Volunteer Society Nepal : The best experience for volunteers, the best value for Nepal.

Physiotherapy Internship Experience: Lukas at the Disability Center

Lukas is in his third year of studying physiotherapy at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He was keen to come to Nepal for his 3 month Physiotherapy internship. Volunteer Society Nepal has arranged his internship for him in a rural area, just outside of Kathmandu. How is his experience so far?

Why did you come to Nepal?

I wanted to try out something different and was looking for a challenge for my internship. I found that I learn most about myself and my future when I travel and live the unexpected. Personally, I don’t have any experience with children, so I decided I wanted to learn this. To help these children through my physiotherapy internship. Besided this, I always wanted to come here because I love the mountains!

How were your first days with VSN and at your project?

I can’t remember ever having such an amazing time when travelling! The accommodation, the host family and of course Volunteer Society Nepal were amazing in making my first days as pleasant as possible. Also, I met two Americans who I immediately bonded with. We were spending the whole 2 weeks together, which are organised perfectly by Volunteer Society Nepal. VSN took great care of us, were really friendly, forthcoming and flexible. This made the start easier than I would’ve expected.

What are you learning and what can you give back?

I am learning that I was living luxuriously in my 23 years before I came here, without really appreciating it. Professionally, doing my physiotherapy internship, I learn a lot with regards to my expertise. Plus the work with children is really good fun! Sometimes it’s quite exhausting, especially since some children suffer from severe disabilities. However, the children are grateful for me helping them and I feel welcomed and appreciated by everybody here!

What do you like the most?

I really enjoy living a much different lifestyle. It is super fun and interesting to get used to a different standard. Both in the homestay family and during my phyisotherapy internship as well. Having dinner with a local family every night has already taught me a lot about their culture and habits. Living in a very different culture is one of the most appealing things to me. Lastly, of course, I absolutely love my 30 minutes hike with amazing views on the mountains every day to and from work.

What are the challenges?

The first days in Kathmandu as well as at my physiotherapy internship were overwhelming. Having no washing machine, constant power outages and having dhal bat (rice with curry) every single night are some of the things which took some time to get used to. Actually when I think about it, the greatest challenge is eating rice every night. Five weeks in and my stomach starts resisting, but it still tastes good! Being open-minded to lifestyle changes really helps to get accustomed to a much different environment!