OUT NOW: TeenLife’s Guide to Summer Programs 2023!

    Global Routes: Service & Cultural Immersion in Nepal

    Global Routes: Service & Cultural Immersion in Nepal

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    (3 reviews)


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Destination: Nepal
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: June, July, August
    • Session Length: Five Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, PG
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Community Service
    • Sub-Categories: Religious Studies, Social Justice, Leadership, Health and Well Being, Preserving the Environment, Youth Outreach, Literacy, Meditation
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: > $3,000
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Credit Awarded: No
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    BE MORE THAN A TOURIST!  Global Routes is a pioneer in the world of immersive international programming for high school students. Our transformative program model combines meaningful community service, authentic community stays, and unparalleled adventures off-the-beaten-track.

    GLOBAL ROUTES PROGRAM MODEL Global Routes is the program for you if you’re curious and adventurous, dedicated to strengthening our global community, and are looking for an authentic travel experience. Through our transformative program model, students develop critical global skills, leadership, confidence, compassion, and an enthusiasm for experiencing the world!

    Nepal: 5-Week Program, June 29 - August 3, 2023
    Nepal offers an incredible experience for students seeking an immersive program abroad in one of the most spectacular settings on Earth. Wander through the bazaars, temples, and cobblestoned-streets of Dhulikhel and Kathmandu, and then head off on a 9-day trek to sacred, jewel-like lakes beneath breathtaking peaks in the Himalayas. Dive into Nepalese daily life by living with a homestay family and working alongside community members to construct a school, plant trees, and teach English. Explore the rich cultural history and architecture of the ancient cities of Bhaktapur and Bodhnath. The rich cultural and spiritual fabric of Nepal, and the warm hospitality of its people, create an awe-inspiring appreciation for life’s simplicity.

    DATES: June 29 - August 3, 2023
    GROUP SIZE: Up to 18 students (co-ed), 2 U.S. leaders, 3-5 Nepalese Staff
    SERVICE HOURS EARNED: 50-80 hours
    LEARNING GOALS: Trekking, leadership, outdoor skills, construction
    PRICE: $6,795 (Financial Aid Available)

    ORIENTATION: After your journey from the U.S., you and your group head to a cozy lodge in the quaint heritage town of Bhaktapur, the ‘City of Devotees,’ where temple-studded medieval squares, narrow streets, red-brick houses, and hidden courtyards peppered with temples, greet you at every turn. You’ll meander through ornate 15th-century temples and marvel at the traditional Newari craftsmanship for which this ancient heart of the Malla Kingdom is acclaimed. You’ll enjoy your first cup of chai tea, get to know one another and begin your informal studies of conversational Nepali with Global Routes’ dedicated Nepalese staff. Rising early one morning to hike to a hidden Hindu temple, you begin to prepare your trekking legs and enjoy the sunrise from this ancient Kali Temple.

    COMMUNITY SERVICE AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE: Feeling fit and inspired, it’s time to head to your homestay community, located in the heart of the fertile Hill’s Region, two hours outside of Kathmandu. Here you spend two weeks immersed in Nepalese life, working with local community members to construct a school or a much-needed community water tank. Teach English to local children, lead an adult reading seminar, or design a colorful mural to adorn a classroom wall. Step into the rhythm of rural Nepalese daily life; harvest the season’s bounty with your host mother or tend to your family’s chickens and goats at your host father’s side. Participate in the local festivals of the summer season and visit some of the many temples that dot the rolling landscape. You will arrive in your host community as a guest and depart as family, always in awe of the ability of Nepalis to overcome incredible adversity.

    TRAVEL ADVENTURES: After a final celebration ceremony in your village, you will transition to final travel in the stunning Tibetan Buddhist center of Bodhnath, home to many of Nepal’s Tibetan refugees and the largest and most beautiful Buddhist Stupa on earth (we challenge you to walk around it 108 times during your stay!). Bodhnath is famed for its colorful and exhilarating sights, sounds, and smells, and for the way it casually blends the modern with the spiritual. Observe a local woman making offerings to the gods along a market walkway, and smile at the paradox of a cow wandering along cobblestone streets. You’ll then work with your group and leaders to truly digest the life-changing experience you’ve encountered, and learn how to take the tools and lessons you’ve gained back to your home-life.

    “Going to Nepal with GR was the best decision I’ve made for so many reasons. It pushed me past my comfort zone to realize that my comfort zone was holding me back. Unlike most programs, GR includes a homestay portion into the trip. Learning how to form meaningful relationships with people who do not speak the same language as you do is such an amazing experience and one that has already helped me in my day-to-day life. Going on a Global Routes trip is truly the best investment and a life-changing experience.”  - Nina, Nepal, Student

    “Our son's experience was transformational. He gained maturity, confidence and a new perspective on global concerns. He even gained a love of hiking in the mountains. We sincerely thank the staff for that experience.” - Susanna, Nepal, Parent

    ENROLL TODAY:  Complete our brief first stage enrollment form to save your space. No commitment or deposit necessary. 

    CONTACT US: hello@globalroutes.org, (413) 585-8895

    Cost and Session Information

    $7895. International airfare is not included in the tuition. Roundtrip airfare from New York to Kathmandu will be between $1,100 and $1,900.

    FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE: We offer between 10-50% financial aid based on need. Please submit our financial aid application if interested.

    Reviews (3)

    • Best summer I have ever had
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      Reviewed on Oct/20/2019 by Mayley

      Everything about this trip is incredible, the hiking, the views, the people, but the what changed my life the most was when we stayed with our host families. Living with them for two weeks helped me appreciate everything I had that I taken advantage of before. I also learned about how they lived, got to go to school and hang out with the kids of the village. We played games together, had dance parties, and they helped us with our construction project. The most incredible thing I did was spend a day with my family in the fields helping them with their day to day work and planting rice with them. I became very closer with my Nepali host family and miss them everyday, and I am still in contact with them through facebook. As well, my biggest accomplishment that I will never forget was making it to base camp of Annapurna after all the hard work it took us all to get there. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity Global Routes provided me.

    • Best summer of my life
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      Reviewed on Mar/20/2018 by Emma

      I went to Nepal with Global Routes and in the five weeks I spent there, I learned more about who I am and who I want to be than any other point in my life. I feel so incredibly lucky to have participated in this program. The leaders of the trip were the best I could ask for--super fun, interesting, responsible, and inspiring--and I met so many wonderful people in my group whom I will be friends with for years to come. Nepal is a magical place with the most welcoming of people. I was awed by its beauty on the 10-day trek, with mountainous landscapes and icy glaciers distracting me from the physical challenges of hiking. My home stay was comfortable and had some of the best food I've eaten (I still miss it), as well as the sweetest family that I still keep in touch with. It was very satisfying to have contributed to the building of the school and I enjoyed my time on the worksite. One of my favorite parts of the trip was traveling through Bhaktapur and Boudhanath--two beautiful cities I intend to visit again. As a whole, this trip was more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Global Routes gave me the tools to be a strong leader and compassionate friend.

    • A Life Changing Experience
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      Reviewed on Jan/19/2018 by Nina

      Going to Nepal with GR was the best decision I've made. It pushed me past my comfort zone to realize that my comfort zone was holding me back. The Trek portion of the trip was physically and mentally challenging. Hiking for 8+ hours a Day is exhausting, especially when you are getting to know 13 new people that you are living with and sweating through every layer of clothing you're wearing. I doubted my ability to finish with every step i took. However the bonds formed during the Trek are what enabled me to find the strength in myself to finish. The relationships I formed during this trip are long lasting and invaluable. This trip helped me connect to people in a way I never had before. Unlike most programs, GR includes a homestay portion into the trip. Learning how to form meaningful relationships with people who do not speak the same language as you do is such an amazing experience and one that has already helped me in my day-to-day life. I have such fond memories of sitting on the clay floor of my homestay families kitchen learning how to make traditional Nepali food with my homestay aunt and mom, trying to communicate through my very broken Nepali and sign language. I learned to appreciate the small victories, such as learning a new Nepali word to let my homestay Mom know that i loved her dinner and seeing the enormous smile on her face. This trip was both physically and mentally challenging for myself, however it enabled me to find a strength in myself that i had not seen before. Going on a Global Routes trip is the best investment and a life changing experience.


    • "My Global Routes trip was one of the most enjoyable and challenging experiences of my life. I gained so much trust in my own abilities and experienced the travel adrenaline rush that I have been craving ever since."

      - Nava, 2014 Student - January 18, 2018
    • Global Routes is an outstanding and enriching experience for students and young adults. Our son left for a 5-week program in Nepal as a curious, open-minded, quiet 16-year old and returned wide-eyed, open hearted and full of gratitude and introspection. The stories of learning about Nepalese traditions, ceremonies, simplicity, spirituality and respect trickle out on a daily basis and clearly changed our already open-minded son in beautiful ways. We only wish they offered an adult version!

      - Megan, 2017 Parent - August 10, 2017
    • "Our son's experience with Global Routes was as effective as an entire year of school. Experiential learning is so valuable. He now feels like an important and effective citizen of the world, capable of working and collaborating with strangers and foreign cultures and curious about it all. Amazing."

      - Elizabeth, 2017 Parent - August 12, 2017