TRANSPORTATION

When you arrive in Chandigarh, you will be greeted by a Cultural Passage staff member who will provide you with transportation to Shimla. Transportation for all daily placements and cultural activities is provided and included in your program fee. After your program, you will be driven back to the Chandigarh airport for your journey home, or onwards to explore India. Transportation for personal or weekend travel is not included but can be arranged by our staff an affordable and fair rate.

HOUSING

Comfortable and safe accommodation in our dedicated volunteer home is included in your program fee. Built in the 1950s and renovated in 2018 in the colonial style, the home is perched steps away from Shimla’s bustling center. Participants are assigned an individual bed in a shared room and are provided with space to store their personal belongings. Our living room, terrace, and yard provide a space to unwind and share your experiences with other volunteers. The home is also equipt with wifi, and modern bathroom and bathing facilities.

COMMUNICATION

Our volunteer home is equipt with free wifi for participants to use to keep up with friends and family back home. Local sim-cards are available for mobile phones though we recommend using long distance telephone vendors for calls home, or VOIP applications such as Skype or FaceTime.

MEALS

Participants are provided with 3 meals a day prepared by our full-time cook at our home. These traditional Indian dishes prepared in our safe and clean kitchen are mostly vegetarian and reflective of what is commonly consumed by local families. We can make special accommodations for dietary restrictions for those who request them. Participants are welcome to dine out in the surrounding restaurants during their volunteer experience at their own expense.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Our staff will organize several enriching cultural activities for participants throughout the week. These include temple visits, lectures, hikes, and visits to historical sites. These activities are also tailored to the interests and requests of the participants after arriving in Shimla.

HEALTHCARE

Shimla has several reputable medical clinics and institutions. In the event of illness or injury, our staff will look after your wellbeing and will make arrangements for clinic or pharmacy visits as needed. Participants are required to carry their own travel insurance. While Shimla hospitals are renowned locally for their expertise and care, volunteers should understand that methods, standard and medical practices may differ from what they are accustomed to in their home countries.

What's Included:
  • Airport Pickup and Drop-off
  • Housing in Shimla
  • 3 Delicious Meals Per Day
  • Volunteer Orientation
  • Volunteer Placement
  • Transportation to/from Placement
  • Weekly Cultural Activities
  • 24/7 in-country Support Staff
  • Wifi
What's not Included:
  • Airfare to India
  • India Travel Visa
  • Personal Travel on Weekends
  • Spending Money
  • Traveler's Insurance (Required)

ADDITIONAL EXPENSES


AIRFARE

Chandigarh Airport is approximately 1 hour north of New Delhi by air and is served several times per day on various domestic airlines.

estimated cost

$1,000-$1,800

roundtrip from the USA

Indian Visa

In order to travel to India, you will have to obtain a visa. This can be done as either a traditional tourist visa in your passport provided by your nearest Indian consulate or an eVisa which can be applied for online and printed out.

estimated cost

$75

DEPENDING ON INDIVIDUAL, DURATION & COVERAGE

Travel Insurance

Before departing for India, you will need to purchase third-party travel insurance. This is necessary to provide care in the event that you require medical attention due to sickness or injury during your volunteer experience. You can choose whichever provider you prefer, though we recommend using our affiliate World Nomads for a discounted rate.

as low as

$75

Depending on nationality & type

WE WELCOME PARTICIPANTS OF ALL BACKGROUNDS& EXPERIENCE LEVELS.


Basic Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Fluent in the English language
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to climb steep stairs and hills
  • Must be able to comfortable walking for long distances

Arrival

Our staff will meet you at the Chandigarh Airport upon your arrival From there, you will travel approximately 4 hours north through the winding roads of the Himalayan foothills to Shimla. Our staff will help you get comfortable in our home and will introduce you to staff members and other participants.

The following day, our staff will lead a 1-day orientation to help you get acquainted with your new surroundings. Topics include:

  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Hindi Language Basics
  • Rules, Expectations & Safety
  • Volunteer Placement Procedures

On Monday, our staff will introduce you to your placement site. This day is purely observational and will give you a chance to meet the placement staff and get acquainted with your new environment. A Cultural Passage staff member will be with you to facilitate this process, answer any questions or help with issues.