Q: I am a freshman/sophomore/junior/senior. I am not ethnically Indian and do not speak any Indian languages. Should I apply?
A: Yes, absolutely! We accept volunteers regardless of their class standing, ethnicity or language skills. Our criteria is that you are excited to learn from the community and that you show commitment during our spring quarter training and post trip requirements.
Q: How many applicants do you typically accept?
A: Typically we send 4 students to the Aarti Home (VFTrust) and 6 students to the AGN School
Q: What are your selection criteria?
A: We select volunteers based on their application and a follow-up interview. During the selection process, we look for commitment, previous travel and/or teaching experience, and an awareness of the challenges that may lie in conducting service in India.
Q: Where can I turn in applications?
A: The application can be found on this website, and closes at 11:59 on the due date.
Q: What does volunteer training involve?
A: Our goals with the spring quarter volunteer training include working with the teams to plan their service projects, initiating thoughtful discussions about service, and orienting volunteers for their travel experiences. In the past, this training has taken the form of weekly meetings with Dosti volunteers and regular lectures from faculty on social and cultural issues facing India. This year, we hope to include training on how to effectively teach English at all age levels, as this will be the primary work at both sites.
Q: What about the language barrier?
A: On most trips to India, the NGO leaders have spoken English fluently and the teachers there could understand it. However, the children’s primary language will not be English. We have traditionally offered language classes to help with the language barrier. Remember, there are many ways to connect with another human being.
Q: What kind of work will volunteers be doing?
A: Our service opportunities involve both community development and teaching opportunities. In the past our volunteers have done a range of projects from helping establish a local library to teaching a variety of subjects including science (with hands on experiments), basic mathematics, and geography. Because English and computer skills are increasingly becoming such necessary skills to attain jobs in India, our partner schools are particularly interested in incorporating more English language and computer skills training into their curriculum. The children at each site will also be very curious to know more about you and your life experience—and that in itself offers plenty of material.