Global Routes High School Volunteer Program in Nepal

Video and Photos

About

For many seasoned travellers, Nepal is THE epicenter of meaningful and authentic travel.

Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Himalayas upon arrival in Nepal. Start practicing your Nepali and enjoy 10 days of trekking through the beautiful region of the Annapurna Himalaya. After this time of exploration and adventure, the team moves to a village outside of Kathmandu, where students stay with host families and enjoy two weeks of cultural exchange and authentic community service.

Students rebuild schools damaged in the earthquake, help local children learn English, work on public health projects, and run a free summer camp You will have plenty of opportunities to explore the local temples and enjoy the breathtaking landscape! The trip ends with a visit to Bodhnath, a home to one of the largest Tibetan Buddhists communities on earth.

The Nepal program is your opportunity to have a life-changing experience in this powerful Himalayan nation.

Highlights
  • trekking
  • Buddhism
  • Community Service
  • Construction
  • Language

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 8 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
Default avatar
Sophia
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Nina
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
Emphasize how important training for the Trek is more.
Yes, I recommend
group photo laughing
Lauren
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
More emphasis on how important training is
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Isabelle
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
Recipes to take home!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Emma
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to spend more time in the final travel portion of the trip in which we visited the cities and monastery.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Nava
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sarina
9/10

Fantastic Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Nepal. My favorite part was the homestay because I loved the relationships I built with my family and becoming a part of their daily routine. I especially enjoyed cooking with my mother. The hardest part of the trip for me was the trek because of the physical and mental challenges it presented me with. I will always remember the experience of meditating with the monks in Boudhanath and feel extremely lucky to have witnessed it.

How can this program be improved?
Elongate travel time at the end of program, shorten trek or keep the trek the same length but with more time in higher altitude, reaching higher altitude. Increase participation at worksite with more learning about how to use various tools and complete different tasks.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10

Nepal

I loved this trip so much. The trek was amazing and beautiful, but what I enjoyed most was interacting with the Nepali people. I loved the home stay and having a wonderful native family to care for me and my home stay partner. It was amazing to totally immerse myself into the culture. I loved eating Dal Baat every night and washing our clothes by hand with a rock. I also loved working with the village children and having them help us when we were building the school. The village was not only beautiful, but the villagers there were so kind and welcoming, even though we could not even communicate in the same language. We helped them to lay bricks, mix cement, and many other important things, like cleaning the bathrooms (which was yucky, but rewarding). Of course, there were some difficulties. I did get homesick a bunch, but our leaders were so kind and understanding that they made me feel as comfortable as I could, away from home that is. There were also leeches on the trek, which was yucky, but definitely helped to build character! I also lost my bag on the plane ride there. But, I got to go shopping in Kathmandu, and had my stuff by the time we started the home stay.

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can't think of anything right now.
Yes, I recommend

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About Global Routes

Be more than a traveler with Global Routes.

Global Routes seeks to foster personal development in our students through cross-cultural experiences that encourage them to step outside of their boundaries and open their hearts and minds to new and...