Accommodation: ELI participants in Kathmandu live together in our new volunteer house, located on the edge of Thamel (Kathmandu's tourist district). Our house is located near shops, cafes, English language bookstores, and easy access to all forms of transportation. Bedrooms are shared when the house is at capacity, so be prepared to have lovely roommates during the busy seasons (summer and fall). There are western style flushing toilets, stand-up showers, free WIFI in the main living area, and solar panels that provide warm water (depending on the sun). There is electricity, but availability depends on the rolling black outs in Kathmandu. Please note, none of the buildings in Kathmandu offer indoor heat - if you are going in the winter be sure to pack a warm coat. If you are interested in alternative housing, we can sometimes arrange a homestay.
Dashain occurs in Sept/Oct every year, and it is a major holiday (no one works, and most businesses/projects are closed the entire holiday). Plan to take holiday during this time. Most Nepali holidays are scheduled according to a lunar calendar, so they vary from year to year. Here is a complete list of2018 Holidays and 2019 Holidays.
Notes & Helpful Links: What time is it in Kathmandu? Here is a great Time Conversion Tool. Be sure to pack for the season, it's chilly in winter and monsoon season is no joke! Check the Weather in Kathmandu. It’s helpful to Learn Some Nepali before you arrive, especially numbers. Also, be sure to consult the Center for Disease Control's recommended immunizations.
Participants need to visit a travel nurse before their arrival in Nepal. For immunizations, we defer to the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. Most nationalities can acquire a visa upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu. We will provide you with instructions in your Pre-Departure Packet. For more information visit Nepal's Embassy in the US. You will Fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. If you plan to travel on to India, you can get your Indian Tourist Visa in person at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
ELIers have evenings and weekends free, and there is so much to see and do! For day trips Swayambunath, Pashupatinath, and Bhaktapur should be at the top of your list. For longer trips, participants often visit Chitwan National Park to ride the elephants, rent a boat in Pokhara, go trekking, rafting, and more! Nepal is the perfect destination for outdoor adventure.
Culture Shock is a common challenge for participants in our Nepal programs. Be sure to read about the symptoms and what you can do to curb those feelings. There is a blog entry about culture shock in our Director's Blog. Lena compares Nepal and America in her blog Nepal: Culture Clash, and Timothy blogs on the same topic in Nepal: Cultural Discoveries.
After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.