The farmstays are a unique concept wherein students live with local families and get to learn and closely experience Ladakhi culture. They can work with the amaleys and other family members in the farms and learn how to grow vegetables or milk the cows.
This residential life is an experience unique to HIAL and gives the students an opportunity to learn about the rural life and to understand the challenges faced by the local communities.
Staying with the communities allows the fellows to experience the day-to-day life and activities within Ladakhi communities. Simple yet unnoticed aspects of Ladakhi culture such as sitting around the bukhari (stove) in the chansa (winter kitchen), engaging in conversation with the abiley (grandmother), memeley (grandfather) and other family members, making momos and other Ladakhi cuisine are lived experiences that cannot be replicated or replaced. These encounters allow the fellows to immerse themselves in the lifestyle of Ladakh and become memories that they will carry with them even post their year in the fellowship.