Intercultural Study Trip to Nepal
04.09. - 14.09.2019
June 30 2019
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 Himalaya? Are you curious to learn Nepal’s socio-economic condition, political status and diverse cultural and traditional practices? Would you be excited to go off track and learn about Nepal’s beautiful countryside and live like locals? This trip gives you an opportunity to gain insights from experts through lectures, experiencing rustic life by living like locals in a rural village, leave cubicle city life behind and enjoy nature in an organic farm and a hike in Himalayas.
The Trip starts in Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu, a melting pot of dozens of different ethnical cultures and multiple different religions. After a half-day of trip orientation, visiting some UNESCO World Hertiage Sites in Kathmandu and attending some sessions on different issues like politics, culture, education, we then go to “Aapshwara Community Dalit Homestay” in Tanahun district. Aapshwara Community Dalit Homestay is led by ‘Dalits’, considered ‘untouchables’ who represents lowest strata of the Nepali society. During our stay in the community homestay you will get opportunity to learn local traditional skills like iron work, bamboo work, basket weaving, making mud jewelry and learning to play musical instruments. In addition, you will also have a chance to serve the community by engaging in a community service project. We then travel to organic farm run by Organic Living Nepal. You will learn about issues and opportunities of agriculture in Nepal. After living in the organic farm we will embark in a day hiking to Australian Camp. Then we will have some free time in Pokhara and we will wrap-up our trip in Kathmandu.
- Visit historical places like Kirtipur, Bouddhanath, Bhaktapur and Soyembhu (all of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites except Kirtipur)
- Learn about Nepal’s diverse cultures and religions
- Participate in colloquium on Organic Farming in Nepal
- Experience Homestay and live like locals
- Work on Community Service Project
- Meet and learn from organizations and experts working on various issues
- Enjoy hiking in Nepal’s beautiful nature with stunning views of the Himalayas
- Experience living in organic farm and learning about Nepal’s agriculture situation
- Enjoy Nepal’s simple but exquisite cuisine
Meet the Organizers
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 has co-organized several IFIL Study Trip to Nepal and since 2018 is member of IFIL’s board. He is the co-founder of Hands-On Institute which shares IFIL’s ideas and designs and executes educational travel programs in Nepal for academic institutions and organizations from around the world.
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 courses on the issues of sustainability.
- 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.
- We will also try some Newari food for dinner. The hilltop area of Kirtipur is vehicle free.
- 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.
Day in the Community:
- Village tour: During the day time we will visit around the village in a group or with our host family.
- Meeting with Community Groups (Meet local youth club and women group) to understand their issues.
- Learning traditional Skills: You will get 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 of two of the skills you want to learn.
- Work on Community Service Project: About one day and half we will work on a community project. That could be repairing a village trail or gardening at a village community building or working with the school. Participants will be informed as the service project is confirmed. The project will be decided after the consultation with community members and in close collaboration, not in competition with them.
- Cultural Evening and Interaction with community members in group: After the dinner, all the members of the community will gather and perform musical program.
- Complete Community Service Work
- Leave community and travel to Organic Living Farm near Pokhara
- Reach farm and free evening
- Morning Yoga at Farm
- Free Day at Farm – free day (rest and relax in the farm)
- Barbeque in the evening
- Trek to Australian Camp through Dhampus: It will take about 6-7 hours to reach Australian Camp. Australian 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
- Stay in a Monastry Hotel in Hemja (Experience Tibetan life closely).
- Night stay at the hotel
- Shift to Pokhara (30 min drive) to another Hotel
- Free Day in Pokhara (Visiting Gorkha Museum, International Mountaineering Museum, Boating in Fewa Lake, Shopping etc).
- Travel Back to Kathmandu
- Free Evening
- Visiting one of a Swiss Development Agencies in Kathmandu to learn how Swiss Government is collaborating with Nepal on its development process.
- 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