Join the gap year Nepal experience for an epic adventure, combining travel with community volunteering. Tick off all the “must-see” opportunities that this intriguing country has to offer. From exploring the colourful temples and markets of Kathmandu, trekking through the mighty Himalayas, to discovering the charm and wildlife in Chitwan. The whole experience will be fun, diverse and culturally enriching. Meanwhile, you'll also be making a positive impact on the local community.
JOIN US IN 2022 - 3RD JULY & 7TH AUGUST
STROLL THROUGH THE MEDIEVAL CITY SQUARES OF KATHMANDU
TAKE IN THE FABULOUS PANORAMIC CITY VIEWS FROM MONKEY TEMPLE
WHITE-WATER RAFT DOWN THE TRISULI RIVER WITH YOUR TEAM
ENJOY FIVE DAYS TREKKING IN THE ANNAPURNA REGION OF THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS
EXPLORE THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF POKHARA, BLESSED WITH SPECTACULAR SCENERY
SPOT RHINOS ON YOUR GROUP JUNGLE SAFARI THROUGH CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
GORGE ON AUTHENTIC, SUPER TASTY NEPALESE CUISINE WITH YOUR NEW FRIENDS
GET STUCK INTO SOME LIFE-ENHANCING VOLUNTEERING WITH A RANGE OF PROJECTS
SPEND TIME WITH THE WARM, FRIENDLY & RESILIENT NEPALESE PEOPLE
SUMMARY OF THE REAL NEPAL EXPERIENCE
The Real Nepal Experience offers ambitious individuals the opportunity to join together and embark on a thrilling adventure across Nepal. Our local team provides a structured, face-paced and thrilling group itinerary across a number of amazing sites around the country. Your group will also dedicate time to volunteering projects to give back to local communities, developing and showcasing your skills. On the gap year Nepal experience, you will arrive in Nepal on a set date, joining your group before travelling and volunteering across a 4 week period. This makes the PMGY Experience trips ideal for anyone who wishes to explore and engage in new experiences in the company of others.
Individuals on this experience trip have the unique chance to explore different aspects of this vibrant country, from exploring the wildlife on safari in Chitwan, hiking through the Himalayas to visiting ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples. Your adventure will pan across the best sites in the entire country, before dedicating your time to meaningful volunteer projects. Across this 28-day itinerary, be prepared for breathtaking sites, friends for life and complete cultural immersion. The gap year Nepal experience is perfect for anyone looking to travel within a safe, structured and social environment.
From one destination to the next, you won’t need to worry about a thing. All your in-country transport and accommodation will be arranged by our local teams on the gap year Nepal experience. This helps to ensure that your experience abroad is as smooth as possible. Our team will arrange numerous activities for you to enjoy and engage in during your trip. For any spare time, our local experts will be able to help you discover the impressive range of activities you can get involved in during your trip to Nepal. A portion of your time will also be dedicated to making a difference within a community in Nepal. This will allow you to put your skills and enthusiasm into practice to make a meaningful difference to local communities overseas.
The trip’s group set-up makes the gap year Nepal experience an exceptional social occasion. You have the chance to meet individuals from across the globe, forming friendships that will last a lifetime. You will stay together for your entire adventure, sharing moments and memories that will stay with you forever. You will also have the chance to immerse yourself with members of the local community, making your gap year programs in Nepal even more special.
Nepal is simply sublime. From the colourful, fluttering prayer flags to the ever-present dramatic mountainous backdrop, this awe-inspiring country beguiles travellers. It has been a hotspot for intrepid travellers for decades. Whilst the world has changed, Nepal is still catching up – one of the many reasons that make it such a fascinating country. The landscape is diverse and harsh yet beautiful beyond belief.
Many of the Nepalese people live in poverty, yet remain as proud and welcoming as ever. You may leave the country at the end of your gap year Nepal experience, but you are certain never to forget it. The huge earthquake that struck on 25th April 2015 had a devastating effect. Nevertheless, Nepal has slowly bounced back with a strong, determined spirit. It is now considered very safe to travel to Nepal and as you travel the breadth of the country, you will probably not be aware there was a recent earthquake.
The gap year Nepal experience starts in the bustling capital of Kathmandu. Meanwhile, we will prepare you for the upcoming weeks through a combination of cultural briefings, language lessons and sightseeing. The trip continues onto Pokhara for a 5 day trek through the spectacular Himalayan mountain scenery, stopping on the way for a full day of white-water rafting.
After that, we then move onto Chitwan National Park where we will take a walk through the jungle and a bicycle tour around 20,000 lakes (a.k.a Bishazari Tal) and indigenous villages, followed by a 10 day volunteering placement, before returning to Kathmandu to complete the gap year Nepal Experience. Phew!
Your group will travel together by private and public transport, visiting some of the best destinations Nepal has to offer, as well as some of the hidden gems most visitors never see. A PMGY coordinator will accompany you throughout your gap year Nepal experience, so you’ll get the chance to learn so much about the local culture and history throughout your travels.
The group will spend two weeks engaging in community volunteer opportunities within the Nepal volunteer program. This may be at one of the English teaching or childcare placements that we support. Depending on the size of the group, you may all work together or be divided into smaller groups. Meanwhile, the volunteering work will largely depend on the community needs at the time. For example, this may involve teaching English and childcare opportunities or a renovation and building project at these project sites.
In addition, each volunteer in Nepal is advised to note and be flexible when it comes to the volunteering aspect of the trip. The type of volunteering experience and location can differ as it is often dependent on factors such as the size of the group, the need at the time and volunteers’ project preference. Therefore, the volunteering program is finalised when in Nepal and our local team will run through the options for this accordingly.
No experience is required for the volunteer placements and you will always be placed with another member of your group. Also, our local team will provide you with guidance, so that you understand what your role is at the project. In addition, we request that volunteers spend an hour or two each evening preparing for the next day. Your role will range from renovating and painting local schools or children's homes, to organising games and activities for the children.
If you don’t have any teaching experience then there is no need to worry! You’ll be working alongside other members of your group, and our local team will assist you in planning activities and lessons. However, we expect every volunteer to spend time preparing activities and lessons for the following day. There may also be the chance to support some renovation and building work, depending on the needs at the time.
You will volunteer for around 3-5 hours each day on the gap year Nepal experience. During this time, your accommodation will be close to the project. Therefore, you will be able to walk to your placement site each day.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Itinerary Schedule - The itineraries for our PMGY experience trips are subject to change, as a result of unforeseen circumstances. We will always do our best to notify participants of changes in advance of the program start date. However, activities day to day during time in-country also remain subject to unanticipated changes.
Project Flexibility - Participants on the Real Nepal Experience are advised to be flexible when it comes to the Nepal volunteer program aspect of the trip. The type of volunteering experience and location can differ as it is often dependent on factors such as the size of the group, the need at the time and volunteers’ project preference. So the volunteering program is finalised when in Nepal and our local team will run through the options for this accordingly.
Travel Insurance - For this trip it is essential to check that your Travel Insurance will cover you for being over 3,000m on your trek.
Please make sure you arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (KTM) on the selected Sunday start date.
Day 1 (Sunday) Welcome to Nepal
Namaste! You will be greeted at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu by one of PMGY’s local coordinators holding a PMGY sign for the Real Nepal Experience. Depending on the size of the group, we will transfer you to a guesthouse in the Thamel area of Kathmandu or to the volunteer home of our local team, where you can relax and meet fellow travellers on the PMGY Nepal Intro Experience and Real Nepal Experience.
If possible, it is preferred if you can arrange for your flight to arrive during the day as we’ll have a group welcome dinner that evening so you can get to know everyone on the gap year Nepal experience.
Your first few days will be spent learning about life in Nepal, site-seeing in Kathmandu and learning Nepalese!
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2-3 (Monday-Tuesday) Orientation in Kathmandu
After a refreshing breakfast, your day will kick off with a 2 hour Nepalese language lesson. Learning Nepalese is not only a great cultural experience but also an important preparation for your volunteer placement. Being able to readily communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more enriching on the gap year Nepal experience.
Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.
The orientation is based in the heart of the tourist centre in Kathmandu so there is plenty of options and variety on offer for lunch.
After lunch, our local team will take you sightseeing around Kathmandu where you will have the chance to check out the famous Monkey Temple, Boudha Stupa and Pashupati Temple. You will be accompanied by a member of our local team who will teach you all about Kathmandu’s rich and diverse history.
The next morning sees the orientation continue as we return for the final part of the theoretical section of the orientation which is the cultural lesson. Our local team will teach you about life in Nepal, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion.
Volunteers will then have the chance to try somewhere new for lunch in the bustling Thamel area and begin to pick an eye for some early souvenirs.
The afternoon is free for you to engage in more sightseeing and tick off some of the places you did not get to see in the previous day.
Entrance fees to the tourist sites we will visit during the orientation are not included in the Program Fee for your gap year Nepal experience.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 4 (Wednesday) White-Water Rafting on the Trisuli River
It’s an early start on Wednesday morning, where we will take the bus to Trisuli River for your white-water rafting adventure. On arrival, you’ll have breakfast whilst the rafts are prepared. The rapids are graded between 2 and 3 – not too crazy but enough to get your heart racing! Some of the scenery you’ll witness is breathtaking, plus the guides always make the experience more fun. What a way to spend the day!
That evening you’ll set up for the night. The group will stay in a guesthouse near the river, or have the option to spend the night camping under the stars – if you opt for the tent then just be prepared for some wildlife joining you!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 (Thursday) Hello Pokhara!
After breakfast, we will travel to Pokhara for the next stop on your gap year Nepal experience. The journey takes around 5 to 6 hours.
On arrival into Pokhara, you’ll check into the guesthouse where you’ll be staying and then we will go sightseeing around Pokhara. For example, take a boat out on the lake, explore the markets or simply marvel at the incredible view!
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 6-10 (Friday-Tuesday) Trekking the Annapurna Mountain Range
It’s the day that you’ve been waiting for! Time to get your hiking boots on as you set off on a life-changing adventure. Over the next 5 days, you’ll be trekking the Himalayan Mountains. Something any gap year Nepal experience would not be complete without!
The first step is to take the bus to Naya Pul – at 1340m your trek starts here.
The group will be accompanied by a wonderful team of tour guides, porters and Sherpas who will carry your main bag throughout the trek and set up camp at each stop for your arrival. You will only need to carry your daypack with the essential items you’ll need throughout the day.
On your first day, you’ll trek for around 5 hours. Your first stop for the night is the village of Ulleri (at an altitude of 1950m).
The following day will take you through Nagge Thati to reach Ghorepani (at an altitude of 2900m). Overall you’ll spend 4 hours trekking on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, we ascend out of Ghorepani to climb Poon Hill (3193m), aiming to reach the top for sunrise. The climb up takes approximately one hour and we hope to be rewarded by some stunning views of the Himalayas. We return to Ghorepani for a well-earned breakfast. Time to get trekking again!
We’ll descend through dense forest, crossing small bridges and climbing down stone stairways until we reach Tadapani, where we’ll set up camp for the night. The total day’s trekking is around 6 hours. You’ll be rewarded with some breath-taking views of the Annapurna range including the mighty Annapurna South along the way.
The following morning we’ll trek for 4 hours until we reach Ghandruk, where we’ll take lunch. This small Gurung village has views of Machhapuchhre, the fishtail mountain, and Annapurna South. There is a local museum showing items from the local culture. The rest of your day is free to learn about Gurung culture and rest up.
Tuesday is your last day of trekking on the gap year Nepal experience. Most of the walking will be in the morning. After lunch, we’ll say our goodbye to the guides and porters before being transferred back to Pokhara. It is customary to tip the guides and ports for their service. Generally, a tip of anywhere from 20-40 GBP is acceptable.
The rest of your day is free – by this point, you deserve a break! What a mind-blowing few days – just wow!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11 (Wednesday) Free Time Round Phewa Lake
Today is all about kicking your feet up and relaxing. If you’ve got any energy left you can stroll around Pokhara, checking out the beautiful Phewa Lake. If you fancy it, you could even go paragliding!
Our local team can help you arrange any activities you may wish to do on your gap year Nepal experience.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 12 (Thursday) Chitwan - Jungle Walk the National Park
On Thursday morning, we will travel to Chitwan. The journey takes around 5 to 6 hours. Over the next two days of your gap year Nepal experience, you’ll explore Nepal’s jungle, visit indigenous villages and jump on a bicycle as we take a bike tour around Bishazari Tal Lake.
Arriving early on Thursday afternoon to Chitwan, we will refresh for lunch before heading out for a jungle walk within Chitwan National Park and canoe ride down the river where you may spot a crocodile or two! We will be sure to take in sunset views and then in the evening, we will arrange for you to watch a traditional Tharu indigenous cultural show.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13 (Friday) Chitwan - Indigenous Villages & 20,000 Lakes
On Friday another exciting day lies ahead as we take a bicycle ride around Bishazari Tal Lake, also known as 20,000 Lakes. The lakes are home to an incredible array of birds, a sizable population of crocodiles and the occasional wandering Rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger.
We will travel through authentic local Tharu Villages, rice fields and some stunning views across the 9km cycle! Cycling among Tharu villages is a good way to observe the lifestyle of this ethnic group from the southern parts of Nepal. A day of cycling in the Nepali countryside will definitely give you a different perspective of this country.
We will have some free time to head into Chitwan town as well and pick up any last-minute souvenirs or try some local delicacies!
During your time in Chitwan, you’ll stay at a guest lodge close to the National Park. There is a bar at the lodge where you can hang out in the evenings.
* It may be worth noting that traditionally Chitwan National Park is famous for its elephant safaris. However, this is an activity that PMGY does not endorse or feature in the itinerary as we feel the elephants used for these jungle safaris with box riding, heavy loads and poor living conditions do not have their welfare and wellbeing accounted for. Thus we offer alternative exciting activities that take in the beauty of Chitwan in a more ethical and responsible way.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 14-25 (Saturday-Wednesday) Volunteering!
The group will now begin their volunteer placement. You’ll spend the next 10 days getting involved in community projects. Saturday will see you travelling to your project location and your Sunday will be a free day to rest before the busy volunteer schedule begins on Monday.
On average you’ll spend around 4 hours each day at the placement working alongside fellow volunteers from the group. This is a fantastic opportunity to give something back during your stay in Nepal and learn about what life is like for the local people.
The type of volunteering experience and location can differ as it is often dependent on factors such as the size of the group, the need at the time and volunteers’ project preference. So the volunteering program is finalised when in Nepal and our local team will run through the options for this accordingly.
Your accommodation during the volunteering period of your gap year Nepal experience will be dependent on your project type and volunteer location.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 26 (Thursday) Back To Kathmandu
Today you’ll head back to Kathmandu. The trip back to Kathmandu Valley offers some stunning views and is a great time to reflect on what you’ve experienced over the past weeks. The journey takes around 6 hours. When you get back into Kathmandu you will be staying at a guesthouse or the volunteer home of our local team. The rest of the day is free.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 27 (Friday) Free Day in Kathmandu
Today is your last full day of the gap year Nepal experience. Spend today exploring some of the sights in Kathmandu that you didn’t get the chance to see and do any last-minute shopping.
That evening we will have a group farewell dinner with the PMGY Nepal team – all good things come to an end!
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 28 (Saturday) Home Time
Unfortunately, it’s time to wave goodbye to Nepal and head home or continue with your travels. Sunday is your last day on the Real Nepal Experience, so our local team will transfer you back to the airport in time for your flight. This is included in your Program Fee.
Alternatively, if you’d like to stay on with one of PMGY’s volunteer opportunities in Nepal then we can certainly arrange this for you! Speak to one of our team members about your options.
Meals included: Breakfast
* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances. If this is the case it is done with the volunteers best interests at heart. This may be because of variable weather conditions at certain times or may also include alternative volunteering locations depending on the needs of the communities at the time.
CHOOSING AN EXPERIENCE TRIP
What are the program start dates for the Nepal Intro Experience?
The program start dates for the gap year Nepal experience trip are as follows –
3rd July 2022
7th August 2022
Can people from outside of the UK or USA join PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers and travel lovers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries participants have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time in Nepal. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our participants really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to join the trip in Nepal?
PMGY welcomes Real Nepal Experience participants of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak Nepali. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Nepal will go a long way.
All gap year Nepal experience participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of joining us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Travelling and volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the Real Nepal Experience?
For your trip to Nepal, you should book your flights to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on the selected Sunday. The airport code is KTM. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
Are there any age restrictions to be a participant in Nepal?
In order to join the gap year Nepal experience, you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of participants is 18-25.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome participants of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.
When should I apply to join the Real Nepal Experience?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply to the program if you are 100% committed to joining us on the gap year Nepal experience. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date.
Can I join the program abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and if relevant, volunteer at the same project. However, please note the majority of our accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our participants work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, participant safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our participants are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international travellers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist participants 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join the gap year Nepal experience, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international participants to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my experience program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place on the gap year Nepal experience, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 60 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I use the experience as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use Real Nepal Experience as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that the gap year Nepal experience will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after gap year Nepal experience participants have confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in Nepal can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Do you offer an online TEFL course?
For PMGY volunteers teaching English in Nepal, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.
At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.
Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’.
The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.
Can I fundraise for my Real Nepal Experience trip?
With PMGY, the money our participants pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Nepal program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY participants decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that participants on the gap year Nepal experience set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for participants to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For gap year Nepal experience participants looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide participants in Nepal with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For individuals on the gap year Nepal experience who have already confirmed their place on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my trip?
It is possible that on the gap year Nepal experience, you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your trip to Nepal. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your program destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to Nepal?
When you apply to join a trip with PMGY, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place on the gap year Nepal experience has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To join the gap year Nepal experience, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the participants we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check , then you will need to apply for one. UK participants need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place on the gap year Nepal experience.
For Real Nepal Experience participants from the US, you can apply for a background check through Sentry Link. It costs 19.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All participants in Nepal will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare for your gap year Nepal experience. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Zoom, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the Nepal program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants on the Real Nepal Experience.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed on the gap year Nepal experience. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our participants to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide participants in Nepal with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code on the Real Nepal Experience?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our participants adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in Nepal.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our participants, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible if your program includes a volunteer placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a gap year Nepal experience participant can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
Your gap year Nepal experience trip involves travelling across Nepal with your group. You will follow a set itinerary across your time on the trip. This means that there is no opportunity to take part in any independent travel across the trip dates.
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates either side of your trip. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to explore.
All your accommodation is organised by PMGY on your gap year Nepal experience. The type of accommodation will vary depending on your itinerary each day. There may be intermittent Wi-Fi available at some accommodation, however, volunteers in Nepal can purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone.
Guesthouse – For the majority of your time on the gap year Nepal you will stay in a guesthouse. You will be sharing a room with fellow members of the group, with up to 6 people per room. The rooms will be basic but comfortable, with a Western-style toilet and sometimes a hot water shower.
Camping – After your day of white-water rafting, your group has the option to camp out by the bank of the river on your gap year Nepal experience. Tents will be shared, usually 2 volunteers per tent.
Teahouse – Over the course of the Annapurna trek you will stay at teahouses. The teahouses are extremely basic, especially during the third night of the trek. Generally, they have a communal room downstairs, and you may have an ensuite or a shared bathroom. The bedrooms are unheated but you will be provided with adequate bedding. Usually, there will be two people staying in each room on the gap year Nepal experience.
Project Residence - During your last two weeks when you volunteer in Nepal, the accommodation will depend on your specific project type and location that you join us on. This could be anything from living in a monastery, next door to the children’s home or with a host family.
It is important to note that for your volunteer work in Nepal, the accommodation will be comfortable but generally very basic, particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western-style toilets, however, some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers.
Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle. So enjoy every peaceful second on your gap year Nepal experience!
All the meals that are provided on the gap year Nepal experience will be traditional Nepalese cuisine. Certainly, this will mainly be Dhal Bhat (rice, lentils and potato curry), which is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are numerous western restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara where you can get some home comforts. Please see the itinerary for specific details on what meals are included in the Program Fee during your gap year Nepal experience.
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME - 40 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in Nepal works as follows -
🇰🇪 Kenya - 40 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Nepal and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
🇮🇳 India - 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don't have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
🇺🇸 USA - 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.