10 Day Student Trip to Nepal

We will visit Kathmandu, the biggest city in Nepal and one of the oldest cities in the world, Nuwakot, a quaint mountain/valley district with breathtaking views, historic architecture and is home to the Newari ethnic group, and Pokhara, which is renowned for its beauty and the starting place for many treks to the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. In Kathmandu and Nuwakot, students will visit local government schools for community service activities. The students will not only experience a new country, but also be provided with an opportunity to give to the Nepalese people.

MISSION:
Nepal nestled between India and China, is not only spectacular due to its geography and beautiful landscape, but also has a fascinating culture. The 10-day trip focuses on Nepal’s urban and rural areas and combines education, trekking, site seeing, and community service activities. We will build on classroom curriculum that allows for cross-cultural studies in religion, history, art history, and education, and give the students a chance to do community service for the Nepalese people.

LEARNING ABOUT NEPAL:
Students will learn about Nepal’s culture, religion, history, art history, and education system. They will visit small towns and villages, see examples of Hindu and Buddhist art and architecture, visit temples, museums, monasteries, stupas and shrines. They will also have the opportunity to hike and trek through the breathtaking countryside taking in the Himalayas.

COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Nepal has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. In most schools, the walls are bare and desperately need painting and educational posters hung on the walls. Students will work in one government school in Kathmandu and in a village school in Nuwokat. They will paint classrooms, create and organize libraries, play sports with the children, and prepare and teach a lesson in a grade and an area of interest. Thee are few classroom materials, sometimes not enough pencils for each child, and the students’ efforts will make a tremendous and rewarding impact in both schools.

SPECIAL NOTE:
All trips can be adjusted and personalized depending on your group’s interests. This trip can be extended for 4 days to include a trip to Chitwan, home to the Chitwan National Park, which is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife. Its award winning eco-lodge allows opportunities to observe animals in their natural habitat. Here, students have the chance to climb atop an elephant for a safari through the golden grasses where they might be able to see Bengal tigers, leopards, rhinos, deer, monkeys, crocodiles, and 450 types of bird species. This is the best way to explore the jungle without disturbing the animals. Adventures also include canoeing in the Rapti River. In addition, we will enjoy a traditional evening program by the local Tharu minority group.  
WHAT TO BRING:
For trekking: Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain pants/rain jacket, fleece jacket, hiking pants/shorts, hiking boots, backpack, and water bottle.

For Volunteer Activities:
Clothes to paint in, a picture and a chapter book, 40 pencils and 4 boxes of crayons. If students need materials for a lesson, they should bring these as well. For instance, watercolors, brushes, paper and small containers for water may be useful for an art lesson. This can be planned a head of time for each individual student.  

SPECIAL Note:
Partial proceeds are donated to an INGO, a non-profit devoted to creating sustainable educational changes in Nepal

SPECIAL Note:
All tours must have a minimum of 4 travelers

1st Day:
Arrival and pick up - Transfer to the hotel.  

2nd Day:
Orientation and introduction to Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a harmonious blend of Hindu and Buddhist tranquility, the city retains a mystical ancient aura that leaves you feeling like you have stepped through the looking glass. Students will partake in a ½ day seminar on Nepal’s history, religion, and architecture followed by a visit to the historic Kathmandu’s Durbur Square that offers magnificent examples of various architectural styles seen in the surrounding temples and shrines. We will also visit the nearby Kumari Temple, where a living goddess resides. After, we will take a short bus ride to a UNESCO world heritage site, the ancient Buddhist stupa at Swyambhunath, Nepal’s definitive icon; situated on top of a hill, the stylized eyes of the Buddha look out in all directions. Guarding the lower stairs of the stupa is a band of amusing monkeys performing acrobatics. Finally, we will visit Pashupatinath temple situated 5 km east of Kathmandu city, which is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to lord Shiva. Situated on the sacred Baghmati River, the temple was built in pagoda style with a gilded roof and ornately carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the river’s bank, as entrance into the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Behind the temple are the cremation grounds where we may witness an ancient Hindu cremation ritual. We will then return to the hotel with the late afternoon and evening free for leisure. Overnight at hotel.

3rd Day:
Kathmandu to Nuwakot, a quaint mountain district with breathtaking valley views, situated 76km northwest of Kathmandu. The district is home to a diverse array of ethnic groups; the largest of which is the Newari. The Newari group is of Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan descent. They have maintained a strong cultural identity, which includes many rituals and festivals with percussion based music, paintings, sculptures, masks, and dance performances. On the way, we will stop at a traditional local Newari village. Once in Nuwakot, students will hike through and experience the breathtaking views of the Trisuli and Tadi valleys, learn about the Newari culture, explore the local bazaar, and visit temples and the Durbur Square to see local examples of architecture.

4th Day:
½ hiking in the morning. The afternoon will include a seminar on Nepal’s educational system followed by volunteer activities in the local Nuwakot village school. Students will have a chance to interact directly with Nepalese school children and observe their classrooms. Travel to Pokhara. Stay at hotel.

5th Day:
Pokhara valley trekking: The Pokhara valley is one of the most picturesque spots in Nepal and is the starting point for most treks in the Annapurna region. The valley offers excellent views of the Annapurna mountain range and the Himalayas. Students will visit David Falls and Gupteswor Limestone Cave, which is considered one of the most amazing and longest caves in Nepal that is home to a variety of bat species. Overnight at hotel.

6th Day:
Full day of trekking in Pokhara. The trails go through forests with clear streams and amazing views of the mountains and rice fields. Pokhara is also home to three other ethnic minority groups that we will see as we hike through the area’s local villages. Stay at hotel.  

7th Day:
Trek up to the World Peace Pagoda followed by a the choice of boating, horseback riding, bicycling, or shopping around Phewa Tal lake before returning to Kathmandu. Stay at hotel.

8th Day:
Group A starts with a seminar about the government school in Kathmandu. Group A then works in the government school organizing libraries, painting, and teaching a lesson. Group B will start with a seminar on Buddhism and Hinduism followed by a visit to the Patan Museum, where the Malla kings once ruled, lived and worshipped, and now offers magnificent examples of various architectural styles seen in the surrounding temples and shrines. The students will see an outstanding collection of cast iron bronzes and gilt copper works mostly of Hindu and Buddhist deities. Afternoon free for exploring the fascinating shopping streets of Thamel.

9th Day:
Group B starts with a seminar about the government school in Kathmandu. Group B then works in the government school. Group A learns about Buddhism/Hinduism and visits Patan Museum with the afternoon free for exploring the fascinating shopping streets of Thamel. Both groups will meet for a farewell dinner at a Newari restaurant with the accompaniment of traditional dancers.

10th Day Departure.
TRIP COST INCLUDES:
International Airfare.
Airport transfers on private vehicle.
Accommodations in hotels.
3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
An experienced, government licensed, English speaking, trekking guide with necessary porters and their food, drink, insurance, equipment, transportation, and all local taxes.
Transportation by bus from Kathmandu to Nurakot, Nurakot to Pokhara, and back to Kathmandu by tourist coach if necessary.
Entrance fees to all national parks and tourist sites.

TRIP COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Nepal Visa fee and international airport departure tax.
Personal/ Travel / Medical insurance and any other insurance for the members.
Expenses of personal nature, e.g. tips, laundry, phone calls, snacks.
Any other costs, which are not mentioned in cost inclusive field above.
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