US: 1 888 653 6028 UK: 01727 250 250 AUS: 1 300 795 013

Nepal Community Development Course

Contribute towards improving infrastructure while learning about sustainable development

Participate in a service learning course 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.

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Course Overview

This inter-disciplinary course, accredited by universities and colleges around the world, introduces students to international service-learning and sustainable development, both 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 course 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 lead by qualified group facilitators who are trained to enhance individual student development. The course curriculum will be tailored to your students’ academic needs as well as any faculty requirements.

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

For full details of the curriculum, you can download our Service Learning Curriculum PDF here.

Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will:

  • Experience global learning contexts associated with international service-learning
  • Learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how they are implemented both domestically and abroad;
  • Explore their role as a development actor through in-country service-learning and reflection;
  • Develop greater intercultural competency, global awareness, and a sense of global citizenship; and
  • Build personal and professional capacities of writing, reflection, communication, flexibility, adaptability, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving.


The Project in Pokhara:

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 Pokhara’s surrounding township areas, that primarily improve the general infrastructure and learning environments for local disadvantaged children. These initiatives collectively incorporate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals listed below:

  • SDG no.1: End poverty in all of its forms everywhere
  • SDG no.4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
  • SDG no.9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and forest innovation
  • SDG no.10: Reduce inequalities within and among countries
  • SDG no.16: Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies

The course will focus on improving basic human rights through educational development, infrastructure improvement, and reciprocal cultural exchange. Students will critically examine their individual and collective on the ground impact asking pertinent questions in order to evaluate their successes and challenges. They will receive continuous support from qualified staff members who will help relate and connect the students involvement with the community development projects and the SDG’s.

Please note that courses can tailored to a group’s in-class curriculum; however, specific work will always be dependent on the needs of the community and our local partners at the time.


Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal, and lies in the center of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone, and the Western Development Region. It is also known as the City of Seven Lakes, and three out of the ten highest mountains in the world are within 30 miles of the city, which makes it one of the adventure sport capitals of the world. It is a city of breath-taking beauty, both naturally and culturally.




Example Itinerary:

This course varies in duration, depending on project requirements as well as cultural expeditions or activities. The below outlines a one week course; 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

  • A dedicated trip co-ordinator
  • Pre-departure information
  • Flight bookings service on request
  • Accommodation
  • In-country support
  • Group leader
  • Insurance on request
  • 24/7 back up and support
  • Food and drinking water
  • First aid equipment
  • Comprehensive health and safety procedures (Emergency Action Plans and Risk Assessments)
  • In-country transport costs
  • Access to local medical facilities
  • Up-to-date safety and country information
  • Highly experienced and well qualified GVI field staff

What’s Not Included

  • Visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal kit
  • Additional spending money
  • Flights

Please note prices are subject to seasonal fluctuation and will vary depending upon the needs of the group.

**Optional extras include travel insurance and flight services

Every new experience I had made me fall more in love with the people, the place and also the work. Not to be cliché, but, this trip was life altering, awe-inspiring, clarifying and a once in a life time journey to explore not only a foreign land and its people but also myself.

Jess Johnson

Nepal Community Development 2013, US

Course Details


Asia – Nepal – Pokhara


From 1 week +

Course Focus

Community Development

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7 Day PDF


14 Day PDF


Interested in this exciting opportunity?

Get in touch, and secure your future by learning the right way.

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