The majestic Himalayas. Photo by Kimberly Liu.

Nepal Semester

Himalayan Studies

A 3-Month Gap Year Program

Enroll
Duration
80 Days
Description

Experience the enchantment of the Himalayas: trek on the roof of the world, study traditional arts with local masters. Live in a farming village and sit for a Buddhist meditation retreat. Upcoming semesters and COVID-19.

*College Credit Available

Spring Dates

Feb 11 - May 1, 2022


Spring Availability

two spaces

Fall Dates

Sep 15 - Dec 3, 2022


Fall Availability

open

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

17-22

Spring Begins In

11 Weeks

Fall Begins In

41 Weeks

Land Cost

$16,400


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,025

Kathmandu

Langtang

Annapurna Conservation Area

Koshi Tappu

Program Overview

The Himalayas. Since time immemorial, these colossal peaks with their vast web of rugged, isolated valleys and distinct ethnic groups have drawn only the most intrepid travelers from distant lands.


Through rural and urban homestays, a retreat in a Buddhist monastery, high mountain trekking, service, and independent study, Dragons Himalaya students explore this remarkable region and its people, encountering ancient spiritual traditions with deep roots in a mystical land.

Program Highlights
  • Work side-by-side with a local guru to learn an ancient trade
  • Spend a week at a monastery learning Buddhist philosophy and meditation practices
  • Trek for two weeks through some of the most dazzling mountain scenery on earth

Our Himalaya Semester is based in the Kathmandu Valley, an ancient crossroads and melting pot of Himalayan peoples. While living with host families and studying Nepali language, students meet with local scholars and activists and learn about Nepal’s history, politics and culture while pursuing a wide range of independent study and learning service projects.

The study of spiritual traditions is a central component…

Through rural and urban homestays, a retreat in a Buddhist monastery, high mountain trekking, service, and independent study, Dragons Himalaya students explore this remarkable region and its people, encountering ancient spiritual traditions with deep roots in a mystical land.

Program Highlights
  • Work side-by-side with a local guru to learn an ancient trade
  • Spend a week at a monastery learning Buddhist philosophy and meditation practices
  • Trek for two weeks through some of the most dazzling mountain scenery on earth

Our Himalaya Semester is based in the Kathmandu Valley, an ancient crossroads and melting pot of Himalayan peoples. While living with host families and studying Nepali language, students meet with local scholars and activists and learn about Nepal’s history, politics and culture while pursuing a wide range of independent study and learning service projects.

The study of spiritual traditions is a central component of our Himalaya semester, introducing students to a range of concepts in Buddhism, Hinduism and Shamanism. From academic discourse to hands on study, students find areas of personal interest to explore in depth during our time in urban homestays in the Kathmandu Valley. Bronze casting, jewelry making, stone carving, thangka (Buddhist iconography) painting, and traditional instruments are just a few of the apprenticeship opportunities available. Students interested in traditional medicine can work with a Tibetan doctor or an Ayurvedic practitioner.  Students critically reflect on their place in the world through exploring concepts of service and development, visiting grassroots projects, and participating in local farming activities.

We leave the Kathmandu Valley for the foothills to explore rural Nepali village life. We settle into a calmer pace of agrarian life, living without electricity and learning about subsistence living. We also venture high into the Himalayas for an unforgettable trek amid some of the world’s tallest mountains, either in Langtang National Park or in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Hiking at high elevations, we enjoy two weeks of active exploration through one of the most ruggedly beautiful and dramatic areas on earth.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

For-Credit Course Option

In order to deepen your experience abroad, you may elect to enroll in college-level courses while participating on the Nepal Gap semester program. Those who enroll in an optional course will be invoiced an additional fee top of the land cost, for up to 16 college credits. To learn more, click here.

Students who take courses for-credit will receive an official transcript from a School of Record after successful completion of the program.

Academics

Through our Schools of Record, you may take the following courses for-college credit:

  • NPL 150: Nepali I, NPL 250: Nepali II, NPL 350: Nepali III
  • ANTH 103: Introduction to Anthropology
  • COMM 215: Introduction to Intercultural Communication
  • ESM 101: Environmental Sustainability
  • ESM 102: Global Perspectives
  • ESM 199: Climate Change and Its Impacts
  • GEOG 230: Environment and Society
  • HIST 199: Colonialization and Western Influences
  • INTL 199: Globalization Awareness and Community Development
  • INTL 299: Leadership Across Borders
  • MGMT 199: Social Entrepreneurship
  • MGMT 199: Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism in Practice
  • MGMT 299: Principles of Economics
  • PHE 299: Healthcare Systems and the Affected
  • PHL 299: Introduction to Spiritual/ Religious Studies & Their Roles in Culture
  • PSY 204: Psychology as Social Science
  • SOC 199: Self and Community – Culture, Cohort, and Self

See full Course Offering descriptions.

Program Components

5/5
Religious & Spiritual Traditions

Spend a week at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery to learn about Buddhist philosophy and meditation and inquire deeply into the daily practices of Hinduism with homestay families and other local friends.

4/5
Social & Environmental Justice

Examine issues of health and education, human rights, environment and land use, globalization and poverty.

4/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Explore topics of sacred spaces and spirituality, religious practices, examination of development, current events, language and cultural anthropology. See college accredited curriculum for details.

5/5
Homestay

Spend 3 weeks in urban homestays in the Kathmandu Valley and around 2 weeks in a homestay in a rural village.

5/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Mentor with local experts in topics such as stone carving and mask making, Nepali cuisine, dance and vocals, women’s issues, comparative religion, ayurvedic medicine, and jewelry making.

4/5
Language Study

Learn and practice Nepali language through intensive daily classes and language immersion throughout.

2/5
Learning Service

Volunteer to assist village home-stays with farm work and the harvest and learn more about service through visits with local nonprofits.

4/5
Rugged Travel

Split time between urban settings and the rugged mountain landscapes, traveling by bus, tempo, and on foot.

5/5
Trekking

Embark on a challenging 2-week trek through rugged parts of the Himalayas in remote wilderness areas, with additional day hikes throughout.