Program Details
Academic Disciplines Education
Global Health
Women's Empowerment

Nepal Community Development Service Learning Program

Contribute towards improving infrastructure, access to education and healthcare, alongside local partners, while learning about sustainable development.

Program Information

Participate in a service learning program in the fascinating country of Nepal. Contribute to sustainable development projects connected to ongoing earthquake relief efforts. Gain intercultural competency while engaging in educational activities connected to Nepali culture and daily service activities.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


The program will focus on improving basic human rights through educational development, infrastructure improvement, and reciprocal cultural exchange, and will take place in Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal, in the center of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone, and the Western Development Region. It is also known as the City of Seven Lakes, and an adventure sport capital of the world, with three out of the ten highest mountains in the world within 30 miles of the city.

These projects range in content suitable for students studying academic disciplines such as:

- Women’s Empowerment
- Education
- Global Health

Example project activities include:

- English lesson, healthcare, or skills workshops;
- First Aid training for community members;
- Improving infrastructure/facilities through construction projects;
- Individual tutoring/classroom teaching in vocabulary and language studies, science, social studies, and math.



I couldn’t think of a better way to learn about this amazing country and the experience was more than I could have asked for. This trip was so well organized and jam –packed with fun. How many people can say that they spent four days hiking the Himalayas, talked to a buddhist monk and painted three classrooms in less than two weeks? Being in Nepal not only enriched my global perspective, it helped me appreciate home even more. If anyone is looking to make a difference while making a life long (and life changing) memories, they should definitely sign up to come to Pokhara through GVI or AFS.
- Genevieve George (AFS)

Program Details

Location Asia - Nepal - Pokhara

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This inter-disciplinary program introduces students to international service-learning and sustainable development in content and practice, in Pokhara, Nepal. Through lectures, discussion, research, service, and reflection (beginning two weeks prior to their departure and continuing two weeks after their return home), students in this program engage in meaningful, context-driven service-learning at home and abroad. Emphasis will be placed on relating long-term project goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in daily reflection surrounding the experience, which will be led by qualified group facilitators who are trained to enhance individual student development. The program curriculum will be tailored to your students’ academic needs as well as any faculty requirements.

A GVI service-learning program provides students with the opportunity to live and work within the “classroom” of their chosen field of study, and to develop professional capacities associated with intercultural competency, global citizenship, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. By participating in this course, students will be prepared to contribute to solutions for critical global issues related to sustainable development within a local community, and alongside an international team.

The Project

The objectives for each GVI project are based on specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In Pokhara, students will largely contribute to need-based community development projects in surrounding township areas that primarily improve the general infrastructure and learning environments for local disadvantaged children.


Nepal's short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Nepal's:

1. Support students to reach learning goals appropriate to their Age (under 5s) Grade level (5-18 year olds) or Individual Need (students with Special Needs)

2.Support students to expand their English vocabulary

3. Increase the knowedge and understanding of Healthcare in the community with an emphasis on prevention

4. Develop the skills of women in the community in order to improve their potential to generate income or to become more self sufficient

5. Support the local community with improved facilities with an emphasis on educational and health and safety needs

6. To minimize our environmental impact in Lakeside and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and the students with whom we work


Example Itinerary:

This program varies in duration, depending on project requirements as well as cultural expeditions or activities. The below outlines a one week in-country program; however, your in-country service can run for as many weeks as set by your academic curriculum, objectives, and requirements.


Two weeks prior to departure, students will be assigned readings and assignments. These assignments make sure they have a basic cultural understanding of Pokhara and it’s local conservation-based issues; a foundational understanding of international service learning and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and begin a dialogue surrounding global engagement. Materials will be chosen based on collaboration with the group’s educational leader to ensure the work fits within the group’s in-class curriculum.


Day 1- Arrival to Pokhara 

There are two options for arriving in Pokhara. A short flight from Kathmandu International Airport or a bus journey. While the bus seems like a long add on to the journey, it is also a great chance to see the local countryside. If budget is a concern, the bus is definitely the cheaper option.

On arrival in Pokhara, the group will be met and transferred to their accommodation by a GVI staff member or appointed driver. The group will have a chance to settle in and rest during the afternoon. In the evening, there will be an initial welcome presentation and introduction to the GVI staff, history and background of the projects, as well as a health and safety breakdown.

Day 2- Introduction and Orientation

The group will be met by a GVI field staff member and given an orientation tour around the local area and to the project sites where the construction material will be prepped for the weeks work.  In the evening a reflection period will take place in which participants will debrief and review their initial reactions and observations on the experience and location.

Day 3-5- Daily Structure: Service, Education, and Reflection

Students will report daily to the project construction sites where they will work side-by-side local community members and our partner organizations. Specific projects will depend on the needs of the centers at the time, and could involve engagement in construction and renovation projects, as well as creative activities, basic healthcare and hygiene programs, and sports development initiatives.

All service elements will be connected to a greater understanding of the cultural context in which the students are working. Assignments, in the form of lectures, readings, written response papers, journal entries, group presentations, and miscellaneous creative projects will be conducted daily to enhance student learning from their service involvement. Daily reflection sessions will act as the bridge that connects and helps to synthesize the many aspects of the experience.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways in which participants are working towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students will critically examine their part in this process, by analyzing their contributions, challenges, and observations.

Day 6- Cultural Day

Understanding Pokhara, Nepal’s diverse and stunning culture means that exploration is an important component of the experience. We will tailor this day to the interests of the group. Opportunities include a visit to nearby local sights, such as the beautiful Tal Bahari Temple or the Gurkha soldier museum. Groups might also opt for a cultural activity such as Nepali language lessons, dance classes, or a cooking class. Adventure is also an option such as rafting, kayaking on the Trisuli or Seti rivers, mountain biking, or hiking.

Day 7- A Fond Farewell

GVI field staff transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavour to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field and with particular reference to the projects participants contributed to during their time in Nepal.


Students will continue to engage with active reflection and educational expansion two weeks after leaving Pokhara, with emphasis placed on incorporating the international experience, and insights gained which are then applied to the students’ home context. Assignments will involve generating ideas to continue global engagement, connecting the experience to personal and career goals, and reflecting on the insights gained while in the field.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A dedicated course co-ordinator
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Flight bookings service on request
  • In-country transport costs
  • Insurance on request
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs


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Enquiry Details

Speak to us about Scholarships, available if you book before the end of August.