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Two rhinoceroses striding out of a river.

New Nepal Study Abroad: Explore the interweaving of culture and biology

By Elana Roldan

A photo by Natalia Maroz of two Asian rhinoceroses striding out of a river in Chitwan National Park, a World Heritage Property in Nepal.

A brand-new, three-week study abroad opportunity in Nepal is now available for students to experience. Led by Dee Denver, head of the Department of Integrative Biology, the Intersections of Biodiversity and Buddhist Cultures in Nepal course promises a trek through the Himalayas, excursions in lowland jungles and time spent in centuries-old monasteries. The course’s unique interweaving of culture and biology makes it a special study abroad offering.

"Our inspiration for the Nepal program was to provide a new opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to encounter and experience new ways of thinking about biodiversity, and to find sparks of inspiration and build confidence that will help them find success in their paths ahead,” said Denver.

A shot down a long chain bridge on the way to the Annapurna Base Camp.

The view down a chain bridge on the way to Annapurna Base Camp, taken by Marc Linneman. The Annapurna range of the Himalayas is home to the largest protected area in Nepal, the Annapurna Conservation Area.

Students will learn about Nepal's multifaceted approach to biodiversity conservation and learn about the Buddhist values of interdependence and compassion while visiting Buddhist monasteries on a Himalayan trek. While studying in prime locations such as the Chitwan National Forest and Annapurna Conservation Area, students will learn about and integrate knowledge of Western scientifc frameworks of biodiversity with Buddhist philosophy toward nature during their studies. Students will interact with conservation scientists and indigenous community members.

The program, facilitated through the Office of Global Opportunities (OSU GO), is set to begin in September 2024. Two in-person and two remote information sessions are scheduled for interested students. The in-person sessions will be from 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. in LINC 307 on Monday, Nov. 20, and Tuesday, Nov. 21. The remote sessions will be on the same days from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. over Zoom. To join the Zoom session, click here and use the password “Nepal!”.

The deadline to apply for the program is April 1, 2024. For more information, contact program leaders Dee Denver or Brenna Prevelige.