Live, Work & Travel in India, Central Asia and the Middle East

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Top Sites

Juliana’s Leisure Services – Supplies professional DJs and flair cocktail bartenders / mixologists to luxury hotels in the Middle East, predominantly Dubai where they have a local office.

Smile Society – Welcomes students and international volunteers to help in their work with street and slum kids in India.

Tent of Nations – Run educational projects at Daher’s Vineyard, their organic farm, located in the hills southwest of Bethlehem, Palestine. They offer workcamps and volunteer opportunities; run children’s summer camps and a women’s empowerment project, and welcome groups and visitors of all shapes and sizes.

Employment in India, Central Asia and the Middle East

Employers, Agencies & Placement Services

DPS Global Healthcare Recruitment.com – Via their offices in Southampton and Guernsey, this agency recruits doctors and nurses to work in the Gulf.

Juliana’s Leisure Services – Supplies professional DJs and flair cocktail bartenders / mixologists to luxury hotels in the Middle East, predominantly Dubai where they have a local office.

MKR Hospitality Recruitment – Specialists in recruitment for the Dubai hospitality industry, including restaurants, bars and hotels in the city. Positions include anything from chefs and waiters to hostesses and managers.

TQ Education and Training Limited – A provider of education training equipment and educational services to companies worldwide. Vacancies which regularly exist with this company include technical instructors / lecturers in electronic engineering in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and TEFL teachers in Kuwait. Positions are salaried and include flights and accommodation.

Tree House Hideaway – Five exclusive tree houses spread in a dense jungle of 21 acres merging into the jungles of a tiger reserve. Has a jobs page focusing on professional conservation and naturalist vacancies.

Wildlife Trust of India – Employs skilled project and field officers.

Employment Resources for Finding Work in India, Central Asia and the Middle East

Advice & Useful Sites for Finding Work

Careerjet.ae – An employment search engine for the United Arab Emirates.

Jobs-EG – Find the latest jobs in Egypt and the Gulf.

Taaza.com – A job search engine for finding work in India. It allows users to search through jobs aggregated from the top job sites in India.

TeachMidEast – A hub for teaching jobs in the gulf region, with exclusive Middle East and North Africa teaching jobs and information. The site features ESL, EFL, English, college and university, K-12, training jobs and more.

TeachSaudi.com – Tools and resources necessary on making the transition to Saudi for expats and locals.

1clickJobHunt – A job search engine for the Middle East.

Gap Year & Voluntary Work in India, Central Asia and the Middle East

Unpaid Positions & Adventure

Abraham Hostel Jerusalem – In exchange for staying for free in this 250 bed hostel, volunteers help serve breakfast, help out with recycling, plan and run evening social events, assist at the bar and escort guests to the starting point of their Old City tour.

African Regugee Development Center – Their are a number of, mostly skilled, volunteer roles available at this Refugee Education Center in Israel but they are particularly keen o encourage volunteers who have teaching experience or a background in early childhood education.

Aii – Volunteering, internships, high school exchanges and other programmes of interest to students and young people in India, Nepal and Thailand.

Alliance Nepal – Provide Nepali culture and training for foreign volunteers who wish to render their services to Nepal. They send trained volunteers to schools and communities to generate awareness regarding environmental issues, sanitation, income generating initiatives, teaching English and health care.

Bhutan Canada Foundation – Sends qualified teachers from English speaking countries to teach in Bhutan’s public schools on one year contracts.

Dakshinayan – A non-profit, non-religious organization providing basic education and health care to tribal and other rural communities in India.

Destination Israel – Volunteer work and internships in Israel.

FACE Nepal – A community development NGO in Chitwan, Nepal, run by a local advisory board and committed to improving the standards of education, healthcare, and the environment in its local communities. It can organise volunteer placements including teaching English, work in an orphanage, health work and conservation projects. FACE Nepal charges volunteers a fee to cover food and accommodation with a Nepalese host family and volunteer logistics.

Florentine Backpackers Hostel – This Tel Aviv hostel frequently uses their Facebook page to put a call out for volunteer staff.

Fobzu – The Friends of Berzeit University can provide volunteer work and internships in Palestine.

Fresh Nepal – Volunteer in Nepal with orphans, poor street children and/or victimized women for a day, a week or a month.

Friendship United Nepal – A non governmental organisation established in 2008 with a view to combat problems of the Nepalese people by encouraging volunteers to Nepal.

Friends of Israel Education Trust – Award and placement programmes to Israel

Future Nepal – A non governmental and non profitable volunteering organisation.

Green Backpackers – Volunteers have been an important part of the Green Backpackers since they opened in the Negev desert, and they are always happy to accept new volunteers for a mutually beneficial relationship.  They offer free accommodation with a decent allowance for food expenses, and in return expect volunteers to work five days a week helping to keep the hostel running smoothly and contributing positively to the atmosphere. If you have a working permit they would be happy to pay a salary.

Hareshima – A list of kibbutz sites from a Jewish internet portal.

Hayarkon 48 – Tel Avivi hostel that may be receptive to work for stay volunteer staff.

Himalayan Education Lifeline Programme – Volunteer work opportunities in India and Nepal.

Innovative Social Centre – A small family run non-profit volunteer organisation in Nepal working for the welfare of orphans, women, animals, and the local community. If you have a gap year or are planning to travel in Asia, and would like to help them make a difference, check out one of their volunteer programs.

Israel Experience – A three week scholarship programme in Israel for bright Christian students.

iVolunteer – The website of the National Council for Volunteering in Israel, founded in 1972, by the Israeli government. Also includes a guide to being a kibbutz volunteer.

Kibbutz Ein Hashofet –  Hosts around 20 volunteers on average. Includes some volunteer application information.

Kibbutz Ketura – While they follow KPC guidelines in general, Kibbutz Ketura volunteers are mostly Jewish, single, average age 18 to 25, and able to do physical work as required.

Kibbutz Lotan -This young community in Israel’s southern Arava desert invites ecological volunteers.

Kibbutz Program Center – Places volunteers in Kibbutzim across Israel.

The Kibbutz Program Center – New York based kibbutz recruiters.

Leave UR Mark – Started by former volunteers, Leave UR Mark offers internships and volunteer placements in India.

Lha Charitable Trust – Lha is dedicated to providing essential resources to the displaced Tibetan community living in exile in McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamsala, India. Managed by refugee Tibetans they provide free language and computer training, medical assistance, clothing, and clean water to the community. A wide array of volunteer opportunities is available for both skilled and unskilled individuals – most volunteers work directly with Lha, while others are placed throughout the community. They need, among others, Chinese, English and French tutors, graphic designers, photographers, journalists, medical professionals, web designers and human rights and legal professionals.

List of Kibbutzim – Wikipedia article.

Mango Tree Goa – A UK charity helping disadvantaged children in Goa. At the time of writing their volunteer page is yet to be completed.

Nabin English School – Provides an opportunity to visit Nepal and help Nepalese communities to support different activities. Volunteers will have the opportunity to explore and experience Nepal’s unique way of life, natural beauty and the warmth of its people.

Neve Shalom Wahat al-Salam – Meaning Oasis of peace in Hebrew and Arabic. NSWAS is a village, jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, engaged in educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples. Volunteers are accepted.

New International Friendship Club-Nepal – Voluntary work in Nepal.

Palestine Summer Encounter – Volunteer, study Arabic and live with a Palestinian host family.

Preemptive Love Coalition – Internships in Kurdish Iraq for passionate people who wish to help shape a better future for the children of Iraq.

Prisoners Assistance Nepal – Aiming to rid prisons of unnecessary suffering and hardship, PAN accept volunteers to work in a children’s home for the children of convicted parents. No fees are required to volunteer.

Project Hope – Local and international volunteers work together to provide Palestinian children and youth with educational programs important for growth and development. These include classes in languages, arts, technology, and sports.

Project Otzma – A ten month voluntary programme to Israel open to recent graduates, aged 20 to 25.

Project Why – A New Delhi based non profit organisation engaged in education support and life skill enhancement of slum children and their families. Volunteers mostly work with children, either teaching English or supporting their teachers.

SECMOL – The Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh was founded in India in 1988 by a group of young Ladakhis. Today they organise activities for Ladakhi youth, run a campus for students and develop solar energy projects. Volunteers contribute around a small fee per day towards costs.

Smile Society – Welcomes students and international volunteers to help in their work with street and slum kids in India.

Swogun Nepal – An alternative energy manufacturer in Nepal. Swogun’s Solar Aid volunteers install solar home systems in rural communities, public houses, libraries, temples, health posts etc. After installation, training is provided to ensure that users can take proper advantage of having light after sunset. This includes the teaching of income generating skills like weaving or carpet making to help the villagers to become self-sufficient. Volunteers contribute the price of one solar system (around $500) and stay with local families.

Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project – An excavation in Israel uncovering biblical Gath of the the Philistines, the home of Goliath, one of the largest and most impressive sites in the Near East. They have openings for volunteers and students (including accredited academic field school) for a minimum of two weeks in July each year.

Tel Rehov – Welcomes volunteers to help to excavate one of the largest and most intriguing Biblical cities in Israel . The dig takes place from mid June until mid July. The only beehives ever discovered in an archaeological excavation in the world were uncovered at Tel Rehov and you are invited to be part of exposing more of this fascinating ancient industry. They can offer accommodation at a kibbutz near the tel and an accredited academic field school.

Tong-Len – Tong-Len is active in attempting to help displaced communities in northern India through a range of education and health based projects. Volunteers are sought to help in tent schools and health clinics.

Tent of Nations – Run educational projects at Daher’s Vineyard, their organic farm, located in the hills southwest of Bethlehem, Palestine. They offer workcamps and volunteer opportunities; run children’s summer camps and a women’s empowerment project, and welcome groups and visitors of all shapes and sizes.

Unipal – Sends volunteers to the Middle East to work with Palestinians on a short term basis in the summer, to teach English or to take part in other activities as needed.

Vidya – For over 25 years Vidya has been educating and empowering women and children in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. They would appreciate your help in teaching English, or perhaps music or sports in one of their educational programmes.

Volunteering With India – A non profit organisation offering volunteering programmes such as elephant care work, theater volunteer work, an English teaching programme to children, street child care, orphanage assistance and women empowerment.

Volunteer Nepal National Group – A community based, non profit organisation offering internships, travel and tours, and volunteer work.

Volunteers for Rural India – Previously known as Indian Volunteers for Community Service (IVCS), this small registered charity runs a scheme enabling anyone over 18 to visit development projects in India for voluntary work or general interest, for any period from 3 weeks to 6 months. The emphasis is on learning about development and a different way of life, but there are opportunities to join the work of the project for example by teaching conversational English, helping with everyday tasks, writing reports, painting murals, or arranging special activities for school children. Fees are reasonable, particularly for longer stays. No qualifications required except tact, patience and a willingness to learn and fit into a very different way of life.

Volunteers Nepal – Volunteering and internship opportunities in Nepal.

World Zionist Organization, Hagshama Department – Look under ‘Resources’ for details of programmes in Israel.

WWOOF Bangladesh – Volunteers are asked to contribute $3 a day to their hosts.

WWOOF India – They could have one host farm, they could have a thousand. No insight one way or the other is provided by the website.

WWOOF Israel – Organic farms in Israel that welcome volunteer labour. Their list includes an organic moshav.

WWOOF Kazakhstan – There were no Kazakh hosts when we looked.

WWOOF Nepal – Surely the highest organic farm movement in the world.

Living in India and the Middle East

Real Estate and Resources for Staying Long Term

Maa Properties – Hyderabad real estate.

Property Finder.ae – Find a home in the UAE.

Travelling in India and the Middle East

Accommodation & Getting Around

Cleopetra Hotel – Come as a guest leave as a friend. Special reductions for volunteers and students. Internet access, free use of kitchen, transport to Petra and much more. Deirdre stalked BBC journalist Wyra Davis here.

Famous India – A site about travel destinations of India including villages, trains and theme parks.

Farah Hotel – Budget hotel located in downtown Amman, close to the Citadel and other sights. Breakfast included, lounge area, Bedouin tent, refigerators, internet access and friendly hospitable staff.

Junge Home Kids Summer Camp – A summer camp for kids in India, located 240km from Bangalore.

KibbutzReloaded.com – Looking for former kibbutz volunteers? If you volunteered on a kibbutz in Israel, chances are you’d recently finished school, didn’t have a permanent address and weren’t sure what you were going to do next in life. And you probably lost touch with all those friends from around the world. If you’re looking for friends from those heady days, help is at hand via this site set up by a former volunteer from England and a kibbutznik from Israel.

Kibbutz Volunteer – John Carson’s experiences of kibbutz life. He provides tips and information on being a kibbutz volunteer.

Olive Branch Hotel & Campground – Fantastic location near Jerash with splendid views. Affordable prices. Spacious comfortable rooms. Camping facilities, restaurant, swimming pool, game room, hiking trails.

Regis Hotel – An outstanding seaside location in Beirut, Lebanon. Two minutes to the sea. 20 private rooms with ensuite bathroom, 24 hours hotwater, satellite TV, a/c and heating, internet and laundry service.

The Savage Files – Includes information about the author’s stay on kibbutz Horshim, and also another story about Jerusalem. Plenty of other resources and stories too. Even though this site seems long abandoned it remains a good example for new travellers of what is possible when it comes to supporting yourself abroad.

Other Useful Websites

Culture, News…

Amantel – Phone cards to call India and Pakistan.

Embassy of Israel, London – Israeli events and news.

Gulf Times – English language newspaper in Qatar.

The Hindu – English language newspaper.

Iran Daily – English language newspaper.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Facts and news about the nation.

The Jerusalem Post – Read up or keep up to date with Israeli news.

Jordan Times – English language newspaper.

Times of India – English language newspaper.