admitted into Indian universities.
The founder and director of the school is a Korean lady whose son runs the school at present. Though it is a Christian school, children from other religions, like Hindus and Muslims also attend the school. There is no aim to convert the other religions into Christianity, but they do have 'Morals' as an independent subject for all children.
Many students are from families that belong to the middle class, but there are also orphans and slum children. Children from families with regular income pay 22,000 rupees school fee per month, orphans 11,000 rupees (they have sponsors), and slum children, 300 rupees. The school does not believe in free education, not for slum children, because they believe that in India something that costs nothing is considered worthless and do not help students learn the right way. The amount of 300 rupees per month can be borne by slum families and is a more symbolic contribution.
Short term participants particulary help at the kindergarten, in teaching the children reading, writing and simple mathematics; you can draw and do handcrafts with them, make banner and posters, make music (there are instruments including a piano, a guitar and drums), sports (the children learn Taekwondo), teach them computer basics and general knowledge, tell stories (the stories don't necessarily need to be religious stories) and play with them.
Interns and volunteers in the school should stay at least 2 months. You can independently or together with an Indian teacher, teach all subjects such as English, math, science and IT. You can also participate in the management of the school.
Holidays are during the whole month of May, the first two weeks of June and also three weeks during Diwali and 10 days over Christmas. The normal teaching hours are Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. for the school, and 9-12 for the nursery. Every first and third Saturday of the month, there are lessons from 9-12. The office is open daily until 5.00 p.m.
The school faces space constraints as it is currently a space between two adjacent houses that has been converted to serve the purpose. There are plans to move to a new, larger building in 2015.
- Report and pictures of Monique about Mahima on Facebook
Avalon Heights International School
The educational goal of the school is to develop the students' personalities and to guide them on a path of global reach in the age of space, IT and biotechnology. The school criticises the way most Indian schools teach, focussing on rote learning, which according to Avalon Heights, doesn't stimulate individual thinking. At Avalon Heights, learning should be fun. The pupil should be more important than the portion, learning more important than teaching, and thinking more important than memorizing. The motto is "Aspire, Attempt and Achieve". Avalon believes in the power of dreams and the power of imagination. As knowledge takes one to what one already knows, imagination leads one to the discovery of unkown things we are yet to create. Striving towards the delivery of skills, the school tries to awake the immense potiential of young children, which in public Indian schools, according to Avalon Heights, largely remains untapped due to the rigid rigmarole of the Indian education system. Avalon Heights gives children access to a wide variety of topics that they can explore themselves without readymade guidelines and the Do's and Don't of teachers. The teachers at Avalon Heights are rather seen as facilitators guiding and leading the children to let them discover facts for themselves. Teacher training is of utmost importance, and the teachers have to be warm, affectionate, aware and informed individuals. This is the philosophy of Avalon's founder and current director, Mrs. Simi Sharma, who is trying to combine the best from a variety of educational schools of thought, such as Waldorf and Montessori.
In 1998 she started an innovative play pre-school named "Blooming Buds" in her own house, which due to an increasing number of children soon had to move to a bigger building. In the year 2000, the parents of the preschool children asked Mrs. Sharma if she couldn't also run a primary school for their children. A real school building was required for this. Mrs. Sharma initially faced the problem not to get a license to build a school, as in India schools have to exist for at least 7 years to be allowed to build a new building. For this reason, Mrs. Sharma used her own personal savings and bank loans to buy an existing 6-floor office building and changed it to a school building.
Today, Avalon Heights hosts a kindergarten for children from 2-6 years, which has the purpose to encourage children to think independently, in a relaxed environment devoid of pressure. A maximum group size of 30 children supports each child's individual development. Children begin instruction in phonetics and basic numerical tasks.
In the elementary school (Grade I-V) - age 6-10 years, the subjects of Hindi, English, Maths, Social Studies and Science are taught. The children's communication skills are trained, just as creative writing. Mathematics is taught focussing on practical use including counting, calculating, understanding of simple statistics and solving problems related to measurement, money, temperature, time and geometry. Mental maths is trained. The science program has the main aim to stimulate the ability of analytical thinking. Social studies include multidisciplinary projects based around themes that appeal to children. One hour per week, the subjects of music, drama, gymnastics, dance, arts, handcrafts and athletics are carried out. The maximum class size is 30 pupils.
In the "Middle and High School" (Grade VI-X) the children can choose which curriculum they want to follow, either the Indian ICSE (Indian Counsil for Secondary Education) or the international IGCSE (CIE) curriculum.
Avalon Heights' A-level is recognized by the Cambridge International Examinations Board. Besides English, from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computing, psychology, sociology, business studies and economy, students have to opt for 4 subjects to be tested in the A-levels.
The school's classrooms are well equipped and modern, all with data projectors. There is a computer lab and well equipped laboratories for chemistry and biology. The school further has indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a shooting range, a stage for dance and drama, and a music studio. In arts, the focus is both on internationality to make the pupils global citizens, and on Indian values and traditions.
Volunteers and interns can teach either individually or together with an Indian teacher.
The school also offers psychological support for pupils who have difficulties. Two psychologists work at the school and have formed various small groups for children with problems such as ADHD. Psychology students can independently take one of these groups and conduct activities twice a week in the afternoons. This can also be combined with a psychological internship/volunteer work in other facilities in Navi Mumbai.
Location: Navi Mumbai, India
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Week (Mahima Kindergarten), 2 Month for the schools
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: -
Room with host family, Shared Accommodation, Hotel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Social Worker, Teacher, Psychologist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
For teaching in schools or practising psychology: relevant studies or experience
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?
Accommodation in Navi Mumbai
In Navi Mumbai, you can choose between accommodation of different standards:
In Navi Mumbai, most of our participants live in apartments that they share with other participants or young Indians. The bedrooms are usually shared with 2-3 participants of the same sex. In Navi Mumbai, we use various accommodations, depending on the availability and your volunteering/internship location. Please understand that we can usually not tell you long in advance which accommodation you will be staying at. The reason is simply that our participants on site sometimes decide to stay longer and we need some flexibity to satisfy all accommodation needs. For all apartments please bring your own bed sheets and towels.
The apartment is located on the 7th floor of a residential building in Sanpada (Navi Mumbai). Sanpada is a very central residential district of the Indian upper middle class. In just 10 walking minutes you can reach Vashi Train Station and the shopping centers "Inorbit Mall", "Centre One" and “Raghulela“. The "Vashi Plaza" with many shops is about 10 more walking minutes away. From Vashi station, you can take a train to other stations in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.
In the immediate surroundings of the building there are several small shops with food and everyday supplies, small local restaurants, which also have a delivery service in the neighborhood, a pharmacy, a laundry service and a well-equipped gym.
The apartment has a passage bedroom with ceiling fan, another bedroom with ceiling fan and air conditioning, a kitchen, bathroom and a separate toilet. The bathroom has a shower with water heater and sink. The kitchen has a refrigerator, a cooking plate, a water cooker and a sink. 1-3 people can live in this apartment.
The building has 7 floors each with 2 apartments in 4 separate wings (in total 56 apartments), in the immediate vicinity there are other similar apartment buildings.
The building is guarded by security personnel and has an elevator in each wing.
In cooperation with our partner Mahima International School that we also arrange internships and volunteer assignments with, we organize accommodation at an apartment of good standard in Koparkhairane. You would share the apartment with up to 5 Indian girls aged 8-15 years and other participants of our World Unite! programs. The girls are usually from socially disadvantaged families and receive free accommodation and schooling from Mahima. You can spend time with the Indian girls, but you don't have to! The apartment can accommodate 1-3 World Unite! participants in addition to the Indian girls.
There are two separate bedrooms for participants of our programs (one of which is a walkthrough room with access to the bathroom/toilet). Each room has a ceiling fan. There is a washing machine, a kitchen, a common room, and security personnel.
In the immediate neighborhood of the building there are several small shops with food and everyday supplies, small local restaurants etc. Also some larger shopping centers can be reached in just a few minutes by autorickshaw.
Apartment in Kalamboli
The apartment in Kalamboli is located on the 14th floor of a residential building and is equipped with modern facilities. There is a common room with a bed couch, which is also used as a walkthrough bedroom, a bathroom, a toilet and two other bedrooms. In this shared apartment, 1-5 participants can be accommodated simultaneously.
The apartment also has a kitchen and a balcony.
The building has security personnel and an elevator. In the immediate vicinity there are other similar apartment buildings.
We organize accommodation in a centrally located budget hotel in Vashi, which is affordable for longer stays. It offers modern single and double rooms, each with private bathroom and air conditioning. The hotel does not offer Wifi Internet though, but internet use is possible with smartphones or USB internet sticks.
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|
|450 EUR||600 EUR||700 EUR||750 EUR||850 EUR|
(Rate per Person)
|400 EUR||500 EUR||600 EUR||650 EUR||700 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 Mumbai Airport (BOM) on arrival and departure
- Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
- Orientation and Introduction in Navi Mumbai
- 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)
- Costs for 10 seedlings of indigenous trees that we plant on the slopes of Kilimanjaro
The Rates do NOT include:
- Accommodation and Meals (see below)
- Travel to/from Mumbai (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
- 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.
| All Rates in Indian Rupees! |
(Only bookable for full months or half months)
|Shared Apartment or Hotel|
Apartment shared with other participants
8000 Rs/2 Week
(min. 2 weeks)*
|2 Persons p.p.
8000 Rs/2 Week
(min. 2 weeks)
(optional; Indian Meals)
|per person||Breakfast 35 Rs; Lunch 45 Rs; Dinner 55 Rs./Day||Breakfast 35 Rs; Lunch 45 Rs; Dinner 55 Rs./Day|
Hotel incl. Breakfast
+ Tax (4%)
+ Tax (4%)
|2 Persons p.p.
+ Tax (4%)
+ Tax (4%)
* Room is shared with another person of the same sex (World Unite! participant or Indian student/young professional). Electricity is not included in the rate and will be charged depending on usage. Rate for meals is subject to sudden change and not guaranteed. In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates. The bed has to be booked for a full month or half month.
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, credit card or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR / 250 USD 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.
Check out our video on Navi Mumbai!
Judith from Germany shows us in this video, the city of Navi Mumbai. She completed a two-month internship at the local newspaper "Vashi Times". In the video, you will also meet Sudipta, our coordinator and supervisor in Navi Mumbai.
Navi Mumbai - City of Contrasts
Mumbai (Bombay) is the economic centre of India and with 14-20 million people, one of the largest megacities in the world. The city is the centre of the finance industry, trade, economy and fashion in India. "Bollywood", by the amount of films produced annually, is the largest film industry in the world. Symbols of wealth can be found at many places in Mumbai; the real estate prices in certain parts of Mumbai are amongst the highest in the world. As Mumbai was bursting at its seams, the city was expanded in 1972 to the east of the Thane Creek estuary, to Navi Mumbai. Navi Mumbai is seamlessly growing in the north with (Old) Mumbai, and there are numerous bridges connecting the two across Thane Creek. In Navi Mumbai, there are many modern businesses, shopping malls and modern infrastructure. Meanwhile, Navi Mumbai has itself 1.5 million inhabitants, with its own attractive city center, Vashi.
The other side of the success story is extreme poverty. Every day, hundreds of job-seeking people from all parts of India move to Mumbai, and in many cases, they settle down in slum areas which spread on all pieces of available land. In 2001, 54.1% of Mumbai's population were slum dwellers. The population density in the slums is oppresive (up to 340,000 people per square kilometre). Under such circumstances, problems such as a lack of hygiene and diseases, environmental destruction, crime, alcoholism and prostitution are the consequence. In Mumbai, we offer volunteering options related to these problems at charitable organizations, and also internships at leading companies of the city.
For most foreigners, Mumbai is probably not a city where they would love stay for the rest of their life - too crowded, noisy, hot and dirty. For a limited period of time however, it is surely exciting to be in Mumbai to understand and learn about the social processes of an emerging country's mega-metropolis.
The main languages of Mumbai are Marathi, Gujurati, Urdu and Hindi. English is spoken as a common language between speakers of the various mother tongues and is considered by the majority as their second language.
Our Coordinator in Mumbai
Our coordinator in Mumbai is Sudipta.
Recreational Activities in Mumbai
Mumbai is a city with a rich array of museums, events, attractions and shopping. You can also participate in various courses and activities such as dance, language training, yoga and sports.
If one moves out of the city, there are some interesting opportunities for rural tourism on the coast and inland. Check out our offers in Community Tourism in Maharashtra! Another great holiday destination is Goa.
Getting To Navi Mumbai
You book your flight to Mumbai (BOM). There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Navi Mumbai.
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 Mumbai airport 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. You could even plan these out during holidays. Even with an internship visa, it is possible to travel around India.
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.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Mumbai?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Mumbai, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so.
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?
In the tab "Accommodation", you see the housing options.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
In the shared accommodations, there is no wifi, but you access internet at a cafe or on your smartphone or using a mobile internet stick. The registration of the modem, however, is very complex and not possible in Mumbai, if you do not have a permanent residence. Our tutor will help you with the paperwork.
How can I do my laundry?
There are several laundromats in Navi Mumbai, where the clothes are washed by hand and neatly ironed. There is a price per garment (fixed price for trousers, tops, towels, underwear, etc.), and it will be best if you negotiate a good rate for the clothes, especially if you have regular amounts of laundry. We advise you to ask around for the best laundromat in your area.
Can I cook in the accommodation?
Yes, you can cook at your accommodations.
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 need?
You should be able to understand and make yourself understood in English.