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Report on Study Tour to Nepal 2018


On August 19-26, 2018, three undergraduate students, one graduate student, and two faculty members took part in an eight-day study tour to Nepal as part of the Practicum for Convivial Global Society.
Before the tour, students learned about Nepal through reading and discussions under the guidance of faculty members, on subjects including Nepalese history, gender, education, health and medicine, and renewable energy. The content of the study tour itself was as follows.

Day One (Departure: To Nepal!)
The group gathered at Haneda Airport at around 10 p.m. for a night-time flight via Bangkok to Tribhuvan International Airport. The journey took some 16 hours in total. Once in Kathmandu, we met our Nepali tour guide at the airport and transferred to the hotel.
・ Briefing: Dr. Narato, a Japanese medical doctor who also works as an advisor for establishing hospitals, spoke about some of the basic aspects of life in Nepal.

At a village where a solar-powered pump provides
drinking water (August 22, Ramechhap District)

Day Two (Visit to offices of JICA Nepal)
・ Visit to offices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Nepal: JICA workers talked to students about the situation in Nepal, gave an overview of JICA’s work in Nepal, and explained the activities of volunteers and the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.
・ Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital: After lunch, we visited Tribhuvan University hospital, supported by JICA, where we saw hospital facilities and visited the nursing school.
・ We then visited the World Heritage-listed Hanuman Dhoka, where we were explained about the projects to restore cultural properties.

Day Three (Orientation talk on AEPC activities)
・ AEPC headquarters: At the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), we were given a summary of the center’s work and an introduction to the places we were going to visit on Day 4.
・ AITM (Asian Institute of Technology and Management): we had lunch at the AITM restaurant, then chatted with AITM students.

Day Four (Visit to AEPC project sites)
Visit to Ramechhap and Kavrepalanchok district project sites: We traveled around three hours by car to visit two districts, where we saw how the introduction of alternative energy has affected villagers’ lives.

Interviewing a village elementary school teacher
(August 22, Kavrepalanchok District)

Day Five (Global perspectives)
・ Lecture by specialist on gender
・ Visit to the Japanese embassy
・ Visit to Sarthak Shiksha, an educational NPO
・ Meal with Japanese UN workers
This very full day of activities enabled participants to see Nepal from various perspectives, including the educational aspect, the international view, and the Japanese government’s relationship with Nepal.

Day Six (Final Day, Cultural Sightseeing)
Sightseeing and souvenirs: Accommodating requests from participants, faculty members and our guide arranged for us to visit Patan Durbar Square and Boudhanath.

Day Seven (Return to Japan)
Kathmandu–Bangkok–Haneda–End of Tour (7 a.m. Japan time)

Participants chose research topics in advance according to their interests based on the knowledge acquired in the preliminary studies before the tour. The interviews and observations carried out in Nepal allowed participants to deepen their understanding of their own topics, as well as teaching various lessons, including how difficult it can be to communicate with people who speak a different language and how rewarding it can be to convey one’s opinion in that context. The experience of carrying out research in the local area enabled participants to learn fieldwork methodologies.

We would like to thank the faculty members who accompanied us and everyone in Nepal, who gave us this opportunity for learning and new experiences. The experiences we had and lessons we learned during this visit to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal will surely stand us in good stead in our future studies overseas and international exchanges. Many thanks to everyone.

(Yumeno Higo, 1st year student, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science)

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