Learn about Tibetan and Himalayan politics and religion and the issues faced by communities in exile.
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.
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.
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
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.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.