Through thematic lectures and field work, students on the SIT: Nepal Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya program explore how international development, political conflict, an emerging civil society, and global markets are all working to redefine Nepal in the twenty-first century. Students take two extended excursions to better understand development and social change from different perspectives: the first to either Terai or the middle hills region, and an extended excursion and homestay in the Himalayas.

“The program staff are all beautiful-hearted people. Because the program has been there for 40 years they have access to some pretty cool connections. The three language teachers are truly excellent--I have never had better. These language teachers have a dynamic style and will likely succeed at getting you to a medium language proficiency no matter who you are.” - Jack B. '17

Fields of study:

Nepali Language and Interdisciplinary studies related to Nepal


Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 (Whitman requirement); ability to live in a culture very different from one’s own and to adjust to the living conditions of the developing world

Language Prerequisite:



16 credits per semester - Required Courses:
Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya (3 credits)
Nepali Language (6 credits)
Field Methods and Ethics (3 credits)
Independent Study Project (ISP) (4 credits) or Internship and Seminar (4 credits)

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit


Students choose between an ISP and an internship. Interns work with a local community organization, research organization, business, or international NGO.


Six-week homestay in Kathmandu and a short village homestay during the Himalayan excursion.  Other accommodations during the program include guest houses or small hotels.


All meals for the entire program period are covered either by SIT directly, or through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring


late August – December, late January – May


Rolling Admission – students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

Nepal Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya