• Nepal
2 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
The land cost for Nepal: Traditions of the Himalayas is $7,300 for four weeks. Flight costs are estimated at $2,120. Need-based scholarships are available.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Mar 02, 2020
Aug 23, 2022
12 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Discover the beauty of the Himalayas: experience life in remote mountain communities, participate in a meditation retreat, and study traditional arts with local masters.
Since ancient times, travelers, monks, merchants, poets, artists, and warriors have passed through Kathmandu during their journeys across the great Himalayan range. Some never left, and today, a multitude of ethnic groups from across the Himalayan region all peacefully co-exist in the peaks and valley of this dynamic country. Nepal’s rich cultural diversity provides a strong foundation for a larger conversation about the underpinnings of identity, community and spirituality. Our program weaves a path between rural and urban environments and different religious communities as we explore how ancient traditions can survive in a rapidly developing society.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Students choose a topic of interest and dive into a relationship with a mentor. Some options include music, dance, stone carving, jewelry making, bronze casting, religious traditions, traditional cooking, Tibetan and Ayurveda (ancient Indian) Medicine.
  • Delve into a broad introduction to the philosophy and spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism. This will include an investigation of yoga, meditation, iconography and symbolism.
  • Look at ethnic and cultural diversity, religious traditions, artistic traditions, and current development issues.
  • Experience renowned Nepali hospitality Nepali in both rural and urban homestays
  • Gain insight into Buddhist teachings and learn basic meditation techniques at a monastery retreat


Where There Be Dragons Financial Aid & 529 Funds

Where There Be Dragons offers need-based financial aid to students that demonstrate reasonable financial need and are excited to engage with communities around the world.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.9
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.75
  • Housing 4.5
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Revealing of myself and of the world

I took this trip (2.5 month semester program) between graduating high school and starting college to explore and discover a different way of life away from the American standard. What I did not realize about this trip is that it provided me a place and space (with our fabulous group and instructors) to dive into the essence of myself and rediscover the passions I'd lost in the busyness of school. I was always slightly homesick for most of the trip but once I came home I experienced reverse culture shock which was fascinating to me. I was able to see my own family life, culture, and old habits in a new light. I look back on my trip very fondly, even if it was challenging at times. The instructor team was absolutely stacked. You could tell that this wasn't just a job for them but a passion and a lifestyle. This was easily seen in their relationships with students and their knowledge and dedication to their environment and work. From my impression the Where There Be Dragons program was very well connected and close with communities in which we stayed or explored in. There seemed to be authentic relationships between our instructors, the overall program, and locals. We had extensive briefing on Nepali culture, customs, and language as a group before we went out in the open. We also had classes whilst in our city homestay that were taught by guest speakers, the instructor team, our even fellow peers that ranged from gentrification, food privilege, Honey hunting in Nepal, Learning Service (voluntourism), What Happens to Our trash, Compost, etc.. Our group of 13 students and 3 instructors still keep in touch over a WhatsApp group chat sharing memories from the trip.

Words of advice:
-Journal everyday, even little things. It is so worth it and will be so fun to share with loved ones back home
-Bring a lot of hiking socks (5-8 pairs)
-don't get wrapped up in checking your personal email--it definitely makes you more homesick
-bring the vitamins they recommend and just take them everyday as a precaution
-leave behind pre conceived notions of yourself and "who you are". Challenge your beliefs!
-bring a big travel duffel to store your pack in (one kid's backpack broke through TSA)

-not a racially diverse group of students
-the food was toooooooo good but a tad hard on my tummy with all the rice (big bloat)

6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Trip to Nepal with Dragons

The Where There Be Dragons trip to Nepal is incredible. The instructors were highly qualified, adaptive, and most importantly, knowledgeable and passionate about Nepali culture. They were able to share once in a lifetime experiences with us through their extensive knowledge of Nepal and vast network of connections throughout the area. The other participants on the trip were very kind, but also gritty and ready to take on challenges. The trip attracted a very diverse and interesting group of people that I am so grateful to have shared this experience with. There were some challenges on the trip related to living conditions and food, but all the participants were prepared and the instructors supported us through any hardship. Overall, it was a truly a positively life changing experience.

  • Very experienced guides that were able to share very special parts of the country with us
  • The trip attracted very cool and nice people
  • Really able to experience authentic parts of Nepali culture
  • Low variety in diet
5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program

I attended Where There Be Dragon's Nepal summer trip in 2017. Before that, I had traveled more than 15 countries. However, this trip was by far the best I've ever had. It really taught me how to be more of a traveler instead of a tourist. There's a great portion of education on a trip like this while kids got to have fun. The trip was involved in a lot of finding your true self and a spiritual cleansing from the poisonous Western society. We got to enjoys incredible things on the trip with Dragons that we would never get a chance to experience if we took the trip by ourselves. For example, my trip got to spend a week and live with a family in the rural Himalayas village, and then we spent a week in the urban homestay in Patan, Nepal. We entirely emerged in their culture for 4 weeks (the length of my trip).

What would you improve about this program?
This program is hands-down very well done in general. The only way it could improve is just to have more countries available on top of the great variety of countries they already have.
19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience of My Life!

The experience I had in Nepal lead to so much personal growth. When you are on this program you are far from a tourist, you are a traveler. From the moment your feet hit the soil you become immersed in the culture. The trip is filled with humbling experiences and great discussions with your group. My favorite memory from my trip would have to be when we were in our village homestay. I sat in the fire lit room with my Homestay mom and we exchanged language lessons by writing on the stone floor with charcoal. I would definitely reccomend this trip to anyone wanting a great life experience!

What would you improve about this program?
It was such a great experience, I can’t think of anything that would have made the trip any better than it already was!
22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


The first night my rural homestay was absolutely amazing. I didn't realize the family I was staying with knew little English and I spent the entire night laughing at myself and point and acting out different things to learn the local dialect. To this day, I remember this night and the lesson and power it had in my life. The simplicity of human connection and companionship with the communication of laughter speaks way more sometimes words do. This rawness of expression is something I take and cherish everyday.

19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

In short, my month in Nepal was the best month of my life thus far.

Ever since I was 8 years old and got my hands on National Geographic Kids, I knew I needed to get to the Himalaya. As I read more about Nepal, I couldn't help but fall in love from afar. As I was approaching my high school graduation, I was intent on exploring the country before starting college. After a friend of mine recommended Where There Be Dragons, I looked into the program and requested a home visit by a staff member. As soon as he finished his presentation to my family, I knew Dragons was the right program for me--someone intellectually curious, adventurous, creative, open-minded, and looking to gain a deeper understanding of the way people live.

To say that my experience with Dragons in Nepal was phenomenal is an understatement. My instructors were nurturing, knowledgable on a wide range of topics, always willing to have personal discussions, open to student comments and suggestions for improvement, seemingly knew how to address every situation relating to health and safety, optimistic, and FUN!

The experiences I had, support I received from my instructors, conversations and laughs shared with my peers, knowledge gained, situations I encountered, and people I met are all aspects that contribute to the massive impact my program had on me and the way in which I view the world. Throughout my time in Nepal I always felt safe, but was challenged to grow, think and experience in ways I never thought were possible.

If you are a student looking to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn a foreign language, spend time acquainting yourself with Tibetan Buddhism, familiarize yourself with the breathtaking landscape that is the Himalaya, experience living with a family in a country thousands of miles from your home, or merely embark on a new adventure, I couldn't recommend this program more. If you are a parent looking to send your teenager on their dream trip- but also one that is safe and "worth the money," as my parents were, send them with Dragons.

When asked the question "How could your program have been better?", I stutter, as I honestly cannot imagine a better program. Though my program was only one month long, I forged lasting relationships with instructors and peers that now--five months after returning from Nepal--are still very strong. I can't imagine a program that does it better than Dragons.

23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Month Of My Life

I cannot stress enough how much I reccomend WTBD programs, especially the Nepal summer program. To begin, the staff was amazing. Thyoughout the application process, the administartion was accessible, responsive and very friendly. My three instructors on the trip were also AMAZING!! They were so supportive, knowledgable, fun and really made my expirience so great. The itinarary was also great. We visited many different cities and villages so we got a nice overview of the entire country. The language study, trekking, ISP's, guest speakers and activities were all above my expectations. The highlight, by far, was the two honestays. It was the part of the trip in which I was the most challenged but also learned the most. While it may seem scary being in a foreign country with a family you dont know at all, before you know it that family becomes your family and you become so close! The group of students was also amazing, truly life long friends.

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

Take me back!!!

On this trip, I met beautiful people from both Nepal and around the US. I couldn't ask for a better experience. I felt connected to the staff, the students, and the local culture in the Kathmandu valley! This was the most beneficial learning experience of my life. Before leaving I knew very little about Nepal and after my very short stay there I would say I feel confident about navigating the streets there alone. Students are given freedom to express themselves and see the parts of the country that THEY want to see due to dragon's adjustable itineraries. I lived with two families, one from a village, one from the city, and also stayed in a monastery in order to get a fuller view of the culture. The people in in the foothills of the Himalaya, and their religious acceptance and practice has had such an impact on me even after returning. I know on most other teen travel programs I could not have had these experiences, and urge anyone considering the trip to take a leap. I was pushed very far while in Nepal: there was a language barrier, a difference in social norms. I am so proud of the personal growth within every person in my group and am grateful for the sacred experience this course was.

22 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers