Is living and working with nomads in Mongolia right for me?
This project is perfect for any person wanting to experience a different and more traditional way of life. It will also suit you if you want to embrace adventure and step away from the modern world for a while.
You don’t need any experience for this project. If you’re willing to help and learn, you’ll have an exciting and memorable time in Mongolia. We recommend taking the initiative to get involved, and your host family will be happy to teach you about their day-to-day lives.
This kind of experience can add value to your CV. You will gain a broader outlook of the world, and learn about the importance of preserving different cultures and traditions. This is also a great conversation starter!
This project runs all year round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. You’ll need to volunteer for a minimum of one week, but we recommend staying longer to get the most out of this unique experience.
The best time to join the project is during the animal breeding season between March and April. The nomad families appreciate the extra support when it comes to looking after newborn calves and lambs and you may even assist with the birthing process!
What will I do on the cultural immersion project in Mongolia?
You can expect to be fully involved with a nomad family’s daily life in Mongolia. Here are some of the tasks you can expect to do:
- Help your nomad family with chores and activities inside the house and out in the field
- Teach basic English to nomad children and their family, while learning a bit of Mongolian yourself
- Learn about the nomad way of life from the adults, but also from the children
Help your nomad family with chores and activities
We strongly encourage you to roll up your sleeves and be part of as much as possible with your host family. You’ll help out with their daily activities and tasks, like cooking meals, herding yaks or cattle, milking cows, and more. No experience in these kinds of activities? No problem! Your nomad family will patiently guide you through them.
Teach basic English to nomad children and their family
If your host family has children, you can teach them basic English. This is a great way to get know them and relax after chores are done. You can focus on teaching greetings, numbers, and ABCs. In return, they can have fun teaching you some Mongolian.
Learn about the nomad way of life
As you live and work with nomads in Mongolia, you will come to learn about and appreciate their simple way of life. This is also an opportunity for you to experience simple pleasures, like a sky full of stars with no city lights to interfere. If you want, you can also keep a journal during your time in Mongolia so that you can remember everything later.
Where in Mongolia will I be working?
You will live and work with nomads in Mongolia’s Tuv Province. The area is about 100 km (62 miles) southwest of Ulaanbaatar.
You will live in a ger, a traditional tent. With vast open plains and mountains surrounding you, use the time to explore the area during free time. This is the perfect location for mountaineers, adventure seekers, and volunteers looking for some quiet reflection.
What will my typical day be like?
A typical day on your cultural immersion project in Mongolia is different to any other project we offer. You will wake up around 7am, have breakfast with the family and then your day begins.
After a hearty meal, you will help with daily chores. These depend on the time of year and needs of the family at that time. You’ll help milk cows, herd sheep, goats and cattle, or walk to fetch water from the well. Wearing shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, you’ll also help clean the animal pen and collect cow dung for fuel.
You can spend your afternoons relaxing and having some quiet time. You can hike, read, play with the children, or nap. You can also teach the children a few basic English phrases, or learn some Mongolian from them.
Evenings are dedicated to food preparation, milking the cows again, and sitting down for a meal with your nomad family.
Every two weeks, Projects Abroad staff will take you on the trip to the city. You should use this time to bath, meet up with other volunteers, shop, or explore the city’s tourist attractions.
Please be prepared for the fact that digital equipment like mobile phones may not work at your placement. Quality phone signal cannot be guaranteed where your nomad family lives. The families do have phones with a special mobile dealer to contact Projects Abroad staff if needed. You can charge your devices or reconnect to the world when you return to the city every two weeks.
What are the aims and impacts of this project?
The aim of this project is to give you a chance to live and work with nomads in Mongolia, while getting to know a different culture and way of life.
You’ll have direct experience of a way of life that has not changed for many years, and is sadly becoming less common. This is because of many factors, but climate change is the biggest one. Scorching heat and harsh winters kill livestock and crops, which makes life very difficult for nomad families. They then move to the city in hopes of finding work to support their family, which means leaving behind their way of life.
The Mongolian nomad cultural experience is perfect for people who like the outdoors, and love to learn how people around the world live and work. Mongolian nomads are some of the oldest and longest living nomads, as their way of life has survived for a very long time.
Take part in our nomad cultural experience and take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in it.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Mongolia is one of the most remote countries in the world. Volunteering here is a chance to experience a completely different way of life.
Our projects are based in Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital. This city is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional. The Government Palace is a perfect example of this, with it’s old-world style architecture and glowing blue and gold lights.
Even when you’re in the city, you’re never far from the countryside. Just a quick trip can take you out to a nomad settlement, where you can meet travelling families who live in traditional gers. We recommend going on a horse ride or trek to take in the beauty of the endless countryside horizons.
The famous statue of Genghis Khan is a must-see. You can also learn about the country’s history at the National Museum of Mongolia.
We run a range of different projects in Mongolia so there will likely be other volunteers in the country with you. So you can travel alone or explore the country with a group of like-minded new friends.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Mongolia
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