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Kathmandu, Nepal

Program Description

Through academic discussions coupled with field activities and interactions with local community and community-based organizations, the program will provide an opportunity for you to investigate the intersections of culture, health communication, social change, and development that are reshaping rural and urban communities. The program will also provide an opportunity to interact more closely with select local organizations to allow you to experience first-hand health communication and development programs. This service learning component will focus on learning about and working with the local partner to support their public health and community development project.

The program will essentially be divided into three parts.

Before departure students will be expected to complete some required readings focused on culture and health, health campaigns, globalization, development and social change. This will ground you in academic literature. Students will submit a set number of reflections for the readings.

The second part of the program will focus on learning about these concepts on the ground, through interactions, interviews, workshops, and site visits. These will be followed by daily discussion and reflection that connects the readings to real-life experience.

The third part of the program will focus on spending extended time with the selected organization to learn about and participate in applying both the academic and hands-on experience to support the local partner’s initiatives and programs. This will require you to submit a final paper focused on connecting the readings and experiences gained with lesson learnt and personal reflections.

This is a 6-credit program. Students will choose 2 courses from those offered.

Location Description

Sandwiched between India and China, Nepal intersects between an increasingly globalized place and a traditionally grounded rich cultural with environmental diversity.

While a majority of the time will be spent in Kathmandu, home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, you will also have an opportunity to experience Nepal’s breathtaking views, heritage sites, and local traditions.

Short and overnight excursions will allow you to experience Nepal beyond the program as well as continue to learn about the intersections of local/global health, culture and development.

Eighty percent of all the rain in Nepal is received during the monsoon (June-September). While this will not prevent the day to day activities, you should be prepared to experience and enjoy the monsoon weather.


Iccha Basnyat | | Communication Studies


Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished apartments with internet access and kitchen. Laundry will be arranged. Students will be in shared double rooms and/or possibly single rooms but in shared apartments. Housing accommodations are centrally located and public transportation is easily accessible. However, transportation will be provided to and fro from all program activities.

During the program days and excursions meals will be covered. However, students should plan to spend their own money on meals on free days. Once a week students will be taken to the supermarket (where many international products can be found) in order to buy any additional snacks, meals, and personal items that may be needed during their stay.

Additional Items to Consider

Itinerary will be provided ahead of time.

Visa is upon arrival, but students may want to consider applying ahead of time at the Embassy of Nepal in DC (

Nepal uses SIM cards with data, which are cheap and easy to obtain. However, unlocked phones are required in order to have the ability to insert a SIM card.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 3.0

Sophomore, Junior, Senior and Grad Students

Open to all majors

There is no foreign language requirement.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SCOM 303: Special Topics in Health Communication (3 credits)

SCOM 471: Culture & Health Communication (3 credits)

SCOM 671: Intercultural Health Communication Advocacy (3 credits)

SCOM 675: Special Topics in Health Communication (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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