Volunteer FAQs

Volunteers spend most of their time on campus in an academic role, either teaching or tutoring. 

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, volunteers run extracurricular activities (debate, public speaking, and leadership club) for the students. Volunteers also assist in daily operational duties, such as supervising physical education activities and serving as classroom monitors during homework time. While on campus, volunteers also help the on-site administrators with tasks crucial to the school’s success, ranging from social media management to sponsorship packet development.

The academic calendar starts in early June and extends through mid-April. There is a one-week break in early September, a three-week winter break from mid-December through early January, and a summer break from mid-April through the end of May.

The school is closed during summer and winter breaks, and volunteers will not be permitted to stay on campus.

There are no mandatory qualifications to volunteer with Shanti Bhavan, and the school accepts volunteers from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. However, there are a few criteria we always look for: 

Shanti Bhavan is an English-medium school, so all classes are in English. Volunteers should be fluent in speaking, reading, and writing English. Please make sure to submit all application materials in English, including recommendation letters.

At the primary level, volunteers are usually responsible for teaching social studies, science, computers, general knowledge, and English. At the middle school level, they are often asked to teach history, civics, and geography. At the high school level, they are responsible for economics, English literature, and English language. The classes available for volunteers to teach can vary depending on the active roster of full-time teachers.

Yes! Please see our Careers page for additional opportunities to support Shanti Bhavan.

We accept volunteer applications in three cycles each year. Depending on when you want to volunteer at Shanti Bhavan, you should complete an application by the following deadlines:

• Summer term (June–August): Accepting applications October–January
• Fall term (September–December): Accepting applications April–June
• Spring term (January–April): Accepting applications July–September

Keep in mind that the summer term is our most competitive season for volunteer placement, so apply early. If you cannot meet these deadlines, please contact [email protected].

There is no cost for volunteering. Shanti Bhavan provides volunteers with free on-campus accommodation and meals. The school also covers transportation from the airport to campus. Weekend travel and the cost of driving back to the airport at departure are covered by the volunteer. The volunteer also pays for flights to and from India.

The school is accredited by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) in New Delhi. It is one of the most prestigious curriculums taught in India. Students take national exams in tenth and twelfth grade and mock national exams in ninth and eleventh grade.

Volunteers usually receive an email with their tentative subjects and schedule one week before arriving on campus. Flexibility is needed as these can change during your time on campus.

Accepted volunteers must complete a series of online training modules and an accompanying training deliverable, followed by two online training sessions led by qualified staff members. The training includes practical information about teaching and details about life at the school. Volunteers will also receive on-the-ground training from the Academic Administrator and the organization’s on-site administrators, adding additional context about life on campus and providing specifics regarding teaching at Shanti Bhavan.

Ideally, we would like to receive a letter from someone who can speak to the skills and abilities that make you an effective volunteer. A supervisor would be the best option, but you are welcome to request a letter from anyone who might be able to highlight experiences you’ve had teaching, volunteering, or working with children.

Volunteers typically stay on campus for between one and three months.

We are not able to accept volunteers who cannot commit to a minimum of four weeks on campus during the fall or spring term. Summer volunteers must commit to at least six weeks on campus.

Because our children’s education is our primary concern, the four- and six-week minimums are mandatory. New volunteers must quickly transition to the school curriculum, learn their students’ names, and develop effective lesson plans. Constant turnover of volunteer teachers can disrupt the children’s education, and we need to minimize the potential for lost class time during this transition period for volunteers.

While there is always a need for volunteers on campus, we tend to receive more applications for our summer term (June–August) than for our fall term (September–December) or spring term (January–April). Because we tend to have a higher need for volunteers during the fall and spring terms, we recommend that volunteers with flexible availability apply for these two terms.

You can certainly volunteer with your partner, but we ask you to submit separate applications so that the Volunteer Services team can assess you both individually. Please make sure to note in the application that you are applying to volunteer together.

Unfortunately, Shanti Bhavan is not equipped to offer childcare services for volunteers, and the school does not have the capacity on campus to host non-volunteering guests for a significant period of time. However, if your child is at least eighteen years old, you are welcome to apply to volunteer together, but we do ask for you to submit separate applications so that the Volunteer Services team can assess you both individually. Please make sure to note in the application that you are applying to volunteer together.

Shanti Bhavan volunteers must be at least eighteen years old.

Visit our Volunteer Application page to complete the online application. Please note that you must upload a resume/CV into the application before submitting it. After you submit them, our Volunteer Services team will review your application materials and contact you to let you know whether you will be offered an interview.

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