Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Program Terms: Winter Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Quarter 2018 06/15/2017 06/22/2017 01/03/2018 03/09/2018
Program Description:
sociology italy
 Location Kathmandu, Nepal
Winter 2018
January 3 – March 9, 2018
 Estimated    Program Fee $7,000
 Credits 15 UW credits
 Prerequisites Attend 3 Seattle-based/online orientation sessions prior to departure.(Enrollment  in 2 credits of the Seattle-based/online LARC 598 International Design Activism Seminar during Fall 2017  is highly recommended but not required.)
 Program      Directors Benjamin Spencer, Laure Heland, David Citrin, Shree Krishna Dhital, Sunita Subba, Manish Chalana(tbd)
 Program  Manager Carrie Moore |
 Application    Deadline June 15, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Mondays, 12:30-1:30 and Wednesdays 5:30-6:30 until June 7th in Gould Hall 142
  General International Design Activism | Nepal (IDA|N) is an immersive 1-2 quarter (1 semester+) study abroad program focused on innovative, interdisciplinary problem solving and community-based planning, design and project implementation in the marginalized urban communities of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships


Program Description


During the IDA|N program, students will gain an in depth knowledge of the social, political, cultural and environmental context of Nepal, explore Kathmandu’s urban form, architecture, public spaces and technology and learn to speak basic Nepali. They will work in close collaboration with local students and stakeholders to plan, design, implement and assess the impacts of a community-driven project and learn about development practice from representatives of local universities, NGOs and government agencies.

Graduate and advanced undergraduate students from schools across the UW campus as well as non-matriculated students are encouraged to participate in the program during both the winter and spring quarters (spring semester+) of 2018. Students may also elect to participate in the program during the winter or spring quarter alone.

The program is sponsored by the UW Department of Landscape Architecture in collaboration with the UW Jackson School of International Studies/Nepal Studies Initiative and the Informal Urban Communities Initiative. Nepali collaborators include Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University and local NGOs such as Lumanti, Abari and Communiterre Nepal.

Applications for the 2018 winter quarter portion of the study abroad program are due on June 15, 2017.

Applications for the 2018 spring quarter portion of the study abroad program are due on November 15, 2017.
Students planning to participate in both quarters of the program (semester +) should apply for the winter quarter and notify the program directors of their plans to study in Nepal during the spring as well. The spring quarter application will be available starting in mid-June, 2017. Applicants to  the winter quarter program may resubmit the same application materials for the spring quarter.


Kathmandu, Nepal


Kathmandu Valley, Pathlekhet Village and Langtang National Park


Students  will spend the majority of the program in Kathmandu Valley and stay in rental housing located in Patan. Patan is  a safe setting, convenient for all local activities and easily accessible for guest lecturers and collaborating Nepali students. Students will be responsible for their own meals. They will have kitchens in their rental units and will have the option to prepare their own food or eat out at one of many local restaurants.

Additional services provided will include 1) transportation within Kathmandu Valley and 2) workspace, a conference room and  a makerspace/shop facilities including digital fabrication equipment and a wide assortment of tools at Communiterre Nepal.

Field Trips
We will take two 5-7 day field trips each quarter. During the winter quarter we will take our first field trip to the village of Pathlekhe in the Kavre District. Students will stay at Phoolbari Homestay in traditional Nepali houses, eat local food  and learn about Nepali life in a rural context. During the second winter quarter field trip, we will go to Langtang National Park where students will explore Nepal’s mountain ecology. We will stay in a guest house and dine at local restaurants.

Note: During the spring quarter field trips will include visits to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city and Chitwan National Park the Terrai in Nepal’s subtropical region.



Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

Preparatory Seminar (optional)/Orientation Sessions (required)
Participation in a minimum of 3 orientation sessions (Seattle-based/online) are required for participation in the program during the in the winter and/or spring quarters. In addition to orientation sessions, we will conduct a Seattle-based/online 2 credit preparatory seminar during the fall quarter (fall semester). Full participation in the fall seminar is not required but is highly recommended. Students only participating during  the spring quarter will be thoroughly oriented to activities that take place during  the winter quarter.

Previous experience studying, working or living abroad will be viewed in a positive light but is not required. Given the unpredictability of community-based work, we will be looking for applicants with personal qualities including patience, adaptability, and the ability to maintain a positive attitude in the face of changing and/or adverse circumstances. Students should be open to cultural exchange, prepared for the challenges that arise from cross-cultural communication and motivated to engage directly with Nepali peers, educators, community members and other collaborators.

Students will participate in construction activities. During field trips, they will hike up/down steep hills and stay in rustic conditions. These activities  may require significant physical exertion. At times, access to electricity and modern communication may be limited and beds/toilet facilities may  be basic.  


15 quarter credits (10 semester credits)


LARC 702A: International Design Activism |Nepal  Studio (6 quarter credits/4 semester credits)

The IDA |N  Studio will cultivate students’ ability to design and implement transformative community-driven design interventions in marginalized urban neighborhoods. Drawing  upon participatory planning / design theory and methods and responding to Nepal’s culture, context and technology, the studio will challenge students to formulate and carry out participatory workshops, synthesize community feedback and posit innovative design solutions that leverage community assets and respond to community identified challenges. Project  implementation based on the studio’s designs will commence at the end of the winter quarter and continue into the spring quarter (during the LARC 702B studio)

LARC 598A: Culture | Ecology | Urban Form (3 quarter credits/2 semester credits)

Culture | Ecology | Urban Form will focus on contemporary development in Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley and its relationship to urban form, architecture and public space in the city. Students will explore the interdependence socio-economics and ecological change, the drivers and impacts of urbanization including climate change, conflict and poverty, the multiple  factors that influence Kathmandu’s urban form and the social and spatial qualities of buildings and public spaces in the city. We will organize lectures by Nepali faculty members from Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University, hold discussions with Nepali students and visit local sites relevant to course content.

LARC 498A: Place | Technology (3 quarter credits/2 semester credits)

Place | Technology will explore the genus loci of plants, materials and technologies in Kathmandu. Students will conduct plants/materials/technology research, locate and map, plants/materials/technology resources and experiment with their design, assembly and form. Topics covered will build upon our assessment of community priorities and are likely to relate to food, water, earthquake recovery, urban infrastructure and public space. The course will overlap with, draw upon and inform the IDA |N studio’s participatory planning/design and implementation processes.

LARC 495A: Spoken Nepali I (min. 3 quarter credits/2 semester credits*)

Spoken Nepali will introduce students to practical Nepali for use in everyday conversation. Language instruction will take place during two, 1.5 hour morning sessions each week and will involve a variety of activities and exercises ranging from pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar/syntax and conversation. Language instruction will support student engagement and cultural exchange with Nepali counterparts/community members and students.

*Students are encouraged to take an additional 3 quarter credits (2 semester credits) of language instruction.

Note: The courses described  above  will be offered during the winter quarter of the IDA | N program. Course offerings during the spring quarter of the program will include LARC 702B IDA | N Studio, LARC 498B Design Practice| Developing Cities, LARC 600 Independent Study and LARC 495B Spoken Nepali II. More information on the spring quarter program will be provided at info sessions.

Program Directors & Staff

Benjamin Spencer, Department of Landscape Architecture, Program Director

Laure Heland, Department of Landscape Architecture, Program Co-Director

David Citrin, Department of Anthropology and Global Health, Program Coordinator

Shree Krishna Dhital, Program On-Site Coordinator

Sunita Subba, Language Instructor

Manish Chalana, Department of Urban Design and Planning (tbd)


Program Expenses

Cost: $7,000

Estimated Program Fee of $7,000, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (<$10/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,200 - $1,500* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 January 19, 2018
Program Fee Balance $7,000 January 19, 2018


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.