Location
Multiple Locations +2
  • Nepal
  • India
Length
4 - 26 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Conservation Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Post-High School Social Justice Volunteer Abroad Wilderness
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, 529 Plan eligibility, BIPOC funding

Program Details

Activities
Animal Viewing Backpacking City Exploring Farming Hiking Mountain Climbing Remote Exploring Sightseeing Surfing Swimming Trekking
Timeframe
Fall Spring
Housing
Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Hotel Lodge Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
17
Age Max
20

Pricing

Starting Price
15500
Price Details
Program tuition includes accommodations, transportation, food, and activities once participants are in-country. International airfare is additional.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Equipment Meals Park Fees Tour Guide
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
May 18, 2023
Dec 19, 2019
3 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Embark on the journey of a lifetime as we experience the rich cultures, numerous religions, ancient histories, and indefatigable energy of Nepal and India. Coming together with two different environmental organizations, we work hand in hand with local conservationists to study the threats to the survival of the majestic snow leopard and the endangered sloth bear. Trekking through the mystical mountain trails of Annapurna, we test our endurance inspired by the glacial peaks of the Nepali Himalayas. Stepping foot onto a unique demonstration farm, we learn about a well-known bio-intensive farming technique that has been adapted to Nepal’s climate, soil, and landscape to benefit local farmers. Rising early from our Buddhist monastery for morning yoga, we spend our days learning the great practice of meditation. After living in and exploring two of the world's most fascinating regions, we leave our semester with broader perspectives and a new excitement to learn.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

ARCC is committed to increasing accessibility for our programs and supporting socioeconomic diversity within our community. ARCC’s Voyagers Scholarship provides up to five scholarship opportunities per semester to students who identify within the BIPOC community. These scholarships can range anywhere from $5,000-$8,000, and also includes gear lending and mentorship support throughout the gap year experience. The Voyagers Scholarship can also be combined with ARCC Financial Aid. If you are interested in applying, please reach out to gap@arccprograms.com.

LGBTQIA+ Support

ARCC Programs believes that social responsibility is an essential aspect of our programming and business operations. We strongly believe that cultural immersion, cross-cultural conversations, and reflection on these experiences can increase self-awareness, promote empathy, and foster growth. We recognize that our staff, student, and participant body is not as diverse as we would hope. We also recognize that there are inherent imbalances in access, particularly when it comes to international travel and outdoor experiences. Recognizing the current imbalances and accessibility issues within the world and more specifically within experiential/outdoor education/gap year programs, we are able to move towards a more just and inclusive world.

Neurodivergent Support

Our Essential Eligibility Criteria outlines the requirements for participation in our programs to determine if our programs are a good fit for each student. While ARCC Gap is not a therapeutic program, we do provide an inclusive environment for students with neurodivergence. We have had students with various diagnosed neuro-differences (such as dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, TS, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, etc) find success on our gap semester programs.

During our interview process, we have open communication with students and families about the support ARCC instructors are able to provide students while on program. For students needing some additional support, we ask them to complete a “Plan of Action” with their at home support system. These plans may include additional information about communication/support preferences, coping strategies, and/or specific requirements to encourage the student to engage with the program effectively. Once on the program, our instructors will periodically check in individually with each student, help the student stay accountable to their Plan of Action, and provide general support to all participants.

Accessibility Support

ARCC Gap Travels to locations around the world that have varying levels of accommodations for students needing accessibility support. For this reason, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria to see if our gap programs are a good fit for you.

Whenever possible (determined by specific location and program - ie. infrastructure, access to specific health care facilities, dietary options available, etc), we have successfully assisted students with anaphylactic allergies, chronic medical conditions, and other accommodations on programs. We recommend that you reach out with specific concerns to your Gap Director to find the right fit for you.

Impact

Sustainability

At ARCC Programs we recognize that all human action impacts our physical environment and the living beings on the planet. Everything on Earth plays a role in supporting life and we believe that it is our responsibility to have a net positive impact with our actions. We strive to balance the impacts of our programming by partnering with communities and organizations with similar goals toward bettering our planet for future generations.

Ethical Impact

ARCC believes that we (as an industry) need to shift the way we think about international service. We (as a society) have now come to realize that international volunteers often benefit from their service experience, while the impact on the community can be short-lived or even harmful. We at ARCC are taking the years of experience that we have in the international service learning realm, have reflected on previous mistakes, learned from our in-country partners, and have made changes. Our goal is to live, work, and learn alongside community members while also making a positive impact. We are committed to partnering with local community-driven organizations to focus on reciprocity while contributing to established long-term projects. It is our responsibility to engage in mutually beneficial community-driven projects and teach fair trade learning principles to our students.

Program Highlights

  • Trek the Peaks and Valleys of Nepal’s Annapurna Mountain Range
  • Shadow Monks during a Buddhist Monastery Stay in the Nepali Mountains
  • Partner with Organizations Working to Conserve the Sloth Bear, Indian Elephant, and Snow Leopard
  • Watch the Sun Rise over the World-Renowned Taj Mahal
  • Learn about Sustainable Farming through Hands on Learning at a Demonstration Farm

Program Reviews

4.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 33.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.7
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Danna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Time of my life

This program was one of the most interesting, difficult, fun, and rewarding experiences I've had throughout my life. To get you through the difficult parts though, is a extremely helpful well prepared staff, both in the office and with you on the program. This program is extremely group oriented yet manages to build your sense if independence throughout the semester. On this trip, you will need to be prepared to see a lot of devastation in some of the poorer communities you will volunteer in. These experiences completely shifted my world view and I now feel so much more aware in my daily life. Over all, I highly recommend this program- you will get to do really incredible things like living in a Tibetan Buddhist community, or being up close to Sloth Bears and Elephants all while meeting incredible locals.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
For me one of the most scary parts of the trip would have to be the Mardi-Himal Trek. I'm someone who lives at sea level and only does yoga for exercise so this was a big personal challenge for me. I expressed my concerns to my leaders and group (who almost all had trekking experience) and was met with so much support. I'm really proud of myself for overcoming that obstacle and really grateful for the support the group provided me that helped me get through it.
86 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lia
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience in Nepal and India with ARCC!

This program is filled with fun activities, volunteering, and learning not only about a different culture but also about yourself. In the beginning of my search to find gap semester programs, I was overwhelmed with so many options that all had amazing itineraries. I narrowed it down to 3 and tried to figure out which one had projects that focused on issues that I was interested in, adventurous activities, and learning but not super academic (I wanted to learn by doing and experiencing not just sitting and reading about the countries that we were in). One program that I liked was more rustic then others but it was only in Nepal and I wanted to experience India as well. Another program had more adventures like hiking and rafting but I felt like they weren’t getting immersed in the culture as much as this ARCC program. This program had the right balance of academics with reading different articles and experiential learning. This program also had the right balance of adventurous activities like hiking and rafting but also service and having down time. I also really enjoyed it being in two different countries. I took this program in the fall semester and for me it was important to start my year off with a structured program where I was immersed in the culture, had fun, and learned something new. That all happened within ARCC Himalaya and I am very happy that I chose this program.

One of my favorite memories from this trip was staying with a family in rural Nepal celebrating Dasain, a Hindu festival. The family I stayed with were so kind and always wanted to talk about in what ways our cultures were different, sports, and our interests. Even though I was fed pounds of dal bhat (lentils and rice) where I need to be rolled out of the room, I was so happy talking to my brother and sisters and learning about their culture and how they celebrate Dasain. Other favorites were doing hands on work caring for sloth bears at Wildlife SOS in India, talking with women at Her Farm about women’s issues in Nepal, and learning about Tibetan refugees at a monastery in Nepal. I also enjoyed the time spent with our group where we had deep conversations about life, made each other laugh, and created memories that I will never forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Before you go on this trip some things to know is that you will be traveling a lot by bus, plane, or tuk tuk and sometimes it will be exhausting because is order to see all the amazing sites we would need to wake up at like 3am but it’s worth it in the end. Another thing that you should know is that there isn’t a lot of independent time. This makes sense because we were traveling in a small group in an unknown country where we didn’t speak the language well, so I understand why we didn’t have a ton of independent time. Also I was able to get some alone time here and there but just something to note. One of my highlights on this trip was the Annapurna trek in Nepal, even though it was shorter then I would have liked. If you love hiking like me this trek was too short, but the views were still spectacular. If you are looking for a backpacking trip, this isn’t it. But, if you are looking for a program that immerses you into the culture while also going on a small, but worth while, trek then this is the one. I also brought too much stuff, all you really need is one hiking pants, one comfortable pants, a hiking shirt, 2 comfortable shirts, underwear, and 3 pairs of socks (hiking and normal), jacket, water filtration, toiletries, and a journal. You don’t need a sleeping pad, rash guard (it was nice to have but I only wore it once out of the 3 months), and heavy hiking boots (bring lightweight hiking boots). Pack light and bring some money to buy cheap and cool clothing (I got a really cool shirt for $4) and toiletries. Another thing to note is to keep an open mind and try new things. The culture is different, food is different (and delicious), and dress is different. You will see and do things that are outside your comfort zone but do it because that is how you grow. If you are thinking about taking a gap year be brave and do it. I grew as a leader and as a person on this trip, and if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone and try something new go on this program because it will give you a new perspective on life.
92 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lexi
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Nepal and India

It was such a great time I learned a lot about myself and the world. The activities we did were great and the people were even better. I’m so glad I chose the Nepal and India gap semester it was great. I had such a good experience and I met my best friends as well college can wait but the world won’t. But this is a way to figure out whether you want to travel or not. The places we went were great we saw the Taj Mahal and we went to wildlife sos where we got to see elephants and bears and built them the greatest playground. I rate my experience as one of the best and I hope that anyone else can experience it too because it was the greatest and I wouldn’t regret it ever it helped me get a head start on my future and I hope it does the same for someone else.

75 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers