Nepalese students at Virginia Tech University hold a fundraiser for Nepal. Image: Twitter user Sweta Gyanu Baniya.

Education Connects the United States to Nepal


The United States has constantly seen an influx of Nepali Students opting for higher education in the country and a rise in American students choosing Nepal as their destination to study abroad.

Nepalese students in the United States are the 14th largest body among international students. With a population of just over 27 million, statistics show there were 9,621 Nepalese students in the United States putting Nepal only behind India, among South Asian nations. According to Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Data, the number of students from Nepal multiplied by three times from 3,019 in the 2001/2002 school year to almost 10,000 in 2011/12. In 1990 there were only about 600 students from Nepal.

Among Nepalese students in the U.S., majority of them have enrolled in either business management, engineering or physical life/sciences. 20.9% are enrolled in management, 19.7% in physical life/sciences and 17.8% in engineering. California hosts the largest number of international students in the U.S., but for Nepali students, Texas was the top destination with the largest concentration of Nepali students primarily in Houston and Dallas. Ohio also has a large number of Nepali students.

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Nepalese Students in United States

Nepalese students have also stood out in recent years with their educational achievements. A native of Kathmandu, Lujendra Ojha, doing undergraduate in geosciences at the University of Arizona with an in interest in physics and geology, suggested that there is liquid water during warmer seasons in Mars. "When I first saw them, I had no idea what it was. I just thought it was a streak made by dust or something similar," he told CNN after a NASA news conference in 2011, "it was a lucky accident.” Likewise, Apurba Shrestha from Eagle View School of Virginia, another Nepalese studying in the U.S., was successful in receiving the Special Educational Honor from U.S. president Barack Obama for the second time in 2013. The honor is awarded to extraordinary students on the basis of their evaluation of educational standard, character and extracurricular activities.

Likewise, Nepal has once again gained momentum in attracting students from the U.S. With an increase of almost 40% from the previous year, there were 210 American students in Nepal during the 2010/2011 school year. With almost 395 American students in 1999/2000 and 389 in 2000/2001, the decade-long insurgency in Nepal had a direct impact on the number of students opting to study abroad in Nepal. But with recent progress on peace and stability, American students are again choosing Nepal for their study abroad programs.

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American Students in Nepal