Live and work with nomads in Mongolia, do something different, and experience a traditional and unique way of life. You’ll stay with a nomad family on the Mongolian Steppe in the serene Tuv Province. Picture yourself exploring open plains under endless blue skies, caring for livestock and horses, and more.
Nomad families in Mongolia travel with their livestock, looking for the best grazing land for their animals. They stay there until it’s time to move on. Unfortunately, the nomadic way of life is becoming less common. This project is a way to experience it for yourself before it becomes impossible.
Your family is based around 100 km (62 miles) southwest of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. You’ll become part of their lives, and help with tasks like herding livestock, cooking, or teaching children English. This is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and pick up new and interesting skills, like milking a cow, riding a horse, or learn Mongolian!
Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price
We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 1300 132 831 for more info.
When you apply you only pay AUD$495, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1300 132 831 to see if we can offer a discount.
Completely flexible dates
Anyone aged over 16 can join
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
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.
The 14 weeks I spent at the project flew by, with each day offering new experiences and new faces to interact with, be they the generous locals or eager new volunteers starting their own journeys.
Live and Work with Nomads in Mongolia
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