iDream Lab Journal is a curated collection of articles and thoughts on
international student marketing, international student recruitment and meaningful education.

A creative and intellectual space to inspire Ideas. Passions. Dreams.

A tiny country with the highest student growth rate

May 15,2018

Imagine a tiny country on top of the world, literally.

A mountainous kingdom with only one international airport and a few decent flight options.

A place with such challenging terrain that when a student from a prominent capital school travels home for a break, no one is sure when she will be back to resume her studies. Her village high in the mountains may be suddenly cut off from the rest of the country due to extreme weather changes.

A bustling capital city by day melts into the magic of dark nights, as most of the street lights and lamps do not work.

What picture is your mind painting now? Are you thinking – why would I possibly consider recruiting in this place, what is the potential there?

Don’t let any of the above stop you! You will be one of the few institutions rewarded with a booming student market, unprecedented outward student mobility and the most brilliant students.

A story of phenomenal growth

Nepal is the second highest country in the world after Bhutan with an average elevation of 3,265 meters. 8 of the world’s 10 highest peaks located in Nepal are an excellent metaphor for the aspirations and dreams of Nepali students.

Did you know there was only one university operating in Nepal until 1986?
Even with ten accredited universities operating now, demand for higher education far surpasses supply.

And what a story of growth it has been! Nepal sends an astonishing number of students for higher education studies – around 44,255 Nepali studying abroad in 2017 according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), an impressive increase of 835 percent since 2000. Consider that the percentage of study abroad students out of the whole student population has almost doubled over the last decade. Nepal’s student mobility ratio was 12.3 percent in 2016 – four times as high as Vietnam’s, six times as high as China’s and thirteen times as high as that of India’s (WES).

Approximately 12,000 Nepali were studying in the United States in 2017 – making Nepal the second-largest sending market in the region after India (IIE Open Doors Report). Ever since its first programs several years ago with thousands of students in Nepal, iDream Lab has participated closely in the dynamic leading to the highest percentage change among the top 25 countries sending students to the U.S. What an impressive increase of 20% from the previous year!

Even more impressive – this shows an increase of 20% from the previous year, the highest percentage change among the top 25 countries sending students to the U.S.

This spike in outward student mobility is predicted to continue considering increase in the overall population, and growth of middle class and the youth population. The British Council estimates Nepal to be among the top 10 for growth in the 18-to-22-year-old age bracket for the next nine years.

Who are some of these students?

In the 1950s, education was reserved for the privileged few. Only five percent of the population was literate, less than one percent was enrolled in schools, and girls were discouraged from schooling (WES). It is incredible to witness a mind-blowing transformation in the Nepali students of today.

During several of our educational programs in Nepal, I had the privilege of working with Amrita, a prospective graduate student. Cruising effortlessly on her motorbike through chaotic streets of Kathmandu - a bubbly young woman full of energy, smiles and dreams. In addition to university studies, she was active in all sorts of things – working part-time as a counselor in an education agency, setting up meetings with universities and increasing access to education for eager Nepali students. She was also a stewardess for a national airline, and I watched her leave for the airport with excitement about the upcoming flights in some of the most dangerous flying conditions. She insisted that the next time I come to Nepal, we must go on the famous “mountain flight”, where a fellow pilot would bring us excitingly and dangerously close to the peak of the Himalayas. That wasn’t it. Amrita had a heart full of courage and purpose – she ran her own clothing shop in Kathmandu, and was involved in non-profit activities helping children from underprivileged communities. She was 21 years old.

Where to find these students?

iDream Lab has curated a boutique collection of educational institutions in Nepal student market. From local to world-class schools that are true gems, Nepal will astonish and amaze you: the first and only IB World School in the country started by a Belgian philanthropist; an institution established in 1966 under the auspices of the British Embassy and recently visited by J.K. Rowlings.

Everyone’s favorite on iDream Lab’s boutique tours is a fully residential English medium school offering national and Cambridge (A level) curriculum. Located at the foothills of a national park, the campus sits on 29 acres of breathtaking hillside panorama. Football fields, gyms, dormitories and class buildings are blending into splendid mountain views and forests. A government designated national school of Nepal, it’s the most selective school in the country. Students are selected from a wide range of socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds through a highly competitive entrance test.

The school attracts some of the wealthiest and the poorest students in Nepal, the latter supported by a government merit scholarship. It has a unique philosophy, explains a former gymnast and now a guidance counselor:

“We have students from all 75 districts studying and living together - rich and poor alike. As last names indicate castes and society status, all students are recognized only by their first names once admitted to encourage inclusion. They are not allowed to bring clothes, food, gadgets or jewelry to the school. Recent success stories include admission offers from Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, NYU and many other excellent universities”.

It is mind that wins or loses - Nepali proverb

Imagine a tiny country. And now imagine a massive opportunity to provide a meaningful educational experience, to play a role in transforming the dynamics of the region and the lives of brilliant students beyond anything they could have ever imagined.

Are you inspired to join this critical mission of delivering a transformative learning experience to students? To make an impact in booming markets and connect with brilliant students during Knowledge Sessions, participate in boutique recruitment tours coming up in September 2018 in Nepal, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. To learn more about redefining international student recruitment strategy and your institution’s brand presence in Nepal and other Asian markets, join REDEFINE: Student Recruitment Forum on September 8, 2018 in Bali, Indonesia and gain insights from international education professionals and school counselors.

Viktoria Kolesnikova, an international educator, global speaker and entrepreneur.
MBA, MA, Certificate in University Teaching, Syracuse University (New York, USA); Faculty Affiliate; Co-Founder and Director of iDream Lab.

WES and WENR (World Education News and Reviews): Education in Nepal.
Open Doors Report by Institute of International Education:

our participants

Chosen by some of the finest institutions in the world

North America

  • Berkeley College (New York, USA)
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (Vancouver, Canada)
  • California State University East Bay (California, USA)
  • California State University Monterey Bay (California, USA)
  • Capilano University (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Foothill and De Anza Colleges – part of University of California system (California, USA)
  • Idyllwild Arts (California, USA)
  • Johnson and Wales University (Rhode Island, USA)
  • Missoula College (Montana, USA)
  • New School of Architecture and Design (California, USA)
  • North Seattle College (Washington, USA)
  • The Northwest School (Seattle, USA)
  • San Joaquin Memorial School (California, USA)
  • Santa Fe University of Art and Design (New Mexico, USA)
  • SUNY Oswego
  • Syracuse University (New York, USA)
  • University of Montana (Montana, USA)
  • University of Wisconsin - La Crosse (Wisconsin, USA)
  • Vancouver Island University (Vancouver Island, Canada)


  • University of Johannesburg (South Africa)


  • American University of Rome
  • IE University (Spain)
  • IHTTI School of Hotel and Design Management (Switzerland)
  • Cesar Ritz Colleges (Switzerland)
  • Swiss Hotel Management School (Switzerland)
  • Hotel Institute Montreux (Switzerland)
  • Culinary Art Academy (Switzerland)
  • Nuova Academia di Belle Art (Milan, Italy)
  • Domus Academy (Milan, Italy)


  • International College of Management (Sydney, Australia)
  • Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (Sydney, Australia and China)

New Zealand

  • Media Design School (New Zealand)


  • EducationUSA
  • Echelon Prep

the reviews

about iDream Lab

“I have worked with the Director of College Success EduCon for over 10 years, who has been a wonderful resource for me in my role as University Placement Counselor. I have great admiration for her hard work, level of energy, her professionalism and total dedication to students finding their path to university. The team is always a pleasure to work with, and my students and parents have gained great value from their outstanding knowledge and expertise”

Janet Russell, University Placement Coordinator,
Bandung Alliance School (IB School) and ACG School Jakarta, Indonesia.

Who We Are

iDream Lab is the only organization in Indonesia with both Indonesian and American educational expertise headed by an international team who are real university experts with over 25 years of experience. It has inspired and mentored international students, schools and organizations all around the world, from United States to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
  • A team of educators and real university experts: international education, student services and recruitment at colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • over 25 years of experience in international education, student services and recruitment at colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • connected students in 43 countries to undergraduate and graduate programs, scholarships, transfer pathways to top universities
  • conducted 120+ educational workshop programs around the world in 2015-2016
  • business and entrepreneurship acumen (MBA, MS in Information Management, MS in Engineering, Innovation Management Award)
  • empowering Ideas. Passions. Dreams
  • Collaborate with key organizations, such as EdcationUSA, U.S. Embassies, New Zealand Education.

We understand academic interests and application behavior of the students as well as international recruitment goals and objectives of overseas institutions.

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