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Nepal: Kathmandu

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Kathmandu Quick Facts

Language of Instruction
English and Nepali

Fields of Study
Anthropology, development studies, environmental studies, Nepali language and culture, religion.

Host Institution
Pitzer College


Program Dates
Fall semester: early August to mid-December 
Spring semester: mid-February to mid-June

Faculty Liaison
Zhiru Ng

The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is a bustling city of close to one million people. Its medieval streets dotted with both Hindu and Buddhist temples are offset by lively bazaars filled with people from all over the country, exemplifying Nepal’s rich ethnic and religious diversity.

Pitzer College’s Program in Nepal, founded in 1974, provides a unique opportunity for an in-depth and significant cross-cultural learning experience and is particularly recommended for students in anthropology and Asian Studies. Regular features of the program include the intensive Nepali language study, a homestay program placing students in close contact with Nepalese daily life, and a trek and village homestay in the Himalayas.

Academic Program

A major part of the program consists of conversational Nepali instruction (200 hours) taught with minimal English translation (2.0 Pomona course credits). The grade in the language course is based on a student’s ability to communicate orally and in writing. All students also take Nepalese Area Studies, a class which covers a variety of topics, including family structures, the caste system, environmental studies, development studies, health, and religion. The course consists of seminars, lectures, field trips, walking treks, and family stays. Students also keep a journal and complete a field book consisting of weekly writing assignments (1.0 Pomona course credit).

In addition to these two required courses, students work on an Independent Study Project, which is evaluated by a Claremont Colleges faculty member. It is due for grading in Claremont no later than four weeks following the semester in Nepal (1.0 Pomona course credit).

Living Arrangements

Students live and eat with Nepalese families in villages near Kathmandu and in the Himalayas.  

Number of Students

Up to 12. Two groups of up to 14.


Students are strongly encouraged to take Pitzer College’s Anthropology 16: “Intro to Nepal,” South Asian History, or Third World Development. If a student cannot take this course due to a scheduling conflict, please see Mike Donahue in the Pitzer study abroad office. He will provide a recommended pre-departure reading list. Pitzer College requires a 7.5 GPA and an interview with a Pitzer College External Studies adviser. Students must submit a copy of a passport valid for six months beyond the end date of the proposed semester abroad at the time of application.

Internet Link

Study Abroad