What do students generally like most about this program?

Students fall in love with the colourful and kind Nepali culture, and tell us that spending time within the magical Himalayas is an unforgettable experience that they will remember for life.

What will the accommodation be like?

Accommodation on this program will be quite varied, ranging from hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara, staying in tents at a beautiful river camp during the rafting portion of the program, tea houses while trekking (tea houses are very basic hotels with simple beds and shared bathrooms), and homestays living with local village families during the service portion of the trip.

Is trekking dangerous?

The dangers when trekking are those present during any strenuous physical activity – mainly dehydration. These risks are mitigated by paying close attention to how you’re feeling and being sure to eat and drink regularly. Additionally, the trekking on this program does reach quite high elevations where some people have been known to experience minor elevation sickness. The signs of this are quite clear and your program leaders will be well-versed in what to do should a student show signs of being affected by the elevation. The solution is simple – backtrack to lower elevation. The elevation reached on this program is not extremely high and cases of elevation sickness are quite rare.

How often can I do laundry?

Laundry can be washed by hand at any time. It is best to pack without the expectation of doing laundry.

How much money should I bring?

AUS $100-$200 depending on the number of souvenirs and snacks you would like.

Can I bring a cell phone?

Travellers are allowed to bring phones on their Schoolies Reimagined program, but we recommend taking the challenge and disconnecting for a few weeks.

What sort of electrical voltage adapters do I need to bring?

Australia’s power voltage is close enough to Nepal’s that you don’t need a converter, but you will need an adapter. Nepal uses 3 different types of sockets – type C, D and M. It is probably best to bring an adapter that has multiple attachments for different socket types.

What is the weather like?

December is the beginning of winter in Nepal, so you should expect it to be quite cold. In Kathmandu, the average highs are around 15 degrees Celcius and lows around 8, although it can go below zero. Pokhara is warmer with highs in the low 20s. You should be prepared for very cold weather on the trek, hovering right around freezing. Rain is not common in December, but is possible.

What should I wear?

On trips like this where the temperature can vary widely, layers are your friend. A warm, winter puffy jacket that can pack down quite small is a great idea, as well as a rain jacket, a fleece sweater, quick-drying hiking pants and shirts, and some thermal underwear. Nepal’s culture is quite conservative so please bring clothes that aren’t too revealing. When you visit temples, your knees and shoulders need to be covered. Around town, jeans and t-shirts are fine. Don’t feel like you need to buy a bunch of new clothes for this program – a lot of what you already have at home will work great.

How often will I have access to email and phones?

Internet access will not be frequent on this program, but SIM cards with 3g can be purchased quite cheaply. However, phone service may be spotty or nonexistent in the mountains and small towns. Travellers are not allowed to use cell phones during scheduled program activities.

Safe arrival emails will be sent out when participants settle in country. Participants will have the opportunity at least once during the week to check the Internet in town.

Who will the staff members be on the trip? How many staff members will there be?

Each trip is staffed by a combination of Australian and Nepali leaders, and in most cases each team will include a nationally licensed guide, and leaders of both sexes. We never have less than one staff member for every five students.

Who will the other Schoolies Reimagined students be?

You will be with other Australian students between the ages of 17 – 19. You may find yourself in a smaller, cozier setting or part of a big high-energy crew.

What kind of food will I eat? What if I have certain dietary restrictions?

We will eat a wide variety of Nepali and ethnic food, as well as the occasional Western meal. Nepali food has some incredible flavours, and this trip will awaken your tastes you didn’t even know existed. Delicious dhal curries, succulent momo dumplings, warm and spicy chai teas – you’re in for a treat! Almost all dietary concerns can be accommodated, but please alert us of any relevant restrictions beforehand just to make sure. Vegetarians welcome!

What water is available for drinking?

All the water you drink on this trip will be either bottled, boiled, or treated. Bringing a reusable water bottle is mandatory. Bottled water is safe and readily available in the cities and towns of Nepal, and when trekking, water that is either boiled or treated with purification tablets is absolutely safe. The Himalayan mountain water is clear and delicious!

Where is the nearest healthcare?

There are great hospitals with an international standard of care in both Pokhara and Kathmandu. The urgency of the need for medical care would determine means of evacuation to hospital – we can arrange both on-ground transport to these hospitals, or air evacuation in case of emergency.

Is your staff qualified in First Aid?

Safety is a top priority, and all of our programs have staff certified with First Aid and CPR training. Many of our guides are also qualified Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Wilderness EMTs, or lifeguards.

Do we need to get visas for this program?

You do need a visa to enter Nepal, but Australian citizens can purchase it on arrival into the airport in Kathmandu. A single-entry visa can be for 15, 30 or 90 days. At Tribhuvan International Airport, the fee is payable in major currencies. Please be sure to have enough cash with you to purchase the appropriate visa.

You must have a valid visa in your passport to leave Nepal. If your visa has expired, you’ll need to extend it at the Department of Immigration before you depart. If you overstay your visa, you can be detained or refused permission to leave until a fine is paid. The amount of the fine is based on the number of days you overstayed your visa.

Will there be a flight leader to this country?

Participants will not be accompanied by a flight leader. Our program staff will greet participants when they arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. However, we will provide a suggested flight schedule so students can choose to fly together.

How long is the flight to this country?

The travel time depends upon where in Australia you are flying from and the length of the layover between your flights. No airlines fly directly from Australia to Nepal so you will need to connect through another country with a major airport that flies to Nepal. It is common to connect through Bangkok – using this as an example, the flight from Melbourne to Bangkok is 9 hours 38 minutes, and the flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu is 3 hours 15 minutes.

Does the advertised trip length include international travel time?

No, the 14 day trip length only takes into account time in-country.

What time should I arrive and depart?

Please book flights that arrive into Kathmandu on the afternoon of November 27 and depart in the afternoon of December 10.

Which areas does this program operate in?

This program operates in Kathmandu, along the Trishuli River, in Pokhara, in the Annapurna Conservation Area and Kavrepalanchowk district

What immunisations do we need to get for this trip?

Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be travelling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the following websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveller’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.

www.traveldoctor.com.au – The Travel Doctor
www.smartraveller.gov.au – Australian Government Travel Advice
www.cdc.gov – Centre of Disease Control (US)

What is my membership with International SOS?

International SOS is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants travelling with Schoolies Reimagined will have access to International SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.

As a member you will have access to International SOS’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travellers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program.

What costs are not included on this trip?

Flights, Passport fees, Immunisations, travel insurance, personal gifts, Internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.

What service projects will I work on and how are the projects identified?

Schoolies Reimagined works with local community leaders and organisations to identify and prioritise the needs of each community. This program will focus on various education and infrastructure initiatives.