The India experience begins the moment you step off the plane and stays with you long after you depart. The mixture of India's languages, religions, spectacular architecture, and distinctive cuisine will rattle you, and leave you wanting more. New Delhi is a multidimensional metropolis where evidence of a layered history and modern society abound. Be sure to note each and every smell, sound, and sight as you explore all that the city has to offer, because we promise that when you return home, you'll miss them all.
India has a buzz about it, a pace and a national character all its own. The complexity that you'll find when you volunteer in India offers you an experience of incomparable historical and cultural depth, and you'll live out this amazing adventure against the backdrop of some of the most incredible landscapes and cityscapes you've ever encountered.
One thing that you'll notice as you wander New Delhi, is the stark socio-economic contrast among its neighborhoods, indicating the city's rapid and unequal growth. As part of your volunteer service work in India, you'll work alongside one of a variety of progressive local organizations to support efforts to address those discrepancies. The work you do will help pave the road to better lives for countless members of a fascinating, but often polarized culture.
Experience New Delhi and Dharamsala as part of one trip for one program fee!
At your quiet oasis in a busy city, you’ll be living in an apartment, offering an open floor plan and a peaceful outdoor space to practice yoga or enjoy a book. Inside, you’ll find plenty of room for lounging around or playing a game of cards with your fellow volunteers. The apartment is air-conditioned, ensuring that your home away from home is comfortable year-round.
In New Delhi, you'll enjoy delicious, local cuisine prepared by our incredible cook. From homemade soups served with warm naan (Indian flatbread) to pasta night, all of the delicious food that you’ll feast on is made with ingredients purchased at the local market.
Not only is Bela Singh our Country Director for India, but she’s also one of our founding members, and serves on our Board of Directors. Between her first-hand knowledge of India and her professional and academic background in counseling, Bela is an incredible resource for volunteers.
She brings with her over 20 years of experience in international development and social services, and is renowned for her work in the field of special education. Bela is full of surprises: she loves all kinds of music, from classical Indian to Arabian music, to Jazz, and she’s an award-winning sharpshooter!
When you work with the Child Development Project in New Delhi, you’ll spend your time volunteering in a crèche. The mission of the crèche is to provide basic care, attention, love, and early childhood education to children who are at risk, marginalized, or otherwise vulnerable.
When you work with The Global Health Project in New Delhi, you'll help an NGO whose mission is the advancement of the disadvantaged. Here, you’ll provide volunteer support for simple medical and health-related check-ups and tests. You may also work with professionals to provide care for the elderly who are either abandoned or living with disabilities.
A lack of economic power, educational opportunities, and understanding of human and reproductive rights create disproportionate gaps in the opportunities available to women and girls in many communities. In India, volunteer alongside midwives to improve women’s education and access to resources surrounding reproductive health, bringing clarity to the rights and misconceptions of sexual health and wellness. Support women who are improving their economic circumstances through small business development and other income-generating activities, who are the role models for future generations of young girls in the community. Your work with The Girls' & Women’s Empowerment Project will create the foundation to build strong, successful communities.
In New Delhi, a city scavenger hunt lead by staff gives you a chance to get to know your new neighborhood. Team up with a group of fellow volunteers and, with the help of local people, find your way around town to complete a challenge. You may be tasked with finding a cell phone or hunting down a travel agency to book a ticket to see the Golden Temple in Amritsar. No matter what the challenge, it's a fun way to quickly get comfortable in this welcoming city.
For many volunteers, Hindi language lessons are a first. In addition to practicing the elegant calligraphy, you’ll practice spoken Hindi as well. No worries on rocketing to the head of the class, a little goes a long way and just the basics can really help you connect with the community. And if you’re a little shaky at first, the local people appreciate your attempts and are very friendly with their corrections!
If you've always had rockstar dreams of jamming on a sitar, now may be your shot! You'll have that chance in New Delhi when you're visited by a local family and classical folk music group for a performance you'll not soon forget. They’ll perform beautiful renditions of popular songs, discuss the music's origin and meaning, introduce you to their instruments, and even give you a chance to jam!
With us in New Delhi, there is no shortage of incredible guest lecturers. You'll have a chance to talk with a local professor and talented storyteller on the politics, history, and culture of India. You'll also have have the unique opportunity to learn about the history of this program in India from one of our founding members – Bela Singh, the India Director. With lectures and conversations, it's all fair game.
You never know what wonders await you on an afternoon walk through New Delhi. Visit temples, snap photos of ancient mansions, or haggle with street vendors. Plan your experience for March if you want to celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, but be sure to bring old clothes; you'll see what we mean when everyone starts throwing handfuls of colored powder!
Travel just a few hours outside of New Delhi to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. Spend the day exploring India’s sparkling jewel, but get there early to avoid crowds. Let the transformation of the white marble of the Taj Mahal hypnotize you as it transforms from a pale yellow at dawn, to a deep gold at sunset. Return after dinner to catch the Taj Mahal in the blue light of the moon.
The pink streets and buildings of Jaipur, Rajasthan's state capital, are enchanting. Enjoy authentic Rajasthani cuisine and ride an elephant through the Aravalli hills just outside of Jaipur, and up to the stunning Amber Fort. On your way back down, stop at the Nahargarh Fort for a nighttime view of the Pink City.
Dharamsala is a Buddhist haven in the foothills of the Himalayas. Soak in the tranquility of the Dalai Lama’s temple, before heading to the market for Tibetan carpets and crafts.
This program is implemented by a trusted organization within the AFSNext partnership community and has our full endorsement. While not managed or operated by AFS, it maintains the same exceptional quality standards, which are set by a network of experienced international non-profits operating within the international education field.