Intercultural Study Trip to Nepal
04.09. - 16.09.2018
May 31st 2018
See further down on application page for more info on what’s included and what not.
What’s awaiting you
Have you ever wished to explore the land of Buddha and the Himalayas? Are you curious to learn Nepal’s socio-economic, political status and diverse cultural and traditional practices? Have you ever lived with the people who are considered ‘untouchables’? Do you want to eat the food touched by ‘untouchables’? Would you be excited to go off track and learn about Nepal’s beautiful countryside and the lives of farmers? This trip gives you the opportunity to see many aspects of Nepal and a chance to meet people who can tell you countless interesting political and economic facts about Nepal from an insider’s perspective.
The Study Trip starts in Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu, a melting pot of dozens of different ethnical cultures and multiple different religions. It then leads us to a community where the Dalit community lives. Members of the Dalit community are considered ‘untouchables’ by the ‘higher cast’ people. We will be the first to come from the outside world and eat the food cooked by them. IFIL’s partner, the local organization “Hands-On Institute” has initiated a project called ‘TOUCHABILITY’ to raise self-esteem as well as socio-economic wellbeing of Dalits by making them a part of Nepal’s responsible tourism system through community based homestays. We then explore Nepal’s countryside and nature learning about organic farming. As part of an ’Organic Living’ Agritourism Initiative,as well initiated by local partner organizations, you will see the essence of Nepali life, culture and natural beauty. We will get a chance to leave the “normal” tourist tracks behind and get to know Nepal from a local perspective. We will also visit Nepal’s second largest city Pokhara as well as Chitwan with beautiful views towards the Himalayas.
Visit historical places like Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Square and Pashupatinath (all of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites) but also lesser known hidden gems of the bustling capital
- Learn about Nepal’s diverse cultures and religions
- Live, eat and touch with ‘untouchables’
- Meet with different political and economic representatives
- Explore the Buddhist part of Kathmandu around Bouddhanath Stupa as well as visiting Swayabunath Stupa (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
- Enjoy hiking in Nepal’s beautiful nature with stunning views on the Himalayas
- Learn about organic farming in Nepal’s beautiful but remote countryside
- Listen to Nepali live music in bars at the lakeside in Pokhara
- Enjoy Nepal’s simple but exquisite cuisine
Meet the Organizers
Tulsi is an entrepreneur from Nepal working in the sector of organic agriculture and agritourism. He co-organized an IFIL Study Trip to Nepal in 2009 and the one of last year. He has travelled and lived in Switzerland few times, therefore he is very familiar with the country. He has experiences of hosting international group travels in Nepal and help building up several local NGOs in his home country. He studied Sociology & Anthropology and also has participated in different international short courses on the issues of sustainability.
Bijaya, an Anthropologist and development practitioner, has a decade of experience working with community and youth especially focusing on peace-building. Bijaya received his Master’s degree in Anthropology from Tribhuwan University. Bijay served at Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON) – a national network of youth-led organizations. He represented Nepal in UNESCO Youth Forum in Korea, Rio Summit in Brazil and led a youth team to Scotland. Bijaya co-organized last year’s IFIL Study Trip to Nepal, together with Tulsi and Rebekka. He is the co-founder of Hands-On Institute. Hands-On Institute designs and executes educational travel programs in Nepal for academic institution and organizations around the world.
- Welcome, getting to know each other, program briefing and orientation, Q&A
- Lecture on “Nepali Political History and Present situation” by a member of an organization working on issues related to democracy and civil participation.
- Heritage Tour of Swayambhunath. one of Kathmandu’s oldest Buddhist temples located on hilltop of of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kathmandu.
- “Know Nepal Session” and welcome dinner. An expert will be invited to give a brief overview on Nepal.The expert will give special focus on history, art, religion, culture & ethnicity and heritages.
- Session on “Education in Nepal”: We will visit an NGO working issues related to education and learn about Nepal’s education system.
- “Human Rights and Social Inclusion in Nepal”: Visit an NGO working in Human Rights, Social Inclusion and Issues of Dalit and the situation of human rights and social inclusion in Nepal with focus on situation of Dalit in Nepal.
- Heritage Walk in Kirtipur: Kirtipur is a well-preserved old town with medieval temples. We will walk along its narrow lanes to observe the life of the people who have lived for many generations preserving age-old traditions and beliefs.
- try some Newari food for dinner
- Session on “Development and Damage in Karnali: This session will give you a different perspective about Nepal and development activities carried out in the Himalayan communities. The speaker will discuss how development agencies including the government, have been contributing for the development as well as the creating harm to the region.
- Visit one of the Swiss Development Agencies in Kathmandu to learn how the Swiss Government is collaborating with Nepal on its development process.
- Talk on Religion in Nepal: We will invite experts on Buddhism and Hinduism who will talk about these religions.
- Religious Heritage Walk : We will visit Pashupatinath Temple. One of the most important Hindu temple. We will get to see Sadhus and devotees of God Shiva and walk to the Boudhanath Stupa, known locally as ‘Khasti’, which is also a World Heritage site. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design.
- Free Evening
- Dinner at Bouddha
- Travel to Aapshwara Community Dalit Homestay (5 Hours bus ride and 2 hours hike
- Reach Community and Transfer to Home-stays: Welcome by community, introduction and transfer to homes. All the participants will spend the rest of the day with their host families.
- Work on Community Service Project: About one day and half, we will be working on a community project (e.g. repairing village trail or gardening village’s community building or working with a school). Participants will be informed when the service project is confirmed. The project will be decided after the consultation with community members.
- Complete Community Service Work
- Village tour in a group or with our host families
- Learning traditional Skills: You will get the opportunity to learn traditional skills like iron work at hearth, bamboo work, basket weaving, learning to play local musical instruments and making mud jewelry. You can choose one or two of the skills you want to learn.
- Cultural Evening and Interaction with community members in group: After the dinner, all the members of the community will gather and perform musical program.
- Meeting with Community Groups (Meet local youth club and women group) to understand their issues.
- leave community and travel to Organic Living Farm near Pokhara
- Reach farm and free evening
- Free Day at Farm (rest and relax on the farm)
- Barbeque in the evening
- Morning Yoga at the Farm
- Colloquium on “Agriculture in Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities”- We will invite village youth, local farmers, youth involved in agriculture business and organizations promoting sustainable agriculture will be invite to join us to discuss on present situation of agriculture in Nepal with especial focus on organic farming. Organic Living Nepal will host this colloquium.
- Fun Football Match with local youth
- Free Evening
- Trek to Australian Camp through Dhampus (6-7 hours hike): IAustralian Camp (Altitude : 2100m provides great Jungle scenery and panoramic views of Himalayas like Annapurna South, Fishtial, Mt Dhaulagiri,Tukuche peak,Dhampus Peak,Nilgiri and Hiuchuli.
- Overnight at the Camp and Enjoy the natural beauty
- Free Evening
- Walk down to Lumle and travel back to Pokhara by bus
- Visit Tibetian Refugee Camp in Hemja on the way
- Free time in Pokhara
- Free Day in Pokhara (Visiting Gorkha Museum, International Mountaineering Museum, Boating in Fewa Lake, Shopping etc).
- Travel Back to Kathmandu
- Free Evening
- Exploring Kathmandu: Visit Bhaktapur- UNESCO World Heritage Sites . Bhaktapur is one of 3 Royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal and considered a cultural gem, rich with a fascinating history, fascinating architectural beauty, and filled with ancient Hindu and Buddhist religious sites.
- Closing of the Program
- Free Afternoon
- Goodbye Dinner