Passage International : Study Abroad, Experiential Education Program in South Asia

Study Abroad, Experiential Education Program in South Asia

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather like?

In the winter in Northern India and Nepal, it can be as cold as 32 degrees while the summer often sees the temperature into the low/mid nineties. In many ways, the weather is quite similar to that of the mid-Atlantic in the US: cold but mild winters and hot, humid summers. Most of our summer programs will encounter the Monsoon season, the time of the year when it rains regularly every day. In our semester programs, we encounter more wintry conditions during our treks.  Once your application is accepted, we will send you a list of clothes that you should bring based on your program and the season.

How does Passage pick the homestay families?

At Passage, we choose our home stay families based on extensive research, close community contacts and the family's interest in, and capacity for, cross-cultural exchanges.  We work to find a variety of living situations so that our students can experience the wide spectrum of how people live in our host communities.

Will my host family speak English?

All of our families have at least one member of the family that speaks English.

What should I bring?

We will provide you with a comprehensive list of the appropriate types, and quantities of, clothes, gear and supplies that you may want to bring to make your time in Asia comfortable.  In addition, many items can be purchased in the major cities that all of our programs start in. All of this will be detailed in information packages after you are accepted.  However, the most important thing you can bring is an open mind and a great sense of curiosity.

How much money will I need to bring?

This depends on each individual student.  The program covers most of the daily costs of living and learning.  You will want to bring extra spending cash in the event that you need medical treatment, want to take taxis, eat out, buy gifts, have clothes made, etc.  In the information package you will receive after you have been accepted, we describe money in more detail.

Can I get credit for participating in this program?

Passage cannot offer academic credit for your participation in one of its programs.  However, some past students have made special arrangements with their schools to receive credit.  If getting credit is of interest to you, please talk with your teachers, advisors or professors.  We are willing to provide information about our program to your school as long as you request information in advance.

How much does airfare to India or Nepal cost?

The cost of our program does not include airfare to and from India or Nepal, where all of our programs begin.  Costs will depend on when you want to fly and how far in advance you book a ticket.  Usually, given a 21-day advance and working with our travel agent, our students have found tickets as low as $1500 round trip.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in participating in one of our programs, please fill out an application online or request that an application is sent to you by mail.  Passage has a rolling deadline, which means that programs can fill quickly.  We recommend that you apply as early as possible.

When is the application deadline?

Our application deadline is rolling.  However, since our programs tend to fill up quickly, we suggest that you send in your application and deposits as soon as possible to ensure a space on the program.

What is the cancellation policy?

With your application a $500 deposit is due in order to be considered for acceptance.  Once your application has been received, reviewed and you have been notified via email (or regular mail if email is not possible) of your acceptance the $500 deposit becomes non-refundable.

At this point, the balance of your tuition is due 90 days before the beginning of your trip.  (This schedule for payment will be included in your acceptance letter). Students who apply within 90 days of the beginning date of a trip should submit their entire tuition to be considered for acceptance.  If the balance of your tuition is not paid 90 days prior to the beginning of your trip we cannot guarantee the reservation of a place for you until your tuition has been fully paid.

We may accept applications submitted less than 90 days prior to the start date for a program.  If you wish to apply less than 90 days prior to the start date of a program, please submit a special request in writing with your reasons for the shorter timeline.

If we receive your notice of cancellation (in writing) 90 days or more prior to the start date of your trip and your spot cannot be filled, your tuition will be refunded less a $1,000 cancellation fee and the deposit (a total of $1,500). If your spot can be filled, your tuition will be refunded less the deposit (a total of $500).  If we receive your notice of cancellation less than 90 days and more than 30 days prior to the start date of your course and your spot cannot be filled, your entire tuition will not be refunded.  If your spot can be filled, your tuition will be refunded less the deposit ($500) and an additional $500 fee for the efforts to fill your spot.

No refunds will be given for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of your trip, after your program starts or in the event of an expulsion.

What vaccinations are recommended for this program?

Please consult with your personal physician. You may also visit for additional information.

Is it easy to get medical assistance if any is needed?

Yes. Should a student become ill during the program, the Passage staff will always be available to help obtain proper treatment. Regarding health precautions, we require participants have adequate health insurance that covers illness abroad.

I do not speak Nepali/Hindi/Tibetan so I was wondering whether I would still be able to partake?

Throughout the beginning of the program, daily language classes will continue. You will be given one-and-a-half hours of organized language instruction every day, five days a week. Basic language skills are not hard to learn, especially when you commit to using it in your daily life abroad.

What is Passage's safety policy?

Our primary concern is the safety and health of our students and staff. We conduct thorough on-site student orientation programs, especially with respect to student health, safety, security, crime and other risk issues in the country of travel.

Prior to the start of each program, students receive country-specific health guidelines including required and recommended immunizations as specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Local health issues are later reviewed with students during initial in-country program orientation and are monitored throughout the semester.

We provide quality home stays located in safe neighborhoods. Home stay family members can provide precautionary advice to our students about local conditions.

Passage has crisis management and emergency evacuation plans in place, as well as a regularly drilled and tested system for promptly reaching students and their emergency contacts in a crisis. All Passage students are required to register with their Embassy in Nepal. Our utmost priority is the safety and security of our students. Besides the US Embassy announcements, we follow the local news closely and, since we live and work in-country, have several reliable sources of unpublished news. The coordinators and at least one of the directors will be available 24 hours a day in the event of a medical or other emergency. In the extremely unlikely event that an evacuation is necessary, we can help make arrangements to ensure it happens as fast as possible. Passage staff is well trained and knowledgeable in emergency procedures.

Total safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad, just as it cannot be guaranteed in the United States. Passage is committed to taking the necessary steps to maximize student safety at each and every program site.

Events may transpire that are reported by the media such that they are perceived by family members in the home country as a threat to the health and safety of program participants, but which may not be a real threat as assessed by Passage staff. In many such cases, these events will be treated as a real emergency due to the need to respect the perception of an emergency until this perception can be corrected.

The Passage Risk Management Team consists of all Passage staff members – including staff on salary and contracted Program Coordinators, teachers and faculty, and home stay family members. Each member of the team is assigned responsibilities for emergency response, and for ongoing preparedness for emergencies.

Do the students arrive in Kathmandu separately?

Sometimes students meet in the US and fly to Asia together, especially if they buy their tickets though a US-based travel agent we trust and recommend. Because participants can be from many parts of the US, this is not always practical. However, students are always met on arrival of their end destination.

Is the $500 deposit refundable?

The $500 deposit acts as a guarantee and is therefore non-refundable. Once your application is received, reviewed and you are accepted, the $500 deposit becomes non-refundable. The only time the deposit is refundable is if we consider the situation in-country grave enough to warrant cancellation of any program, in which case we of course refund the full amount. However, this deposit can be carried over to a future program. You will not need to re-apply and re-pay to attend a future Personal Passage, even a year later.

Can I extend my stay after 12 weeks?

Yes you can.

What do I do if I have other questions?

Please feel free to contact us at any time. You can also find more information on our website.

Contact Us

GPO Box 8974
CPC 373
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: 977-1-4650723
Send us an email