Programme facts

  • Duration: One semester
  • Semester: Autumn 2018
  • Credits: 30 (European Credit Transfer System)
  • Examination: Examination in Nepal/academic papers
  • State loans: Yes, in most European countries
  • Programme fee: 5 400 euro
  • Includes: Accommodation, breakfast, lunch
  • Language of instruction: English

Consists of two subjects

1. Anthropology: Religion and power (10 ECTS) 

The anthropology part of the course is based on selected ethnographic studies that provide broad and deep descriptions of individual communities. 

2. Religion, society and power in South Asia (20 ECTS) 

The subject provides knowledge of religious diversity in the South Asian region, both in a contemporary and historical perspective. The main theme is the interaction between different religions and their mutual influence in shaping the socio-political landscape in South Asia today. 

Read the full course description

What is social anthropology?

Anthropology means "science of man" and is often mentioned as "the comparative study of societies and cultures." This means that the subject aims to describe the diversity of worldviews and ways of life that we humans have created and continue to create, and to identify the common human underlying this diversity. 

More about Social Anthropology

What is Religion Studies?

What really is religion and how can we understand it? Religion is one of humanity's most important cultural expression and has been so all the time we have historical knowledge. Religion Studies is the study of mankind's myths, rituals and perceptions of reality from different eras, as well as the diversity of religions and faiths that exist in our own time. Religion Science is a study of mankind's need to understand - and give meaning to - the world that surrounds us. 

More about religion studies


The British newspaper The Telegraph has put South Asia studies among the top 10 degree subjects by lifetime salary:

"As global business begins to take note of the rapid development of the Indian and other south Asian economies, the study of south Asian languages, ... the study of the region's culture and literature – presents a sizeable financial benefit."

Moreover, if you understand the interplay between culture, religion and power in the world today, you stand even better prepared to relate to a globalized labor market. Research can show us patterns in the dynamics between people. With India as the contrast, your own society also becomes easier to understand.

The students

The majority of the students are from Skandinavia, with an increasing number of participants from other European countries. Kulturstudier offers scholarships to students from India and Nepal. This is to make our program accessible to local students, that might not otherwise have the financial means to participate. The scholarship students helps the visting students connect with and understand their environments.

The differences in the students´ social, academic and professional backgrounds also make for interesting debates and seminar groups. Approximately one third of the students come directly from college, one third has started their bachelor programs and the last third is made up of experienced students.

The teachers

The independent status of Kulturstudier makes it possible for us to recruit the best lecturers and seminar leaders from all over the world, including Nepal and India. We are very proud of our proficient teaching staff who ensure that students recieve the maximum benefits from their studies.

Our teachers and seminar leaders

Field trips

The main objective of the program is to bring to life the academic theory, and enable the students to make real life comparisons. While it is up to the students to make the most out of the experience, we organise field trips to introduce the students to current and relevant examples to challenge the more abstract concepts of the curriculum.

The structure of the semester

  1. The self-study period: before you travel to Nepal you are expected to get acquinted with the curriculum and write an introductory assignment.
  2. The main periode: consists of ten weeks in Nepal with lectures, seminars, field trips and group assignments.
  3. Home exam and essay: at the end of the ten weeks you have three weeks to write your home exam and seven weeks to finnish the essay.

The self study assignment and the home exam can be done anywhere in the world, why not in Nepal or India?

For a more detailed course outline, see the study guide

Professor Knut Axel Jacobsen

— India is multi-religious and it’s precisely this diversity of religions and how religions have influenced each other and the community that is among the most interesting, says Jacobsen.

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Further studies

The credits you receive are internationally transferable ECTS-credits (European Credit Transfer System) that can form part of your bachelor degree in universities world wide.

If you want to be a whole year in Nepal, the religion course can be combined with the course in peace and conflict studies next semester. It can also be combined with one of our courses in Ghana, Vietnam, Argentina and Nicaragua.

University partners

Institute for International Studies at Oslo and Akershus University College (HIOA) holds the academic responsibility for the program. You get your ECTS and state loan/scholarships through and because of HIOA. It is Norway´s largest state owned university college, with approximately 16 000 students and 1700 employees.

No better place to study religion

Hi, my name is Sondre and I studied Religion and Power with Kulturstudier. I am happy to answer questions about student life and my experiences in and around Pondicherry at

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English is the language of instruction. Students and faculty come from many countries. If English is not your native language you will soon experience that your English skills improve rapidly. This will benefit you in future master studies and in your career, where the expectation is that you can perform as good in English as in the native language.

The application process

To apply for the courses you must be eligible for university training.

Fill in the application form. If there are still places available we will send you an offer with an invoice for the deposit of 250 Euro. By paying the deposit you confirm your place on the programme. Leading up to the start of the programme we will keep you informed about the preparations for travel and studies.

Why study this?

  • You get the tools to understand cultural encounters, power and powerlessness 
  • You get knowledge about South Asian religions 
  • You study in a society where the Religious diversity is very clear 
  • Academic theory is applicated on the experiences from Pondicherry and South Asia 
  • Curriculum comes closer to your own experiences 
  • You meet people who have a very different background than your own 
  • You work with students and teachers from other parts of the world 
  • You feel that you can master new knowledge and new environments

More on Nepal as study location

Do you have any questions?

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