Study Abroad Through Dragons-Naropa: Himalayas

Good for: Students interested in studying issues about traditional art, traditional medicine, Buddhist and Hindu religions, Tibetan culture, or global economic development.


The Dragons Himalaya semester abroad program will be largely based in the Kathmandu valley, an ancient crossroads and melting pot of Himalayan peoples, where students will encounter the convergence of deep traditions with modern life. While living with host families and studying the Nepali language, students will have the opportunity to meet with local scholars and activists and learn about Nepal's history, politics, and culture while pursuing a wide range of possible independent study and service-learning projects.

For the Independent Study Project, students find areas of personal interest to explore in depth during our time in Kathmandu. Bronze casting, jewelry making, stone carving, thangka (Buddhist iconography) painting, and music are just a few of the apprenticeship opportunities available. Students interested in traditional medicine can work with a Tibetan doctor or with Ayurvedic practitioners. With a wide range of NGOs, Kathmandu also offers unparalleled opportunities to learn about the challenges and potential Nepal's traditional society faces with rapid modernization.  

The study of religious traditions is a central component of the semester as the basic principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, and shamanism are introduced. Students attend a ten-day meditation retreat and receive an introductory course on Tibetan Buddhism while living with Tibetan monks at a monastery overlooking the Kathmandu valley.

From Kathmandu, students venture to the foothills of the Himalaya to explore rural Nepali village life and settle in to the slower pace offered there without electricity and learn about subsistence living.  Students also travel higher into the Himalayas of Nepal where they spend time among high-altitude Buddhist farming communities and travel for a week at elevations reaching more than 15,000 ft through one of the most ruggedly beautiful and dramatic areas on earth.

Course Descriptions

Dates for Fall Semester: September 15–December 6 (Course work begins a month before departure and is done at home.)

Dates for Spring Semester: February 12–May 1 (Course work begins a month before departure and is done at home.)

Cost for 2015-2016

Naropa tuition*: $15,200
Room & Board: $4,300
TOTAL: $19,500

*Tuition includes 12–16 credit hours plus in-country travel and excursions.

Additionally, you will be responsible for:

Airfare: Approximately $2,000
Travel insurance: Approximately $465
Visa: $150
Books & supplies: Approximately $125
Immunizations: Varies
Personal expenses: Varies

are available to offset all of these costs. Your state and federal financial aid plus Naropa aid (scholarships/grants) apply for this Dragons' program. Work-study monies do not apply.

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