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Tibetan Studies Abroad

Greetings: Below is an announcement about Emory University's undergraduate Tibetan Studies in Dharamsala Program and the fall application deadline. Please feel free to forward this announcement to colleagues and listservs you feel appropriate, and to contact the Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA) at Emory if you would like more information and a brochure. Thank you,

Leigh Miller Emory University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Announcing Call for Applications:

A study abroad program of Emory University in partnership with Drepung Loseling Monastery


CONTACT INFORMATION: For application and program information, contact: Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA) Emory University, 1385 Oxford Road Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Phone: 404-727-2240, Fax: 404-727-6724 E-mail:

Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala is the seat of the Central Tibetan Administration and the cultural and intellectual capital of the Tibetan exile community. This program integrates modern academic study, traditional Buddhist pedagogy, immersion in the Tibetan community, field research and guided explorations of contemplative practice. Formal courses will include Introduction to Tibetan Language, Tibetan Culture and Civilization, Tibetan Buddhism: Philosophy and Practice, and Independent Research: Selected Topics. This unique combination of theory, practice, and immersion provides students an excellent opportunity to explore the cultural, political, historical and religious dimensions of the Tibetan world.


Emory University and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala will provide outstanding teachers of Tibetan philosophy, language, meditation and culture. Other local institutions integrally involved in the program include the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Norbulingka Institute for the Preservation of Tibetan Culture, the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts, Men-Tsee-Khang Medical and Astrological Institute, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Tibetan Children's Village, and numerous departments of the Tibetan Central Administration. Throughout the program, there will also be opportunities for volunteer work, internships, and additional language study.


After an orientation in Atlanta and group flight to Delhi, we will begin courses at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (Sarah campus). This campus is situated in a beautiful river valley ten miles below Dharamsala, and houses a large community of Tibetan monks and laypersons engaged in traditional and contemporary study. After one month, the program moves to a family run Tibetan Guest House in McLeod Ganj ("Upper Dharamsala"). Language practice and coursework will be conducted at the main campus of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD). This central location provides easy access to Dharamsala's many organizations and cultural resources, as well as to the wider Tibetan community and special events. The students and faculty participate in celebrations of the Tibetan New Year, the Great Prayer Festival, and teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, experiencing both secular and religious dimensions of these Tibetan festivals. Other special events include weekly field trips, guest speakers, and performing arts events. During the last four weeks of the program, students will be engaged in independent research projects in Tibetan Studies. Former students have interned in the Central Tibetan Administration, conducted environmental education workshops with school children, worked with refugee and mental health organizations, and interviewed religious practitioners and lamas. Guidance will be provided by Emory and IBD faculty, as well as local experts. Students may choose to remain in Dharamsala, or (with the co-director's approval) travel to other places in the region, such as Tibetan villages, monasteries, or pilgrimage sites.

COURSEWORK Students will earn 16 credit hours from Emory University for the following four courses:

ASIA375: Introduction to Tibetan Language focuses on conversational Tibetan as well as the written script and reading. This class will include daily instruction and regular practice sessions with local native speakers. Accommodation can also be made for students with previous coursework in Tibetan language.

ASIA 370U/ANTH 150N/REL 373R: Tibetan Civilization and Culture provides a historical and cultural overview, with field trips and guest speakers. Topics include Tibetan religion, arts, contemporary politics, social life, medicine, education, environmental concerns, and issues of exile and diaspora.

ASIA 370W/REL 258: Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Practice covers the fundamentals of Buddhist teachings, and more advanced explorations of Mahayana Buddhist psychology, philosophy and ethics. This course will include a meditation component throughout the semester.

ASIA 497R/ REL 497R: Independent Research: Selected Topics allows students to explore creatively a particular Tibetan Studies related topic and culminates in a major paper. Methodology might include some combination of tutorials, field research, internship, service and/or library research, under the joint direction of Emory and local staff.
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