Population facets: 

Partner Organization:  Association for Craft Producers , Hope Initiative, and ND Program of Design (Department of Art, Art History, and Design)

Location:  Kathmandu, Nepal

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  End of May is typical U.S. departure.  

In person opportunities summer 2021: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2021: Yes

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:   None required, but students should learn basic Nepali. While  English is the language of instruction, few of the people in the community and artisans are able to speak English.
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None
  • Major Requirement:  Students in industrial design, graphic design, printmaking and ceramics are encouraged to apply but all Art, Art History & Design and Architecture students are welcome. 
  • Student Minimum Age:  Students between sophomore and junior, or junior and senior year
  • Special Requirements:  Prior to arriving in Nepal, students will work under the guidance of a department faculty member to research techniques, create preliminary aesthetic content, learn about the principles of fair trade and study the Nepali language.  Experience working with children and willingness to learn Nepali is important.
  • Other:  Students are first screened by the department faculty member and recommendations are forwarded to the ISSLP for final selection.  Students selected for this particular ISSLP must work with Professor Ann-Marie Conrado to secure funding for air travel and additional room & board.  The ISSLP travel award and partial room & board funding is awarded to selected students.

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment: (The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Self Defense Session
  • Additional class sessions meetings with Professor Conrado (Program of Design) on the design aspect and fair trade 

Site Description:  

See the official Association for Craft Producers website 

See the official Hope for Nepal website 

This ISSLP is offered in collaboration with the Department of Art, Art History & Design.  Beginning in the summer of 2010, the ISSLP has partnered with Professor Ann-Marie Conrado to bring fair trade design undergraduate internships under the umbrella and infrastructure of the Center for Social Concerns’ ISSLP.  Professor Conrado had previously been bringing students to Nepal over the summers to learn from and work with the Association for Craft Producers and local artisans.  This partnership between the Center for Social Concerns’ ISSLP and the Department of Art, Art History, and Design with the Association for Craft Producers in Nepal brings design expertise to fair trade production of handicrafts in order to create sustainable livelihoods for Nepalese artisans and their families.

The Association for Craft Producers is largely devoted to providing a permanent system of technical expertise, retail venues, and market management for over one thousand low-income, primarily female producers nationwide.  ACP is intrinsically linked with social welfare and female empowerment through fair trade principles and practices and is committed to environmental preservation in its production and manufacturing.  The ensuring of labor rights, access to international markets, as well as implementing sustainable models for business and production provides an indispensable forum for both advocating and acting in creating important social and economic infrastructure within Nepal and its place in the global market.

Open to students in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, this ISSLP provides students the opportunity to work with a faculty member in the Program of Design to utilize and enhance their academic training for the broader benefit of helping to provide Nepalese artisans a sustainable livelihood.  The Center for Social Concerns will provide the administrative infrastructure for the University collaboration and joint internships as well as additional academic content through the International Summer Service Learning Program, thereby providing a broader framework for understanding global poverty, development, and Catholic social teaching.  The faculty member in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design provides design mentoring of the students and coordinates the local partnerships to support and mentor the student interns. 

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival/engagement.

This site can be in person and/or virtual for summer 2021.

Students will work in collaboration with fair trade handicraft artisans in Nepal to develop contemporary products for the global marketplace.  Working with the Association for Craft Producers, the largest Fair Trade umbrella organization in the country, students will work each day with ACP’s small in-house design team to bring a modern design aesthetic to traditional handicrafts in order to make them more attractive to American consumers.  Students can work in a variety of mediums and techniques including weaving, silk-screening, felting, ceramics, furniture building, copper-smithing, knitting and sewing.  They will follow their design from conception through prototyping into production, learning valuable skills about the design process.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students stay with a host family for the majority of their time in Nepal and visit Professor Conrado’s home in Pokhara which also houses HOPE House, a family home for orphaned youth all under the age of 14. Students stay in Pokhara a short time to base visits to artisan villages in the area. Breakfast and dinner are provided daily.  ACP provides students with lunches of various Nepali snack foods. In Kathmandu, water, electricity, and internet are available but students may experience disruptions due to frequent power outages.  Wifi is available at the host family and internet is also available through internet cafes. 

For More Information:

See the official websites of the Notre Dame partners involved in this collaboration:;

See the official website of the Association for Craft Producers in Nepal

See the official website of Hope Initiative

See blog created by former ISSLP 2010 participant:

Former ISSLP Participants:


*Did not deploy due to COVID-19 pandemic

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.


upd 08.31.20
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April 2021

Application Deadline | McNeill Leadership Fellows Program
Friday, April 30, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

May 2021

CST Research Seminar
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 9:00am to Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 9:45am
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Friday, May 7, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

June 2021

July 2021

Just Wage Forum 2021 | Series Conclusion (Virtual)
Friday, July 23, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

September 2021