Nepal & Tibet Gap Semester

START Kathmandu, Nepal |
FINISH Kathmandu, Nepal |
DURATION 10 weeks |
AGES 17 - 22 |
STUDENTS 14
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Trekking, Rafting & Yoga Retreat

Imagine soaring Himalayan peaks framed by fluttering prayer flags, all under a vast, endless sky. Nepal and Tibet beckon with their rugged beauty, sparse population, and stunning historical sites.  This gap semester program lets you experience it all - traverse the "rooftop of the world" from Kathmandu to Lhasa, visit Everest Base Camp, immerse yourself in local culture, volunteer on a community project, trek the Annapurna Circuit, and even raft the mighty Kali Gandaki River. Prepare for an epic journey that's both spiritual and unforgettable.

Highlights

Traverse dramatic landscapes, witness iconic peaks like Annapurna I and Manaslu, and experience the rich culture of hidden villages within Annapurna National Park. This unforgettable journey will push your limits and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Develop resilience and self-reliance through physical and mental challenges and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and traditions.

This incredible journey starts in Lhasa, the heart of Tibetan culture. Explore magnificent monasteries and soak in the unique atmosphere. Then, traverse the Himalayas, culminating in a visit to the awe-inspiring Mount Everest Base Camp. Witness the world's tallest peak up close and experience the raw beauty of the high mountains. This 7-day adventure will help you create lifelong memories and friendships with fellow travelers and return home with a newfound perspective on the world and yourself.

Navigate the thrilling rapids of the Kali Gandaki, one of Nepal's holiest rivers, carving its path through the deepest gorge in the world. You'll experience the raw power and beauty of the Himalayas from a unique perspective while encountering sacred sites and cremation grounds, gaining insight into Nepal's rich spiritual traditions. During this highlight you'll develop a sense of thrill and accomplishment as you navigate the challenging waterway, gain valuable life skills such as teamwork, resilience, and problem-solving, and be immersed in ancient cultures and connect with the local people.

Itinerary

This is a guide to what you can expect to do on program. The order in which the activities occur might vary.

Click download to view the full 10 week sample itinerary.

Download Sample Itinerary

Kathmandu & Yoga Retreat

On arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and welcomed by your Program Instructors. We travel to a peaceful village in the foothills of the Himalaya for a comprehensive program orientation with all program participants. There will be time to go hiking in the hills and begin forming the all-important bonds with our group mates.

We then travel to the outskirts of Kathmandu, to a monastery for a fantastic 3-day yoga and meditation retreat. We’ll also have an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and gain insight into life in a Buddhist monastery.

Lhasa, Tibet

We fly to Lhasa, Tibet to experience the birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism and its ancient cultural heart. Lhasa, meaning ‘place of the gods’, is one of the highest cities on earth, nestled on the Tibetan Plateau surrounded by mountains. Since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, change has been dramatic, with many Tibetans now living in exile, and as a minority in Lhasa. During our time in Lhasa we will be staying in the Tibetan quarter and visiting the historically significant Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera and Drepung Monasteries.

Everest Camp

Departing Lhasa we take an incredible road trip across the ‘roof top of the world’ as we traverse the Friendship Highway back to Nepal. We overnight at small villages and towns along the route. We’ll visit stunning turquoise Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse, Shigatse, Rongphu Monastery, and Everest Base Camp at 5150m (16,900ft). Our final day on the road takes us across the border back into Nepal, to a welcoming riverside lodge in the mountain foothills, before returning to Kathmandu.

Program Details

What's Included?
  • All in-program travel and transport, excluding flights
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • All expeditions, activities, excursions, volunteer projects and entry fees as described in the itinerary
  • Experienced Program Instructors and local guides
  • Informal lectures from resident experts on conservation and eco-tourism
  • Experiential core curriculum that pushes students to reflect and ask questions of themselves
  • Certificate of Program Completion

 

For full program details, please request the information booklet.

Request Information Booklet

High Activity Level

Anyone with an average fitness level and an enthusiasm for the outdoors and new experiences will have a great time on this gap semester. You will need to be fit enough to complete a 16-day trek (4-6 hours trekking per day carrying a daypack), and engage in physical work during the volunteer project.


 

Medium Camping Level

Accommodation is diverse, comfortable and carefully chosen to fit our needs. Our accommodation will be a mixture of comfortable and clean hostels and simple trekking lodges: 12 nights village homestay (homestay in pairs/small groups, in the homes of vetted local families), 3 nights at a Buddhist Monastery guesthouse, 8 nights camping (tents supplied).

Medium Service Learning Level

You will take part in a rewarding volunteer project and village homestay with language and cultural exchange focus, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. You will need to be prepared for some physical work during the volunteer projects on the program, like tree planting, painting or trail building. 

Have you got any questions before applying?

Nepal & Tibet Gap Semester