Healthcare Volunteering

Real Journey Nepal is playing an active role in linking rural Nepali people with experienced medical and health personnel from both Nepal and around the world. The Real Journey Nepal Health Program mobilizes volunteers experienced in medical and health areas, to rural places where the government is unable to provide a formal health institution. Many rural Nepali people are often reluctant to go to the hospital and other modern health services because of orthodox thinking, superstition and other cultural influences. Some Nepali people may visit faith-healer or witchdoctor when they suffer from illness, so they sometimes die as a result of avoiding modern medications. By living and working with rural communities, Health Program volunteers also increase the exposure of rural Nepali people to modern medicine.

Health Volunteering in Nepal  with Real Journey Nepal is an excellent way to become involved in some of the poorest medical institutions in the developing world. As a medical volunteer in Nepal, you will have the opportunity to observe the medical work in a variety of departments.

Most Medical volunteer work in Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara’s and Banepa Hospitals and polyclinics.

Your Role as a Medical Intern in Nepal

We will ask you which departments you would like to specialize in from the following options: General Medicine, Gynecology/Maternity, Infectious Diseases, ENT, Obstetrics, Psychiatric ward, Neurology, Pneumology, Oncology, Urology, ICU, Ophthalmology, Stomatology, Emergency (requires at least 6 years medical training) and Surgery (requires at least 3 years medical training). All Medical Volunteers/ Elective in Nepal must have completed at least one year of medical-related studies or training by the time they join this project or at least three years to working at the pediatric hospital. Each internship is tailored to your level of experience and interests.

The hospital staff requests that you spend a minimum of two weeks in each department. Your supervisor at the hospital, the Director, will then assign you to work with the specialist doctors within the different departments. We will do our best to place you according to your preferences, but cannot guarantee every department will be available all of the time.

Your role at the hospital will vary depending on your education and experience level. Usually, you will shadow the local staff upon arrival before switching departments. If you show enthusiasm and develop a good relationship with the medical staff, you may trust to be given more to do. As with any job – especially in the field of medicine – you must prove yourself to be trustworthy before you are given responsibilities.

The hospital’s facilities are basic and the treatment standards will probably be different from what you’re used to. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients. The normal working hours are from Sunday to Friday from 8 am to 12 pm. Many of the doctors do not work in the afternoons, though it is sometimes possible to arrange extra hours from 2 pm to 5 pm to help the nurses or do additional work with patients. Some interns have even arranged to work the occasional night shift.

Most of the doctors speak English. In some departments, there is a staff who speaks a little English or from time to time there may also be local medical interns who can also communicate in English.

You may also get involved in Organizing Health Camp

During their time working in a health institution, trained and experienced health volunteers will be deployed to work in health camps for between two and five days. Volunteers will work alongside their Nepali counterparts to examine patients, distribute medicine and consult with communities about sanitation and health care. Volunteers’ participation in health camps will raises local awareness of health and sanitation in rural communities.

Health and sanitation awareness and conduct First Aid Trainings

In this program, volunteers will mainly be involved in working with the community schools, youth clubs, women’s groups, and other local organizations, teaching them about proper health and sanitation. In addition, volunteers will provide First-Aid information/ Training to the local people in rural villages, thereby providing them with a practical and sustainable life-skill. Volunteers will also give similar First Aid courses to children in government schools, lasting from several days to a week in duration. The volunteers’ major role in this program is to educate and mobilize community groups who can then pass the information onto the community at large. This program is particularly suitable for medical students and volunteers with health training experience however we do accept other applicants, provided they have some experience in this area.
Real Journey Nepal encourages all interested experienced medical and health personnel, including students, professionals, organizations, associations and other groups to join the Health Program and make a lasting contribution towards supporting needy Nepali people.


    • Exposure to a wide range of medical conditions and treatments, as many rural areas in Nepal have limited access to healthcare.
    • Opportunity to work alongside experienced Nepalese doctors and healthcare professionals, allowing for cultural exchange and learning from different perspectives
    • Chance to gain a deeper understanding of the social and economic factors that impact health in a low-income country
    • Experience working in a resource-limited setting, which can be valuable for developing clinical problem-solving and resource management skills
    • An opportunity to provide medical assistance to people who are in need of it in remote regions of Nepal
    • Develop your critical thinking and cross-cultural skills. In addition, by leaving the familiar behind to go encounter new people and places, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you.
    • Experiencing another way of life firsthand will enhance your independence, understanding, education and self-awareness. These life-skills are all invaluable.

The founding principle of Volunteer Society Nepal is knowing we could get more money going to where it is needed most.

Real Journey Nepal is a locally owned and managed non-governmental, social development organization which aims to support the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Nepal. We are a small organization, with no international organizational umbrella. This means that all the volunteer fees and funding are lower than many other organizations. The fees are invested directly into Nepal. Volunteering at Real Journey Nepal is not free, as we are partly reliant on volunteers’ fees to fund our projects. We are thankful to those who have been supporting us by taking part in our programs over the years. It is these volunteers that have been enabling us to make such massive changes to the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged women and children.

Fees May 2023

Please Note: – A Reservation Fee of euro 100 is charged on top of the program fee.

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Food and accommodation from the moment of landing at the airport to the final day of your placement
  • In-depth cultural and language training
  • Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • Fully trained host families
  • 24hr availability of VSN Nepal staff for emergencies
  • Assistance with visas and pre-departure support
  • Fundraising support
  • Support in booking any further travel in Nepal

Cost Excludes

  • Visa fee
  • Vaccinations
  • Travel Insurance
  • Sundries such as personal items, extra beverages and entertainment. A weekly budget of up to 25 should be sufficient to cater for our all your other expenses like a bottle of water, daily snacks, personal items and beverages etc.
  • Domestic flight costs
  • Transportation costs for the volunteers who want to work outside the Kathmandu Valley
  • Entrance fees to the main cultural and Heritage sites, Museums and Others.
  • If you wish to work for more than one location, then you are required to pay €40 extra to cover our extra logistic work and transportation costs.
  • Construction materials when you do any construction work, for example, paints, brushes etc.
What is the volunteer program duration?

Real Journey Nepal provides programs from two weeks to ten months.

How soon can I start volunteering in Nepal?

You can start as soon as you like, but it is far better if you confirm that you are coming at least two weeks before you arrive in Nepal. This allows us time to prepare necessary accommodations, training and placement.

Can I schedule my own volunteer service for the dates that interest me?

Real Journey Nepal is very flexible on when volunteers can start the program, and it’s possible to start any day of the year. It just depends on your availability.

Do you work with schools and societies abroad?

We are always looking to develop ongoing relationships with organizations and schools abroad. The chance to set up cultural exchanges is a great way of developing understanding from both sides. If you are interested then please contact Us by email directly

What personality characteristics are Real Journey Nepal looking for?

If you are enthusiastic, initiative taking and motivated to help needy people, especially school children, youth and women, you are perfect and exactly what we are looking for.

Do I need specific skills and past experience to volunteer in Nepal?

No, but if you do have some then we can find a placement that will put them to good use. For legal experience we can get you advising women on their legal rights, for subject specific teaching we can get you teaching direct or teaching teachers, or for health expertise we have a range of placements to suit your level. We also organize sufficient in-country training programs for all selected volunteers to enable them to work effectively with target groups.

Are Real Journey Nepal’s programs only for international volunteers?

No, not at all. We recruit local Nepali people to work alongside our overseas volunteers as their counterparts. This gives them a chance to work with foreign/English speaking people and gives them valuable exposure to other cultures.

Do I need to speak English to become a volunteer in Nepal?

It is important that you speak some English, but it is perfectly acceptable if you speak English as your second language. When you arrive in Nepal you will be placed into a training program that includes an intensive language course on basic Nepali phrases that you may need while volunteering which will also help you settle in.

Do I have to be from a certain country to volunteer in Nepal?

No, you can come and volunteer with us from any country. The majority of our volunteers come from the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. In the year 2007, we had volunteers from more than 21 different countries.

Why do I need to pay to volunteer in Nepal?

Real Journey Nepal tries to keep costs as low as possible. Real Journey volunteering programs in Nepal are the most affordable in Nepal. Volunteers have to pay for their food and accommodation, training, sponsoring Nepali children, the costs for their Nepali counterparts, and travel; all of which is included in the overall fee. For a detailed look at what your money pays for please look at our What’s Included page.

How do I pay for my volunteer placement?

Once you receive your confirmation, you can secure your place. You do this by transferring a reservation fee of 100 euro to our bank account. If you book multiple programs for a longer term we might ask more. As soon as your reservation fee has been received by Real Journey Nepal, we will provide you with all the information and support you need to prepare for your upcoming volunteer program.
As we have to do all the administration jobs to secure your placement and also we need regular funding to run our projects , this Reservation Fee is a non-refundable fee which also covers processing your application and pre-departure support.

The payment of remaining fees is to be made once you arrive at the Real Journey Nepal office and can be paid in cash in Nepali rupees, American Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros.

What happens if I leave the volunteer placement early, can I get my money back?

Once the volunteer makes their decision and pays for the program fee, upon receipt of invoice, Real Journey Nepal Volunteer Program does not refund any program fee under any circumstances. However, if the volunteer has unavoidable circumstances (such as illness, death in the family, etc) they may request to leave the program, and Real Journey Nepal will consider returning 25% of the host family cost (if the volunteer is registered for more than 30 days program). No refund will be made for programs lasting less than 30 days, or if the volunteer chooses to leave the program on their own.

Do I need travel insurance?

As with any overseas traveling, health insurance is recommended. Please obtain necessary health and travel insurance before coming to Nepal. Make sure you look into the details of the policy. Find out if it covers airfare in case of a medical emergency.

Who organizes my flights to Nepal?

You do. You will need to organize your trip to and from Nepal.

Where can I obtain a VISA?

Most of our volunteers obtain visa upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport, which is very easy. You just need to bring a passport, passport size photo with you and payment as per the above and also issued as an entry visa by Diplomatic Missions abroad.

Where do I fly to and how long will it take to get to my host site?

Kathmandu has the international airport in Nepal, so all international flights arrive and depart from there. Our representative will meet you at the airport. On your first day you will be staying near the Real Journey Nepal HQ in a suburb called Pepsi-Cola in Eastern Kathmandu. This is only about 15 min drive from the airport.

Will there be anyone at the airport to receive me?

Our Real Journey Nepal’s representative will be there to meet and pick you up on arrival.

Will I get chance to explore Kathmandu during my language and culture program?

There will be plenty of time for you to explore the Kathmandu Valley during orientation. We offer full day guided tours of Kathmandu valley as a part of the language program, but you can request free time if you prefer.

How do I change money? Are Master/Visa or other cards accepted?

There are ATM services in most of Nepal’s cities, which will be open during the day. There are also several banks and money exchange services. You can bring Mastercard/Visa card, cash $/ Euro or travelers checks, these all are accepted.

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