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Nepal Semester Student's Catherine Von Holt's photograph of the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu.

Staying healthy in Nepal!

Dear students,

The following are some tips to stay healthy while you are traveling in Nepal. When you arrive in Nepal we will share more tips and information on this topic.

You may want to consider taking vitamin C before you board the flights and remember to stay hydrated during your flight, which will help with the altitude adjustment once in country.

We strongly suggest that if you menstruate, you bring reusable pads (like these: http://lunapads.com/) or a menstrual cup (like the Diva Cup or Moon Cup). Disposable pads are available widely throughout Nepal, tampons sporadically so. But it can be very difficult for students to find appropriate places to dispose of used pads and tampons, especially when we are on a trek or staying in villages (and even in some urban homestays). Students have found it much easier and cleaner to use reusable pads or cups.

We travel with a fully-stocked medical bag that includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines. This includes Immodium, Pepto-Bismal, Ibuprofen and Advil, nasal decongestant, cold medicine, and many, many other things. Consequently, there isn’t any need for you to bring your own stash of these meds, unless it makes you feel more comfortable to have your own stash.

Students are allowed to hold over-the-counter and prescription meds, and administer them as directed and needed. However it is very important that we develop clear and open communication between students and instructors about any health and medicine issues. That way, us instructors know what is going on with student health so that we have the requisite information to make informed health decisions when the need arises.

If you are bringing prescription medications with you on the program, please bring enough to last you for the whole trip as it is not always possible to get the same medications in Nepal and shipping medicines does not always work.

Here are some supplements that you can feel free to bring on the program that may help you stay healthy:

1. Pro-Biotics- helps strengthen your gut.

2. Vitamin C – overall immunity boost. It is available in Nepal too.

3. Echinacea or Airborne- to fight off colds.

4. Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)- acts like a natural antibiotic (nutribiotic)

5. Charcoal- acts to absorb bacteria and toxins in the intestines.

6. Vitamin supplements- We try to make sure that most of the meals we eat during our stay in Nepal is healthy and wholesome. But if you think you might need extra vitamins you can bring it along. (Omega supplement is available in Nepal)

7. Additionally, you could bring 1-3 paper face masks – with an N95 rating – to use while walking around Patan, if you think you may be sensitive to dust and pollution. Some instructors and students in the past have found them handy. You can buy these at a home improvement store in the U.S. (like Lowes or Home Depot).

Thank you!

Parker and Sharon