Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, January 8
This fall only 14 foreign students have enrolled to learn Nepali and Tibetan languages in the College of International Languages (CIL) at the Exhibition Road.
"Compared to the number of foreign students we had in summer, this number is far less. However, this number is not that discouraging," said campus chief of CIL, Dr Balaram Aryal.
"For the last 10 years, the students have always been less in the fall session."
Last summer, 83 expatriate students had enrolled but this session there are only 13 students for Nepali and one for Tibetan.
Not a single student has enrolled for Sanskrit and Newari languages.
The major source of income for the campus is the tuition fee. Each expatriate student who joins the college has to pay $650 per annum.
This includes other services offered by the college and if the student brings in any dependent then he has to pay an extra $20 every semester.
An official at the CIL said that some students learn these languages for academic or research purposes, while the others want to have their visa extended.
"Some even use the campus for staying in Kathmandu on a student visa at a relatively cheaper price," he said.
"My friends are Christian missionaries working in Nepal and I too want to visit the rural parts of Nepal to spread Christianity which is why I am learning Nepali," said 19-year-old Peter Roberts from Britain.
He has completed A-level and is now learning Nepali at the CIL. The college offers ordinary, advanced and post-advanced level courses in different languages of the Himalayan region.
Those students who learn Tibetan and Sanskrit are usually interested in Buddhism.
The campus also encourages research on history, culture and literature of the Himalayan region. The campus has published a Nepali-Korean dictionary and a project on Nepali proverbs is in progress.
As per the campus regulations, foreign students are strictly prohibited from working, even voluntarily in Nepal. Some students, however, end up working for NGOs or INGOs.