Seminars Abroad Nepal - On Site

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Nepal—Community, Technology, and Sustainability

Accommodations

Near Kathmandu

Students will be staying at Pasa Yard, which means “place of friends” in the local Newari language. Pasa Yard is a multipurpose venue with hostel-like accommodations and an onsite kitchen and dining area. It is near many NGO/INGO offices, bookstores, a major grocery store, banks, restaurants/tea houses and Patan Dhoka.

In Pokhara

In Pokhara, accommodations will be similar to those at Pasa Yard. Pokhara is a small city that is known for its natural beauty, located on a lake and serving as the gateway to trekking in the Annapurna region. Pokhara is approximately six hours from Kathmandu by bus. It is home to several university campuses, museums, a major teaching hospital, cultural institutions, and a mix of old and new markets. It is also the location of multiple Nepalese NGOs and government agencies, including the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, an important Nepalese effort to support place-based, sustainable regional development in an ecologically varied area of 7,629 sq. km. that is home to over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups and tremendous biodiversity.

Meals

TBD

Excursions and Day Trips

Participants will visit key cultural and historical locations in Kathmandu and Pokhara, local university campuses, Nepalese NGO leaders and government officials focused on community development, and neighborhoods and villages associated with collaborative project activities. We will traverse the middle hills countryside while traveling between Kathmandu and Pokhara by bus.

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About Nepal

Nepal has been described as a “yam between two boulders” referring to its dynamic geographic, political, and cultural location between Tibet (currently occupied by China) and India. Within only 200 miles, Nepal stretches from the sub-tropical forests and lush farm land of the Gangetic Plain to the Himalaya, the highest mountains in the world. Its diverse topographic landscapes are home to a vast array of ethnic and cultural groups; over 120 languages are spoken among its 26 million inhabitants, who practice a mosaic of religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Shamanism.

With its small-scale agriculture, limited and landlocked transportation networks, and challenges in ensuring that all children have access to formal education, Nepal is one of the poorest nations in the world and faces many unique development problems. Environmental crises related to deforestation, flooding, climate change, and, most recently, a massive earthquake add to the difficulties of sustainable development. Nepal is also a place undergoing many social, political and economic changes. A Hindu Kingdom until the early 2000s, Nepal is now a parliamentary democracy and has a new Constitution. The country has experienced rapid urbanization and surging out-migration of young adults seeking work and/or higher education opportunities abroad.  Information and communication technology has enabled unprecedented national and global linkages, and a new generation is serving as pioneers and ambassadors in this transformation.  Nepal offers exchange students a unique and vibrant context to witness rapid social, political, economic and environmental change and learn from and with young local leaders.

CurrencyNepalese rupee

Language SpokenNepali

Weather and Climate

December is the beginning of the winter season. The average high temperatures are around 59 F reaching highs of 70 F and dropping to an average minimum temperature of 46F.

This period is also ideal for hiking and walking tours as the visibility is better than at other times of the year and there is not the same expectancy of rain as at other times of the year.  Learn More.

Research Your Destination

Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.

Skype

Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to www.skype.com to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad