When members of the royal family in Nepal were murdered, a group of faculty and students from St. Lawrence University visiting Katmandu as part of a Summerterm course began to learn as much about international politics as the topics they went there to study.

The group of eight -- including students, faculty and staff -- traveled to India and Nepal for the Summerterm course The Personal and the Planetary: An Enlightened Interface. They were in Nepal when the incident occurred June 1, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue a warning recommending that Americans not travel to Nepal.

Confined to their hotel during a government-imposed curfew, they found that sorting out what actually happened from "official" reports of the incident was a challenge. According to Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Laura Frederickson, one of the course instructors, the best source of accurate information was the Internet, accessible from a nearby cyber-cafe.

They safely returned home only two days earlier than planned. "I don't think we were at any point in imminent danger," Frederickson told a reporter from The Watertown Daily Times. "But it was disconcerting."

Click here to read more about the Summerterm course.

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