JULY-AUGUST ・ 5 WEEKS ・ HOST FAMILY OR TEACHER HOUSING・ TEACH ENGLISH AND COMPUTER LITERACY
Nestled among the high Himalayas and the mighty peaks of the Karakoram, Ladakh’s spectacular landscapes are only bested by the warmth of its people. The rich history of this beautiful region comes alive as you explore aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and the old Silk Route, while the geopolitics of the modern world place this land of high passes in the zones of influence of India, China, and Pakistan. Learn about how Ladakh is coping with the very real threats of climate change, how it is affecting the land and the people, and get an immersive experience in working in an area that is holding on to its traditional self-sufficiency while embracing modernity.
Tibetan Buddhist monasteries rise dramatically from rocky outcrops. Their colorful fluttering prayer flags spread the message of peace across the spectacular mountains in this old Buddhist-Muslim kingdom that straddles the high Himalayas and the mighty Karakoram ranges. While the landscape of Ladakh is harsh and high, the people are contrastingly warm and welcoming. Ladakhi society balances traditional ways with modernization quite well. For many, it is a shining example of ecological awareness and self-sufficiency. Though cash is limited, traditional Ladakhi mud-brick homes are big, comfortable, and self-sufficient when it comes to fuel, dairy, and grains.
Living and teaching in Ladakh with WorldTeach India Summer, in partnership with Voygr Expeditions, is a life-changing opportunity. On arrival to Leh, you will meet with climate change experts and wildlife conservationists before heading out to Nubra valley for orientation. During your first week, you will immerse yourself in learning about the history, geography, and geology of Ladakh, developing an understanding of the people, the landscape, and the importance of the glaciers to the lives of Ladakhis and to the hundreds of millions of people who rely on glacial water across the Indian Subcontinent and China.
Your first week will be filled with orientation sessions and group excursions led by your Summer Program Coordinator, an explorer and photographer who is intimately familiar with the region. Through orientation week, you will get a better understanding of living in Ladakh, how the society functions, and the necessary information to transition to teaching in one of the regions of Ladakh. You will also get a chance to learn meditation from a Buddhist monk. Orientation overlaps with the arrival of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to a nearby monastery, where we will also visit to attend a discourse.
While in Ladakh, you will get the opportunity to meet with environmental NGOs to discuss climate education. With some Ladakhi language lessons, you will be ready to head to the field and spend an incredible 4 weeks teaching and learning.
Note: Ladakh is mountainous, with an average elevation of around 10,000 feet. It usually takes 36 hours for an average person’s body to acclimatize to the altitude. Those with breathing conditions, heart disease, or asthma should check with their medical practitioner about living at high-altitude.
As a WorldTeach India Summer Volunteer, you will serve in semi-urban Ladakh by providing students and teachers with English language instruction based upon the correlating topics requested by school partners. For those schools that have access to computers, you will work in a dual capacity, providing some English as well as some computer literacy instruction. Placements will span grade levels from middle to high school.
During Orientation, you are provided with manuals for teaching both English and Life Skills, and these serve you in your lessons over the course of your service. Depending upon the needs of the school and your skills, you may teach some classes in addition to English or computer literacy.
WorldTeach volunteers may be placed at schools in semi-rural areas, where a local family will be your host, schools in Leh with housing facilities for teachers, and monastic schools where you may live among monks or nuns at a thousand-year-old monastery. Regardless of placement, you will have the opportunity to increase your cultural competency and learn about your surroundings, the community, and grow meaningfully by being a part of daily routines and traditions.
Once you complete your volunteer service, you’ll get to explore the stunning beauty of Ladakh with your cohort of WorldTeach volunteers. You’ll visit the beautiful high-altitude lake of Tso Moriri on the camping trip of a life-time, and explore Hemis National Park, the home of the ghost of the mountains, the Himalayan Snow Leopard. On a three day trek through the mountains, see if you can spot some Himayalan Ibexes, Blue Sheep, or the friendly marmots that live on the slopes. The group will participate in the End of Service conference in Leh, allowing all of you to reflect upon your summer of service in India and your personal journeys of discovery across Ladakh.
You’ll live with a host family, or in a residential school’s housing for teachers. Schools will help us identify host families, and so many host families may be associated with the schools where you teach. WorldTeach Alumni recall their host family as one of the highlights of their programs. We anticipate that you are placed in pairs at host schools for support and safety reasons.
The cost of the India Summer program is $4,290. This covers pre-departure preparation and visa if necessary, supplemental overseas medical and emergency evacuation insurance, one week in-country orientation as well as a Mid-Service and End-of-Service conferences, an Exploration and Reflection excursion lasting up to one week, 24-hour field staff support, room and board, and alumni support and networking.
Many volunteers successfully fund raise all or a significant portion of their volunteer commitment. Please refer to our fundraising webpage for more information about fundraising possibilities.
Volunteers in the India Summer program must:
- Be a native-level English speaker
- Be between the ages of 18 and 74
- Be flexible, open-minded, and patient
- Have a genuine interest in teaching and effects of climate change