Rising high above China to the North and India to the South rests the mountainous country of Nepal, a region of 27 million inhabitants sprawled out across the imposing majesty of the Himalayas. In the shadow of Mt. Everest you will discover not only one of the most beautifully serene natural locations in the world, but a deeply spiritual and hospitable society which generously opens its arms to foreigners seeking to intern abroad and much more. If you are seeking practical experience in the awakening adventure of a lifetime then stop looking, and begin an internship in Nepal.
Most internships in Nepal are centered in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and largest city. Kathmandu’s high population density in the urban areas and surrounding villages births plenty of opportunities for human rights, social work and education internships. There is also a considerably thriving expat life in Kathmandu, where you will find no shortage of hemp clothing, reggae bars, and “Free Tibet” signs. Hard work interning during the day is complemented by a fun and laid back nightlife, although the city tends to shut down fairly early.
Nearby Pokhora is also a common location for internship placements in Nepal. This is a beautiful region with plentiful trekking, boating, and hang-gliding opportunities. Pokhora is a paradise for outdoor-adventure oriented people, and the city of over 200,000 people generates a diverse array of internship opportunities, from archeology to a variety of medical internships.
Biratnagar, Nepal’s second largest city in the South, additionally offers a wealth of intern abroad opportunities. Biratnagar is Nepal’s commercial and agricultural center, so interns interested in these areas may find themselves in this lesser known yet thriving mountain metropolis.
Since it is a developing country, most internships in Nepal are centered around institution and community building. Education, healthcare, and social services are all popular areas for intern abroad placements in Nepal. Interns will likely have the opportunity to work in the major cities and also travel to smaller villages, where every day they can make life-changing differences for the country’s poorest citizens.
There are also many internships in Nepal that are directed towards those interested in animal sciences and wildlife preservation. The Himalayas offer a majestic and sacred environment where many native species and habitats are constantly threatened by human destruction. Here too is the opportunity to make a difference by working to preserve the natural diversity of one of the most geographically isolated countries in the world.
Internships in Nepal can run anywhere from weeks to months, depending on your field of interest.
Salary & Costs
Most intern abroad placements in Nepal are unpaid but many are compensated with meals, transportation costs, and group living opportunities. General inexpensiveness of commodities is a great advantage for travellers of the region. It will please potential interns to learn that Nepal is cheap, very cheap. The cost of living typically does not exceed a few dollars a day, thus most Westerners will find themselves able to lead a relatively comfortable lifestyle. The developing economy generally leads to lower program costs relative to other areas of the world as well.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodations will not be as luxurious as most Westerners are used to, but this comes with the territory of a developing country. Breaking out of your comfort zone is the first step to cultural understanding, which is the most valuable aspect of interning abroad. Do not worry, odds are that you will have a bed to sleep in. Just don’t expect a five star hotel.
Most internship programs will help you organize housing, and many offer the option for a homestay or group living. Homestays are a great port of entry into the Nepalese lifestyle, and can be an incredibly enriching experience for interns in Nepal. Group living is also a good way to meet people and develop a strong sense of community.
Tourist visas valid for up to 90 days can easily be obtained upon arrival. Bring enough cash with you so that you can pay the fee at customs. If you are planning to stay for more than 90 days then consult your specific program for further information, or check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Nepal may be one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth but also remains very much a developing country. As such humanitarian workers from all around the world are beckoned to this emerald of the Himalayas to lend a helping hand.
Those who chose to intern in Nepal should expect the adventure of a lifetime knowing that it will not always be pretty. Poverty and basic infrastructural failures are prevalent, making internships in Nepal a rewarding challenge for all who dare to take the leap. When it is over, you will likely come down from the mountains with an entirely new outlook on life.