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Learn Nepali language in Nepal with Student Visa

Well before reading this blog, please get convinced with the fact that most of the Nepali universities and individual campuses do not apparently have specialised offices to deal and assist with the foreign students affairs. Nevertheless, there are certain desks in different universities and individual campuses who have significant degree of experience helping international students with admission, study progress, provisions of student dormitories, and perhaps letters that would help with visa (student visa) approval and extension.

Bishwo Bhasa Campus – Campus of International Languages is located along the Pradarshani Marga, opposite to Bhrikuti Mandap, at the heart of Kathmandu city. It is the formal institution that belongs to Tribhuvan University, and is a specialised campus for language teaching. As a foreign student learning Nepali language, you get right to stay in Nepal under ‘student visa‘. However, while you are under ‘student visa’, you are not allowed to work in Nepal – both paid and unpaid. This means that you must have sources of existing finance to support your studies and living in Nepal.

Now, let me make it clear that the information given by the university (more specifically Campus of International Languages – Tribhuvan University) and department of immigration are coupled with my suggestions (as of 15th June 2021) while writing this blog. Hence, you need to verify information in this blog with those with the recent updates in the websites of the campus and department of immigration in Nepal before you make certain decisions and ideas on the topics relevant to this blog.

Even if you do not get admission to Nepali language because of lack of threshold applications (mostly 3 applicants for a course), you can agree to join other language courses. You can also bring in dependent family members to live with you – this mostly signifies married spouse and dependent children.

To me as a Nepali citizen having life-sized experience with the campus administrations, I do not have strong confidence that you would get admission and student visa to Nepal without physically coming here. For example – you need to fill up the paper application form and submit the form along with the payment of NRs 500 application fees. Mostly, the fees are paid to the campus’s bank account and one needs to submit the deposit voucher (paper version) along with the paper application form to admission desk.

Please make a big smile before you read further Рyou need a completion of 10 years of school education  as a main requirement to get enrolled in a Nepali language program. In Nepal, we call it SEE equivalent. I hope that the final grade sheet, along with the certificate will work in this matter. If you have higher qualifications, do submit those.

You also need to submit 2 passport-sized photos, 2 auto-sized photos, 2 photocopies of the passport’s information page and current visa page (with more than one month validity) along with the academic documents, voucher of paid application fee and application form.

You need to write a letter (equivalent o statement of purpose) addressed to Campus Chief with a clear plan on the language course – what course, why, how long (1 semester or more?).

Reading the procedures, I believe that those who have come to Nepal with assignments at international companies, embassies, NGOs, IGOs, international schools can easily join the language courses. Or start the language courses after they have completed the assignments at their workplaces. If there is a possible gap between the work-visa and student-visa, you might opt to get a tourist-visa which is upto the period of 90 days.

I am not sure if you come to Nepal with a tourist visa and join the language course and stay in Nepal under student visa. However, I do not reject this possibility – in fact, I believe that this can be possible if you have strong determination. Keep in mind that the visa decisions are made by the Department of Immigration (DoI). The campus and the University do not have agency to influence the decisions made by the DoI.

You might be interested to read this article, if you really want to ‘Study 4 years BA in Fine Arts in Nepal‘.

Tuition Fees per Semester: USD 500

Summer Semester begins in May. There are also late groups like July 16 group. The validity of your existing visa should be till July 15.

Winter Semester begins in December. There are also late groups like February 1 group – The validity of your existing visa should be till January 31.

Passport Validity: should be more than a year.

Late Fees: ONLY IF you get admitted in June (summer semester – July Course) or January (winter semester – February Course) – USD 100. However, in consecutive semesters after the first semester, the late fees might not hold valid as the result publishing process might delay the admission process of consecutive semesters.

If you get positive words for the admission, 

  • Pay the Fees – the admission amount (either USD 500 or USD 600 in case of late admission for late groups) should be deposited in the name of Bishwa Bhasha Campus AC No. 0110214194401 at Nabil Bank Ltd. Kantipath, Kathmandu (PLEASE VERIFY EVERY INFO IN THIS BLOG WITH THE AUTHENTIC WEBSITE – LINK GIVEN BELOW.) – carry the deposit voucher with you.
  • A recommendation letter or ‘no objection letter’ from the embassy of student’s nation is required both for completion of the admission and for the student visa application – 2 copies.
  • As a financial requirement for your stay in Nepal, you need to show USD 1500 for a student, and additionally USD 1000 for each dependent family member – in a bank account in Nepal. I believe that the bank account in Nepal has to be in the student’s name and possession. If you come to Nepal as a tourist, it might not be viable to open a bank account here at Nepal’s commercial banks. Maybe they can help you – please confirm yourself with one of the several commercial banks in Nepal. If would be easy if you open bank account at the bank with several operating branches and ATMs in Kathmandu.
  • The campus will take the responsibility of recommending you for the student visa. After getting the recommendation letter, your intention has to be approved by the Ministry of Education (I believe that their office is located in Keshar Mahal, opposite to Narayanhiti Palace Museum). Then you will lodge an application for student visa along with all documents mentioned above. Its wise to keep 2 copies (maybe 3) of all documents – even the payment vouchers before you submit the applications at each step.
  • Please check with the website of Department of Immigration (given below) for visa fees for yourself and dependent family members.
  • Classes are run from Monday through Friday – 2 hours a day (mostly between 10.30 and 14,30).
  • If you fail to be present in at least 70 percent of the language classes, you may lose the recommendation for the renewal of the student visa.
  • As mentioned earlier, you are prohibited from doing any kind of work in Nepal (paid or unpaid) under ‘student visa’.
  • Please check with Nepali calendar. Nepal follows lunar calendar for major religious festivals. Mostly during September-October, classes are not conducted to celebrate a month of Dashain-Tihar festivals. The classes are not conducted all of January and July 1 – 15.
  • Minimum 70 percent attendance and Payment of fees are important requirements for getting recommendation letter for extension of student visa.
  • The website of the Campus mentions that the Fees once deposited can’t be refunded in any case. It sounds quite intriguing to me. What if the visa is denied? Nevertheless, I am not here to judge.
  • Remember the threshold number of applicants for launching of Nepali course – its 3. If there are less than 3 applicants the campus might ask you if you are interested to get enrolled in some other course – perhaps Mandarin?

Practical Daily Life

According to my experience, we had a co-student in our university from Japan who did not understand Nepali language while most of the classes for a Master’s programme were conducted in Nepali language. Hence, it would be better to learn Nepali language before beginning your journey in Nepal. You must carry Nepali cash at every fronts especially if you use public transportation. Many Nepali people stare a foreigner with white skin or black one. Try to speak in Nepali to make themselves comfortable. You appear friendly and smart at the same time if you do this. If you make a social circle with many Nepalese, think that Nepal is your home despite the visa regulations that determines the legality of your stay. You can continue with your higher education, do business here, or who knows what it takes to unfold life here in Nepal.

The student dormitory provisioned by the university would not fit to the criteria of that of the developed nations. Well, in Nepal, we say boys hostel or girls hostel. I am not sure whether Campus of International Languages  (the main languages teaching campus that belongs to Tribhuvan University) has provision of helping foreign students with the student rooms or spaces. Wear mask to prevent dust, smoke or air-borne pathogens that might infect you. You might want to carry alcohol-based hand sanitisers in your bag. Get vaccinated after you get suggestion from GP located in your home country. Tell the GP your plan Рthat you are going to visit Nepal, they will suggest you the list of vaccinations. For now, there is not any discrimination in hospitals of Nepal at out-patient department and in-patient department. As a foreigner, you might not get subsidised treatment in certain listed chronic and acute ailments. Hence, international health insurance is justifiable while you stay in Nepal.

This blog has been written during the COVID19 pandemic. Majority of the world’s human population are out of the vaccine reach and there are cases of vaccine denials. The new variants of the 2019 SARS Corona Virus are getting discovered and we are at an apparent race between the epidemiological interventions and the virus(es). I hope that, we will find a new normal – not a culture of nature domination, but a culture of respect and compliance to nature’s urges. If you happen to learn Nepali in Nepal with student visa or might want to share something. Do comment below – you just need to be logged in with a facebook account to be able to comment.

Please visit the website of Campus of International Languages – Tribhuvan University to verify the recent information.

Click here to get relevant information from Department of Immigration.

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