The Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu. Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Study Abroad Nepal

Passages and Peaks of the Himalaya

A 3-Month College Study Abroad Program

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Duration
105 Days
Description

In the shadow of the Himalayas, explore the intersection of rich cultural heritage and deeply embedded religious traditions with complex themes of urbanization, economic development, and nation building.

Spring Dates

Jan 24 - May 9, 2018


Spring Availability

closed

Fall Dates

Aug 29 - Dec 12, 2017


Fall Availability

closed

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College students

Spring Begins In

18 Weeks

Fall Begins In

4 Weeks

Land Cost

$14,900


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,975

Kathmandu

Langtang

Kanchenjunga

POKHARA

Program Overview

Have the diverse cultures and dramatic landscapes of Nepal write the next chapter in your college education.


Over time Nepal has drawn the most intrepid of travelers, mountaineers, anthropologists, linguists, and spiritual aspirants.  The Kathmandu Valley was once only accessible
by those brave enough to cross the jungles in the south or the
snowy passes of the Himalaya. In a land of deep traditions, this
College Study Abroad program explores the diversity of Nepal
while also delving into themes of social justice, development,
and leadership in an intercultural context. Academic courses, as
well as a deliberate skills progression throughout the semester,
provide depth and breadth to this program.

The backdrop for this program in Nepal is the medieval town of Patan, one of the three original kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley. Our time in this community of cobble-stoned streets and brightly adorned shops is characterized by homestays, intensive Nepali language instruction, exposure to local scholars, and the development of Independent Study Projects.

Beyond the urban, our journey takes…

Over time Nepal has drawn the most intrepid of travelers, mountaineers, anthropologists, linguists, and spiritual aspirants.  The Kathmandu Valley was once only accessible
by those brave enough to cross the jungles in the south or the
snowy passes of the Himalaya. In a land of deep traditions, this
College Study Abroad program explores the diversity of Nepal
while also delving into themes of social justice, development,
and leadership in an intercultural context. Academic courses, as
well as a deliberate skills progression throughout the semester,
provide depth and breadth to this program.

The backdrop for this program in Nepal is the medieval town of Patan, one of the three original kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley. Our time in this community of cobble-stoned streets and brightly adorned shops is characterized by homestays, intensive Nepali language instruction, exposure to local scholars, and the development of Independent Study Projects.

Beyond the urban, our journey takes us to the surrounding hills where we explore the cultural and spiritual traditions of a rural community nestled in the shade of the Annapurna Mountains. As we settle into the slower pace of agrarian life, students work the land with local farmers and engage in conversations around development, sustainability and religious belief, while witnessing the impact of modernization on a traditional village.

Other excursions bring us through the terraced fields, dense jungles, and rhododendron forests of the central belt of Nepal, to the high hills and snowy passes of the Himalayas.  While camped below snow-capped peaks, students continue to explore the indigenous cultures that inhabit these extreme environs, guided by reflective  tools received during a Buddhist meditation retreat.  All along the way, our integrated academic curriculum guides students as they engage with pressing regional issues and develop skills in leadership, self-awareness and cultural competency.

After the recent earthquake of 2015, the ways in which the Nepali people have managed a myriad of challenges in their efforts to rebuild, offer valuable lessons about cultural resiliency, integrity and adaptation.  This program provides intimate exposure to Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions, pressing regional development issues, and the process of nation-building.  College Study Abroad students engage deeply with the people and communities they live with and travel through, become proficient in spoken and written Nepali,  cultivate more self-awareness, and become more informed global citizens.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Student Profile

Students who participate on a Dragons Study Abroad Program come from all different backgrounds, universities/colleges, and areas of interest. Eligible participants should have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study, be 18 years or older, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and be interested in taking part in an experiential semester abroad.  For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions.


Costs

Students can take 12-16 credits during the semester abroad.  The total program cost varies based on the number of credits students choose to enroll in during the term. The tuition and fees listed below are inclusive of land cost and tuition costs.

Tuition and Fees

Land Cost Additional Tuition Cost Total Cost
$14,900 $3,600 (12 credits) $18,500
$14,900 $4,800 (16 credits) $19,700


Tuition and Fees Include:

  • 12-16 credits and a transcript from Dragons School of Record
  • All program-organized travel and excursions
  • Pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation
  • All accommodations and most meals
  • Supplementary lectures and special events

Note: Tuition and fees are made based on current circumstances in the host country but are subject to change.

Personal Expenses (Estimated)

Some expenses are discretionary and vary based on individual student preferences. Expenses that are not accounted for in tuition and fees may include flight costs (estimated at $1,975), personal local transportation, immunizations, academic and ISP supplies, some meals, visa, medical insurance and expenses, and other personal expenses.

Scholarships

Dragons is committed to making College Study Abroad programs financially accessible through the offering of scholarships. For more information on scholarships, please visit our Scholarships page.


Faculty

Dragons faculty possess a rich blend of extensive academic training, unique life experience, and field-based teaching skills. Whether working for local and transnational NGOs, conducting primary field research in remote communities, or founding their own organization abroad, all share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible.

With a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio, no other study abroad program approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our faculty challenge you academically and physically, draw you into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide you through transformative experiences that enliven and inform your academic career at your home institution.

Academics

This program is currently offered during fall semesters only. On this College Study Abroad program in Nepal, students have the opportunity to enroll in 12-16 semester credits. This program offers four college-level courses (4 credits each). In addition to work done in the classroom, Dragons College Study Abroad semesters are designed to provide students with the experiential opportunities to develop language competence, regional knowledge, intercultural leadership abilities, and research skills.Naropa University Logo

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University, our School of Record, to offer four interdisciplinary courses for credit that extend from our Core Curriculum. The for-credit college courses we offer focus on building important skills, fostering a concern for global issues, expanding self-awareness and gaining an understanding of pertinent issues in each program area. Our approach is both experiential and conventional, using local resources, expert guest lecturers, excursions, pertinent readings, multi-media, and immersion to provide an intimate, well-rounded and powerful learning experience.

Course options include:

  • Regional Seminar – Diversity in the Himalayas (ANTH 250; 4 credits) – This course presents an overview of one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the world. Through selected academic readings, faculty and guest lectures, and field trips students explore the myriad ethnicities and religious traditions that constitute the region and the development issues that they face. Social inequality is looked at from the perspective of the environment, public health, education, human rights, caste, history and the status of women. Students are provided with an extensive introduction to Hinduism and to Mahayana Buddhism, in particular to the Tibetan tradition. In addition, our travels in Nepal take us to communities where these issues are vividly displayed, providing invaluable opportunities for study and reflection.
  • Contemplative Intercultural Development and Leadership (ANTH 211; 4 credits) –Drawing from culturally diverse models of leadership and epistemology, this course examines topics such as intercultural communication skills, various leadership styles, and the roles and responsibilities of global citizenship.
  • Independent Study Project (ISP 325; 4 credits)–Each student conducts an in-depth study on a subject of their choice with the support of an academic advisor and local mentor. Students build key ethnographic research skills and practice working in cross-cultural partnerships. Typical ISP projects include: research on environmental issues facing Kathmandu valley, Tibetan or Ayurvedic medicine, the yogic tradition, or an intensive focus on the arts: jewelry, mask carving, traditional folk dance, sitar, or thanka painting.
  • Nepali Language Study (NPL 150/250/350; 4 credits)
    • NPL 150 Introduction to Nepali Language -This course is designed to provide a foundation in conversational Nepali for students with no previous knowledge of the language. Students participate in regular language classes which focus on grammar, vocabulary development, and the history of the language. Students also gain a basic understanding and utility of how to read and write the Nepali script (Devanagari script). Additionally, students are assigned customized language projects that give them the opportunity to practice their language skills and develop oral proficiency. Experiential activities such as field trips and guided interaction with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction.
    • NPL250 Nepali II – Continuation of NPL 150: Introduction to Nepali.
    • NPL350 Nepali III – Continuation of NPL250: Nepali II.

Click on the download button below to view course syllabi.

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Program Components

5/5
Comparative Religion

Spend a week at a Tibetan monastery to learn about Buddhism and inquire deeply into Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shamanism.

5/5
Development Studies

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

5/5
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
Home Stay

Spend 4-6 weeks in home-stays in Kathmandu or Kalimpong and participate in a short village home-stay in a Himalayan village.

5/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Mentor with stone carvers and mask makers; Nepali cuisine, dance and vocals, women’s issues, comparative religion, ayurvedic medicine, stone carving and jewelry making.

4/5
Language Study

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

3/5
Learning Service

Volunteer to assist village home-stays with farm work and the harvest and learn more about service through visits to NGO's and schools.

5/5
Rugged Travel

Split time between the urban settings, and the rugged mountain landscapes.

5/5
Trekking

Spend, on average, 15+ days trekking. Embark on a challenging trek through rugged parts of the Himalayas in remote wilderness areas.

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