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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

Get Pumped: Independent Study Projects!!

As you all know and may be excited about, we will be diving into Independent Study Projects, or ISP’s, during our time in Kathmandu. Some folks will be seeking college credit for their ISP, which means they’ll also extend their ISP explorations into our time in our village homestay! This ends up being some students’ favorite part of a Dragons course. You have the chance to pursue a current passion of yours, but within the lens of Nepali culture, politics, history and art, or you can dip into a topic or skill area that is completely new to you.

While you do not need to make a final decision about what your ISP topic will be yet, we would like you to begin considering some options. The list below gives some options for you to think about, but we are open to other ideas you have too. For the moment, we ask that you chose three topics that excite you. Once we are all together in Nepal, you will talk through your list with your instructors and we will find the right match for you.

In Kathmandu we will pair you with a mentor in that field and you will spend some time each week meeting with this person to learn and create. You will have the opportunity to have a capstone project and share what you are working on with our group and our home-stay families and broader community.

Have fun day-dreaming about all of these potential options!


Thangka painting (traditional Tibetan Buddhist art form)

Jewelry making

Wood carving


Yoga and philosophy

Buddha’s life story: different perspectives Buddhist art

Traditional smithcraft–khukuris

Hindu and Buddhist creation stories, death rituals, or other specific practices

Women’s roles, gender and sexuality issues

Dance- traditional forms from around Nepal, ritual dance

Music: sitar, tabla, sarengi, flute, vocal, etc.


Nepali Cooking


Local traditional medicine: Ayurvedic medicine or Tibetan medicine

Local politics: Nepali party system and governance structures; new constitution, new legal structure

Ethnic relations histories in Nepal, history of recent civil war

Environmental and agricultural issues–urban and rural