Nepal: Development and Social Change


This interdisciplinary program balances an overview of Nepal's history, religions, environments, and diversity, with an analysis of some of the most pressing contemporary issues in development and social change. Students will be exposed to different environments and viewpoints and develop their own questions about Nepal’s development and interaction with international agencies, its diverse regions and ethnic identities, and its place in South Asia and the world.

Through the Field Methods and Ethics course, students learn appropriate field methodology and gain practical experience working in the field, ultimately leading toward their Independent Study Project (ISP).

Students are also well prepared for their ISP through an excellent and intensive language course. With highly experienced teachers on hand, students typically reach intermediate (and sometimes advanced) levels in their Nepali language and are not only able to negotiate everyday needs, but can also conduct most of their fieldwork in Nepali.

The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Development and Social Change Seminar - syllabus (PDF)
(ASIA 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in English with required readings and relevant educational excursions. The seminar examines historical and contemporary Nepal, and the social, political, cultural, environmental, and economic forces — both internal and global — that have shaped and continue to define the country. Lecturers are drawn from academic institutions such as Tribhuvan University and the Fulbright Commission, as well as from nongovernmental organizations such as Ashoka and other international and local development agencies working in Nepal.

Intensive Language Study: Nepali - syllabus (PDF)
(NEPA 1500 / 6 credits / 90 class hours)
This course helps students develop a working fluency in Nepali language with an emphasis on speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction, combined with practice in reading and writing the Devanagari script. Classes are taught two and one-half hours daily. Instructors are native speakers who have received training in language instruction from SIT and the Peace Corps. Instruction includes a variety of interactive, communication-based language teaching techniques that incorporate cultural information into language learning.

Field Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
A course in the concepts of learning across cultures and from field experience and an introduction to the Independent Study Project. Material includes cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; developing skills in observation and interviewing; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; and maintaining a work journal.

Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Kathmandu or, conditions permitting and with program approval, in other parts of Nepal, the Independent Study Project is an opportunity for students to conduct firsthand meaningful, and original research. Sample topic areas: ecotourism and its effect on wildlife management; geographies of development; preservation of temple architecture and heritage sites; non-timber forest products and ethnobotany; herbal trade; community forestry; migration and population issues; ethnic politics; rural development and aid; women’s health challenges.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Kathmandu

Language Study: Nepali

Prerequisites: None


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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