Tucked between the economic titans India and China, Nepal is a little country that promises big adventure. From remote Buddhist monasteries in the Himalaya to the modern city of Kathmandu, the region has captured the imaginations of adventure seekers since the country opened its borders in the 1950s. Despite its natural wonders and fascinating traditions, Nepal remains off the beaten path, with only 600,000 tourists visiting each year. These lucky few discover a nation that goes way beyond multicolored prayer flags and climbing ol’ Mt. Everest.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing may have put Nepal on western maps, but the country truly gained popularity in the 1960s and 70s, when it became a major destination of all flower children and peaceniks on the Hippie Trail. These free spirits traveled through Europe and Asia in droves, seeking enlightenment and constantly climbing higher and higher. When they finally reached “the Roof of the World” they looked for answers in Nepal’s many ashrams and temples.

But the main draw for anyone looking to study abroad is the complexity of Nepal’s diverse regions and people. In this country the size of Arkansas, there are over 123 languages spoken. And although the monarchy was abolished in 1951, the country is still dealing with complex negotiations of democracy and technology in an ancient society. Students who choose to study abroad in Nepal will have front row seats as this country trying to strike a balance between modernization and tradition.

Study abroad programs in Nepal are based in the capital city of Kathmandu, named after the Kasthamandap, or "Wooden house” in central Durbar Square. The metropolitan area has a population of 2.5 million inhabitants—but few street signs. Instead, look for the nearest chowkor tole (intersection) to orient yourself.

A day trip to Patan is a great place to escape and bask in tradition. With more Nepali architecture per square metre than its neighbor Kathmandu, take some time to walk the streets and step back in time.

If you came to climb, head to the trekking mecca of Pokhara. Described as Disneyland for trekkers, the city nestles between a picture perfect mountain reflected in a clear icy lake. The city is an excellent jumping off point for dozens of trails, and boasts a number of interesting museums.

Kathmandu is modern city has a distinctly traditional feel, where KFC rubbs shoulders with restaurants serving momo, a mouth-watering dumpling. You can choose your momo filling, either veggies, chicken or yak!

Take a few days to explore the wildlife at Chitwan National Park. On this South Asian safari you can spot endangered Asian one-horned rhinos, monkeys, and if you’re very lucky, leopards and tigers. Visitors can also help out at elephant bath time (just don’t forget your rubber ducky)!

You can also re-align your tired chakra at a yoga center. You’ll feel rejuvenated as you downward-facing dog while watching the sun rises over the Himilayas.

Tourist visas are available upon entry for a fee of $100 USD and valid for 3 months (with the possibility of extension for another 60 days). Student visas to Nepal are available for up to a year with a fee of $3,000 per year or $250 per month.

  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
  • The Devil's Road To Kathmandu by Tom Vater
  • The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
  • The Strict Economy of Fire by Ava Leavell Haymon
  • Shadow Over Shangri-La: A Woman's Quest for Freedom by Durga Pokhrel

All study abroad programs in Nepal blend adventure and academics. Students who are really looking to get outside should look for programs that emphasize field research and the hands-on approach.

  • Academic Life: Programs like SIT and Where There Be Dragons offer academic courses as well as an independent study project (ISP). ISPs give students the opportunity to explore their interest outside of the classroom in everything from national identity to jewelry making.
  • Language: Classes are conducted in English but programs provide intensive introductory courses in Nepali. Few people outside of government and tourism speak English, so these courses are necessary for making Nepali friends! SIT Tibet also offers classes in introductory Tibeten.
  • Housing: Programs in Nepal focus on homestay experiences where students can be immersed in the day to day of life of a Nepali family. Most programs also offer a second homestay in a rural Nepali village-- which is essential to truly experience a country where less than 62% of the population has a phone.

The mountains are steep, but the costs don't have to be! Many scholarships are available to students who are interested in studying in Nepal.

Study Abroad Programs in Nepal

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 programs
Naropa University|LeapYear
LeapYear India: Naropa University's Gap Year
Multiple Countries
9.73 •11 reviews

This program offers an extraordinary alternative year of college...

SUMMIT Adventure Academy
International Mountain & River Guide Education in the Himalayas
Nepal
10 •2 reviews

IMRGE is an intense three month expedition based outdoor leadership...

SIT Study Abroad
SIT Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples
Tibet
9.9 •10 reviews

Examine Tibetan and Himalayan politics and religion and the...

SIT Study Abroad
IHP: Human Rights: Movements, Power, and Resistance
Multiple Countries
9 •4 reviews

Investigate the historical and social contexts of human rights...

Where There Be Dragons
Nepal: Passages of the Himalaya College Study Abroad Semester
Nepal
9 •1 review

Have the diverse cultures and dramatic landscapes of Nepal write the...

The GREEN Program
Nepal: Microgrid Systems for Rural Development
Nepal

In 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake impacted 30% of Nepal's energy...

SIT Study Abroad
Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalayas - Summer
Nepal

Conduct Earth science fieldwork in the spectacular setting of the...

SIT Study Abroad
Nepal: Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya
Nepal

Witness the challenges facing Nepal as it works to balance tradition...

Institute for Global Health
One Health in Nepal
Nepal

One Health is the recognition of the interconnected nature of humans...

RANGJUNG YESHE INSTITUTE
Summer Buddhist Studies Course - Rangjung Yeshe Institute
Nepal

This 8-week course delves into the theory and practice of Buddhism. In...

Tours & Trips in Nepal

Looking for something to do during your time in Nepal? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • OneSeed Expeditions
    Everest Base Camp - 19 Days
    Nepal
    9.75 •4 reviews

    The ultimate bucket list trip! After exploring the ancient city of...

  • Mountain Kick
    Everest Base Camp with Kathmandu Sightseeing
    Nepal
    10 •2 reviews

    Beginning from Lukla, we will walk through all the Sherpa villages on...

  • Alpine Adventure Club Treks & Expedition
    Everest Base Camp Trekking - 16 Days | Alpine Adventure Club
    Nepal
    10 •1 review

    Reaching Everest Base Camp has become the goal of thousands of avid...

  • Glorious Himalaya Trekking
    Langtang Valley Trekking
    Nepal

    Langtang Valley Trekking is one of the best and popular holiday...

  • Bamboo
    Bamboo - Everest Base Camp Fundraising Trek
    Nepal
    9.25 •4 reviews

    Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Our Everest Base Camp...

  • Youth International
    Nepal Spring Intensive Program
    Nepal

    Designed with the same balance of experiences as Youth International's...

  • Unleashed Nepal International (UNI)
    Educational Tour Package in Nepal
    Nepal

    We are going to organized Educational tour package programme for the...

  • Worldaway Learning Tours
    21 Day Photography & Media Course
    Nepal

    Don’t just SEE the wonders of Nepal-CAPTURE them on Camera! Cover a...

  • Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
    28 Day Nepal Road Trip - Travel & Volunteer with IVI
    Nepal

    Combine travel and volunteering into one amazing adventure. You will...

What People Are Saying

This program was challenging in the best sense of the word. If you are a fan of the liberal arts model of education--one that strives to challenge innate assumptions and preconceived notions of the...

Program Trip to Annapurna Range

The study abroad experience provided by SIT changed my life for the better. When applying, SIT stood out because of their commitment to experiential learning. In this one semester, I felt I had...

Class Excursion

My semester abroad with IHP Human Rights was truly eye opening and changed the ways in which I interact with people and think about issues in my daily life. In a group of 30 students, we traveled to...

Patan Durbar Square, near my homestay in Nepal

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