Mongolia

 

High School Trips to Mongolia

Explore Mongolia With No Barriers Youth Programming

Welcome to Mongolia, one of the world’s true “last frontiers.” Dive deep into the history and customs of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and learn more about the cultural home of more than 90% of Mongolia’s people. Like the famous Mongolian ruler, Chinggis Khan, journey off the beaten path and learn more about the trade routes that helped him create the world’s largest contiguous empire in history. Stepping out into the wild lands of rural Mongolia, travel from ger to ger across Mongolia’s rural steppe and learn how local people live without power, paved roads, or access to modern amenities.

If you’re not already clicking “Sign me up” for student travel in Mongolia, this will seal the deal: In addition to exploring Mongolia’s unique people and way of life, students will assist a local NGO that offers local families improved infrastructure and education. Incredible!

  • From Kazakh eagle hunting to Tuvan throat singing, explore the way of life of nomadic reindeer herders
  • Trek to the furthest reaches of the world in Tavan Bogd National Park
  • Explore the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and its sprawling ger communities
  • Participate in meaningful community service with a local NGO

What to Know Before Educational Tours in Mongolia

While in Mongolia, you can expect to be greeted with a handshake, milk tea, and a nomadic lifestyle that mixes hard work with relaxation. Locals will expect you to respect their customs, try the food they offer you, and clean up after yourself. Consider leaving a small gift for your host family to show appreciation for letting you enter their lives and their home in such a meaningful way.

Be sure to come hungry—student travel in Mongolia provides plenty of opportunities to stuff your face with local delicacies. Feast on buuz (yak dumplings), boodog (goat), khorkhog (roast meat cooked with hot stones), and salted milk tea and boorstog (local “donuts!”).

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Mongolian Nomadic Service

Day 1: Welcome to Mongolia! 
  • Evening: Arrive into the county’s capital at Chinggis Khaan airport. Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders and drivers before heading into the town for your first Mongolian meal. Join the group for an orientation discussion about the week ahead, expectations for your adventure, and an introduction to the local culture. 
  • Accommodation: Lotus Guesthouse, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 2: Ulaanbaatar and City Life  
  • Morning: Wake up to breakfast and start your day with a 300-step climb to Zaisan Memorial for sweeping views of Ulaanbaatar. At the top, take in the massive expanse of the Mongolian capital and learn a bit more about the history of the region. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, unwrap the history of nomads and the Mongol Empire at the National Museum of Mongolia.  
  • Evening: After dinner, come back to your guest house to learn about your service projects and set goals for the remainder of your time in Mongolia. Participate in the No Barriers Opening Ceremony with your team. 
  • Accommodation: Lotus Guesthouse, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 3: Travel to the Ger District 
  • Morning: Have breakfast and prepare yourself for your first day of service. You will be working in the district outside Ulaanbaatar City to support a public school. Get to know the students, learn about the Mongolian education system, and begin your project. 
  • Afternoon: Continue your service projects to help build a more attractive and comfortable learning facility for children who face the hardship of low-income life in the Ger District. Spend the afternoon with your team learning more about this part of the Mongolian capital. 
  • Evening: After a long day of service, drive to dinner and wrap up your day with some fun team activity. 
  • Accommodation: Lotus Guesthouse, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 4: Service and Cultural Immersion 
  • Morning: After breakfast, arrive back at your host school to continue work and finish your project.. 
  • Afternoon: After two days of service in the Ger District, participate in a cultural show with the students and then perform a show of your own! Say goodbye to your new friends and depart to Terelj National Park. On your way out of town, stop at the 130-foot-tall Chinggis Khan sculpture and learn more about the former leader of Mongolia. 
  • Evening: Upon arrival to Terelj, participate in a post-service debrief in the evening, discussing what you experienced and learned through hands-on work in the community. 
  • Accommodation: Guru Ger Camp, Terelj National Park 
Day 5: Aryabal Temple Hike and Archery 
  • Morning: After breakfast, hike to Ariyapala Temple and spend time reflecting about your experience so far in Mongolia. Marvel at the beautiful views of snow capped mountains in the distance. 
  • Afternoon: Enjoy lunch at the camp. Take a lesson in archery, one of Mongolia’s traditional sports. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings before visiting a local herding family. Try different types of dairy products from the local farmers and learn more about their ancient production techniques. 
  • Evening: Participate in traditional Mongolian games after dinner. 
  • Accommodation: Guru Ger Camp, Terelj National Park 
Day 6: Journey Back to Ulaanbaatar 
  • Morning: After an early breakfast, load up in your 4x4s and drive out to the Bogd Mountains on your way back to Ulaanbaatar. Marvel at the views over the expansive wilderness as you trek further out into Mongolia’s wilds. 
  • Afternoon: Enjoy your lunch in the mountains and continue your hike. Look out for snow fields in the high peaks and camels crossing the road. Stop at a hospitable family’s ger for tea. 
  • Evening: Arrive back in the city in time for a hot dinner of dumplings or noodles. Settle in for the night in preparation for your final day in Mongolia..  
  • Accommodation: Lotus Guesthouse, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 7: Experience Mongolian Culture 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head back out to the Ger District and learn from a local artist who makes “cut art” — a traditional paper craft local to the area. 
  • Afternoon: Have lunch in the Ger District before visiting a fair trade store to shop for souvenirs. Enjoy a rousing cultural show that features traditional dances, folk music from Mongolia’s various ethnic groups, and the one-of-a-kind khoomi throat singing. 
  • Evening: Enjoy your last traditional Mongolian meal at a Mongolian Buffet-style Barbeque Restaurant and then participate in your No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation:  Lotus Guesthouse, Ulaanbaatar
Day 8: Bayartai, Mongolia! 
  • Morning: Say goodbye to Mongolia and your new friends before heading home. 

Mongolian Steppe and the Great West

Day 1: Welcome to Mongolia! 
  • Evening: Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders and drivers at the airport to head to the downtown for your first Mongolian Meal. Get prepared for your entire trip with our orientation. 
  • Accommodation: Zaya’s Hostel, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 2: Ulaanbaatar and City Life  
  • Morning: Wake up to breakfast and start your day with a 300-step climb to Zaisan Memorial for sweeping views of Ulaanbaatar. At the top, take in the massive expanse of the Mongolian capital and learn a bit more about the history of the region. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, unwrap the history of nomads and the Mongol Empire at the National Museum of Mongolia.  
  • Evening: After dinner, take time to prepare and do some last minute shopping with your Expedition Leader before you depart for Mongolia’s Wild West. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony with your team. 
  • Accommodation: Zaya’s Hostel, Ulaanbaatar 
Days 3: The Great West 
  • Morning: After an early breakfast, head back to the airport and fly to the far west of the country. Upon arrival to the Ulgi Airport, board 4x4s and depart for the mountain village of Sogoog. Home to Mongolia’s Kazakh ethnic minority. The Western region of Mongolia has a landscape as stark as it is beautiful. 
  • Afternoon: Upon arrival to Soggoo, settle in to your Ger accommodation and enjoy lunch in the community. Meet your service partners and other important members of the small village of Sogoog. Enjoy the warm welcoming ceremony from the local community. 
  • Evening: Experience the formal hospitality of Kazakh culture over a traditional meal. Settle in to your warm ger for the night. 
  • Accommodation: Ger Camp, Sogoog Village, Bayan-Ulgii province 
Days 4: Work Hard to Help the Community 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head to the next village to start service. 
  • Afternoon: Continue working hard on your projects after lunch. 
  • Evening: Drive back to your Ger camp for dinner. Wrap up your day with reflective activity. 
  • Accommodation: Ger Camp, Sogoog Village, Bayan-Ulgii province 
Day 5: Experience Nomadic Life 
  • Morning: Immerse yourself in the local culture! Milk a camel, ride the camels, and try the camel products! Hold a golden eagle from the Khazakh Eagle Hunters and Huntresses. 
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a meal with the Eagle Hunters/Huntresses.  Learn how to sew traditional Kazakh handicrafts.  
  • Evening: After dinner, play fun competitive games with our hosts and feel truly welcomed by this generous community and way of living. Pack for your days in the National Park. 
  • Accommodation: Ger Camp, Sogoog Village, Bayan-Ulgii province 
Days 6-9: Camping and Mountain Exploration 
  • Morning: In the early morning on Day 6, depart for Tavan Bogd National Park. The 6-hour drive will take you over beautiful streams and rivers, through glacial valleys, and past soaring snow-covered mountains. 
  • Afternoon: Each day in the National Park will include different activities which will include (but are not limited to): Hiking throughout the National Park Learning local games and playing with your fellow team mates; Visiting petroglyphs and learning about the history of the area Journaling and other No Barriers activities; Visiting a local nomadic family and learning more about the Tuva people who inhabit this part of the country; Trying Mongolian archery and competing in a tug of war with the Tuvas 
  • Evening: Each evening, enjoy a fire and dinner at your camp. Participate in nightly reflections to discuss the activities of the day and participate in leadership activities with your fellow travelers. 
  • Accommodation: Tents, Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, Bayan-Ulgii Province 
Day 10: Attend a Village Closing Ceremony 
  • Morning: After breakfast, say goodbye to the National Park and start your drive back to the Sogoog community.  
  • Afternoon: Stop for lunch along the way. Upon arrival to the village, participate in a traditional ceremony hosted by your village friends. 
  • Evening: After a final celebratory meal with our service partners in Sogoog, participate in a post-service debrief, discussing what you experienced and learned through hands-on work in the community. 
  • Accommodation: Ger Camp, Sogoog Village, Bayan-Ulgii province 
Day 11: Return to City Life 
  • Morning: In the morning, drive back to Ulgii and board a plane back to the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. 
  • Afternoon:  Arriving back in Mongolia’s only real “city,” the hustle and bustle may surprise you after your time in the remote west. Relax and enjoy the luxuries that city life affords like electricity, hot showers, and flushing toilets. Enjoy a short walk about through the city center (depending on arrival time). 
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. 
  • Accommodation: Zaya’s Hostel, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 12: Participate in Mongolian Culture 
  • Morning: After breakfast, head back out to the Ger District and learn from a local artist who makes “cut art” — a traditional paper craft local to the area. 
  • Afternoon: Have lunch in the Ger District before visiting a fair trade store to shop for souvenirs. Enjoy a rousing cultural show that features traditional dances, folk music from Mongolia’s various ethnic groups, and the one-of-a-kind khoomi throat singing. 
  • Evening: Enjoy your last traditional Mongolian meal at a Mongolian Buffet-style Barbeque Restaurant and then participate in your No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Zaya’s Hostel, Ulaanbaatar 
Day 13: Bayartai, Mongolia! 
  • Morning: Say goodbye to Mongolia and your new friends before heading home. 

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader