This once-in-a-lifetime expedition blends wilderness travel with academic, cultural learning and experience through this unique perspective into India. You will begin with an 18-day hike in the Kumaon region of the Indian Himalaya, building fundamental outdoor skills while interacting with local villagers and nomadic shepherds, building on your conversational Hindi. You’ll backpack on trade routes that historically lead into Tibet. Off the standard tourist track, you’ll have the opportunity to study and observe ways of life similar to hundreds of years ago.
You will spend the last eight days in a homestay setting with an in-depth focus on culture and environmental studies. During the first half of each day, you will split time in a classroom and walking nearby hills gaining an in depth knowledge of geo-political issues and the natural world from experienced faculty members with personal knowledge of the region. In the afternoons, you will move to your respective homestay sites and engage with the everyday routines of your extended family be it cutting grass, tilling the field, fetching drinking water from the village well or helping in the preparation of well-cooked meals. Living and eating meals with your families will provide incredible insights into the life and times of villagers in a Himalayan environment.
The NOLS leadership curriculum will unite both your wilderness travel and village homestay sections of the Himalaya Cultural Expedition.