Location
  • India
    • Delhi
    • Himalaya
Length
1 - 26 weeks

Program Details

Activities
Backpacking Camping Mountain Climbing
Timeframe
Fall Spring
Housing
Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
18

Pricing

Starting Price
$8,000 USD
Price Details
Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Academic Credit available.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Equipment Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare
Jan 13, 2021
Jan 10, 2017

About Program

Join us for an adventure in the Indian Himalaya, where you’ll discover new challenges and gain global perspective as you travel through soaring peaks. Backpack through alpine villages and practice your conversational Hindi with local community members. Develop mountaineering skills on high-altitude glaciers or navigate whitewater rapids while rafting on the Kali River. Learn one or more technical skills—backpacking, mountaineering, or whitewater rafting—in the highest mountain chain in the world.
NOLS India courses combine the physical challenges offered by mountain terrain with a window into the culture of Kumaon communities. Here, the traditional Indian greeting, namaste, is a word worth knowing and saying properly. Whether you’re attempting a peak ascent or traveling to a high-altitude glacier to practice mountaineering skills, you’ll encounter local community members along the way!

Video and Photos

Popular Programs

Student admires mountain vista

Leave the tourist destinations behind and head to the remote corners of northwest India to learn about leadership and yourself. Hike deep into the Himalaya and visit places where animal-powered farming is a way of life. Drink spiced cups of chai and challenge yourself with long days of backpacking. On this course, you’ll focus on building a range of outdoor skills, cultural competence, and leadership as you gain a deep understanding of this region of India.

Students hike on glacier

Learn to lead on challenging terrain on this high-altitude mountaineering course. As you explore India’s remote Kumaon region, you’ll develop the skills you need to travel on ice, snow, and rock in an alpine environment. You’ll start with the basics of backcountry living, including minimum-impact camping and navigation. Then, progress to more advanced skills like glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Hone your technical skills so you’re ready to tackle the next peak!

Tent site in India

Immerse yourself in a unique landscape and culture while exploring the soaring mountains of the Himalaya. Make your way through India’s Kumaon and Eastern Garhwal regions on foot, backpacking up high mountain passes up to 15,000 feet above sea level. Practice your conversational Hindi with local residents while visiting teahouses nestled in lush valleys. Learn about the region’s ecology and traditional farming techniques as you travel through remote villages.

Program Reviews

9.67 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 9.2
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fall Semester In India 2016

My NOLS experience was nothing short of phenomenal. My favorite part of every day was waking up in the mornings. It might seem strange, but I can explain. There is something magical about waking up in the Himilayas. It's a place none of my friends or family have been, it's a place that from my comfortable life in Kansas City, Missouri, seemed so far away and out of reach. To wake up there every single morning was amazing. I woke up under a shelter of trees, I woke up covered in sand from the beach, I woke up to the rushing water in the Kali river, I woke up after a comfy nights rest in a generous villager's house, I woke up in my stinky sleeping bag in a tent with 3 other stinky people and every second of it was perfect. To top it off, I woke up with a sense of purpose. Every. Single. Day. Every day I had a goal that was realistic and that I was proud to accomplish before I went to bed at night. I was challenged physically and walked distances I didn't know I could. I helped local families in their fields, took part in their livelihood. I helped them. I helped them, but they helped me more. They helped me in a way that is hard to put into words. I set SMART goals and actually follow through, I see people differently than I did before - gently and with positive intent, and I have a confidence and craving for adventure that can't be tamed.

What would you improve about this program?
PLEASE MAKE THE NATURE AND CULTURE SECTION A FEW DAYS LONGER.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

NOLS pushed me to discover how I want to live my life.

NOLS pushed me to discover what I value in life, and how to effect ethics to shape my life around those values. Going to the Himalayas for three months was incredibly daunting. However, NOLS gave me the knowledge, skills, and tools to accomplish things I never thought I could do, physically and emotionally. They didn't make it easy - nobody could. But they made it possible, when it otherwise would not have been. NOLS created a space for me to mature, learn impressive technical and leadership skills, and live my life better.

There were times when I was so frustrated I cried, when I was so cold I could barely talk. But much more often, I found successes by pushing through my frustration and finally getting me group to my campspot, or working through the cold to summit a 15,000 ft pass. NOLS forced me to push myself in this way and taught me how to find success.

NOLS accomodated my allergy very well and worked out my field rations to make it easy for me to maintain proper nutrition in the field.

What would you improve about this program?
This course consisted of three sections: trekking, homestay/cultural, and rafting. I wish we could have had even more sections, like mountaineering or rock climbing.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

NOLS India Semester

My semester spent in India was life changing to say the least. I made friends that will last a lifetime, met incredible human beings, learned another language, saw things that one could only understand if they saw it themselves. I pushed myself to my limits and experienced the incredibly breathing taking raw gorgeousness of the Himalayas. I wish I could accurately put into words just how absolutely incredible this experience was for me, just so everyone would know just how amazing it is so they can go and experience this for themselves. I would not be nearly as prepared to take on my adult life and college if it wasn't for NOLS. If anyone could take this trip, take it. Because otherwise they would be missing out on a trip of a lifetime. http://www.jetsetter.com/feature/what-we-are-thankful-for-i…

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would say is students with nut allergies, be aware of how severe your allergies are and be appropriately prepared to take on a harsh environment for someone with allergies.
10 people found this review helpful.
Response from NOLS

Hi Lauren,

Thanks so much for reviewing here and for mentioning us in the Jetsetter article! We really appreciate it!

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Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Inspiring

My NOLS India experience just ended a few days ago. To explain what I learned, how I evolved as a person, and how I was impacted by my NOLS course would end up being a drastic understatement. It is something you have to experience to fully understand. My confidence, my leadership abilities, my relations with others, my knowledge about the culture and environment, my greater appreciation for life, my connection with nature, my deeper perspective of life, and numerous more changed or evolved insights have over a span of three months have helped grow me as a person.
I took this course during the first semester of my freshman year of college. I would 100 percent recommend this course for graduated high school students. I definitely was not ready for college yet and now I feel well beyond ready.

What would you improve about this program?
Save grading, not feedback, until the very end.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Lizzy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

NOLS Semester in India

The semester I spent in India has been the most incredible and most invaluable experience of my life. Whether it be living with a homestay family and learning to adapt to a new culture, rafting down the River Kali and camping in paradise every night, or hiking through the Himalaya and carrying everything you will need for 40 days on your back, NOLS Semester in India will offer you experiences you won't be able to find anywhere else.

No doubt there were times when I struggled and longed for my iphone or a warm shower, but I learned to face these challenges with more grace each time and through overcoming them I realized what I'm really made of. It's amazing how all the skills and lessons I learned in the backcountry have transferred and been instrumental to my success and happiness in the front country. (I think I'm one of the only people who can say I'm more comfortable cooking on a backcountry stove than in my own kitchen!)

And of course, the views are amazing. No mountains are more beautiful or more awesome than the Himalaya, the youngest and tallest mountain range on earth. Sharing in an experience like this one has given me priceless memories and life long friends. I'm happy to say that, over a year later, I still keep in touch with many of friends from NOLS. The friendships you forge on a NOLS trip are so unique and special, and for this I am forever grateful.

10 people found this review helpful.
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Florentine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nols semester in India

This was THE MOST CHALLENGING I have done in my life: You will NEVER put yourself through so many new, uncomfortable positions in your '​'normal environment": learning a new sport I had never done before, with peers from a well-developed, but yet so different continent, in a non-native language.

And it was THE MOST REWARDING: I accomplished goals, I thought I would never accomplish. I have never been so proud of myself. You are always more capable then you think you are.

8 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers