Bhutan is selective about the type of projects it wants in the country and so the opportunities for volunteer work in Bhutan are limited. Lonely Planet does not endorse any organisations we do not work with directly, but the UN has numerous programs in Bhutan, all coordinated through the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and many different agencies feed into the program.
Other agencies that operate programs in Bhutan include ACB (Austria), Danida (Denmark), GTZ (Germany), Helvetas (Switzerland), JOCV & JICA (Japan), Save the Children, SNV (Netherlands) and VSA (New Zealand).
Volunteers are not subject to the normal rules for tourists and the agency employing you will arrange your visa. Volunteers are allowed two visitors a year; the visitors must be close relatives and are not subject to the tourist tariff.
The popular Teach in Bhutan programme (www.teachinbhutan.org) is run by the Bhutan-Canada Foundation (www.bhutancanada.org). Note this programme is not limited to Canadian citizens and English-speaking, qualified teachers from other countries can apply. Salaries are paid by the Bhutanese government.
If you’d like to spend more time in Bhutan than a vacation allows, experiencing what it’s like to live and make a difference to the local community, it’s all possible by Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) with i-to-i TEFL. No previous teaching experience or local language knowledge is necessary. Get your free i-to-i TEFL e-book now to find out more about TEFL, what TEFL jobs are available and how it can get you exploring the globe...