Study Abroad


Hindu and Buddhist Art, Architecture and Mythology in the Kathmandu Valley

Bookmark and Share

This course is now accepting applications for the Winter 2014-15 term.

UMAIE Course Number: T4467
SAU Course Equivalency: AH 320, Advanced Topics in Art History (four credits)
Instructor: Emily Blanchard West and Jeff Johnson, St. Catherine University 
Tentative Dates: To be determined. (NOTE: SAU Spring semester begins January 14)
Location: Nepal (Kathmandu, Patan, Bodhnath, Bhaktapur)
Price: $4,255 (subject to change)

Program Description

Ever since the first drivable road into the valley was opened in the late 1950's, the name "Kathmandu" has been synonymous with spiritual awareness and soul-stirring beauty. Hindu Mythology, and the stories and legends associated with Hinduism's daughter-religion, Buddhism, are equally well-known for comprising one of the most complex and intriguing sets of narratives ever created by humankind, with moral and ethical underpinnings as rich and profound as their symbolism and metaphorical imagery. This course will teach you how to understand and engage with the world's oldest still-active mythico-religious tradition by reading ancient texts, absorbing and analyzing their meanings on multiple levels, and applying this knowledge to the observation and interpretation of the magnificent temples and shrines of the Kathmandu valley. By the end of the course, you will be able to identify all the major Hindu deities and the aspects and postures of the Buddha by sight, and relate the major myths and stories associated with both religions. You will understand what the ॐ symbol represents, Shiva, Kali and Vishnu will be old friends, and you will use words like "dharma" and "karma" with a confident understanding of their actual meanings.

What is Included

  • Round-trip airfare from Moline, Chicago or Minneapolis 
  • Hotel accommodation in double and triple rooms
  • Continental breakfast daily
  • Travel assistance
  • International health insurance

What is not included

  • Passport fees
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Fees for textbooks and materials
  • Meals not covered by the program fee - approximately $802.50
  • Personal baggage fees

How to Apply

Priority Deadline: April 12, 2014
Step 1: Complete the online application.
Step 2: Submit a $500 application deposit to the Center for International Education (Cosgrove Hall, lower level). Make checks payable to SEMINARS INTERNATIONAL.
Step 3: Turn in a completed Liability Form to Cosgrove Hall, lower level.
Step 4: Pay your remaining balance by November 1. Submit your payment to Cosgrove Hall, lower level. Make checks payable to St. Ambrose. Or pay online with a credit card.

Applications will be accepted until October 1.
Students that apply after the April 12 Priority Deadline may find that their desired program is full.

Application and payment details

  • Applications will not be reviewed until all application materials have been received.
  • The $500 deposit is deducted from the total program cost.
  • If you are not accepted into the program, or if the program is canceled, the application deposit is refundable.
  • If you are accepted, the application deposit is non-refundable after September 17.
  • The final payment is non-refundable after November 1. 
  • Failure to meet payment deadlines may jeopardize your place in the program.