Courses and Credits
Tibetan History, Tibetan Culture, Tibetan Arts, 4 Credits Students will learn the cultural and political history of Tibet leading up to and through the Chinese invasion of the 1950s, and will have opportunities to learn about and participate in aspects of Tibetan music, dance, and theatre as it has been preserved in diaspora.
Tibetan Language 101, 4 Credits - This course is intended as an introduction to modern spoken and written Tibetan. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand and speak colloquial Tibetan at the novice level, write the classical dbu can script, and read simple passages.
Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Practice, 4 Credits This course covers the three "vehicles" of the Buddhist tradition: the Theravadin vehicle of original Buddhism; the Mayahana ("Great Vehicle") school, with its emphasis on psychology, philosophy, compassion, and ethics; and the Vajrayana ("Diamond Vehicle") or tantric school that was uniquely transmitted to and preserved in Tibet over many centuries. A study of and participation in various Buddhist meditation techniques is an important aspect of the course.
Independent Research Project: Selected Topics, 3 Credits Students will choose a topic of Tibetan Studies that aligns with their particular area(s) of interest and engage in intensive research on that topic, culminating in a public presentation of findings.
Action, Reflection, Identity, 3 Credits - Students will integrate their knowledge and understanding of contemporary Tibetan culture in diaspora by volunteering at one of the many service organizations that can be found in the Dharamsala area. Past participants have volunteered at the Tibetan Government in Exile, the Tibetan Medical College, the office for Tibetan political refugees, Tibetan women's and environmental organizations, the Tibetan Library and Archives, Tibetan schools, and other such institutions.
Pre-Departure Course and Post-Return Course
Students accepted to the Tibetan Studies Program are required to participate in Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre (1 credit) prior to departure and Cross-Cultural Explorations - Post (1 credit) after they return. Pre-departure sessions are designed to prepare students for the cross-cultural experience and will include readings, activities, films, lectures, and discussions with former participants of the program. A weekend retreat is part of this course. Students and parents will receive a Handbook of important information prior to the program. Following return to campus, students will participate in a 7-week course that will guide them in processing, analyzing and building upon their off-campus experience. Credit for Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre is dependent upon successful completion of the semester program.