Alumni Spotlight: Carrie Schramm

Carrie is now 26 working in Richland, WA as a civil engineer. She traveled to Nepal Jan - March of 2010 following graduation from Washington State University.

Carrie with children at a boarding school

Why did you decide to volunteer with United Planet in Nepal?

Carrie: I did some research which indicated that United Planet was one of the safest volunteer abroad organizations available. They also had the ability to teach math rather than English, which was a major preference for me. I ended up in in my journey purely based on the fact that the organization I chose for safety reasons (United Planet) had one country available for me to teach math and science (Nepal).

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Carrie: I spent a month in Kathmandu before treking to Sermathang for two months so have two different experiences. In Kathmandu, I woke up to a breakfast and tea already prepared for me and walked to the local private school where I taught math and science to grades 7, 8 and 9. I walked home for a lunch break every day. Following school I would do laundry, read books, walk to the local market, or wander around Boudhanath.

In Sermathang, I woke up and walked to the top of the hilll to watch the sunrise each day. My host mother would cook breakfast for everyone staying at their lodge and then I walked to school with the other teachers (including my host brother) and school children. Lunch was dal bhat (lentil and rice) every day, provided by the school. I ate with the hostel students and other teachers at the school's playground. I taught math to nursury students (counting) up to grade four (simple geometry). Following school I would spend time with my host family, go for hikes with the teachers, participate in local festivals or visit the evening language school for adults.

What made this volunteer experience unique and special?

Carrie: Everything. From the people to the culture I fell in love with Nepal (and, more specifically, Sermathang). It was a chance for me to find myself and grow as a person. This experience was priceless and the friends I made are still extremely valuable to me.

Carrie bonded with locals in Npeal

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Carrie: When living in the lodge in Sermathang, my host family gave food and shelter to a house girl who, in return, cleaned and cooked for them. I now stay connected to Nepal by sponsoring her to go to the school I volunteered in. I try to stay connected to the peace and the positive mindset I encountered in Nepal the best I can. Having lived in that culture I have a better understanding of being happy.