Postcard from Nepal


When someone asked me as a child, “What do you want to become in life?” I would say, “Doctor!” right away. I had no idea that becoming a medical professional would be such a difficult job—one that fundamentally changes you as a person in addition to requiring you to deal with patients. And it most certainly did in my instance. All I wanted was make it to the top government medical college in Delhi, where I was born and raised. Wouldn’t that be perfect?

But when results came out, I was shattered. Getting a government college was simply beyond my reach. That is when my aunt recommended me the Nepal branch of Manipal Hospitals, located in Pokhara.

I immediately filled out all formalities because Indian students who had appeared for the NEET UG exam need not give Nepal’s entrance exam. After a few months, my father and I finally reached Pokhara, “The tourist city of Nepal”- beautiful and charming indeed.

Within a few weeks of settling down in hostels, our classes began. Initially I found it difficult to cope up with the vast syllabus. Unlike Indian medical institutions, in 1st year, students not only have Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology, but Pharmacology, Community Medicine and Pathology too! Sounds exhausting right? But Nepal’s medical system works on dividing subjects based on ‘Systems’ for example- Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal and many more. I was quite apprehensive but the regular Fortnightly tests and our teachers made us realize the importance of having a good base in subjects and that rote learning should be said goodbye to! Further apart from academics, Nepalese palate is not so similar to the North Indian taste I was used to. Hence, I have tried so many new dishes, some of which I hadn’t even heard of- from Jhol momo and Sel Roti to a perfect large plate of happiness- an authentic Nepali thali! Studying in another country has made me realize of how naturally we take our family for granted, from sharing minor victories with them to cooking hearty meals together at home- all seemingly insignificant things but with time, become important. But as it is said, “The magical thing about home is that it feels good to leave and it feels even better to come back”. Overall, being a medical student in Nepal has it’s ups and downs, but I believe in the end what matters, is your knowledge, empathy skills and most importantly- dedication!

Siddhi Lakshmi Temple, Kathmandu

My college campus- Preclinical side

Another one of preclinical campus

My college campus- Clinical side

Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara

The hospital also houses Lord Buddha’s statue in front of billing counters.


Public waiting area

Lakeside, Pokhara

Fewa lake’s boating arena

An authentic Nepali thali

Hot and steamy Jhol momo

A random click just before dissection class!

Orange Trumpet Vine is one of the many blooms that grow on our campus.


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About the author

Karishma Sawhney is a 2nd year medical student studying at Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal. She is an avid reader, a movie fanatic and an adrenaline junkie.



  • Ginni Nayyar June 7, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    How’s your experience in manipal university in Nepal ?

  • Alpana Malik June 7, 2024 at 10:15 pm