Nepal High School Community Service

Nepal’s dramatic mountain landscapes are home to vibrant cultural groups with rich traditions. In 2015, earthquakes disrupted the lives of many Nepalese people, especially those living in small farming villages. Work alongside community members on agricultural, educational, and rebuilding projects in your host village while learning about Nepal’s colorful heritage.

June 15 - June 29, 2019
June 29 - July 13, 2019
July 13 - July 27, 2019
Airfare is not included. We have arranged a round-trip group flight between New York City and Kathmandu.

Trip Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in village life at the foot of the Himalaya, and share your experiences through photography, video, and writing.
  • Help rebuild areas impacted by the 2015 earthquakes, and teach English to children.
  • Hike through the Kathmandu Valley to the sacred pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha, and spend two days getting to know young Tibetan monks and learning to meditate.
  • Meet master artisans and learn how to sculpt traditional Nepalese pottery.

Itinerary | 15 days

Days 1-3

Stay in the heart of Kathmandu’s old city, where temples overhang narrow streets. Visit a Hindu temple teeming with monkeys, join Tibetan Buddhist nuns and monks in a walking meditation around Asia’s largest stupa, and experience a Hindu ceremony on the banks of the Bagmati River. In a workshop led by a local artist, learn the history behind thangkas—Tibetan cloth paintings depicting Buddhist symbols.

Days 4-9

Journey to Talamarang, an agricultural community of ethnic Tamang people set against the dramatic backdrop of the Himalaya. Settle into our guesthouse and spend your days working on a variety of service projects. Many buildings in our host village were destroyed by the devastating earthquakes that occurred in April 2015. Collaborate with villagers to rebuild irrigation systems, make repairs to the school's classrooms and community buildings, care for kids at the local children's home, lend a hand planting trees, or help with the harvest.

In the late afternoons, play soccer and volleyball with local youth, practice yoga, or join Tamang women in making Nepalese dishes. Share the story of your work in the community through photography, video, and writing projects.

Days 10-11

Hike through the Kathmandu Valley to the sacred pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha, where we’ll spend two days at an exquisite, secluded monastery. Reflect on your community service experience, play games with young Tibetan monks, and practice meditation under a canopy of prayer flags.

Days 12-15

Travel to the medieval city of Bhaktapur, where ancient architecture offers a glimpse into Nepalese life before the arrival of modern influences. Stroll ornate palaces and the centuries-old Durbar Square, and step into mystical temples that welcome pilgrims 
from around the world. Meet with master artisans to hear how their cultural heritage is being preserved in the present day. Hike 
to Ghyampe Danda for a traditional pottery workshop, and learn the history behind thangkas—Tibetan cloth paintings depicting Buddhist symbols. Enjoy a royal farewell dinner at a Newari palace before returning home.

Our community service trips are for students in grades 9-12. Students settle into a community and get involved with collaborative service projects that focus on infrastructure, education, or sustainability. Students work alongside local people, and document their experience through photos, journals, and video. Collaborative community projects provide an opportunity for deeper cultural interactions and insight into daily life in our host communities. Students travel alongside a team of highly-qualified trip leaders—college graduates with extensive experience in the field, who love working with students. Our community service trips are limited to 18 participants, and the student-to-trip-leader ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one.
On this program, students will spend an estimated 35–40 hours on community service projects. At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate stating the number of service hours completed. Projects described in this itinerary are examples and vary depending on the needs of the community.
In Kathmandu, we stay in a hotel in the heart of the old city. In our host village, sleeping areas and bathrooms are separated by gender. At the monastery and in Bhaktapur, we stay in simple guesthouses.