International Study: Nepal

420.681.91 Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal

Spring Intersession 2020 (January 2–21, 2020)
Field Course

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal

Course Description

This Nepal course is an opportunity to understand the complex interrelationship between society, environment, and economy in a developing country and to see first how such interactions are being impacted by the changing climate. As a country with a steep ecological gradient (tropical lowlands to the Himalaya Mountains), Nepal is experiencing changes in its environmental resources that have consequences in the way people live their lives. The course consists of more than two weeks of intensive field study in Nepal, which includes learning opportunities in Kathmandu and visiting several rural locations of Nepal. We will be interacting directly with stakeholders at various levels of the government, universities, local and international non-governmental organizations, as well as community-based organizations. Specific topics to be covered include climate change by sector, vulnerability at various scales, institutional and community-based plans for mitigation and adaptation, institutional and legal mechanisms that address climate change, extension efforts, climate change integration into development, and current effort by developing countries such as Nepal in carbon-financing and other topics. The recent political transition of the country presents an avenue to observe and learn how rural communities that depend upon natural resources are being impacted by socio-political changes in the country in an era of rapidly changing environment.

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal

Ideally, you have taken or are taking the prerequisite for the course, 420.665.81 Climate Change on the Front Lines: The Study of Adaptation in Developing Countries and/or 420.666.81 Community Development and Sustainability in Developing Countries. You can also obtain the permission of the instructor, in which case some extra preparatory reading will be required. Good health and mobility (we will be at altitude) and an openness to a cross-cultural experience are necessary. Note – This course can count toward the residency requirement in the ESP program. It can also count as an elective in any of the concentration tracks in ESP and as an elective in the Energy Policy and Climate Program.

Course Schedule (Subject to change)

Tentative Itinerary for course 420.681.91, Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal, Intersession January 2020 (PDF, 4 pages)

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal


Amir Poudel, M.Sc., JHU ESP alum, Amir is a Nepali with an extensive background working in Nepal. He has traveled to the majority of the districts in the country from Terai lowlands to the mountains. He has been working in Nepal in the field of rural development and natural resource management specializing in livelihood analysis, climate change impacts and adaptation, project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. He has been involved with more than 43 development projects almost all related to environmental issues. He has worked as a team member in different policy-related studies including those dealing with climate change impacts and adaptation.

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal

Nepal, Classroom: Amir Poudel, M.Sc.

Karin Orr is the Program Director for Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academics Programs MA in Non-Governmental Organization Management and the Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Karin has worked in the non-profit sector for the past decade providing programmatic, managerial, and financial support to the sector. In her role as an advisor, she works with graduate students who aspire to found, manage, and operate their own nonprofit. Karin has worked as the Program Manager for the Counterpart International network (through the Social Sector Accelerator), a non-profit that has collaborated with local partners to build inclusive and sustainable communities worldwide for over 50 years. Before her position at Counterpart, she worked as the Deputy Director of The Advocacy Project, a small non-profit that supports community-based advocates worldwide. In this position, she had worked with over 40 different community-based organizations in South and East Asia, East Africa, Europe, and Latin America. She has also worked in Latin America, including as a Peace Fellow for the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team, in El Salvador on a WASH program, and in Ecuador as an ESL instructor. Karin has an MA in International Policy with an emphasis on Conflict Resolution from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is currently a doctoral student of Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). Karin has studied and worked with community-based organizations in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.

Course Facilities and Accommodations

Students will be housed in shared rooms in local hotels (mostly bed and breakfast type guest houses) in Kathmandu and other communities we will be visiting. In Kathmandu lectures will be held at the National College – Center for Development Studies, which is part of Kathmandu University and will engage with local experts as well as JHU faculty that accompany the students. We will also travel to various environmental settings (highlands, mid-altitude, and lowlands) around the country and engage with local farmers and other stakeholders. These sessions will be held in the field and in local facilities. Students should expect a range of weather conditions and should be prepared for these. December and January are the coldest months but snow is not expected in the places we will be going for field trips. Days start chilly but after about 11 or 12 noon it is usually sunny and has warmed up and if you are trekking you will want to take your jacket off. Therefore, we recommend comfortable clothes that can be layered. As students from JHU and visitors from the USA, we should appear professional at all times and be respectful of local cultural conventions. Clothing choices should be modest. Suggested packing lists will be provided prior to departure.Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal


Students should budget the following estimated costs for the course:
$4,091 AAP tuition for the course.
$3,000 Estimated field course fee. This fee includes all transportation within Nepal, all accommodation, food, and lodging while in Nepal. Immunizations are the student’s responsibility. Snacks and incidentals in Nepal are not included at the student’s discretion. Sim Card (with individual phone numbers and data package.)
$1,000-1,500 Estimated airfare (depends on the date booked and departure city). Students are responsible for making their own arrangements and paying for their airfare themselves. Students should plan on arriving into Kathmandu no later than January 4, 2020. Do not buy air ticket until the course is confirmed to be running.
$40 Visa fee required upon entry into Nepal plus recent passport pictures (30 days validity).

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal


Registration for this course will open on 16 September 2019 and will CLOSE on 21 October. Students will register for this course in SIS. Payment is due at the time of registration (tuition $4,091 + course fee $3,000 = $7,091). If a student decides to drop this course, $500 of the tuition is non-refundable, regardless of a student’s payment method choice (financial aid, employer assistance, tuition remission, etc.). Please note: this course does not follow the regular tuition refund schedule and all tuition and fees for this course are NON-REFUNDABLE after the course closes in October 2019, unless the minimum enrollment is not reached and the course is canceled. The course needs 10 people to register before it can run. Tuition refunds will be made if there are not enough people to run the course. The maximum number of students for the course is 15. Registration will be taken on a first come first serve basis with priority given to ESP and EPC degree candidates. If you have any questions please contact the course Point of Contact (POC) Jerry Burgess, Program Director of the Environmental Sciences and Policy,

Important dates

Mid-September 2019 Registration opens
Mid-October 2019 Registration closes
Dec. 5, 2019 Last day to submit required student forms (listed below under Important Forms), and a copy of your passport.


Students are responsible for travel to Kathmandu and need to arrive by January 4, 2020. Each student must have a valid, signed, US passport, one that has an expiration date that is at least 6 months beyond the date of arrival in Nepal (i.e. later than July 4, 2020), carried on their person, in order to enter and leave Nepal. Students should allow plenty of time to obtain a new passport or renew one that is set to expire. Expedited service is recommended. Non-US citizens should contact the Embassy of Nepal to find out about special visa requirements. Other information about Nepal is also available on that website. We will obtain our visas upon entry into the country. The completion of the visa form ahead of time is recommended as this will expedite your entry upon arrival.

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal

Health and Travel Insurance

Well before departure, check with your doctor to see if you need any immunizations or medications before traveling. Immunization information can also be found at the sites for the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization International Travel and Health. Click here for the Johns Hopkins University Travel Resources. Participants should make sure their health insurance and accident insurance covers them while traveling abroad. Additional coverage can be purchased through a variety of travel insurance options. To compare policies and for further information, visit a travel insurance comparison site such as Insure My Trip or Square Mouth.

HX Global, Inc.

Johns Hopkins is a member of HX Global, Inc., which covers JHU students while participating in international courses. HX Global, Inc. is medical and emergency evacuation assistance, it is NOT health insurance. Students are encouraged to review HX Global, Inc. benefits/information by going to MyJH, selecting Travel, then Travel Program. If you cannot access it through JHU’s website go directly to the HX Global website. First-time users will need to register and enter the Policy Number JH18492. Members can use the site to access medical and travel safety information.

For more travel information please visit the AAP Student Travel page.

Student Emergency Contact Information

Students must update their emergency contact information in SIS by following these instructions:

  1. Log in to
  2. Hover over the “Personal Information” tab
  3. Select “Emergency Contact”
  4. Complete “Emergency Contact” information

Important Forms

Note: For the International Travel Registry, you will need to log-in using your JHED ID. Click on the “My Travel Profile” in the upper left-hand corner. Please complete the “My Travel Profile” form in its entirety.

These forms all need to be completed by December 5, 2019.
Note: Emergency Contact Information in Nepal will be provided before departure.

Climate Change Adaptation and Development in Nepal