English Education Volunteer

Before You Apply

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Project Description

This English Education Project is a newly launched project in Nepal, and it aims to improve English communication skills of local Nepali communities so they can access academic and/or professional opportunities. Towards furthering sustainable outcomes, this English education program specifically focuses on building the capacity of English co-teachers so they can teach English more effectively, increase students’ English skills, and improve community support for English language learning. This assignment requires Volunteers to co-teach English to students at government schools at a level similar to grades 5 to 8 in the U.S school system. Volunteers will have a Nepali counterpart teacher and will be expected to co-teach with them during class sessions.

In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers spend time preparing lesson plans, developing and/or adapting educational materials (visual aids, lesson or activity books and games), and participating in teacher meetings or other school-related activities. Volunteers may also lead extracurricular activities such as after-school programs, clubs, essay competitions, spelling bees, Model UN, and other activities to enrich learning opportunities for their students.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will meet or exceed the following criteria:
- Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in any discipline with experience in teaching, tutoring, or related educational activities.

- Creative and resourceful problem solvers with emotional maturity and a cross-cultural awareness to build relationships especially as this is the first time Peace Corps Nepal is launching this English education project.

Desired Skills

- At least 30 hours of English teaching or tutoring, with a strong desire to teach English in a government school setting and communities in Nepal.

- Experience in facilitating extracurricular activities, including organizing social clubs or camps to promote education for girls and empowerment for youth.

- Interest in designing and implementing projects such as school gardens, plantations, and nutrition education collaborating with Food Security Peace Corps Volunteers.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Volunteers use English as the teaching language during class. However, s/he will be interacting with teachers, principle, school management committee members, and their communities in Nepali. By the end of Pre-Service Training, Volunteers are expected to attain a level of Nepali language that will allow them to effectively integrate into the community.

Living Conditions

Houses in Nepal are generally built of bricks, mud and/or cement and have passed minimum earthquake-safe inspections conducted by the Peace Corps staff. Majority of homes have a separate bathroom from the main house.

Integration is a key element to Peace Corps and a successful Peace Corps service. All Volunteers will live with a host family throughout the entire duration of their service. At your permanent site, Volunteers will eat meals with their host family. Volunteers may be able to shop and cook for themselves after being at site for three months. Apart from having their own room, Volunteers will probably have very little privacy.

Nepal has some restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during Pre-Service Training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Volunteers usually walk several miles every day on hilly terrain to work with their communities. Travel may take up to one hour, and a few Volunteers may be placed in hilly areas where use of bicycles may be challenging.

Nepal has four distinct climatic seasons and the average summer temperature ranges from 73-95 F and 41-68 F in winter. June-September is the monsoon season when it rains almost every day. The average rainfall during monsoon season is around 14 in.

A well-groomed and clean appearance is very important to Nepali. Women wear Kurta-Suruwal (Sari), pants and a business-casual shirt, or a long skirt with blouse with a sweater or shawl when it is cold. Men wear trousers, and button down shirts with collars. Male Volunteers may want to bring a pair of nice pants, a jacket, a tie and closed-toe shoes for special functions. Female Volunteers are encouraged to bring long skirts or dresses (ankle-length and nontransparent) or buy Kurta-Suruwals for such functions.

Volunteers with visible body piercings or tattoos may need strategies to conceal them. Having visible body piercings may make it more difficult to integrate into your host community. Peace Corps Nepal staff may ask you to be flexible in regard to it to facilitate integration in training and during your service.

Applicants should be aware that in Nepal hair such as beards and long hair on men are unusual. In some cases, Volunteers have chosen to shave their facial hair or cut their long hair to facilitate integration, and regrow their hair after a period of acceptance in the community.

Most Nepali eat rice, flat breads and legumes as their staple. Corn, potatoes, or other tubers are also eaten where available. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are consumed when available. Bread and noodles are available in most towns. Imported goods are available in the cities, but they are expensive. Meat is not often consumed, and maintaining a vegetarian diet would not be as challenging as it would be in other countries.

Volunteers can expect to encounter cultural challenges. Many Nepali people expect Volunteers to be white. Most Nepali are unaware of American diversity, and people are often curious about the nationalities of racial and ethnic minority Volunteers. Volunteers will need to be mindful of social attitudes about what is proper for girls and women in Nepali culture context. For instance, certain communities may have the perception that women are considered impure during the period of mensuration and may prohibit them from participating in normal activities.

Intimate relationships outside of marriage are not considered normal in rural villages, and dating while living with a host family requires a delicate cultural balance and respect.

In Nepal, government offices are open 6 days a week and Saturday is off. Peace Corps expects you to work at least 30 hours a week on your primary job.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Nepal: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Serving as a Peace Corps couple is accepted in Nepal and can be very rewarding. Couples will be living together with a host family during Pre-Service Training as well as in the permanent site during two years of their service. They will be working in different communities or working in different thematic areas in the same community. Peace Corps Nepal is able to accept couples whom both serve as Food Security Volunteers.

At this point, Peace Corps Nepal is not able to accept couples where one spouse works in the Education project and the other in the Food Security Project, or couples applying to both serve in the Education sector.

Medical Considerations in Nepal

  • Nepal may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology; insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; some types of gynecologic support; seizure disorder; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten.
  • After arrival in Nepal, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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