Trekking the Annapurna Track part 2. by Steven, Nepal and Tibet

Hello. My name is Stevens Gustafson and this blog post will be a review of the second half of our Annapurna circuit trek from October 20th to October 27th.On the first day we hiked from Yak Kharka to Throng Pedi. We hiked for about 3 hours and climbed roughly 400 meters to an elevation of about 4400 meters in Throng Pedi. The hike was pretty mild but the elevation made it much harder. When we arrived we ate lunch and hung out in the tea house for a couple hours. In the a... Read more

Welcome to NZ, settling in at Tāwharanui, NZA3

Sam Lipin from our New Zealand Australia Group 3 Semester Program updates us on their first service learning project in Tawharanui, NZ. We have arrived in New Zealand! Wahoo! Our first stop was the Tawharanui park and campground. Riddled with sheep, cows and plenty of birds, including the endangered Takahe, we awoke each morning to a symphony of moos, baas and indescribable birds tweets.  Throughout the week, directed by park rangers Morris and Amy, we “tickled” trails... Read more

A summary of the student lead portion of SEA

Aniko shares her experiences from the South East Asia program, where the students have just spent five days planning and leading their travels! Out of all our experiences in Southeast Asia so far, the student lead portion was definitely one of the most rewarding. We had set budgets for food, accommodation, transport, and activities and had to keep track of every group expense, past and future, while also having new fun experiences that we planned for ourselves. Our grou... Read more

A snapshot of Australia by Evan, NZA2

We landed in two groups in Brisbane the morning of September 23rd. Most of us were jet-lagged and tired after the many hours spent traveling, so after a bit of downtime in the hostel, we spent the afternoon getting to know each other in a nearby city park. The next day, we jumped right into things by taking the ferry to Stradbroke Island off the east coast of Australia. We were lucky to be staying in a hostel right on the beach, and although the water was cold, it was re... Read more

Homestay in Nepal and Tibet

Hey, my name is Connor and this is my blog post about one of the weeks spent at the at the homestay. we went paragliding, ran into some trouble with the law as a group and saw Dashain festivities full of dancing and sacrifices. On the morning of October 1st, we had a long hike up to Babu’s paragliding school. Babu is a Nepal legend, he was the first person to ever paraglide off of Mt.Everest, and won the National Geographic adventurer of the year in 2012. For most of us... Read more

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit by Luke, Nepal and Tibet

Update from Luke on the Nepal and Tibet Program Hello, my name is Luke Sena and this blog post will be a review of the first half of our trek through the Annapurna Mountain Range. The Annapurna Circuit covers roughly 131 miles and we are trekking it over a span of 17 days. Each night we stay in a tea house. The tea houses are cute little hotels that have meals and rooms set up for trekkers, the meals are amazing and the rooms are cozy. Our first day was an easier day, ... Read more

Homestay and Trek Preparation by Louisa, Nepal and Tibet

Update from Louisa on the Nepal and Tibet Program Hi friends and families! This week we transitioned from our homestay to relaxing and preparing for our trek in Pokhara. The last couple days we soaked up the last of our homestay—helping our families with the holiday (Daśamī) or hanging out by the river in Wāling. Leaving our homestay families was really hard. My family made me feel so welcome in their community and made a big effort to making sure I was eating enough o... Read more

Update from surfaris camp - NZA3

Written by Tyler on our New Zealand Australia program, group 3. This week has been filled with wonderful adventures from some serious games of Banan-O-Grams to a black out pizza party due to a raging thunder-storm. We stayed at a cozy surf camp called Surfaris in Crescent Head, New South Wales. One of our favorite parts of the stay was our amazing hosts Sandra and Ben. We also had the pleasure of meeting Bob and Gerald, our two Conservation Coordinators for our bush reg... Read more

Saying goodbye to Thailand and hello to Laos!

Written by Grace and Lucy on our South East Asia program. After the meditation retreat we returned to Chiang Mai for what would be an exciting couple of days! After our arrival, we all participated in a cooking class at “A lot of Thai.” The class was instructed by the founder, Yui: a self- taught Thai chef. She began the class by giving us an informative tour of the produce in a local market. We purchased the traditional Thai food items that Yui uses in her home-cooked ... Read more

The Meditation Retreat, Thailand

Written by Ella and Caroline on our South East Asia program. By the third week of whirlwind travel with a group of 14 that we’d only just met, a meditation retreat sounded like just what we needed. Of course, the excitement of a new country and making new friends hadn't gotten old. By this time the group was ready to reflect and recharge. On the first day, we realized just how relaxed things would be when they outfitted us in comfortable white “pajamas” and encouraged ... Read more