We hope this page will help you with your questions about everyday life here in Nepal. Each topic is separated in a question / answer format in hopes it will cover any question you may have about life as a foreigner living in Nepal. If you have any questions that are not answered on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us with your additional questions.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
You will have minimum storage space, so don’t over-pack! For a list of recommended things to bring, click here.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT THE AIRPORT?
If you have not already arranged a travel visa (click here for visa information) online, visas are available on arrival for people from most countries. As a reminder, you will need 2-4 passport photos and $100 cash.
Once you are through the immigration line, there will be multiple airport workers offering to help with your luggage. Do not accept any help, no matter how much they persist, as they will later demand a tip from you. There may also be numerous taxi drivers trying to take your bags without permission in order to get your business. Be sure to always pay close attention to your belongings, not allowing anyone to take them.
Some of our staff will be at the airport ready to pick you up. Be sure to look for someone holding a CCBC Nepal sign and wait with them for any other students coming.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
The Bible College campus is shared with 3 other ministries: Salvation Worship Ministries, Salvation School of Worship, and Salvation Music Institute. Students will be housed in the same quarters as the Bible College staff and will share a kitchen with the staff. Each student bedroom can house up to four students. Classes will either be held in the sanctuary or in one of our smaller classrooms on campus.
WHAT WILL I BE EATING?
You will be expected to buy and prepare your own food. A food allowance will be distributed, each week and, if budgeted carefully, can stretch to cover the cost of eating some meals out. All kitchen appliances will be provided and shared amongst staff and international students.
Since the school is located in the middle of a tourist friendly city, you can find almost any type of food available for purchase. While most foreigners go to the larger supermarkets to purchase their food, most Nepalis go to the smaller shops located on almost every street corner. Both options are safe and affordable.
You will have the option to eat with the Nepali students for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A typical Nepalese meal is dal bhat and tarkari. Dal is a lentil soup, served over rice (bhat). Tarkari is considered any type of curried vegetables. Nepalese eat this meal twice a day, every day. Once a week, the meal is served with meat. If you choose to eat any meals with the Nepali students, you will need to pay for each meal out of your food allowance.
If you do not want to eat on campus, there is a large variety of restaurants that serve "western food" as well as Indian or Nepali meals. Eating at restaurants is significantly more expensive than eating at home or with the Nepali students so you will need to manage your money well to ensure you have enough finances to last the entire week.
Lactose-Intolarent, Gluten-Intolarent, or Vegetarian? No problem! Soy milk and buffalo milk is easily found in Nepal; most Nepalese do not prefer the taste of cow's milk anyway. Corn flour, barley flour, chickpea flour, and rice flour are some of the wheat-free flour options available in Nepal. Grocery stores also sell gluten-free cookies and other treats. Lastly, many Nepalis are vegetarian as meat is not the staple in a typical Nepalese meal.
WILL I HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET?
Yes! The Bible College Campus will have WiFi available during certain hours of the day. Internet may be used for homework and communication back home, but we encourage students to restrict their internet activity otherwise. Many restaurants and cafes in town also provide free WiFi for customers.
DO I NEED A CONVERTER OR ADAPTER?
Nepal runs on 230V while the US runs on 120V. It is extremely important that you check your devices to see if they can convert to the higher voltage. Apple products are able to take the voltage when plugged straight into the wall outlet, but other products such as flat irons, blow dryers, and phones will need a converter to charge or they will be ruined and can affect the building electricity. Adapters and converters can be purchased in Nepal at a much cheaper price than in the U.S.
HOW DO I ACCESS MY MONEY?
The easiest way to pay for things in Nepal is with cash. The currency of Nepal is called a "rupee" and the exchange rate fluctuates on a day-to-day basis. If you bring cash with you, our staff will help you exchange the money into rupees when you are here with us. Do not exchange your cash at the airport since they will charge you much more then other places.
ATM machines are found throughout the Kathmandu Valley and are safe to withdrawal money from; the money comes out in rupees. Another option is use credit cards. Western restaurants and most supermarkets take all major credit cards.
Be sure to check with your bank and credit card companies concerning international charges. Before traveling, tell your bank and credit card companies that you will be leaving the country so that they grant you access to your cards.
Checks and traveler's checks are not recommended.
IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK?
It is not safe to drink the tap water unless you have fully boiled or purified it. Filtered and bottled water will constantly be available on campus. Cooking with tap water is okay if the water is fully boiled. When eating out, most restaurants will have the option of filtered water to drink for free.
WHAT ARE THE BATHROOMS LIKE?
While the Bible College campus and western restaurants have western toilets available (aka: 'the throne'), most households and restaurants only have squat toilets available. When going out, make sure to have toilet paper with you.
Another big difference between Western and Nepali bathrooms are the showers: they are in the middle of the bathroom! Wearing sandals in and out of the bathroom is common as the floors stay wet for long periods of time.
Hot water is not always guaranteed when taking a shower. The water is solar-heated at the Bible College which means there is only hot water if there is sun for an extended period of time. On colder days, we recommend heating a kettle of water on the stove top and using that hot water to take a bucket shower. This is one of the many adventurous ways of adapting to the culture.
On a similar note, water is a precious commodity in Nepal, especially during the spring. The city water system provides little water and is unreliable. While the Bible College does have a reserve well, it will run dry at times because of the amount of people living on campus. The school will purchase private water (brought from outside) when this happens, but please be prepared to go without water at times.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GETTING MEDICAL CARE?
There are many hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley. You will likely have to pay for any medical care up front (another good reason to have cash on hand). For non-emergency cases, clinics with well educated doctors and nurses are available for a minimal cost. Doctor's offices are located on hospital grounds. In many cases, we may say we are taking you to the hospital, but in reality, we are taking you to the doctor. If you are taken to the hospital (doctor), you may be surprised that the nurses do not provide the same level of care as in your home country. A staff member will stay with you in the hospital until you are released to help with the hospital procedures.
In case of emergency, students will be taking to Norvic International Hospital. There are smaller hospitals closer to the Bible College campus, but Norvic holds international standards and takes most health insurance. Family members will be immediately contacted and consulted before making medical decisions.
Medications are easily acquired in Nepal. While some need prescriptions, most are over-the-counter and cost much less than they do in Western countries. Although the brands may be different, the quality is just the same.