• Nepal
    • Kathmandu
    • Pokhara
4 - 12 weeks
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family Hotel Lodge
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
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.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
May 01, 2023
Nov 04, 2019
14 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Nepal is THE epicenter of meaningful and authentic travel. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, practice your Nepali on a 10-day trek in the Annapurna region. Explore and build community in a village outside of Kathmandu, where students stay with host families and enjoy two weeks of cultural exchange and authentic community service.

Support members of a Nepali village construct a school or classroom, while also teaching English to local children, working on public health projects, or running a free summer camp. Take in the spiritual beauty of the local temples and enjoy the breathtaking landscape before ending your trip with a visit to Bodhnath, home to one of the largest Tibetan Buddhists communities on earth.

This is the program for the most adventurous students in search of true transformation - Nepal is where it all begins.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We recognize that we are a long way from the diversity we aim for within our students, staff, and partners. We want and need more diversity to truly become the organization we would like to be. We recognize that this will not happen overnight or without dedicating time, attention, and resources. To that end, we have created a strategic plan to address our current shortfalls and to make significant improvements, which you can see on our Diversity & Inclusion page.

Neurodivergent Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. During the interview and application process, we have honest and direct conversations with students and families about the support that our staff is able to provide throughout the program experience. We are committed to creating a culture of acceptance and support. To that end, our Overseas Educators and local leaders are selected for their skill in group facilitation and promoting inclusive group dynamics.

Accessibility Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. We have honest and open conversations with applicants about our ability to support individual needs on each program, with the ultimate goal of a healthy and successful experience for all students. In the past, we have worked with students with severe allergies, diabetes, chronic injuries, and mental health diagnoses. We know each student's journey is individual and we work with families to support these individual needs where possible to help determine if the program is a good fit for their gap semester goals.



Global Routes - and our sister organization, Carpe Diem Education - is committed to maximizing the net positive impact while minimizing the carbon footprint of every program. In our office, on our programs, and through our carbon offset match, our programs are geared toward environmental education to empower future leaders to move their communities to take action. During our programs, students learn more about their impact as individuals and a travel community - then take a solution-oriented lens to tackling key issues. We also contribute to and amplify the voices of organizations and partners who focus on permaculture, natural building, and sustainable solutions.

Ethical Impact

Global Routes - and our sister organization, Carpe Diem Education - is designed to connect to our local communities and provide reciprocal exchange and engagement. Through engaging in experiential education, community engagement, and intercultural exchange, our students develop enhanced perspectives, deeper cultural understanding, and a profound sense of self-discovery and personal growth. We work with vetted local providers to build their businesses as they provide value to our students and programming. With our homestay families, we ensure we minimize our footprint by regularly rotating the communities we work with and evaluating our social impact alongside their community leaders.

Program Highlights

  • OUR MODEL: Our hallmark model includes meaningful community service, cross-cultural exchange, and living and volunteering in rural homestay communities.
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE: Students receive a certificate for 50 to 80 community service hours.
  • LEARNING GOALS: Outdoor skills, trekking, leadership, construction
  • GROUP SIZE: Up to 18 Students, Co-ed groups, 2 U.S. Leaders, 3-5 Nepalese Staff

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.9
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.9
  • Safety 4.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

My journey to Nepal

It would be dramatic to say this trip changed my perspective on life but it did. The amount of submerging my group and I had into the Nepali culture was everything I wanted and more. I made bonds with people so strong without even saying a many words to them. My host family was so amazing to me and showed me how to truly appreciate family. The guides were basically our guardian angels and we all became so close so fast. Of course there were ups and downs and homesickness but that’s life and it only made me stronger and feel the urge to travel more. Because the feeling of traveling and being disconnected from social media with nothing but a mountain peak view right in front of you is one of the beat feelings ever. I did things I never thought I would do and pushed myself when treeking up 2,3949 stairs in the pouring rain of monsoon season. I pulled leaches off of me, showered in buckets, saw monkeys in the rainforest and had to be in by dark when staying in the village or else the tiger would get us. (True story). Made friends with stray dogs, bison, baby chicks, goats, monkeys My leaders, group members and Of course the locals. I shed tears, laughed, bleed, and got sick but it was all worth it. My first time ever leaving the country I choose the right country to travel to. It has inspired me to go to Places all over the world now. I couldn’t be more great full for my global routes experience and what I have gained and taken away from it. Thank you Nepal 🇳🇵

What would you improve about this program?
I don’t think I would improve anything about this program it’s amazing how it is.
120 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Day in a Rice Patty

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.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to make the most out of the trip because although the trip is long it goes by in the blink of an eye.
121 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Eye-opening opportunity

5 weeks in Nepal as a high school student was a catalyst for much needed and life changing introspection and inspiration. Traveling in a country/culture so vastly different than my own pushed me into patience, acceptance, wonder, and gratitude. My heart grew, my determination blossomed, and I began to see that there is a place in the world for me with all my specific passions.
I look back so grateful for our instructors, who pushed us while supporting us. Who lead us both through meditation, and silly games to play with our host families. I laugh when remembering trying to communicate with my host family- the time I showed off a whistling trick, and was eventually told it was disastrously bad luck. The wonder of meditating with monks in a monastery on the side of a mountain. The feeling of walking home, crawling up the rice paddies to devour our host mother's dinner. The feeling of homesickness as we walked down the rice paddies for the last time.
I cherish all these memories, the beautiful and the challenging; and embrace the confidence it's given me to keep searching for both beauty and challenge.

122 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Life Changing Experience

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 has not seen before. Going on a Global Routes trip is the best investment and a life changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Emphasize how important training for the Trek is more.
110 people found this review helpful.
group photo laughing
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Investment

This has been my second Global Routes trip and I wish I had more years in high school to take more. The program was set up to follow "start hard, finish easy." For the first two weeks we trekked and it was for what seemed like forever. Ill be honest I did not think I could finish it and I was convinced finishing was like trying to move a boulder. The friendships I made on that trek are definitely true and strong. You really bond with someone when you're trying to climb 1 million flights of stairs while simultaneously sweating buckets, while also trying to get through the punchline of your joke.
That two week trek was the glue that held together our group, we learned support and tolerance and we found our groove as one. The trek was the hardest thing I have ever done and finishing it was the most an unbelievable experience...think runners high but times one hundred. Finishing something after doubting the whole way if you could get there is a feeling I wish more people would be able to experience.
This trip was really a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was an investment in my development as a person and the experiences I had still affect me even after the trip has ended.
I was lucky enough to see such an amazing part of the world where life is so different from my day to day routine and that is so eye-opening. I believe it is important to step out of routine and out of comfort and do new things and to be yourself in a new situation and Global Routes provides and amazing program for that, with supportive leaders and amazing peers.

What would you improve about this program?
More emphasis on how important training is
116 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

Nepal has my heart!!!

My Global Routes trip in Nepal was nearly 6 years ago. Put quite simply (despite the cliché) those 5 weeks changed my life. While I tried to prepare myself (physically and mentally) according to the thorough itinerary sent out a few weeks before the trip, I could not have had nearly as impactful and memorable an experience without the leadership of my GR staff and our Nepali staff. Looking back on that summer, I try to catalog my experiences chronologically: first the 2 weeks of trekking in the Himalayas, 2 weeks doing a homestay and service project, 1 week dedicated to more sightseeing and traveling. But when I really think back to Nepal, I see the faces and smiles of new friends. I recall learning the true meanings behind certain words (both in Nepali and English). I reminisce over the taste of deliciously home-cooked rice and dal (lentils). I feel the comfort of the prayer flags that were constantly in sight. It's hard to write a short description of my trip because it was such an important 5 weeks for me but overall I was always having fun, always encouraged and challenged to grow by my staff, and always in awe of Nepal, aware of the fact that I would be thinking of this trip for the rest of my life!

What would you improve about this program?
Recipes to take home!
120 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer I've ever had

In the five weeks I spent in Nepal, 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 while we did not help with constructing it directly, I still 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.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to spend more time in the final travel portion of the trip in which we visited the cities and monastery.
111 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Greatest Five Weeks of My Life

I absolutely loved my experience in Nepal. I felt that the group of students was incredible and sort of a self-selecting bunch because the trip was so rigorous that it weeded out anyone who wasn't genuine and willing to fully immerse themselves. My two leaders were amazing--so friendly and fun, yet really responsible and always coming up with the most clever, sweet, and thoughtful touches to add to the trip. For example, they surprised us with snickers bars after the toughest day of our trek, and were continually coming up with wacky but fantastic games for us to play at the worksite (carrying bricks and digging all day could get a little slow sometimes). The trek was wonderful--amazing sights, rigorous in the most character-building way imaginable, and the perfect way to get to know everyone really well. The home stay was unexpectedly wonderful considering that almost none of our host families spoke any English and the few people that did spoke barely any English. However, we still became so close with them that I cried when we left. The country of Nepal is also wonderful--we met so many warm, kind, and interesting people along the way. The cities we explored in orientation and final travel were really interesting and the way in which we explored them with Global Routes was really fun--a mix of going to see sights and exploring on our own volition. Overall, it was the self-selecting group of students and the two amazing leaders that made the trip so amazing for me, and I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to give up many of the material comforts of home in exchange for a whole new perspective on life.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the worksite experience a bit so that we could have more time actually learning the "craft" of what we were doing--laying bricks or even helping the cooks with lunch, instead of just moving piles of bricks or cement, which was rewarding in the sense that we were working hard, but less so than other forms of labor could have been.
111 people found this review helpful.

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