Global Prep — 2018
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
If your ideal trip involves international travel, breathtaking scenery, and helping others, then this program might be the perfect fit for you. By spending two weeks volunteering in Nepal, you can make a difference in a beautiful part of the world that has, in recent years, seen earthquake damage and worked to accommodate refugees from bordering nations. Along with a group of dedicated international volunteers, you’ll have the chance to learn about Nepali culture as you build educational facilities or assist refugees from Tibet. You can also take in some spectacular views during your illuminating four-day trek through the Annapurna mountain range in the Himalayas. At the end of your two-week adventure, you’re likely to return home with stunning photos, life-long friendships, and a sense of genuine accomplishment.
Your journey will begin in New York City, where you’ll meet the other members of your group. Then you’ll fly together with your group leader to Kathmandu, Nepal. You’ll be welcomed at the airport by local staff or volunteers, and then brought to a hostel in nearby Thamel for a traditional meal and orientation activity. On the following day, you’ll make your way to Pokhara, a lakeside city that serves as the gateway to a popular section of the Great Himalaya Trail. As you adjust to your surroundings, be sure to try some delicious local food like momo (dumplings)!
During your time in Nepal, you’ll help make an impact in local communities while gaining international volunteer experience. Your work could include building tanks for drinking water, renovating schools, or improving sanitation facilities. Or you and your friends could help provide support and resources to Tibetan refugees who have left China due to persecution. You’ll be broken up into groups according to task, and each group will set specific goals to meet over the course of the program. No matter your role, you’ll be taking essential steps to better people’s lives and help bring about a healthier, happier community. If you’ve ever wondered how NGOs like the United Nations help improve living conditions around the world for millions of people, this experience will give you a firsthand sense of the work these organizations do.
For two weeks, you’ll live and work alongside international volunteers committed to making a difference in the world. You’ll stay in a shared same-sex bedroom in at your base in Pokhara with access to shared bathroom facilities. The conditions will be rustic, but you’ll get to really appreciate the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds you. In the evenings you’ll have the opportunity to join in a range of cultural activities from learning Nepali dancing and cooking to participating in quizzes and movie nights.
In addition to your volunteer project, you’ll have the chance to explore local temples, monasteries, and pagodas. After a busy day giving back to the community, you’ll want to sit back with a milkshake beside the lake or browse through the many shops in Pokhara. During your four-day trek through the foothills of the Annapurna mountain range (home of some of the tallest peaks in the world!), you’ll also get to visit picturesque small towns and villages. Then you and your friends will explore the capital of Kathmandu, spending time in the bustling Thamel neighborhood. You can expect to do some souvenir shopping as you pop in and out of colorful markets and bazaars. Best of all, your two weeks abroad will offer you the opportunity to meet locals and people from neighboring regions like Tibet, as well as learn first-hand about Nepali culture.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.