Rural School Community Support Bodhgaya, India

WHY we need you in India

school kids Bodhgaya

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

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  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required


This placement is centered around a rural school just outside of Bodghaya. The school is an educational institution that truly caters to the most vulnerable communities many of which live in extreme poverty.

The students come from the surrounding villages (approx 600 population) which lack basic infrastructure and without this school, would have virtually no access to education. For these agricultural driven communities, the reality of unjust social hierarchy simply does not allow children of poor families to receive an education.

The school is the first of it’s kind in this area as such it has faced incredible resistance from the village elites with a lack of understanding of the community benefits associated with ‘new’ knowledge systems and formal education opportunities.

Slowly but surely, the pupil base has grown exponentially over the years harnessing a powerful spirit of pride, acceptance and opportunity.

As a volunteer guest you will receive truly incredible Indian hospitality, as you are welcomed by hundreds of intrigued and appreciative smiling faces. There are a myriad of inspiring activities you can get involved with that will make a lasting difference to the school and community.


Bodhgaya is a fascinating and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage location and the site where Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One in approx 525 BC. Bodhgaya, is famous for Mahabodhi temple which stands above the Bodhi Tree. Its architectural effect is mesmerizing.Inside the temple, there is a colossal image of the Buddha in sitting posture touching the earth by his righthand.  Within the temple grounds you will be witness to thousands of devout Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world in colourful burgundy and saffron robes, congregated to worship at the feet of Buddha.

Outside the temple, you will see a crazy, buzzing mish mash of diversity, colours, culture, food stalls, rick-shaws, wild dogs and of course, severe poverty.   Venture further out from the city centre, into the local villages, and this is where you will experience the true heart of India.  This is where the IVI placement operates.

Project Tasks

School Projects
-Special Needs School
-Teaching English & Other Subjects
-Essential Children’s Nutrition
-Maternal & Health Education
-Safe Birthing Kits
-Community Gardening
-Basic Vocational Training
-Develop Fundraising strategies
-Draft grant applications
-Resume Development
Tribal Community Projects
-Primary skills development
-Inter-cultural Dialogue program
-Basic nutritional care
-Ground water provisioning
-Vocational training such as computer training, carpentry, plumbing, sewing and clothing, diesel engine repair, organic gardening etc

Food & Accommodation

The volunteer centre is safe, clean and comfortable. We have eight rooms with living hall and separate kitchen. Each room has double beds and attached western toilets.  It is very close to world heritage Mahabodhi Temple.

Volunteers can choose from basic single, double or dorm style rooms depending on availability. All standard amenities are included such as beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows, towels, water purifier, fans & coolers, mosquito netting, western toilet, cleaning supplies, chairs and tables. Wifi is not available but internet cafes are available within walking distance.

Three vegetarian meals a day (2 on weekends). We provide fruits, bread and butter with tea or coffee for breakfast. For lunch, we offer non spicy or spicy Vegetarian meals (Rice pulses and green vegetables, Soup and Salad) for dinner, we again provide non spicy or spicy authentic Indian vegetarian food.

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $345
  • 2 Weeks - $475
  • 3 Weeks - $625
  • 1 Month - $795
  • 2 Months - $1395
  • 3 Months - $2050
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

Are you a health professional or student? Here is a comprehensive outline of what sort of things you can set up in Bodhgaya, from one of our past volunteers.




Anyone seeking to experience first hand the richness of Indian community spirit while offering services to those in need. Knowledge of the Hindi language is a major advantage. Many do speak some English, however it is very scarce in the rural areas.

What you will experience is the most incredible welcome, warmth, friendliness, acceptance, and Indian hospitality. Be prepared for a celebration where children shower you with flower petals and then performed a series of native hindu and Indian songs and greetings.

  • 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
Your program includes a 1 day orientation. This is an important day to help you become familiar with your surroundings, as well as learning about the local customs, culture and surroundings.
Typical Orientation Day Includes:
  • Introduction meeting, General rules, Setting Expectations, Advice on Health and Safety and insuring you have all your documents.
  • Indian Do’s and Don’ts, Cultural introduction, learning about the countries history 
  • Tour around the accommodation and local area.

Airport pick-up is included in the volunteering cost unless specified.This may involve either a local pick-up by your volunteer host or a public transport ticket where necessary. These details will be finalised with you upon making a booking as this will depend on your arrival information.

Each day can be different and depends on your skills/ where you would like to be working. You can volunteer at the school, out in the community or on medical projects. It’s really up to you to decide where you would feel most comfortable and make the biggest impact. 

  1. Visit Mahabodhi Temple: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It’s a sacred site for Buddhists and a place of deep historical and spiritual significance.


  3. Explore Bodhi Tree: Located within the Mahabodhi Temple complex, this ancient tree is believed to be the direct descendant of the original tree under which Buddha meditated.


  5. Visit Great Buddha Statue: The 80-feet tall statue of Buddha is a prominent landmark in Bodhgaya. It’s located near the Mahabodhi Temple and is an impressive sight to behold.

  7. Attend Meditation Sessions: Bodhgaya is a hub for meditation and spiritual practices. Many centers and monasteries offer meditation sessions and retreats for visitors.

  9. Visit Monasteries and Temples: Bodhgaya is home to various monasteries and temples representing different Buddhist traditions. Explore these to gain insight into the diverse Buddhist culture.

  11. Take a Walk around Sujata Village: This nearby village is where Buddha received his first meal after his ascetic practices. It’s a serene place to explore and learn about Buddha’s early life.

  13. Participate in Puja Ceremonies: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of traditional Buddhist rituals by attending puja ceremonies at the Mahabodhi Temple or other monasteries.

  15. Shop for Souvenirs: Bodhgaya has markets selling a variety of Buddhist artifacts, handicrafts, and religious items. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs or gifts.

  17. Enjoy Local Cuisine: Explore the local food scene and try traditional Indian and Tibetan dishes available in Bodhgaya’s restaurants and street stalls.

No extra requirements for this program. 

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?