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Nepal Semester: Himalayan Studies

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Eye, body, and mind opening!

Although I thoroughly loved my whole gap year, the Dragons trip stands out as the highlight. I loved the challenge, the intensity, the teaching style, the instructors, the flexibility, and the adventure. It was an incredibly transformative 3 months for me. It is hard to go to Nepal or India and not fall in love with the people, the culture, the land- the all encompassing and mind blowing world that is the Himalayas. This trip is an experience that will stay with you and continue to affect you for the rest of your life. It was not all fun, but it was raw and real and that was what made it so amazing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

One of the most positively influential experiences of my life

One of the most positively influential experiences of my life

I chose this program because of my interest in Buddhism, I knew nothing about Nepal.

My accommodations was the perfect amount outside of my comfort zone :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

One of the most positively influential experiences of my life

Here's a little bit of an email I sent to a prospective student that inquired about my trip:

I'm so glad you're considering the Himalayan Studies Program! Spending three months in Nepal with Dragons was one of the best decision I've ever made.

In fact, its funny you contacted me, since I'm actually just beginning to look at study abroad programs available to me in college. And I'm starting to realize that nothing can really compare to the experience you get while traveling with Dragons. The Himalayan Studies program truly allows you to immerse yourself in the land more deeply than any other organized trip I have heard about.

A little bit about my trip: After graduating from high school, I planned 7 months of traveling in South Asia. Starting with 3 months with Dragons in Nepal, followed by 4 months volunteering at a school in India. The semester I spent with dragons was invaluable to my year. They really introduced me to the idea of being a world traveller. From that semester, I gained an awareness of culture in the area that I simply wouldn't have gotten any other way. At the same time, I formed many new fantastic relationships both with my host families and with the students and instructors traveling with me. After three months in Nepal, with the guidance of extremely interesting and knowledgeable instructors, I felt much more prepared to take on India as an independent traveller. Plus, towards the end of my trip, I arranged to meet up with the Dragons' India spring group and felt right at home hanging out with them as well.

There certainly are challenges that come along with spending a semester in Asia. Most things you will learn naturally as you go on the trip, from small Nepali mannerisms (you'll quickly pick up the characteristic "head bobble") to some life changing lessons about yourself and others, be it in gratitude, individuality, beauty or something else.

At the same time, It can feel like a different world. And there will no doubt be situations that can feel overwhelming. That's a huge part of the instructors roles; to help work out those times when your out of your "comfort zone." There were quite a few instances when I just wanted to be laying on my couch at home, watching New Girl and eating a grilled cheese sandwich. But it's at these times, where we get to see what we are really capable of mentally and physically. I discovered so much about myself that I never would have found out if I hadn't gone abroad... especially with the Dragons group.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

My Most Valuable Experience

This trip was without question the most valuable experience I've had. The intent behind the program is genuine for the participants and sensitive to the local culture, which allowed me to dive headfirst into each aspect of the program and the country. My Dragons semester challenged me and enabled me to view myself and Nepal with honesty, clarity and respect. I am indebted to Where There Be Dragons for the beauty, the knowledge, and the value that I witnessed and acquired as a result of my experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

My semester in Nepal was a life-changing experience.

With Where There Be Dragons, I was able to experience life in an urban setting in Nepal, as well as life in a rural setting. My instructors had great in-country connections, and were able to find every single student a mentor for their specific Independent Study Projects. The home-stay families were all extremely generous and kind, and I always felt safe staying with my family in Kathmandu. Trekking in the Himalayas was intense but so beautiful, and gave us all a real understanding of why development in Nepal is so difficult. I have come home with a new perspective on my own life, and with a better idea of who I am and what I want to do with my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Magical, eye opening, inspirational, heartwarming semester spent in Nepal.

This was my second trip with WTBD; I returned because I knew the quality of education I would receive and I wanted to go to the Himalaya with the same level of personal, knowledgeable and professional guidance.

My ISP component (silver jewelry making) was creative, fun, novel and in the meantime I gained solid friendships with my mentors.

Language classes were professional, intensive, enjoyable and I ultimately achieved a conversational level of Nepali which greatly improved my personal experience in the country.

My homestay family was unforgettable; we continue to stay in touch today (3 yrs later). They were welcoming, warm, helpful, light hearted and provided unconditional love and security for me in Kathmandu.

Our 3 week long trek in the Himalaya was remote, challenging, rewarding and breathtaking. My absolute favorite part of the entire semester.

Our 10 day monastery stay was unlike anything I've ever done. 10 days of silence in a world renowned monastery in the presence of international practitioners and several hundred monks. Insightful and powerful.

My instructors were highly knowledgeable of the local culture, spoke the language fluently, were experienced educators and dynamic trip leaders. My trip mates were from all over the US, passionate about learning new cultures and traveling, supportive and fun.

My Himalaya Studies semester was a semester I will never forget. I highly recommend WTBD and this semester program in particular.