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Study Abroad In Nepal In Conjunction with the University of Vermont

Changing Communities: Trekking the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang

In this off-campus program, we will explore the history of the Mustang region of Nepal to understand how global forces are affecting geographically isolated communities. Based in one of the most remote sections of Nepal on the border with Tibet, the program will introduce you to a community undergoing profound transitions—culturally, socially, politically, linguistically, and religiously. Through a ten-day initial orientation in Burlington, and then four weeks in Nepal, we will examine how this Tibetan Buddhist area has adapted to those changes, and what strategies have emerged for facing further changes in the future.

Heading to the monastery in Tsarang
Learning to make Momos!
Enjoying the rooftop of the monastery in Tsarang
The UVM ladies dressing like locals in Tsarang.
Tashi hitching a ride with Mikaela.
On trail heading north.
Exploring the Jhong Caves
New Friends in Lo Manthang
Watching the clouds go by on the roof of the world, Lo Manthang.
Claire, making new friends in Lo Manthang.
Adventurous students, going for a 4am him to watch the sunrise on the Himalaya
Tsewang Bista and Luigi Fieni in Lo Manthang, Mustang
Day Care Visit in Tsarang, Mustang
Legacy of a Class & Students

This class has been run for the past three years and has been incredibly well enrolled throughout. Each of the students gets a chance to connect deeply with Nepal and Mustang and most of them have chosen to maintain that relationship. Some have gone on to study Nepal, do their thesis work on the region or even return to this area in Nepal to volunteer in some of the places that they fell in love with. Working with the students and UVM has been a joy!

Interested in learning more about the student perspective? Check out this video from a past student:


  • Earn 6-college credits
  • Access to a variety of experts on Mustang
  • Learn about Tibetan Buddhism first hand
  • Explore ancient culture, monasteries & landmarks

"It's not just about the credits it's about knowledge you gain from traveling. the story, the history, the people, the environment and learning about yourself."
- Stacia B. (UVM Class 2013)

"Right now is the only time in your life when you can travel without dropping any of your other obligations. Taking a course like this is an incredible way to see the world, while learning, which is an opportunity that most people just don't get. It can be scary to step outside of your comfort zone, but it's always worth it in the end."
- Madison Symes (UVM Class of 2015)

"I honestly can't imagine having done this program with anyone else. I'm not a particularly good tourist myself. I'm often just as happy to read about great sites as to visit them in person. What I love is just being in a different place and exploring how communities work and what makes them tick. Above the Clouds gets that, and makes that possible with their love of Nepal, and with their incredible Nepali staff who love to share their own roots and connection to places, and with ATC's immaculate preparations for everything."
- Professor Abigail McGown (UVM Faculty member running this course)

Interested in Joining?

For more information about next years class and program, feel free to check out the University of Vermont's study abroad site and their section on Nepal!

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