Projects Abroad in Mongolia - Arrival Procedure in Ulaanbaatar
Volunteers fly into Ulaanbaatar airport. After a short walk off the plane through to the arrival lounge, you will be greeted by a Projects Abroad member of staff.
You will then travel by car to your accommodation. Host-families are friendly and eager to learn all about our volunteers. They are middle class families, living in good accommodation (usually apartments) in the city.
Volunteering in Mongolia - Orientation and Induction
After a good night's rest and some home-made Mongolian food, a member of staff will pick you up the next morning for your tour of the city. All the normal stops are included - you'll be shown where to change your money, the post office, internet cafés (yes they do exist even in Mongolia!) and important landmarks. The staff are keen for volunteers to see as much as possible, so they may even take you to the museum or to the local monastery to visit the monks!
You'll have some lunch and perhaps meet up with some other volunteers. Depending on the time and your programme, you may be introduced to your placement during the afternoon. If not, a member of staff will pick you up and take you the next day.
Most volunteers live only a short distance from their project, so will be able to walk to work each day. Buses are the quickest, cheapest and most popular form of public transport, and they go everywhere in Ulaanbaatar. Taxis are also relatively cheap to use.
Mongolians eat lots of meat - mainly beef and mutton in dumplings. This is served with rice and vegetables including potatoes, carrots, cabbages and onions. Stews are very popular. If you would like a change, Ulaanbaatar even has Italian, Indian and Thai restaurants. Because of their close proximity, and history, Chinese and Korean food is also widespread. It is certainly possible to be a vegetarian in Mongolia, but you will have to keep explaining!
Finally - be warned, Karaoke is big in Mongolia and a favourite Projects Abroad night out is an evening at the local karaoke bar. This is something you should experience at least once (but maybe not twice!).