Teaching in North and South India

Volunteer Teaching Discover India

Quick Overview

If you want to explore India this program is perfect! Our teaching volunteer program will enable you to learn about education system in India and explore two extremely different sides of India- North East and South India. By living and volunteering and helping with education you will  also be contributing towards critical development issue facing India.

The two volunteer destinations bring you to Kerala, South India and Kolkata, East India. This teaching program will allow you to fully immerse yourself in a whole new culture whilst getting essential work experience to grow and develop within your field, no matter what you discipline is.Teaching in India will give you the chance to work in a structured and supervised environment whilst getting the opportunity to travel, sightsee and meet new people along the way.

In  Kolkata we are working with a local grassroots organisation in the slum areas of Tiljala and Topsia. The pre-primary and primary children who attend the centre would not get an education without the presence of the local organisation. In Kerala we work with local government schools which are run down and where children from disadvantaged backgrounds attend. There is a real need for children to learn English so they can get better paid jobs in the future.

What’s Involved

This teaching experience gives you the opportunity to work for the first two weeks in one of two amazing locations in India, and the final two weeks will be for travel. You can choose your teaching placement in Kerala, South India where you will have a chance to live in the beautiful area of Fort Kochi or you can be in the bustling city of Kolkata in East India.

During this teaching program you will be working in local schools when in Kerala and with a local grassroot organisation helping slum children if in Kolkata. This teaching program is suitable for anyone as support from local teachers and the Volunteering Journeys team will be given. Both locations give you the unique opportunity to learn more about the education system  in the developing world, and do meaningful travel by giving back to communities as you explore incredible India!

Our programs in both locations involve education programs for children, youth and adults. You can choose what age group you prefer to work. Limited resources are available but our local teams are on hand to support you always. We do expect our volunteers to be flexible and cooperate with limited resources by using creative ways to teach. School curriculums and books will be provided as a guide to what to teach.

All The Details

Kochi, South India

Kolkata, East India

2016 2017
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1st October 10th December 4th March 3rd June 19th August 4th November
8th October 17th December 25th March 10th June 26th August 11th November
15th October 1st April 17th June 2nd September 18th November

All our prices are in USD $ per person

4 Weeks 6 Weeks 8 Weeks 12 Weeks
$1,729 $2,039 $2,349 $2,899

What’s Included?

Teaching Placement includes:

  1. Pre-departure support and materials – to prepare you for your trip
  2. Pick-up and drop from the nearest airport or train station
  3. Fantastic accommodation- with WiFi and basic kitchen facility for teas and coffees
  4. Experienced bilingual local staff team
  5. Breakfast and Lunch- home cooked Indian food. In Kolkata its breakfast and dinner
  6. Location orientation – an area tour showing you the local sights, restaurants and cafes, ATMs and amenities.
  7. Project training with the local Program Manager
  8. Project materials and resources – e.g. school curriculums and books, past volunteer notes
  9. 24 hour support in your location
  10. An opportunity to participate on a sustainable on going project that needs you

Whats not Included :

  1. Flights to the program destination
  2. Medical and travel insurance
  3. Visa costs
  4. Vaccinations
  5. Personal shopping and gratuities
  6. Weekend excursions

Local Team

Geetha Raj: Kerala Program Manager

Volunteering Journeys Kerala Team Geetha

Geetha is the backbone of our programs in Kerala. Her friendliness, generosity and warmth towards every volunteer will leave you feeling extra special. Having worked as local journalist for almost 10 years, Geetha grew a passion for community development work is very forward thinking. She is instrumental in Program development and is a born leader, giving you the direction you will need to succeed as a volunteer. Her team will look after all your needs from the time you enter Kerala to the time you leave.

Shalini Deo: Kolkata Program Manager


Shalini has spent a decade as a corporate trainer for language and behavioural skills for IT, banking to hospitality sectors. She is founder of New Agragati, a self help group which empowers 140 women by skill training and employment. Her passion to contribute to society introduced Shalini to us. She conducts cultural orientation and immersion programs, language courses and helps volunteers adjust better in India and particularly Kolkata. Shalini is basically super awesome to have around.

Getting There

  1. Your arrival airport is Cochin International Airport (COK)
  2. Your final departure airport is in Delhi Airport (DEL)
  3. You will also need to book a single flight from Cochin to Delhi (DEL) and a return flight Delhi (DEL) to Dharamshala (DHM) – our local team can help you with flight bookings.
  4. We recommend you apply for Visas before you arrive. Our Volunteer Guide will give you guidance on how to get your visas.
  5. Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. You can get in touch with our team if you need travel insurance organised.
  6. Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
  7. We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to India. Goto www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
  8. We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
  9. For support on any of the above email us hello@volunteeringjourneys.com

What to expect:

In Kerala: You will be living in a volunteer house with all the facilities such as kitchen and common areas. You will volunteer daily from 10:00 to 12:00 PM and then from 14:00 to 15:30 PM Monday to Friday. Program Manager and a local coordinator will help you at all times. Project travel will be arranged for you.

In Kolkata: You will be living in a local homestay with basic kitchen facilities. Your program will be from 10:00 to 16:00PM with a lunch break in-between. Local teachers will be at the project site to help you out. Project travel will be arranged. 

Free Time:

During your work placements in Kerala or Kolkata, you will have ample free time to explore your surroundings. Coastal Kerala is home to some glorious beaches and you can also enjoy Ayurvedic massages, yoga classes or cooking class. Whilst in Kolkata, you should take the time to explore Darjeeling hills and also the UNESCO site Sunderban Jungles.  The bustling city of Kolkata is historic and has a lot of culture and is a great to spend time walking around the old streets and colonial parts of the city.

What Happens When I Arrive?


Living Arrangements for India Volunteers:

You will be staying in safe and comfortable shared accommodation, in our volunteer house in Kerala and in a homestay in Kolkata. We encourage community living so your room will be shared but there is also the option to upgrade to a private room if you book this in advance to your arrival.

All rooms are equipped with a fan and modern en-suite bathroom facilities (air conditioned rooms also available upon request) and all housing will feature a kitchen area for tea and coffee. Meals are provided daily and this includes locally cooked dishes for breakfast and dinner. All project travel and transfers will be pre-arranged for your convenience.  


Health and Safety :

When you join our programs you can be assured we have carried out Risk Assessments to identify potential safety and health risks on projects and in the community. We share this information with you in our pre departure documents and on arrival. Our local staff are well trained and we provide 24/7 emergency numbers to all participants.

Volunteering Journeys Foundation:

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Volunteering Journey’s Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities that we work in. 100% of each donation goes directly to support our projects. Go to our Donation page if you want to support or fundraise for any of our community programs.


Why Volunteers Love Us!

  • ‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand.  I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks.  Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’

    Fiona Kirk
    Connect with Fiona via our Facebook page
  • ‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
    So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’

    Jemima Kershberg
    Connect with Jamie via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’

    Glyn Owen
    Connect with Glyn via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”

    Laura Prigogine
    Connect with Laura via our Facebook reviews page
  • ‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
    I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’


    Katie Parsons
    Connect with Katie via our Facebook Reviews page
  • ‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’

    Elidith Cameron
    Connect with Eilidith via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’

    Jane Daniell
    Connect with Jane via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
    If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’

    Harminder Athwal
    Connect with Harminder via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”

    Aimee Chirio
    Connect with Aimee via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’

    Andrew Davies
    Connect with Andrew via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’

    Bob- Family-Volunteering-Review
    Bob Macauley & Family
    Connect with Bob via our Facebook Reviews Page

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