Study Abroad Himalayas

Study Abroad Through Dragons-Naropa: Nepal Semester

 

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

Overview

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 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 program travel experiences, 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. Time in this community of cobble-stoned streets and brightly adorned shops is characterized by homestays, intensive Nepali language instruction, and exposure to local scholars.

Beyond the urban, our journey takes us to the surrounding hills where students explore the regional topics and traditions of a rural community nestled in the shade of the Annapurna Mountains. As students settle into the slower pace of agrarian life, students work the land with local farmers and engage in conversations focused on development, sustainability and religious belief, while witnessing the impact of modernization on a traditional village. While camped below snow-capped peaks, students continue to explore the indigenous cultures that inhabit these extreme environs, guided by new academic frameworks and reflective tools received during a visit to a Buddhist medication and education center. Other excursions bring students 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, and to the bio-diverse lowlands of the country. During this time students engage deeply with regional studies and development of our independent topics of investigation and research.

Study abroad students in Nepal engage deeply with the people and communities they live with and travel through. All along the way, integrated academic curriculum guides students as they learn about pressing local issues, develop skills in leadership and cultural competency, and become proficient in spoken and written Nepali.

Course Descriptions

ASIA/GLOS 330 Regional Seminar: Diversity in the Himalayas

This course explores the myriad ethnicities and religious traditions that constitute Nepal and the surrounding region, which is one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the world. Students begin their study in this course through an overview of the country’s cultural, social, and political background. Using lectures, readings, and discussion this course surveys social issues and vulnerable populations in Nepal such as development issues, environment, public health, education, human rights, caste, and the status of women. Students also receive an extensive introduction to Hinduism and to Mahayana Buddhism, in particular to the Tibetan tradition. Opportunities are also provided for students to engage local experts in discussion through guest lecturers and field trips. In addition, program travels in Nepal take students to communities which are engaged in addressing these issues, providing experiential opportunities for learning and growth.

GLOS 211 Intercultural Development and Global Citizenship
Drawing from culturally diverse models of leadership and epistemology, this course examines topics such as intercultural and interpersonal communication skills, various leadership styles, and the roles and responsibilities of global citizenship. Through a variety of instructional methods and assignments, students explore the factors which influence human relationships to self, communities, and the natural world.
COMM 301 Intercultural Communication

This course is designed to provide study abroad students with an in-depth understanding of essential intercultural communication theories as well as the key skills needed to apply theories in interactions with host country nationals. Throughout the course, students learn relevant concepts and terminology in order to develop skills to interpret and analyze their intercultural interactions. The first half of the course focuses on positivistic and interpretive frameworks of intercultural communication as well as self-reflexivity. The second half of the course focuses on critical intercultural communication scholarship and applications, challenging the student to question default thinking patterns and recognize nuances of human interaction. Course assignments, reflection, structured activities, and direct experience emphasize the development of further intercultural competence among students. Foundational courses in communication theory are recommended, but not required.

ANTH/ISP 325C INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECT (ISP): METHODS AND APPLICATION
This course is focused on providing students with a basic understanding of ethnographic research methods and skills, while also giving students the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge in a topic of study. During the first half of the course, a series of thematic seminars focus on research methodologies, the importance of ethics in research, best practices in working in cross-cultural partnerships in the host country, and skills training related to designing a study proposal.  Students develop an understanding of how to refine research question(s), determine appropriate research and learning methods, and address ethical issues related to their projects. During the second half of this course, students use the plan outlined in their approved study proposal to carry out an individualized and in-depth study on a subject of their choice using primary sources. With the support of an academic advisor and/or a local mentor, students select a topic which relates to the program’s scope, design an approach to study this subject, and conduct an individual project. The chosen topic of independent study may involve either an academic inquiry or the learning of a traditional skill through an 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, mask carving, traditional folk dance, sitar, or thanka painting.
NEPALI LANGUAGE - NPL 150, 250, OR 350

NPL: 150 Nepali I
(Nepali Language 150; 4 credits) This course introduces students to the Nepali language and is designed for students with no or minimal previous background in spoken or written Nepali. Students in this course focus on learning essential vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, and understanding simple grammatical structures. This knowledge prepares students to effectively communicate in Nepali on a limited range of topics related to everyday situations. Students practice listening and speaking in real-life situations, learn to read and write Nepali script (Devanagari script), and examine how culture and language interact in Nepal. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the oral proficiency and confidence necessary to initiate simple conversations. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

NPL: 250 Nepali II
(Nepali Language 250; 4 credits) This course introduces students to more challenging linguistic Nepali language material in order to establish a solid foundation for the use of the language. Students in this course focus on building on past language exposure to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students expand their oral expression abilities by increasing vocabulary, improving understanding of grammar concepts, strengthening pronunciation abilities, focusing on listening comprehension, and building on previously studied Nepali script (Devanagari script). This course introduces new language concepts to allow students to speak about topics pertaining to their daily lives and also focuses on deepening knowledge of Nepali culture and customs. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to engage in basic daily conversations, read simple texts, and write for daily needs. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the ability to appropriately use language and improve proficiency. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

NPL: 350 Nepali III
(Nepali Language 350; 4 credits) This course is designed to develop advanced skills in the Nepali language and is intended for students with extensive prior exposure to the language. This course focuses on consolidating linguistic knowledge and development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students in this course will develop advanced comprehension of and competence in using spoken Nepali in a wide-variety of experiences. Grammatical functions will be reviewed and incorporated as they relate to particular communication needs. A mix of communicative and interactive methods are used to develop advanced proficiency and materials are drawn from a variety of media sources and texts. In addition, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the Nepali language and culture. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to express sophisticated and nuanced ideas both orally and in writing.  Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

Dates

Dates for Fall Semester:  August 29-December 12

Dates for Spring Semester:  January 24-May 9

Cost for 2019-2020

Naropa Tuition*:    $16,450
Room & Board*:    $3,600


*Tuition includes 12–16 credit hours plus in-country travel and excursions. *Room and Board is an estimate. 

Additionally, you will be responsible for:

Airfare: Approximately $1300
Travel insurance: Approximately $665
Visa: $150
Books & supplies: Approximately $100
Immunizations: Varies
Personal expenses:    Varies

 *Additional expenses above will be coordinated with Where There Be Dragons. 

Study Abroad Scholarships

If a student chooses a Naropa Sponsored (Dragons) or Affiliated (SIT) programs, he/she may apply for one of Dragons', or SIT scholarships. In addition to those funds, students may apply for one or more of the other general/regional scholarships for Study Abroad.

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