Friends in high places

SIT Study Abroad this month welcomed nine faculty and study abroad officers from throughout the United States on a site visit to Nepal. Representatives came from partner schools in Vermont (St. Michael’s College), Pennsylvania (Ursinus College), Washington, D.C. (Georgetown and George Washington universities), North Carolina (Davidson College), Florida (Rollins College), Illinois (Knox College), Colorado (Colorado College), and Washington (Whitman College).

Long table of food with more than 15 diners
Lunch at Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu

Organized by SIT Nepal Academic Directors Suman Pant and Isabelle Onians, the six-day visit introduced participants to the SIT Study Abroad program model, with a focus on our programs on Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya and Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples.

Lecturer seated in a classroom, with students at long green desks
A lecture and discussion with Hubert Decleer, founding academic director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples program in 1987.

Our guests stepped into their students’ shoes, participating in thematic seminar lectures and discussions, language learning, an NGO site visit, homestay visits, meals with students, a day-long temple and village walk in Kathmandu Valley, an alumni panel discussion, and more.

Men and women walking down a steep mountain trail
A temple and village trek in Pharping, Kathmandu Valley

They also had an introduction to the Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya program by Academic Director Beth Pratt-Sitaula, who joined virtually from Denver, and to the International Honors Program Human Rights Foundations, Challenges, and Advocacy by Nepal Country Coordinator Yanik Shrestha.

Group standing in front of a large building in Kathmandu
A walking tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Thamel was led by Dr. Manohari Upadyaya.

SIT representatives from the U.S. included President Sophia Howlett; Brian Hammer, Academic Dean for Asia and the Pacific; Mory Pagel, Executive Director of Institutional Relations and Strategic Partnerships; and Javonni McGlaurin, University Relations Manager for the Lower Atlantic Region.

Two women and two men seated in front of a fireplace and smiling at the camera
An SIT Alumni Panel included, from left, Haley Sanner, Fulbright Research Fellow, Nepal (NPR); Tom Robertson, Fulbright Director, Nepal (NPR); Peter Gill, journalist (SIT Mexico); and Sherry Russell, Peace Corps Country Director, Nepal (NPR).

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About the Author: Kate Casa