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Work and Study: Double Life of Student in Kathmandu


Kathmandu, September 3, 2018: Students from around the countries migrate to Kathmandu in search of a good education and a bright future. But not all have the family support or the financial situation necessary to survive in the capital. Taking to the streets, we explore the life of some of these students who work day jobs to survive in the capital. Meet these hard-working students working at odd jobs to fund their education and support their family.

Journalist Shopkeeper: Maya Malla

Maya Malla is a BA student in Samata College and is a Kathmandu resident. She lives with her parents and works at Fresh Mart as a Shopkeeper. She goes to college from 6 AM morning and studies till 10 o’clock. She works from 12 in the morning to 10 PM at night. With such long work hours Maya still finds 2 hr or more a day to study. However, she says that studies are going really well and she expects to do good in the coming exam.

When asked “Do you feel handicapped compared to the students who don’t need to work?” she replied, “Hard-Work has helped me develop discipline in my life and now I’m able to compete with other students and feel no form of lagging behind.” Maya has the poor financial condition and needs to work to pay her college bills and has to save for the family. She is planning to be a journalist in the future and to work for awareness among youths. She suggests all work hard and be happy with what they have.

Barista training for Laure: Sukra Tamang

Sukra Tamang is a 17-year-old +2 student. He studies in Arunima College and is living in Kathmandu. His parents are in Ramechhap. He goes to college from 6 to 11 AM in the morning. He works in Mandala Coffee shop from 1:30 to 8:30 PM. He says he studies 1 hr a day when he returns from work. He finds his life quite different compared to the students who don’t work. As others are able to use their time for study and can go out with friends he sees himself lagging behind and sometimes missing out on the fun.

He says he is training for the British Laure on the side and plans to serve in the UK. He is able to pay most of his fee from the work he does at the coffee shop. He says that it’s difficult to juggle between work study and training but tries to manage it. “You need to enjoy where you are at. For some people, it is necessary that they work to fund their education. Life isn’t the same for all.”, says Sukra Tamang.

Waitress with Australian Dreams: Amisha Magar

Amisha Rana Magar is a 17-year-old living in Kathmandu. Right now she studies +2 Arts in Mahendra Boudha School. While doing that she works in Hotel Padma as a waitress. The College has Rs. 12450 as yearly fee which she is paying by herself. She has to work as her family can’t support her education financially.

However, she sees a bright future in a foreign land ie Australia. She plans on completing her education and then preparing for IELTS. Currently, she goes to college from 6 to 10 AM in the morning and works from 4 to 9. She finds it difficult to work and study but says that her bright future motivates her. “Imagining the bright future ahead is what keeps me going,” says Amisha Maghar

Barber studying Science: Arjun Thakur

Arjun is a +2 student studying in Samata College. He has been in Kathmandu for more than a year and has been sustaining himself through his job. His parents live in Rautahat and can’t fund his education financially.

He says that it helps to have a college so cheap but he adds Kathmandu isn’t a cheap city to live in. He finds it difficult to study and work. He has trouble understanding English and is also contemplating to quit his studies. He says it’s extremely difficult to work and study. “I want to study but I don’t understand English and my work hours make it difficult for me to get extra help from teachers. However, I’m trying my best, says Arjun Thakur.

By: Saugat Pokharel