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Himalayan Field School - Sydney Law School Offshore Unit
Kathmandu, Nepal (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Offshore Unit- Nepal
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Program Details: - unrelated header
Program Details:
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Postgraduate coursework, Undergraduate
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Program Type:
Sydney Law School Offshore Unit of Study
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Short-term Type:
Experiential Learning, Field School, Law Offshore Study
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Short-term Duration:
2 weeks
Program Description:
Program Description:


Program dates: January 27 2019 - February 9 2019

Himalayan Field School 2019 is conducted in conjunction with Kathmandu School of Law and exposes students to the role and limits of law in addressing acute problems of socio - economic development and human rights facing a developing country like Nepal, which ranks amongst the world's poorest countries. Through an interactive 'field school' conducted over two weeks, utilising innovative teaching methods, this unit will use the Nepalese experience to illustrate the complexity of developmental and human rights problems confronting developing countries.

The themes to be explored are likely to include:
     • The transition from armed conflict to peace in the aftermath of a Maoist insurgency and the end of the monarchy in Nepal (including issues of transitional criminal justice, the drafting of a new constitution, and building a new legal and political system against the background of Nepalese legal traditions and foreign legal influences);
     • The legal protection of refugees (Tibetan or Bhutanese), in the context of the limited resources of a developing country; and
     • The protection of socio-economic rights (including rights to food, water, housing, and livelihoods), minority and indigenous rights (of ‘tribals’, and ‘dalits’ in the caste system), and the ‘right to development’ under constitutional and international law;
     • The interaction between local disputes over natural resources, human displacement caused by development projects, environmental protection and climate change in the context of fragile Himalayan ecologies;
     • Disaster law and cultural heritage after the Nepal earthquake;
     • The experience of women in development and human rights debates, in light of a range of indicators of gender inequality in Nepalese society.

A pre-departure briefing will be held on Thursday 18 October 2018, 6pm – 7:30pm, New Law Annexe SR 342. Students are expected to attend this session.

Himalayan Field School 2019

Kathmandu School of Law
Dadhikot Bhaktapur, Nepal

Academic Coordinator:
Professor David Kinley
(academic enquiries only)

Experiential Learning Officer:
Ms Kiuyan Hone
(application and operational enquiries)

Sydney Law School makes arrangements with Kathmandu School of Law for the use of facilities and issues invitations to specialist academics to teach in the program, but the course has no other connection or association with either partners. In participating in the offshore program, students attend as students of University of Sydney Law School and have no further affiliation with Kathmandu School of Law.


Academic Information

Relevant subject areas: Development, Law and Human Rights
Academic credit: LAWS 3478 / LAWS 5178 / LAWS 6974

Himalayan Field School is a Semester 1 2019 law elective unit of study

Different issues will be drawn together by ongoing reflection upon the common theme of the influence of, and resistance to, human rights and international law in developing countries. The unit will be conducted in conjunction with Kathmandu School of Law. The unique teaching methods will encourage creating thinking about complex legal problems through a combination of:

     • Lectures (in English) provided by academic staff from Kathmandu School of Law and Sydney Law School;
     • Structured site visits to interact with community and civil society organizations, human rights defenders, NGOs, government bodies, companies, international organizations (such as the ICRC, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, UNDP and UNESCO), and aid donors; and
     • Field study visits which immerse students in an investigation and close study of particular case studies, including (*subject to change):
          (a) a multi-day stay in a rural tribal area;
          (b) a squatter settlement;
          (c) a brick factory.

The unit will also provide opportunities to explore Nepal’s cultural and natural heritage through visits to major temples and palaces, world heritage cities, and hill stations.

     This is a very demanding course, both intellectually and physically. Students are advised to expect many readings, activities, lectures and long hours and should be prepared to work hard.
Classes will commence Monday 28 January and the program will conclude 7pm, Friday 8 February. An introduction and briefing session will be held 6pm Thursday 18 October; students are required to attend this session.

     Sydney Law School staff will be departing from Nepal at the conclusion of the course on Friday 8 February. Faculty support will therefore conclude when the program closes on Friday 8 February.

The unit is offered as a Semester One elective. Following acceptance into the program, students are required to formally enrol in Sydney Student into the unit of study, LAWS3478 / LAWS5178 / LAWS6974 and may be required to substitute a unit of study to maintain a study load that complies with Sydney Law School Course Resolutions - see The University of Sydney Law School Handbook 2018.

All students must complete a number of compulsory learning activities or exercises during the Field School in Nepal in addition to assessments. The assessment regime is as follows:

For LAWS3478 / LAWS5178 (6CP)
   • 2000 word assignment/take-home exam (40%) due at 12 noon on 5 March 2019 (questions to be released 10 days earlier)
   • 4000 word research essay (60%) due 12 noon on 9 April 2019.

For LAWS6857 (12CP)
   • 4000 word assignment/take-home exam (30%)
   • 8000 word research essay (8,000 words) (70%)

Please note that results may not be released until May 2019. If this is your final unit of study, you may not be eligible to graduate until Semester 2, 2019.

Attendance at all classes is compulsory. Do not make travel arrangements which will cause you to be late, or to depart early from the program.

Students attending offshore units should be aware travel plans and balancing workloads from other units of study are not circumstances where you will be eligible for special consideration. It is important to ensure that you are not over-committing yourself with studies or work and that the offshore school will not coincide with your attendance in other classes, study periods and exam/assessment due dates. Student visa holders should discuss their travel plans with the University Compliance Officers prior to making an application.

Useful Information 


Students are advised to expect challenging conditions in Nepal that may be outside their comfort zone:

     • Nepal often (ie, daily) experiences electricity shortages, exacerbated during the winter months – which may mean that things do not work – hot water for showers, heating appliances, computers and internet, televisions and other electronic equipment. Back-up generators will be used where possible, but cannot be guaranteed.

     • Food in Nepal is often very basic (rice, dal, vegetables). The Field School will provide adequate healthy food but students should be prepared for basic food.

     • Road transport in Nepal can be difficult. Road travel can be slow, bumpy and dusty. Strikes are common and often result in roads being unpredictably blocked for protracted periods. Patience is often required. The Field School will provide safe bus transport within the limits of what is available.

     • A reasonable level of basic fitness and stamina is required. Parts of the Field School will require walking for long periods (such as a one day trek to the tribal village) as well as tiring road journeys over long distances. (If you are a person with a relevant disability, you should alert the Academic Coordinator so that it can be determined whether reasonable accommodations can be made, within the limits of what is possible in a developing country). Students with a condition that may affect their health or stamina or who may require specialised health services should seek medical advice from their treating health professional(s) before enrolling in the Field School.

     • Average daily temperatures in Nepal range from 4-20 degrees Celsius in Kathmandu in January. Nights can be quite cold. There is generally little rainfall in January.

     • Nepal is affected by earthquakes. A safety briefing will be given upon arrival at the accommodation.

Accommodation is provided from 27 January– 9 February 2019, ie check-out is Saturday 9 February.
Students will be accommodated together in suitable sleeping facilities in Kathmandu and Melamchi. Accommodation will most likely be provided on a twin share basis, however in Melamchi expect four students per room. Three meals a day are provided for the majority of the program. Please note that accommodation will be adequate but basic by Australian standards – Nepal is a poor developing country, and students should adjust expectations accordingly.

Persons in a relationship may share rooms only if they are married or de facto couples. Students are required to observe the rules of the accommodation provider. Any breakage or damage to property is the responsibility of the student causing the damage and must be paid for prior to departure.
Please note that a deposit is payable by each student on arrival for room keys and will be refunded on departure. All students must stay in the accommodation provided by the Field School. This is a course requirement.

Kathmandu School of Law will endeavour to provide transport between Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and the Field School on 27 January 2019 only. Airport transfers will not be provided at the completion of the Field School, however assistance to organise a transfer is available through the Guest House.

Please note that there may be unusual circumstances in which it is not possible for Kathmandu School of Law to provide airport transfers. In such circumstances all students will be provided with clear travel instructions in English.

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Kathmandu. Students should arrive in Kathmandu on Sunday 27 January 2019. Students are strongly advised not to make travel bookings until you have received official notification from Sydney Law School that you have been accepted into the program.

The Field School will continuously review conditions in Nepal to be satisfied that it is safe for the Field School to be conducted. In its assessment, the Field School will be guided by its local partner, Kathmandu School of Law, which has extensive knowledge and expertise about local conditions; the previous experiences of the Sydney Centre for International Law of working with Kathmandu School of Law in Nepal; the travel advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and relevant University of Sydney policies. The Program will be cancelled, and all student fees refunded, if it is determined that it is not possible to safely proceed with the Field School. Students are advised, however, that they are ultimately responsible for making their own decisions about participating in the Field School.
Travel advice for Nepal is available from:

Australian citizens are advised to register their travel and contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) prior to leaving Australia.

It is recommended that you consult your doctor with respect to vaccinations. Please note that some vaccinations may need to be administered well in advance of departure in order to be effective.

Important: Students with food allergies or respiratory problems are advised to consult their medical practitioner before applying. The University of Sydney is unable to verify or control, the use of any ingredients or food production techniques used for meals provided throughout the program.

During the course students are covered by the University of Sydney Student Travel Insurance Policy. Please note the policy is limited in its coverage. For example personal travel, loss of personal items and many routine medical costs are not covered. Further information can be found at:

Sydney Law School strongly recommends all students consider purchasing additional travel insurance. Please note that your travel insurance policy should provide comprehensive coverage for medical expenses incurred overseas, including medical evacuation, and personal liability coverage. You should also ensure you are covered for cancellation costs in the event that the program is cancelled. It is strongly recommended that you purchase your travel insurance when you purchase your flight ticket. If you plan to take a laptop or other electronic devices, please ensure that you have arranged appropriate insurance.

Students are strongly advised to ensure they have sufficient funds while in Nepal  to cover the payment of unforeseen medical expenses, as most doctors and hospitals will require cash payment up-front for treatment. These expenses can generally be claimed on return to your home country through your travel insurance provider.

Any students with pre-existing medical conditions must obtain a letter from their treating doctor which should then be supplied to for insurance purposes advising details of the condition, management of the condition and suitability to travel.

Most students will require visas. Students are responsible for obtaining visas from the Nepalese Consulate in Sydney. Visas are also available upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu, but it is strongly recommended that you arrange a visa in advance. The Nepalese Embassy has advised that students should obtain a tourist visa. It is recommended that you obtain a 30 day multiple entry visa.

The University of Sydney accepts no responsibility if a student is unable to obtain a visa, or if a student obtains the incorrect visa.

Himalayan Program



Two fees are payable to The University of Sydney:
1. The University of Sydney tuition fee (which varies depending on your enrolment)
2. An in-country fee covering in-Nepal expenses

The tuition fee covers tuition costs (including reading materials) in Sydney and Nepal. The tuition fee will be incorporated in your 2019 university fee invoice as per your regular units of study.
For information on your tuition fees, please refer to the university website:

$ 2,000


The in-Nepal fee covers:
     • Accommodation on a twin share basis (except for during rural visit)
     • Three meals per day (most days)
     • Airport transfers on arrival (for arrivals on 27 January 2019 only)
     • Domestic ground transport for course activities
     • Field study visit to rural tribal area (multi-day)
     • All professional sites visits
     • Selected cultural heritage visits

A $500 deposit is paid upon application and will be allocated towards the in-country fee. The balance of the full in-country fee must be received by 18 October 2018.

In addition FEE-HELP is available to eligible students. For information on this scheme please visit FEE–HELP/ HECS-HELP does not cover accommodation and general living expenses; it cannot be used to defer payment of the fee for in-country expenses.

The Australian Government provides loans to assist eligible students to undertake accredited studies overseas. The scheme is known as OS-HELP. To be eligible for OS-HELP assistance for overseas study in both Asia and non-Asia destinations, you must be enrolled in a Commonwealth student place (CSP).
For further information please refer to: Students who intend to apply for OS-HELP are advised to check for eligibility prior to submitting an application. Applications should be submitted at the time of acceptance as the processing of OS-HELP applications may take months to finalise.

Most students must pay the SSA fee per semester, based on your total study load for that semester.
Please refer to the website for further information:


How to Apply

     1. A completed online application form must be submitted.
     2. When completing the application form you will be directed to an online payment system to pay a $500 non-refundable deposit. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund of their deposit.
     3. Applications will only be processed upon successful payment of the deposit, they will be processed in order of receipt and will be subject to eligibility.
     4. Successful applicants will be notified and will be enrolled by student administration. Do not confirm your travel arrangements until you have received official confirmation.
     5. The balance of the in-country fee must be received by 18 October 2018.
     6. Cross-institutional applicants are advised to contact their home institution to confirm that the unit can be credited towards their degree. Students are required to obtain written permission from their home institution before applying and paying the non-refundable deposit. Cross-institutional students should email for further details.

Please note: Receipt of the online deposit does not imply acknowledgement or acceptance of your eligibility for the unit. Eligibility will be checked before an offer is confirmed.

Applicants are strongly urged to submit applications without delay to avoid disappointment. Late applications will be accepted subject to availability.
Places are offered on a first in basis.

A maximum of 30 students will be accepted into the program.

Students will be notified of the outcome of their application by 30 September 2018.



Himalayan Field School is available to:
     • Eligible current undergraduate, Juris Doctor and postgraduate law students from the University of Sydney
     • Undergraduate, Juris Doctor and postgraduate cross-institutional law students currently enrolled in an Australian or overseas university who are seeking to obtain credit for a tertiary award
     • Students with appropriate tertiary education qualifications who are seeking to enrol for non-degree purposes, or for credit towards a non-law tertiary award.

Undergraduate students
LAWS3478 Development, Law and Human Rights (Himalayan Field School) is offered as a 6 credit point elective in Semester One 2019 in the Bachelor of Laws degree. Combined Law students who are still enrolled in their first degree in 2018 must be on track to complete their first degree by the end of Semester Two 2018 to be eligible to apply. Cross-institutional applicants must have completed at least one year of full-time law studies.

Juris Doctor Students
LAWS5178 Development, Law and Human Rights (Himalayan Field School) is offered as a 6 credit point elective in Semester One 2019 in the Juris Doctor degree. Juris Doctor students must be on track to complete at least one year of full-time study in the Juris Doctor by the end of Semester Two 2018 in order to be eligible to apply. Cross-institutional applicants must have completed at least one year of full-time law studies.

Postgraduate students
LAWS6974 Development, Law and Human Rights (Himalayan Field School) is a 12 credit point unit and can be credited towards the following University of Sydney postgraduate degrees and diplomas offered by Sydney Law School:
     • Master of Global Law (MGlobL)
     • Master of International Law (MIL)
     • Master of Laws (LLM)
     • Graduate Diploma of Law (GradDipLaw)
     • Graduate Diploma International Law (GradDipIntLaw)
     • Master of Law and International Development (capstone unit)

Cross-institutional students
Cross-institutional applicants are advised to contact their home institution to confirm that the unit of study can be credited to their degree. Students are required to obtain written confirmation from their home institution before applying to the program and paying the non-refundable deposit.
Please note that preference is given to eligible Sydney Law School students. 

The unit of study is offered as a Semester One elective. Students apply to undertake the unit of study on that basis. If accepted into the unit of study, students may need to adjust their semester two unit of study selections on Sydney Student, in order to maintain a full load and ensure degree compliance with The University of Sydney Law School Course Resolutions. Students who intend to undertake offshore units of study must ensure they hold an appropriate visa and/or approval from their sponsor to fund any additional expenses prior to application.


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