Shannon - Challenges Abroad Nepal Sustainability Challenge

Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management/Arts
July 2018

My experience

I chose the Nepal Sustainability Challenge because I have always wanted to go to Nepal and I am extremely passionate about volunteer tourism and sustainable practices within that industry. We took part in a 2 week volunteer program at a local school in Dhulikhel where we conducted sustainability workshops and tried to teach the children about the importance of caring for and respecting our environment. I found that it was completely relevant to both of my degrees because it gave me an insight into volunteer tourism and also the environmental issues that Nepal faces. I used the knowledge that I gained in Nepal to write a research topic (GEOS3400). My favourite aspect of studying overseas was the like minded people that I had the pleasure to get to know.

How has the experience changed you?

The experience allowed me to gain confidence in making friends and building lasting relationships with people that shared my passion for the environment, helping people and wildlife. Professionally, I found clarity in exactly what it is I am passionate about and want to focus on in my career, which is ecotourism, nature-based tourism or sustainable tourism. This experience also taught me that I am a natural born leader and I have the ability to lead a group.

Favourite memory

My favourite memory from the trip was the extended trip/trek we did in the Annurpurna Conservation Area. It was the hardest and best thing I have ever accomplished.

Top tips

My advice would be to go for it and take every opportunity to engage in the group. The only thing I wish I knew before the experience was about the living conditions. There were difficult however it is somewhat what I expected travelling to a developing country.


Yes, I received a $1,000 UQ Employability Grant. This paid for my flights, which I would not have been able to afford without it. I am and always will be extremely grateful for this grant.