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
83 Days
Description

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

Spring Dates

Feb 7 - May 1, 2018


Spring Availability

closed

Fall Dates

Sep 15 - Dec 6, 2017


Fall Availability

closed

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College students

Spring Begins In

28 Weeks

Fall Begins In

8 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 only 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 high, snowy passes of the Himalaya.  As a result, traders spent months in the valley, exchanging their wares.  Those riches were invested in the temples and heritage sites; which still today – serving as testament to another time.  In a land of deep religious and artistic 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.  For-credit academic courses, as well as a deliberate skills progression throughout the semester, provide depth and context to this College Study Abroad program.

The backdrop for our College Study Abroad semester in Nepal is the medieval town of Patan, one of the three original kingdoms of the…

Over time Nepal has drawn only 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 high, snowy passes of the Himalaya.  As a result, traders spent months in the valley, exchanging their wares.  Those riches were invested in the temples and heritage sites; which still today – serving as testament to another time.  In a land of deep religious and artistic 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.  For-credit academic courses, as well as a deliberate skills progression throughout the semester, provide depth and context to this College Study Abroad program.

The backdrop for our College Study Abroad semester in Nepal is the medieval town of Patan, one of the three original kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley.  This town of cobble-stoned streets and brightly adorned shops, is home to an ethnic community of Newaris.  Our time in Patan is characterized by home-stays, intensive Nepali language instruction, exposure to local scholars and academics, and the development of an in-depth Independent Study Project (ISP) with a local mentor.

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 shadows 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, as well as their own minds, guided by reflective exercises and the 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.

Towards the end of the program, students take part in a two-week independent phase. During this period, students make use of the leadership and cultural fluency they have developed to expand their theme of independent study.

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, develop tools to cultivate more self-awareness, and become better 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, guest lectures, field trips, research method assignments, a village ethnography study, classroom discussions and a service project, 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.
  • Contemplative Intercultural Development and Leadership (ANTH 211; 4 credits) – The process of understanding self in relation to others in our globalized world is essential in the 21st century. The purpose of this course is to carefully examine who we are through the experience of living, learning and engaging in an international context. Students examine global citizenship, develop, examine global citizenship, develop effective leadership skills in intercultural communication and explore the depths of their internal landscape in relationship to the outside world.
  • Independent Study Project (ISP 325; 4 credits)– This course offers each student the opportunity to conduct in-depth study on a subject of his or her choice. An ISP may involve either an academic focus of inquiry or learning a skill through apprenticeship. 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 making, mask carving, traditional folk dance, sitar, for example.
  • 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. Language proficiency is an essential aspect of the program, and daily language classes with a Nepali instructor ensure that students are provided with the language skills needed to engage more deeply with the communities in which they are living and learning. With a principal focus on conversational Nepali and practical language skills, the language lessons presented throughout the semester include grammar, vocabulary development, and the history of the language. Students also gain a basic understanding and utility of the Nepali script (Devanagari script). Students are tested regularly, and a written and/or oral exam is required at the conclusion of the course.
    • 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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