Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Nepal Engineering

International Experience Program: Nepal

Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences

Laika Academy: Engineering Global Challenges Study Tour

Proposed 2018 program

The Global Challenges Study Tour (Nepal), delivered by Unbound is a unique multidisciplanary opportunity to explore Nepal and dive deep into building strong and resilient communities. With partners, the focus of this program explores the built environment – the architecture, design and engineering required to build a strong community, as well as understanding the effect of the recent earthquake. The program then looks to the bigger community and social aspects to forge strong societies, including education, livelihoods and equality. You will become part of this journey of transition in Nepal, and make real connections as you explore the local innovations and programs that are building a brighter future in this remarkable country.

The partner projects that you may be involved with are redesigning buildings using natural and locally sourced materials, notably bamboo and rammed earth. This approach is one that empowers individuals to create high quality, earthquake resistant structures. Working in multi-disciplinary teams, you'll have the opportunity to explore what lasting community development is like, while building their skills as you bring your own passion and ideas in partnership with local communities and leaders.

The self ticketing aspect of the placement will allow you the flexibility of exploring the beauty and culture of this complex country at your leisure prior to and/or after the program completion.

This program is partially funded by the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan funding. CSU recognises the support of the Australian Government in providing targeted funds which have subsidised the cost of this program to students.

When: Approximately 23 June - 6 July 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed on notification of successful application)

Number of places available: 12 places
This program will require minimum numbers to proceed.

Eligibility: Any student enrolled in the Bachelor of Technology/Master of Engineering (Civil Systems) at the time of undertaking the program. Business students from the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sudies with an interest in interest in architecture, design or engineering are also encouraged to apply

Academic Information: This experience will provide professional design and engineering work experience, which will contribute to your CSU engineering course academic requirements. Students who participate in this program will also be eligible to receive academic recognition in the form of topic credit. Other students will need to negotiate academic recognition on a case-by-case basis with their Course Director.

Financial Assistance: The advertised program cost for undergraduate students is based on the provision of financial subsidies from the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan. Eligibility is restricted to Australian Citizens enrolled in an Undergraduate degree and receiving academic recognition at the time of participating in the program. These subsidies are limited in number and only available to students who've not previously received an NCP subsidy.

Students may also be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Australian Government's OS-HELP loan*. OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible Commonwealth Supported students who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.

*Eligibility for OS-HELP will be assessed once successful students are selected and is based on a number of criteria (one of which is completion of 64 credit points prior to applying for the loan - first year students may not meet this requirement). Acceptance into a CSU Global program does not guarantee eligibility for the loan. Please note, you cannot pay your program deposit through OS-HELP.

All funding associated with CSU Global programs (travel grants, scholarships, subsidies and loans) is linked to successful completion of academic and program expectations. Failure to meet these requirements may result in funding being revoked.

Refer to CSU Global's Scholarships and Funding webpage for further information on financial assistance.

Cost: Approximately $1000* (Exact costs to be advised on notification of successful application)
*Upon receipt of travel documentation - the specifics of which will be outlined in successful notification of application - CSU Global will reimburse participants $650.

Costs should include: In-country program fee, in-program transport, accommodation (home-stay and or hotel/hostel), translators and guides, cultural and social activities and most meals.

Costs do not include: CSU subject fees (if applicable), airfares, visas, passports, immunisations (if required), additional meals/sightseeing, recreational activities, souvenirs, gratuities and incidentals.

Please note: This is an individually ticketed program (students to purchase their own flights, travel insurance, immunisations, visas and passports).

Application Timeline: Continue to the bottom of this page for application link

  • Application closing date: 28 March, 2018
  • Successful students notified (email): within two weeks of application closing date
  • $1000 non-refundable payment date: within two weeks of notification of successful application.
    Please see Costs regarding reimbursement of charges

    (You MUST have obtained or be in the process of applying for your passport by this date - with a minimum of six month validity from the return date)
  • Compulsory pre-departure session: To be advised.

Further enquiries regarding the application process should be directed to: 

Alice Wood
CSU Global   
Charles Sturt University
Bathurst, NSW 2795
Phone:  + 61 2 6338 4068

Further enquiries regarding the content of this program should be directed to:

Andrea Goncher 
Lecturer in Engineering 
Faculty of Business, Justice & Behavioural Sciences 
Charles Sturt University 
Phone: +61 6338 6315 

Indicative Program Outline (subject to change)
Day number Activity Location
1 All participants must have arrived in Kathmandu prior to this date
Welcome by Laika facilitators - city tour and traditional Nepali dinner
2 Nepali Culture and Community - Introduction to Nepali heritage and Art, site visits and meeting with local partner organisations Kathmandu
3 Excursion - Travel to historic city of Bhaktapur to explore the architecture and pagodas of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and examine the damage caused by 2015 earthquake. Homestay in Dhulikhel.Kathmandu/ Dhulikhel  
4 Community Engagement in Dhulikhel - Site visit to Abari Learning Centre: your educational site for sustainable building. Walking tour to map and understand impact of the earthquake on the community and food and water challenges faced by locals. Evening social activitiesKathmandu/ Dhulikhel
5 Impact Project Prototyping - Introduction to a range of projects, including rammed earth building or compressed earth block construction. Site visit to Abari local school building project. Evening social activitiesKathmandu/ Dhulikhel
6 Designing with Communities - Deeper involvement with Abari project : learn about various construction methods such as stone masonry, mud plastering and bamboo truss making. Engage in co-designing activities with with local leaders and residents to understand their needs and ideas for their community.Evening social activitiesKathmandu/ Dhulikhel
7 Monks and Prayer Flags at Namo Buddha - Special Cultural Day: engage in ceremonial activities, walk to Namo Buddhha and participate in guided meditation with Buddhist monks. Evening social activities in Kathmandu.Kathmandu
8 Kathmandu Thamel Exploring - An opportunity for exploring this vibrant area, souvenir shopping, drinking coffee and getting your western food fix. You'll also workshop with your team and purchase materials for your upcoming projects. Site visit will be to Seven Women, an organisation working to empower marginalised women and those with with disabilities. Evening social ActivitiesKathmandu/ Thamel
9 Chitwan Community-Based Tourism - Travel to Chitwan National Park. Your overnight stay will allow you to try your hand at net fishing, cooking dinner with the local community and spotting local wildlife. You'll connect first-hand with communities and experience the benefits and potential that community-based tourism can offer.  Evening social activitiesKathmandu/Chitwan
10 Chitwan National Park  -  Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site further though a safari. Your day will be packed;looking out for Bengal tigers, rhinoceroses, leopards, Asiatic elephants, wild boars, sloth bears, and more than 600 species of birds. Through your connection with the community members you'll gain an understanding of the challenges they face living in this environment and its limitations around development, conservation and opportunity. Evening social activities Kathmandu/Chitwan
11 Prototyping and Workshop Time - You'll spend the day at Abari's workshop where they make furniture and other objects from locally sourced wood and bamboo.  You'll work with the tools to finish projects and prototypes. Evening social activities Kathmandu
12 Kathmandu - Projects, Shopping, and Momos - In your teams you will work on finalising your project, rehearse your presentation and consolidate ideas.  After your planning and preparation is complete you can spend your free time visiting markets shopping and eating the local delicacy - the Momo, a type of South Asian dumplings. Kathmandu
13 Graduation and Program Outcome Showcase - You'll share all your lessons and learnings with the rest of the group; spending the day shring sories and the outcome of your project. Evening celebrations and graduation dinnerKathmandu
14 Program concludes - The program wraps up with a farewell breakfast and shopping spree. Students are free to depart for homeKathmandu
15 Return to AustraliaKathmandu / Australia

Apply for this program