When is the last time that you took a trip to another country? Maybe it hasn’t been that long at all, or maybe it’s been a very long time. Well, no matter when the last time was that you traveled, it may have been a lot longer since you last volunteered. And that’s definitely something you’re going to want to look into doing. If you’re thinking about taking a gap year at all, you should absolutely consider taking that gap year in Mongolia. You’ll be amazed at the opportunity.
Mongolia is actually a relatively large country in East Asia. In fact, it’s the second largest land-locked country in the world. With a large part of the population being nomadic and the vast majority of the land being grassy steppe, mountains and the Gobi desert, it’s definitely not the easiest place for the locals to live. But it can be an amazingly beautiful place and that’s why we think you would enjoy traveling here with our Peace Corp alternative. You can make a difference in this country, no matter what kind of background you have.
Our programs in Mongolia all offer many of the same options. For example, you’ll be traveling and volunteering for between 1 and 8 weeks. That means you can get the opportunity to try it out and see if you enjoy your gap year in Mongolia before you commit to a longer trip the next time. For those who really want to throw themselves into the experience you can absolutely do that too and our 2 month programs will give you plenty of time to really feel like you’ve made a huge impact on the people that you help, no matter which of the programs you choose.
Speaking of programs, you can get involved with the children through the child care and special needs or orphanage programs. You could get involved with the adults through the English teaching of medical programs and you could get involved with the women through the midwifery and maternity programs. No matter where your skills or your interests lie, you’re going to find a program that will help you to make the most out of it. And you’ll definitely be happy that you’ve given back to this country. The people here can definitely use your help and they’re going to be more than happy to get it.
All you need to do is decide which program you want to sign up for. Make sure you’re signing up for the right length of time for you and we’ll help you get the rest going. It doesn’t take much to get yourself ready for that next trip. And this is going to be the gap year of a lifetime. After all, you’re going to be getting the opportunity to explore an entirely new country and you’re going to have the ability to give back and support people who need and appreciate it. What could be better than that kind of amazing opportunity?
- Project length: From 1 week to 4 weeks
- Arrival Airport: Chinggis Khaan Intl Airport (ULN)
- Work Schedule: Monday to Friday 6-8 hours per day
- Requirements: Tourist Visa
- Age Limits: 18 years and older.
- Airlines: Mongolian Air, Air China, Korean Air,Turkish Air
- Vaccinations: Routine vaccines, HEP A, Typhoid wwwnc.cdc.gov
- Required: Bed linen, Sleeping Bag, first aid kit
Mongolia is the country of Chinggis Khan. It is one of the few countries left in the world with nomadic culture and vast area of untouched wilderness. Mongolia borders both China and Russia. Mongolia is well-known with its breathtaking countryside, gorgeous horses, and men with incredible horse-riding skills.
With over 600,000 square miles, Mongolia is the 18th largest country in the world and one of the least populated countries with a population of only 3 million people. There are approximately 65% of the population under 35 years old. The country has a wealth of livestock including horse, cow, camel, sheep, and goat. There are 3.9 million horses in the country, which accounts as 1.3 horse for every person.
Ulaanbaatar, is the capital and the largest city of Mongolia. The city lies at 4,300 ft above sea level and it is the coldest capital city in the world. Today Mongolia is a democratic country. The capital is a unique city with mixed culture, architecture ranging from old soviet style buildings, Buddhist monasteries, nomadic Gers (Mongolian traditional dwellings with 5000 years of history) to modern skyscrapers and European buildings.
Although the city has expanded in the last years, many people still live in poverty. Most public schools and hospitals are overcrowded and lack skilled professionals and medical staff. Since Mongolians have low life expectancy lots of focus on health includes live, lung and stomach cancers – as with liver and stomach cancer deaths per population Mongolia ranks #1 in the world.
Welcome to Mongolia 🇲🇳 (Та Монголд тавтай морилно уу!). My name is Altangerel and I am your ABV coordinator while you are staying in Mongolia. Our country has one big city, Ulaanbaatar and 21 aimags. But you will be working in Ulaanbaatar city which is a place of 1.5 million inhabitants out of over 3 million population. I will be ready for support 24/7 in case you need to contact me urgently. I will introduce you to your volunteer location and staff.
You are most welcome to seek my assistance and don’t hesitate to ask me questions while in country.
Mongolia has four seasons with temperature ranging from -40°F to 104°F, summer lasting from May to August, fall in September and October, winter from November to February, and spring March and April. Official language is Mongolian, and most schools teach English.
Volunteer Programs in Mongolia
Child Care/Special Needs
Volunteer in a children’s care center in the capital city which provides comprehensive environment for children with special needs including speech therapy, physical education, music, fitness, and cognitive interaction activities. In this program you’ll would work with children between the ages of 3-6 years old.
The center receives between 75-80 student a year. The focus is on pre-school education for children with hearing, speech, intellectual disabilities and autism. The mission is to provide early education for special needs children, to promote healthy hygiene practices and help restore, repair and improve their well-being. The school aims to ensure the development of children using flexible, individualized attention and programs based on the learning needs of the children with disabilities.
Daily work & activities
- Help the teachers with their creative learning lesson plans
- Organize and develop instructional methods (songs, stories, games, art)
- Spend time with children, help with feeding, nap time, and engage them in activities to strengthen their social skills.
- Program is open year-round.
Volunteer in Mongolia’s primary government care center for abandoned children ages new born through 3 years old. The care center provides a home and medical care for both orphans and abandoned children with focus on babies, and toddlers up to 3 years old. The center provides a loving home for 35 – 50 infants and toddlers, some of which have serious special needs.
Mongolia has a significant number of children living in residential care. Unable to provide suitable living conditions, many destitute parents pursue outside care for their children. Often, care institutions offer a temporary solution while struggling families work toward stability in their lives. The at-risk children are provided proper nutrition, developmental support, medical attention and a chance they need to recover and thrive. The main goal is the restore the children’s health which will enable some of the kids to reunite with their birth families or join adoptive families.
Volunteers assist medical and residential support staff with the infant’s basic needs such as feeding, bathing and clothing, putting them down for naps and changing diapers, playing with the toddlers and engaging them in physical activities and exercise. Volunteers from all backgrounds are welcome.
Daily work & activities
- Help with bathing and feeding babies
- Changing diapers and getting babies dressed
- Spend time with children, help to get them ready for nap time
- Playing games with the toddlers
- Reading books to the youngsters
- Program is open year-round.
Volunteer with children who have hearing and speech disabilities. Located in Ulaanbaatar, this is the only school in Mongolia which provides special needs education. Many Mongolian children from the outer provinces send their children to the capital to receive proper education at this very special school. Volunteers can work with different ages and levels.
Grade levels are split between pre-school, primary and high school education and focuses on special methodology and technology. The school also organizes sign language training for adults with hearing impairments. The school has capacity for 500 children and can accommodate 300 students in dormitories. Volunteers with ASL training and those who have skills or experience working with children and young adults with hearing and speech disabilities are welcome and needed.
Daily work & activities
- Help with practical hands-on renovation work, for example painting murals, refurbishing classrooms or dormitories, renovating a playground. The children reside at the school while in session.
- Spend your mornings doing lessons planning with the teachers, help to conduct cultural and social workshops, create activities such as fun educational games with local D/deaf students.
- School semesters: March through May, September through December
- School is closed: January/February, June through August
Maternity / Midwifery Program
Volunteer in a large state maternity hospital located in the Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar. The hospital has 75 inpatient beds and provides childbirth, gynecology, maternity and new born care services. The facilities are very basic, and most patients have traveled great distances to be attended to. Volunteers will focus in areas of pre-natal, post-natal care and the delivery room. Volunteers will be able to provide emotional support & encouragement to women in labor. Assist the nurses and midwives where needed, for example, weighing new babies.
It is important to note opportunities to provide hands-on work will always be at the discretion of local practitioners. Expect a mainly observational role which can lead to more duties as you settle into your placement. This is a challenging medical placement due to lack of facilities, but a great learning environment. Volunteers need to bring their own medical scrubs, gloves, mask for personal use.
By joining our healthcare volunteer program in Mongolia, you will have a great opportunity to learn about medical challenges in a developing country. In Mongolia volunteers find that limited resource means prenatal care is a luxury for most expectant mothers. Volunteers also discover that cultural traditions surrounding birth in Mongolia are very different from those at home, providing you with new insight and lots of professional growth.
Volunteer in a local kindergarten or primary school as an English teacher. English is taught in public school, but schools rarely have native English speakers to help with proper pronunciation. The students (and teachers) love to have the opportunity to practice their English language. Located in downtown Ulaanbaatar, volunteers can work with kindergarten or primary level classes. his is the only school in Mongolia which provides special needs education.
Being able to speak English is a great way for children in Mongolia to evade a life of poverty. With the growing tourist trade in Mongolia having English opens a lot of opportunities for English speaking locals. ABV teaching English programs are focused in Ulaanbaatar, in public schools which are under resourced and lack dedicated English teachers
TEFL training is not a requirement, and in this program, volunteers gain useful work experience by teaching abroad. Whether volunteering while on a gap year, over a vacation, or as a trained professional, you will have a significant role in our teaching project in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.
Daily work & activities
- School semesters: March through May, September through December
- School is closed: January/February, June through August
Medical Elective / Internship
Volunteer in a busy state hospital located in Ulaanbaatar. As a medical student you will work directly with the local doctors and nurses. Although medicine is practiced similar to that in the US or UK, in Mongolia facilities are generally very basic and equipment is in short supply. With the lack of equipment, volunteers learn the interesting and inventive solutions to clinical problems which the Mongolian doctors face daily.
Over the years, A Broader View have worked with hundreds of medical students wishing to complete their elective placement by volunteering abroad. A Broader View staff can work closely with your university adviser to ensure the requirements of your elective criteria can be met. As part of the elective you will be assigned to a local licensed doctor who will oversee your placement.
It is important to note opportunities to provide hands-on work will always be at the discretion of the local doctor. Expect a mainly observational role which can lead to more duties as you settle into your placement. This is a challenging medical placement due to lack of facilities, but a great learning environment. Volunteers will be provided a list of necessary medical supplies to bring with them.
By joining our healthcare volunteer program in Mongolia, you will have a great opportunity to learn about medical challenges in a developing country. In Mongolia, we hope our volunteers discover cultural traditions very different from those at home and are provided new insight and lots of professional growth.
*This program is suitable for currently enrolled medical students.
Nurse / Student Nurse
Volunteer in a busy woman’s hospital located in Ulaanbaatar. While maternity needs are the main focus, nursing volunteers have the opportunity to help in the neonatal NICU, assist with administering vaccines to babies, observing woman’s surgeries such as hysterectomy, tubal ligations and C-section deliveries.
Over the years, A Broader View have worked with hundreds of student nurses wishing to complete their elective placement by volunteering abroad. A Broader View staff can work closely with your university adviser to ensure the requirements of your elective criteria can be met. As part of the elective you will be assigned to a local licensed nurse who will oversee your placement.
It is important to note opportunities to provide hands-on work will always be at the discretion of the local doctor. Expect a mainly observational role which can lead to more duties as you settle into your placement. This is a challenging placement due to lack of facilities, but a great learning environment. Volunteers will be provided a list of necessary medical supplies to bring with them.
By joining our healthcare volunteer program in Mongolia, you will have a great opportunity to learn about nursing challenges woman face in a developing country. In Mongolia, we hope our volunteers discover cultural traditions very different from those at home and are provided new insight and lots of professional growth.
*This program is suitable for currently enrolled student students and recent nurse graduates.
Reviews & Multimedia
The maternity program was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed working in several different settings and exploring the city of Ulaannbatar and the beautiful sites surrounding it. The Mongolian culture is open and friendly and I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
The teaching program was very well organized, and the staff, were very helpful and responded quickly whenever I needed. The other volunteers were great too, and it was fun to meet new people from all over the world.
One of the reasons I went into nursing was for the international experiences. I am still a student so I have much to learn, but I encountered nurses that were happy to show me how they worked. I recommend this program to all volunteers.
Prices for Mongolia
Since A Broader View Volunteers is a 501c(3) charitable organization, You can fundraise (optional) for the expenses of the trip after you get confirmed in our programs. Prices are per person and in US dollars (US$).
|Country / weeks
- Accommodation: Host family
- Meals: 2 Meals a day
- Arrival: Airport meet and greet by ABV Staff
- Orientation: Project Overview and city tour on arrival
- Support: Pre-trip written guide, In-country ABV staff available 24/7
- Departure: ABV Staff Escorted Airport Transfer
Extra costs: Flights. Entry Visa (if applicable). Departure taxes. Vaccinations. Local Transportation. Background Check, Travel & Health Insurance (US$53 Premium plan). Laundry and Internet (US$10-15)
Once in country our local coordinator can help you find the most reliable and safe tour agencies for weekend trips, you can pay in cash or in most locations with a credit card. These tours are not part of the ABV fees.
- Genghis Khan Day Tour with Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
- Day Tour of Hustai National Park
- Small-Group Horseback Riding Day Tour
- Visit Mongolian nomad family
- Private Tour: Ulaanbaatar City Tour
- Amarbaysgalant Monastery Day Trip
Festivals and Festivities
Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian Lunar New Year)
Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar) is normally celebrated somewhere between the end of January and end of February. The traditional Tsagaan Sar feast includes dairy products, mutton and horse meat, rice with curds, buuz (dumplings) and a 'mountain' of cookies stacked high and of course, airag (fermented mare's milk). Families visit each other to pay their respects and eat mountains of dumplings. Join a family to experience their legendary hospitality and be a part of their community at this time of great festivity. Immerse yourself in the Mongolian culture and experience first hand the ceremonies and customs of this special festival.
Khovsgol Ice Festival
March is witness to the unique Ice Festival at Lake Khovsgol. This time of year offers the rare opportunity of experiencing one of the deepest winters on the planet with temperatures regularly dropping below -35°C. The wind can make even moderate temperatures seem much colder, so this festival is not for the faint hearted! The enchanting ice festival with horse-sled races, ice rally-driving, wrestling, and tug-o-war are all held on the frozen lake which offers the perfect light in the afternoon for those interested in photography.
Gobi Camel Festival
The Thousand Camel Festival, held in the Gobi Desert, is a celebration of the endangered Bactrian camel and the role it plays in the lives of the Gobi's nomads. Camel racing and polo competitions, as well as performances of traditional Mongolian music and dance, are among the highlights of this annual event. Taking in the beautiful scenery of the Gobi Desert with its towering dunes, glacial canyons and red sandstone cliffs; this is the land of the Bactrian camel and is the best time to see them in all their fluffy winter splendor when their coats at their thickest.
Nauryz (Spring /New Life) Festival
Nauryz is a new year celebration for the Mongolian Kazakhs, many of whom live in the Bayan Ulgii province. Kazakhs call the month of March 'Nauryz' - this is the time of renewed life which comes with the spring. The non-religious Nauryz celebrations take place on 21-22 March, the day of the spring equinox. People believe the more generous the celebration of Nauryz, the happier the year would be. A time to settle rivalries, upset and debts then fill all vessels in the house with milk, airan (plain yogurt), grain, and spring water to gain good yield, fortune and plenty of rain during the coming year.
Naadam is celebrated every summer throughout Mongolia across every province, in most towns and villages. Local Naadam celebrations are our favorite of the Naadam festivals - none of the queues, crowds and pollution of the big festival in Ulaanbaatar. The atmosphere is fantastic. In traditional dress, the colorful spectators watch competitors take part in the three 'manly' sports of archery, wrestling and horse racing. Tradition states that only men will wrestle, men and women can participate in archery and children (some as young as 5) are jockeys for the races up to distances of 35km.
There are two Golden Eagle Festivals held each year; in September and October respectively, when the weather is beginning to get cold and the eagles are livening up ready for a winter of hunting. The ancient art of falconry as practiced by the Kazakhs in the west, has remained unchanged for millennia. Admire the speed and power of the noble eagle and marvel at the close relationship that exists between her and her
Meals & Food
Volunteers are usually provided breakfast, lunch and dinner at their accommodation during the week and weekends (read the website for detail description of the meals or ask our staff online). Breakfast typically consists of toast, fruit, eggs, cereal accompanied with milk, tea or coffee. Dinner usually includes: meat (cow, chicken), potato, rice, vegetables, spaghetti and a variety of western food. Volunteers can be away from their accommodation mid-day so they take a lunch bag or they go back home. We recommend budgeting between US$5 and US$10 per day to purchase lunch if you don't return to the host family, let the host family know if you change the lunch plans. If you have specific dietary requirements, our local teams and home-stays can customize to you but be flexible as well.
Most of our programs run year round, you can start any volunteer/internship program on any day. When you apply you will lets know your start and end dates. Our programs run year round and have volunteers arriving almost every day from many different countries.
Since our programs sometimes depend on the local holiday calendar, there are brief occasions when normal programs work is suspended. For example, schools/daycares often close for long winter/summer vacations. During these times, we arrange for alternative work programs that are similar in substance to our ongoing programs, but address the short-term, direct needs of the local communities.
If you would like to arrange your start and end dates around the local holidays, please call us at 1.866.423.3258 or email us at [email protected].
A Broader View Volunteers work tirelessly year round to support our volunteers, and also to serve the local communities where ABV projects are based. As a tax-exempt 501 c(3) organization A Broader View receive 100% of our funding from volunteer contributions. Through your program fee contribution our non-profit charity organization can operate beneficial humanitarian aid programs which are successful and continuous supported year round.
Local, professional full-time coordinators, placement logistics, airport pick up and departure transportation, arrival orientation, food & local accommodations, are a major part of providing a safe, meaningful volunteer experience. When you join A Broader View, you will receive pre-trip visa and vaccination support, assistance with flights, fundraising planning, through our interactive online volunteer portal. Our local partners not only benefit from volunteers valuable contributions at the project, they benefit financially with year-round monetary support from A Broader View. In the last decade A Broader View has donated over 4.5 million dollars in international aid.
By joining A Broader View you are not only helping to make a difference during your own trip, your impact will last even after you go home.