Student opportunities

This optional extra-curricular opportunity gives undergraduate health students at Birmingham City University a unique chance to travel to one of the most remote parts of the world to learn about international healthcare. Students broaden their skills and gain new opportunities.

In September 2013 after months of training, a select few health professionals ventured to Nepal where they trekked for miles to reach Mount Everest.

The students made a video diary of their experience.

Student quotes

"A fantastic opportunity to learn from the heart of another culture not only about nursing but about myself" "A challenge in every sense of the word, every day taught me something new" Joanne Hoare

"A great experience which through challenges at us from all angles and in places we probably never thought we would be. At one point throughout the whole trip we we're pushed out of our comfort zones and allowed us to progress as people and nurses." Andrea Eibhlin

"A great experience that allowed me to develop into my character and attitude for the better." Sarah Varga

"An amazing experience which tests your strength physically and mentally but allows you to discover more about yourself and develop new found skills into practice when in the UK." Lauren Hayward


Any student is eligible to put in an expression of interest. You must have

  • attended a presentation given by organiser Ann-Marie Dodson, senior lecturer at Birmingham City University
  • be on an undergraduate programme in the School
  • be in the second year in September 2013
  • Depending on the popularity there may be an application process
  • Students will be given training (walking and first aid, etc)

As extreme altitude carries high risk (and we will be achieving a height of 18,500 feet or thereabouts by trekking to Everest Base Camp etc)

You do not have to be a fitness fanatic to be able to do this but do need an adventurous spirit!


"I was invited to join a team to do a reconnaissance trip in March-April 2012 to K2. Due to the political situation we could not go in via Pakistan so had to get to Kryrgistan and travel for seven days through China into the Karakorum part of the Himalayas.

"It is one of the remotest parts of the world. Very few Westerners have been there and no group have ever attempted it at that time of year, as it was the tail end of winter. We were the first of three groups that would be passing through this year - the climbing season does not begin until July so it was a complete unknown entity.

"I was there to learn about planning and organising such a venture, as well as acclimatise to altitude and "observe" the behaviours of individuals in a physically and psychologically challenging environment, as I took staff out to Nepal and Everest base camp in September 2012, with the goal of taking students in September 2013, so it was a learning experience for me and has helped greatly.

"I hope the picture here will inspire you, as it is the memorial to Sherpa Tenzing Norgay’s memorial or “chorten” which you will see, overlooking his beloved mountains on the walk through to Everest base camp. It is thought that he actually was the first to summit, not Edmund Hilary but the Nepalese are very polite people and humble. I met Edmund Hilary and his wife but whilst at this chorten I met Tenzing’s daughter, as she was crying and I started chatting to her. A very emotional moment for me too anyway before I even spoke to her.

"The trek leader I have commissioned was trained at the Mountaineering Institute that Tenzing founded in Darjeeling which I visited last December."

Ann-Marie Dodson, Senior Lecturer, Birmingham City University