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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Dharamsala, India; Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

2018 Directory Image Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples

Learn about Tibetan and Himalayan politics and religion and the issues faced by communities in exile.

Program Highlights

  • Explore cultural transformation and preservation, identity and social change, religious revival, and regional geopolitics.
  • Discover contemporary Tibetan and Himalayan society, sciences, and arts.
  • Do independent research in Nepal; Dharamsala, India; Bhutan; or another approved location.
  • Learn the Tibetan language and, if you choose, Nepali.
  • Choose to do an Independent Study Project (ISP) or an internship in the last four weeks of the program.
  • Travel and conduct fieldwork with Tibetan and/or Himalayan students
  • Enjoy access to restricted regions during excursions through SIT’s well-established regional networks.
  • Learn about the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Newar and Theravadin Buddhist traditions in Nepal, religious tourism and pilgrimage, and meditation and retreat.
  • Go on a high-altitude trek in the Himalayas to visit isolated Tibetan communities.
  • Travel to India, Bhutan, and/or the Tibetan Autonomous Region in China (conditions permitting).

Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.

Independent Study

You have the option to spend the last month of the program working on an Independent Study Project (ISP), conducting primary research in Tibetan and Himalayan communities in Nepal or other locations. You may also do your ISP research in Dharamsala or elsewhere in India. The program maintains a branch base in Dharamsala with an experienced staff member. The ISP allows you to apply your experience-based learning in the Field Methods and Ethics course and interdisciplinary coursework on a topic you choose.

Sample topics:

  • Changing status of women in Buddhist monastic life
  • Climate change and cultural adaptation in the Himalaya
  • Economy of Sherpas and mountaineering tourism
  • Mapping street children in Kathmandu
  • Monastic universities for secular students from abroad: the case of the International Buddhist Academy in Tinchuli and its strong contingent of Chinese and Korean disciples
  • Buddhist Academy in Tinchuli and its strong contingent of Chinese and Korean disciples
  • Sherpa mountaineering encounters with the World Wildlife Fund, in Nepal and elsewhere in the Eastern Himalayas
  • The politics of lavish sponsorship: a California-based Tibetan foundation renovating the Newar Buddhist hill shrine of Swayambhu
  • HH the 17th Karmapa's daring reforms and his manifesto in favor of a vegetarian diet and environmental preservation
  • The Mind and Life Conferences: Buddhism as a "science of mind and mental transformation" encounters neuroscience and cognitive psychology
  • No longer mindless copying: original grand commissions for alumni at the Thangka Painting School, Shechen Gompa
  • Buddhist art for sale: the semi-antique business and the emergence of a "first class fakes" industry
  • Bön: the pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion and its first generation of Western disciples
    Options for Tibetan Muslims in exile


SIT internships are hands on and reflective. In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper processing your learning experience on the job and analyzing an issue important to the organization you worked with, and/or you will design a socially responsible solution to a problem identified by the organization.

Sample internship sites:

  • Helping students from a remote Himalayan community through Action Dolpo
  • Assisting Great Himalaya Trail’s alternative approach to trekking
  • Providing Tibetan and Himalayan youth with vocational training and job placements with Himalayan Roots to Fruits
  • Working at Nepali Times, the leading English-language weekly newspaper in Kathmandu

Key Topics of Study

  • Varieties of belief and practice among Himalayan people
  • The politics inherent in processes of everyday life in an exile community and host country
  • Aspects of contemporary Tibetan civilization
  • History and politics of the region
  • Himalayan arts and sciences
  • Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Newar and Theravadin Buddhist traditions in Nepal
  • Religious tourism and pilgrimage
  • Meditation and retreat

Money Matters

Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:

  • All educational costs, including educational excursions
  • All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
  • Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
  • Health and accident insurance


  • SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
  • All scholarships and grants are need-based.
  • Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.  
  • The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. 
  • Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.

Contact SIT Study Abroad

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Approximate Decision Date (Subject To Change) Start Date End Date
Fall 2023 03/15/2023 04/01/2023 TBA TBA
Spring 2024 10/01/2023 11/01/2023 TBA TBA