Buddhist Monastery Teaching in Darjeeling, India

WHY we need you in India

monks jumping

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

alex stock india






  MIN AGE: 18+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required, Culture Week highly recommended for this program 

*Mid June to 1st week of July, December & January are winter vacations in Darjeeling, thus this project will not function during this part of the year.


Volunteer in the enchanting city of Darjeeling, nestled in the Himalayas, where Buddhist monasteries thrive. Darjeeling is renowned for its mist-covered mountains, sprawling tea plantations, and captivating monastic sites. During the program, you will stay within the monastery, and will have the opportunity to impart English language skills to the monks within a classroom setting.

PLEASE NOTE: Culture Week is highly recommended for all participants joining the Teaching at Buddhist Monasteries program. This helps to minimize culture shock and adapt to life at the monastery.

By spending time at the monastery, you will learn more the teachings of Buddhism, embracing various aspects of the Buddhist monk’s way of life. Your lessons will be focused towards novice monks covering different age groups.

The project encompasses multiple monasteries, accommodating monks aged between 8 and 25 years old. These monasteries offer classes ranging from Nursery to Grade 5, with approximately 10 to 15 students in each class. While your primary subject will be English, you will also have the freedom to teach other subjects, such as Mathematics, Science, or any subject of your preference.


Darjeeling is a hill station in the state of West Bengal in India. Set amongst steep and snowy mountains, the city of Darjeeling has been popular with locals as well as international travellers as a great holiday destination. Darjeeling also has much more to offer. The climate is cold here throughout the year. Tea plantations and picturesque monasteries add a unique value to the atmosphere in Darjeeling.

Project Tasks

  • To help teach monks English
  • Immerse yourself into the lifestyle in a monastery and learn about Buddhism
  • Teach other subjects such as math and science

Food & Accommodation

You will stay in the monastery for a true authentic experience. At the monastery, all the meals will be provided during the whole program. We have several monasteries in Darjeeling and most them do have shops, etc nearby. 

Food will be a mix of Western and Indian food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. 

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $435
  • 2 Weeks - $595
  • 3 Weeks - $875
  • 1 Month - $1095
  • 2 Months - $2150
  • 3 Months - $3250
Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



Monday to Friday
You will teach primarily English and various other subjects to the monks, both young and old, for around 2 to 3 hours of various age groups every day.

This is a more lived-in expereince and would suit anyone wishing to truly immerse themselves in the Buddhist culture and who would like to learn more about the daily lifestyle of the monks. 

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Siliguri Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra (IXB). You must arrive between the hours 08:00 to 14:00 on Sunday.

If arriving outside the pickup times, we charge an additional fee for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and an extra fee for a private transfer.

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).

From Bagdogra airport to the accommodation it’s around 4+ hours by road.       

Here are some things you can do when visiting Darjeeling, India:

Tiger Hill: Visit early in the morning to catch the breathtaking sunrise over the Himalayas. On clear days, you can see the majestic peaks of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train): Take a ride on this UNESCO World Heritage-listed narrow-gauge railway, offering scenic views of the tea gardens, valleys, and mountains.

Tea Garden Tours: Explore the lush tea plantations for which Darjeeling is famous. Many estates offer guided tours where you can learn about the tea-making process and sample different varieties.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: Home to endangered species like the snow leopard, red panda, and Himalayan wolf, this zoo is dedicated to the preservation of Himalayan fauna.

Japanese Peace Pagoda: Marvel at this serene Buddhist stupa built by Japanese monks, offering panoramic views of Darjeeling town and the surrounding mountains.

Hiking and Trekking: Darjeeling offers numerous trails for hiking and trekking enthusiasts, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks, such as the Sandakphu trek.

Batasia Loop and War Memorial: Visit this engineering marvel of a railway loop and pay homage to the Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives in various wars.

Observatory Hill and Mahakal Temple: Enjoy panoramic views of Darjeeling and visit the Mahakal Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is highly revered by locals and tourists alike.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute: Learn about the history of mountaineering in the region and pay tribute to Tenzing Norgay, the first man to summit Mount Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary.

Chowrasta Mall: Stroll along this bustling promenade, lined with shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, and local delicacies. Enjoy a cup of Darjeeling tea at one of the many cafes while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Additional Requirements
Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Additional Equipment
• Cover up as much as possible in the spirit of the local culture to avoid embarrassment.
• Your clothes must not be too short, too tight or too revealing. Kindly make sure your shoulders and legs are covered.
• Dress professionally since you will be working in a professional environment while teaching the children.
• It is completely fine to wear western clothes as long as they fit the local standards
• Be thoughtful of the graphics, symbols or text printed on your clothing and avoid wearing clothing styles that might be inappropriate
• Be thoughtful to poor communities by not displaying expensive items and clothes
• Wearing local clothes could help you build a good working relationship with the community

For information on holidays and any programs affected, please see the following link: IN – Holidays – All Programs

India is an eclectic and intoxicating cultural experience like no other! Home of the famous Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the sacred Ganges river, and over 1 billion people of varying languages, cultures and beleifs, India is sure to push you to the boundaries of your comfort zone.

IVI is focused on establishing sustainable employment and education through volunteering efforts in India. Children in some of the regions we service have not had basic nutritional background. Over 950,000 newborns per year in India die from infections. Education about health for families provides a strong foundation for self-care in the communities we service in India.

India’s climte ranges from tropical down south to alpine up in the northern mountain regions. 

From April until the start of October is summer, and in most places in India, is very hot. In June the monsoon rains start in Kerala down south, and move inland. Further north and in the rural areas of Rajasthan, it can get pretty cold from December to January- sometimes as low at minus 5 degrees!

Be prepared for some hot temperatures but if in the Sikkim region, bring along some warmer clothing as it can get cold in the mountains. 

India is a country FULL of culture! From the beautiful colours, different religions, ancient traditions and the smells of spices- India is a country like no other.  It’s the the second most populous nation after China, with over 1.2 billion people. 

The most prominant religions are Hinduism and Buddhism and around 13% of the popualrtion are Muslim. Because there are so many religions, India celebrates a large number of festivals throughout the year. Some of these include Diwali, Holi, Eid and Good Friday. 

In India, the cow is considered to be a Holy animal and you will see cars either driving around, or simply waiting if a cow is in the road holding up traffic! In some parts of India it is forbidden to eat meat or drink alcohol. 

You will see many temples in India, as well as colourful clothing, particually the sari’s that the local women wear, and many cultural dance shows and activities. 

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in India?

Some of Our Partners