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By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Early Buddhism: The understanding of the essential early Buddhist doctrines and teachings is absolutely essential for the understanding of Buddhist thought.
Examine Tibetan and Himalayan politics and religion and the contemporary issues faced by communities in exile, particularly in the case of Tibet. Through the thematic lectures and fieldwork of this program, you will explore issues of cultural change and preservation, religious revival, and [sub-]regional geopolitics. I was incredibly honored when my ISP was recognized by the National Trust for Nature Conservation in Nepal. You will spend the first six weeks of the program living in Kathmandu, Nepal's crowded political and cultural capital, and home to a significant Tibetan exile community. During your time in Kathmandu, you will live as part of a homestay family and attend lectures both at the program house and across the city. The Kathmandu base facilitates exploration of Tibetan and related groups living in high altitude mountain settlements elsewhere in Nepal and beyond.
Assignments permit you to test the tools and methods introduced alongside discussions on ethics and intercultural readings.
You will spend the last month of the program working on an Independent Study Project (ISP) in which you will conduct primary research on a selected topic. You can opt to carry out your ISP research in Dharamsala or another approved location in India. The ISP allows you to directly apply the concepts and skills of your experience-based learning in the Field Methods and Ethics course and your interdisciplinary coursework, while exploring a topic of particular significance to you individually. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. This course explores religious preferences among Himalayan peoples in the midst of the regiona€™s colorful diversity. Conducted in Tibetan and Himalayan communities in Nepal, in Dharamsala, India (where there is a branch SIT program center and resident program assistant), or in another approved location appropriate to the project (including Bhutan when the semestera€™s excursion is to Bhutan). Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Time outside the program base exploring different Tibetan communities in diverse geographical and cultural contexts is a major component of the Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples program.
Through SIT's well-established regional networks, you will enjoy unique access to restricted regions during excursions.
During a visit to the Protector Room (Gön-khang), SIT students obtained photographs depicting the wrathful protectors on the ground floor of the tower that Tibet's most famous saint built for his severe Guru, Marpa the Translator.
Isabelle Onians received her doctorate in oriental studies from the University of Oxford (2002). Isabelle’s own research and professional experience have always centered on the study of classical philosophical, religious, and literary texts. Isabelle has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at the Universities of Oxford and London and at Mahidol University in Bangkok.
Matthew is a translator of classical and modern literary Tibetan with 25 years of fieldwork experience as an independent researcher throughout the Tibetan world. Tenzin la was born and raised in Dharamsala, India, and has been working with SIT students ever since she can remember: her family has hosted SIT students for over 15 years. You will also stay in rural high-altitude homestays while on excursion, for a few days at a time.
A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline. Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. SIT was founded as the School for International Training and has been known as SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute since 2007.
Contributions support SGI-USAa€™s many activities and Buddhist Centers across the country, helping to build and strengthen our network for peace.  Thank you!

Formal classroom instruction in Tibetan is complemented by traditional Tibetan tutorials that are characteristic of spiritual training in Buddhist text recitation and analysis.
Throughout the Field Methods and Ethics course, you will work to plan and develop your research topic for your Independent Study Project. Projects are sited in Tibetan and Himalayan communities in Nepal or another approved location appropriate to the project. Students learn appropriate field methodology through the Field Methods and Ethics course, ultimately equipping them for their Independent Study Project.
Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. Formal classroom instruction plus one-on-one sessions with a language partner in Tibetan language are given daily during the program period in Kathmandu, with less formal instruction while on excursion. When copies were offered to the several hierarchs of the Kagyü order, they were delighted. She first came to Kathmandu in 1990 to work as a volunteer teacher in a Tibetan monastery school and returned in 1992–1993 to study Tibetan (and Sanskrit) at Tribhuvan University. But her textual scholarship has been undertaken in the context of ongoing intense exposure to and interaction with contemporary cultures, people, politics, and landscapes, principally along the Himalayas, both to the north, in the Tibetan regions and neighboring areas, and in South Asia.
She has made research and lecturing trips to a large number of institutions across the world, including leading a Royal Geographical Society Oxford University expedition to the Tibetan plateau, in collaboration with the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences, Lhasa. Decleer received his MA in oriental philosophy and history from the University of Louvain, Belgium, and his BA in history and European literature from the Regent School in Ghent. His discipline is history, both religious and political history, which corresponds with the program’s double specialization. He left his village for Kathmandu for high school (first Tibetan, then Nepalese) when he was 14.
He came to Kathmandu at the age of three and did his schooling at Daleki Secondary School (an extraordinary institution, the subject of a recent motion picture).
She went to TCV (Tibetan Children’s Village) for school and then graduated with a BA in English literature from Delhi University. You will share daily activities with your host family and will frequently be invited to larger family gatherings as well as cultural events and outings. These are the episodes that two months later will make the host families laugh the hardest (‘You know what our student did? Almost by osmosis, students pick up a number of good habits, which may become second-nature long before students realize it, but which people in Kyirong, Khumbu, or Shey Gompa recognize at a glance and highly appreciate.
Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Kathmandu), on all excursions, during the Independent Study Project, and during the final evaluation period.
Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice. Questions of self-identification and recognition, as well as of diaspora, exile, and migration, are important topics for analysis in this program. You will significantly advance your initial ideas, assumptions, and drafts, in close consultation with your academic director and learned colleagues.
Language instruction provides students with a basic understanding of Tibetan and a direct entry into the culture’s concepts.
The course goes beyond the typical focus on Himalayan culture in terms exclusively of a core Tibetan Buddhism. Individual political systems are examined, such as the Tibetan government in exile and the birth throes of the projected Nepalese constitution. Comfortable hiking shoes and appropriate clothing are strongly recommended on this physically strenuous trek.
It is in fact a noteworthy feature of the civilizations of both Tibet and the Indian subcontinent that their textual traditions continue to have a dynamic existence in the life of the individual and of society.

He has pursued classical Tibetan and Buddhist studies under a number of tutors in Kathmandu. Matthew's special interests include the history of Lhasa, the life and times of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, historical geography of central Tibet, and history and memoir in occupied Tibet. Before joining SIT, she worked as a media researcher for five years, interviewing Tibetans coming from Tibet about their use of foreign media and about the restrictions on and impact of foreign media within Tibet. He has been with SIT since 2009, where, besides handling the finances, he ensures the proper functioning of the program house under the academic director. After working briefly in the Indian capital, she participated in different research programs in Dharamsala, such as Professor Melvyn Goldstein's Oral History Project. Through the homestay, you will have an opportunity to practice language skills at the same time as learning local manners, customs, and traditions. He couldn't resist any longer and ate the biscuits from the altar offerings!’), with students quite likely to join in. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. If you wish to pursue an Independent Study Project in Nepal or one of the many Nepali-speaking regions of the Indian Himalayas or Bhutan, you also have the option of learning functional Nepali. A core component of the program is working closely with local peer research collaborators doing fieldwork and on excursion.
This course also examines the politics inherent in processes of everyday life in an exile community, covering themes such as individual articulations of identity as well as the politics of language and of religious practice. Top-quality, high-altitude sleeping bags can be rented or purchased at affordable prices in local trekking shops in Kathmandu. Her dissertation examined a particular and infamous apparent paradox in historical Tantric Buddhism, using both Indian and Tibetan sources. Tenzin also coordinated the Miss Tibet beauty pageant for five years and hosted the event twice.
The homestay is often considered one of the highlights of the program, and students usually become very close with their homestay family. Learning how to be utterly respectful and at ease, with a light touch and a sense of humor, is the trick and what the homestay ultimately entails.
Furthermore, the course assesses how emerging systems such as secularism and spiritual materialism, whether or not sprung from Communist ideologies, also play determining roles across the region.
Students examine politics on the geopolitical scale, including the significance of various regions in the Himalayas as well as the maneuvering between Asiaa€™s giants, India and China. Decleer has worked as a fine arts apprentice, art critic, language instructor, and translator and has lectured for the SIT Nepal: Development and Social Change program. Tenchoe la did her schooling from Srongtsen School and Namgyal Higher Secondary School, the two prime Tibetan schools in Kathmandu. His career is dedicated to understanding human interactions and interdependence with nature in remote areas, starting with his own homeland of Dolpo and extending to the indigenous knowledge and traditions of the entire Himalayan territory. She completed her MA in history from Himachal University and has been working with SIT as program assistant since spring 2007.
Through examination of current conditions in Tibet, students are asked to reflect on and reconceptualize ideas of power, autonomy, authority, and vulnerability on individual, group, and state levels.
He was the academic director for the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program from its inception in the fall of 1987 until the spring of 2001.
Her bachelor's degree is in computer application from Kathmandu College, a branch of Purbanchal University, Biratnagar. There, she got the chance to emerge from her close-knit Tibetan community and mix with all kinds of Nepalese. An animal lover and a Buddhist, she takes enormous interest in Buddhist philosophy and dialectics. She is deeply connected to her Tibetan roots and keeps herself updated on everything concerning Tibet, Tibetan issues, and Tibetans.

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