Asia Fall Semester
The Youth International Asia program is a 13 week experiential learning travel semester in Nepal, India, and Thailand, beginning with a 3-day orientation in Colorado.
Fall 2020 Daily Itinerary (September 14 to December 13)
Colorado, USA: September 14 to 17
Sept. 14 to 17: Rocky Mountains: Team members meet in Colorado, and stay together in Estes Park for a three-day orientation. In this spectacular Rocky Mountain setting, they take part in a series of orientation workshops covering topics including team building, health and safety, cultural sensitivity, and more, in preparation for their time abroad. On the morning of Sept. 17, the team departs on their flights from Denver to Nepal, arriving in Kathmandu on Sept. 19.
Nepal: September 19 to October 18
Sept. 19 to 21: Kathmandu: The team has two and a half days to begin exploring the colorful and exotic capital city of Nepal.
Sept. 21 to 27: City Home Stay: During this week, team members learn first-hand about city life, while living with a Nepalese family in a suburb of Kathmandu. They help out by volunteering on renovation and construction projects at the local school, as well as teaching and running educational workshops for the children at the school. On Sept. 27, travel by bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, with a segment of the journey done by whitewater rafting on the Trisuli River.
Sep. 27 to 29: Pokhara: Time to explore this beautiful city at the base of the Annapurna mountain range and to prepare for the upcoming trek in the Himalayas.
Sep. 29 to Oct. 7: Himalayan Mountain Trek: Nine-day trek in the Himalayan Mountains, through Nepalese villages, to Annapurna Base Camp, which is surrounded by some of the world’s highest mountain peaks. Return to Pokhara on Oct. 7.
Oct. 7 to 9: Pokhara: Rest and recovery from the trek. More time to explore Pokhara. On Oct. 9, travel by bus back to Kathmandu.
Oct. 9 to 11: Kathmandu: Time for further exploration of Kathmandu. On Oct. 11, the team travels by bus to a nearby village and moves in with home stay families.
Oct. 11 to 17: Village Home Stay: For one week, the team lives with families in a rural village in the Himalayan foothills near Kathmandu. The team learns about Nepalese village life by living it themselves. They also help out by doing renovation and construction work at the local school, and teaching and running educational workshops for the children at the school. Travel by bus back to Kathmandu on Oct. 17 and overnight in Kathmandu. On Oct. 18, fly from Kathmandu to Delhi, India.
India: October 18 to December 3
Oct. 18 to 21: Delhi: Two days to begin exploring India’s bustling capital city, including sites such as Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, Humayun’s tomb, the National museum, Raj Ghat, the Gandhi museum, and city markets. On Oct. 21, travel by train to Agra.
Oct. 21 to 22: Agra: Visits to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. On Oct. 22, travel by bus from Agra to Jaipur.
Oct. 22 to 27: Jaipur: For five days the team lives with host families in this bustling capital city of Rajasthan. Each day starts with a yoga class, followed by a survival Hindi language lesson. Days are rounded out with excursions to local sites, and attending workshops on various aspects of India’s culture and history. Travel by overnight train from Jaipur to Jaisalmer.
Oct. 28 to Nov. 2: Jaisalmer and Desert Camel Safari: The team has two days to explore the dramatic city of Jaisalmer, before setting off into the Thar desert on camel back. For three days, the team learns first-hand about desert life while out on camel safari. Overnight bus to Udaipur on Nov. 2.
Nov. 3 to 4: Udaipur: The team has a day and a half to begin exploring one of India’s most colorful cities. They also visit a local NGO for an introductory talk on development issues in local Adivasi (tribal) communities. On the afternoon of Nov. 4, travel by bus to a nearby Adivasi village.
Nov. 4 to 11: Village Home Stay: During this week, team members live with host families in a small rural village near Udaipur. Time is spent helping families with household chores and work in the fields, etc… Team members also volunteer on community service projects, which include painting and renovation work, and they also help out by teaching and running activities for children at the local school. On Nov. 11, return by bus to Udaipur.
Nov. 11 to 12: Udaipur: Time to continue exploring Udaipur. The team also attends a workshop on Batik art. Reflection time on this section of the Indian experience.
Nov. 12 to 13: Delhi: The team flies from Udaipur to Dharamsala, with an overnight layover in Delhi.
Nov. 13 to Dec. 2: Dharamsala: This small town, tucked in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains of northwest India, is home to the Tibetan government in exile and a large population of Tibetan refugees, including their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. For two weeks, the team lives in homes with Tibetan families. Days are spent working on service projects within the Tibetan community and taking part in activities to enhance understanding of Tibetan culture, contemporary issues, and history. There is an optional introductory meditation course/retreat practiced in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The team also does a day hike in the Himalayan foothills above Dharamsala. On Dec. 2, fly from Dharamsala to Delhi.
Dec. 2 to 3: Delhi: Overnight back in Delhi. On Dec. 3, fly from Delhi to Bangkok, Thailand.
Thailand: December 3 to Dec. 13
Dec. 3 to 5: Bangkok: Time to explore this great Asian capital, including the Grand Palace, the floating markets, and the National Museum. On the evening of Dec. 5, the team boards an overnight train heading to the southern islands.
Dec. 6 to 11: Southern Islands: Time to enjoy spectacular beaches, crystal-blue waters, and abundant underwater wildlife for which southern Thailand is renowned. The team snorkels, swims, and kayaks in this beautiful setting. They also spend time in nearby villages, learning first-hand about the Muslim people who originally settled this area of Thailand. Return to the mainland on Dec. 11, and travel by overnight train back to Bangkok.
Dec. 12 to 13: Bangkok: Final exploration of Bangkok. Program wrap -up and reflection. On Dec. 13, the team flies together back to the USA and then onward individually to each team member’s final home destination.