YOU IN DHARAMSALA
Being a CCS volunteer means more than just traveling, or just volunteering. It means becoming part of a unique community; an international network of CCS alums, in the fellow-volunteers that you’ll meet at the Home-Base, and of course, the local people in your new home away from home. The CCS experience is all about creating community and meaningful connections, and all of this happens organically from the comfort of your Home-Base and with the support of a full-time in-country staff.
Bela Singh, Country Director: We can’t wait to welcome you in beautiful Dharamsala!
A Day in the Life
With its endless opportunities for exploration and cultural immersion, you’ll find that each day in Dharamsala brings with it new possibilities for eye-opening adventures and “ah-ha” moments. CCS provides you with all the basics that you’ll need for a memorable, safe, and insightful experience, while leaving you enough space to fill in the blanks with your own passions and experience. And no matter how you choose to experience CCS India, we guarantee that you’ll quickly become “a part of the crew” as you exchange stories, laughter, and knowledge with your new neighbors.
The CCS Home-Base
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, the CCS Home-Base was designed with your safety and comfort in mind. We know the importance of a cozy bed and a nutritious and authentic meal to help fuel your volunteer work, and that’s exactly what we’ll have waiting for you when you arrive.
As soon as you walk into town, you’ll be greeted by the beautiful landscape of the Himalayas in the background along with the warm and friendly staff. Your home away from home is completed with views that will take your breath away!
Just a short taxi ride from the Home-Base, you’ll find yourself among two distinct cultural groups: Tibetan and Indian. Whether you’re looking for the a history lesson on the Tibetan Government in exile or want to learn more about how rural Indians live and work, Dharamsala has you covered.
Get a taste of the CCS Dharamsala Home-Base from a volunteer-led tour:
Can’t wait to share your experience? We got you covered! Staying connected at the Home-Base is easy with a landline for incoming calls (or pick up a phone card for international calls), and there’s always Wi-Fi available.
CCS Staff – Your Family in India
Our in-country staff members truly are the unsung heroes of your volunteer experience. They all hail from the local community and their unique experiences, insights, and professional demeanors are unmatched. They are the heart and soul of the CCS program, and ensure that your experience is a safe, fun, and impactful.
Enjoying Local Dishes
At the CCS Home-Base, you’ll enjoy three home-cooked meals each day, all safely prepared using locally grown produce and authentic, regional recipes so you’ll get a taste of the culture in every bite! And if you want to learn more about Indian cooking, just ask Pawan or Jaggi! Enjoy some of India’s favorite dishes like tikka masala and mango lassi—a refreshing juice drink.
Your comfort and safety is our top priority and that doesn’t change when it comes to mealtime. Our cooks are all highly qualified in preparing delicious dishes for your dietary needs. No matter what you require, we can make the appropriate arrangements in the CCS kitchen to cater to your specific needs.
As part of the CCS community, you’ll not only represent your home community, you’ll also be representing the CCS mission, vision, and values, and not to mention a community of over 35,000 intrepid alumni. This is not a typical travel experience – it’s an opportunity to make a real impact and real connections with the local community in a truly unique way. The safety of our volunteers is essential to our programs, and our policies are designed not only to keep you safe, but also to ensure that your shared experience is comfortable, respectful, and as impactful as possible.
Please note that breaking a CCS in-country policy is a serious infraction, as these policies are designed for your safety and to maximize community impact. If a policy is broken, it may result in the immediate termination of your volunteer program. In the case of a less severe infraction, at the discretion of CCS, a warning may be issued before a termination if the policy is broken again.
Drug & Alcohol Use: The use of illegal substances is not permitted on any Cross-Cultural Solutions program, worldwide. Any volunteer who uses or distributes any illegal narcotics will be immediately terminated from their program, and may face local legal action.
Consumption of alcohol is also not permitted in any of our Home-Bases worldwide. In India the drinking age is 25 and alcohol cannot be consumed by any individual of any age in the local community, whether during free time or as a part of the program activities. Many of the people you’ll work with at your volunteer assignment have been negatively impacted by the use of alcohol, so out of respect for the community, all volunteers are not permitted to consume any amount of alcohol in the communities we work in. Any violations of this policy will result in immediate termination from the program. Please review the full Drug & Alcohol Use policy.
Donations & Gift-Giving: Our impact in-country is based on volunteers offering love, care, attention, and to support the organizations with which we partner. For that reason, we do not allow donations or gift-giving on CCS programs, as this alters the motivations and sustainability of our work. Please review the full Donations & Gift Giving Policy for more information.
Curfew: As an international volunteer, it’s important to be well-rested for each day of work, and to be in the Home-Base at a reasonable time as to not disturb your fellow volunteers and to remain safe. In Dharamsala, all volunteers must be in the Home-Base by about 9:00 p.m. each night preceding volunteer work assignment. On Friday and Saturday nights, if you are staying in Dharamsala, you must be in the Home-Base by midnight or get permission from the in-country staff to arrive back at a specified time.
Sexual Relations: On CCS programs, out of respect for the in-country staff and fellow volunteers, sexual relations are not permitted in the CCS Home-Base.
Weapons: To protect the safety of all volunteers, weapons are not permitted in the Home-Base.