*students considering this program are required to meet with Christina Hatzipetros prior to submitting an application
Founded by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche as an institution of higher learning for those wishing to deepen their understanding of Buddhist philosophy and practice, Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI) has been conducting seminars and study programs in Nepal for more than 25 years. Since 2001, the Institute has worked in close partnership with Kathmandu University to manage the Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute which offers undergraduate and post-graduate degree courses in Buddhist Studies and related topics.
The program focuses on in-depth study of Buddhist philosophy and literature, their relation to Buddhist practices of meditation and ritual, and rapid learning of languages both to converse with Tibetan spiritual leaders and laity and to read Buddhist texts with authority.
Courses on Buddhist philosophy and literature are taught by classically trained Tibetan monk-scholars (“khenpos”), supported by an internationally respected team of Tibetan-English interpreters. Modern perspectives on Buddhist thought, history, and culture are taught by Western scholars. Courses are taught in English or with English translation. Students are also entered into intensive study of either colloquial Nepali or Tibetan language. Sanskrit language is offered and available as an additional elective, usually for students who have specialized research interest. Inquire about Newar language as a forthcoming option for program participants.
The program is notable for being centered at one of the great monastic study centers in Nepal, Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling, run by one of the most learned Tibetan Lama Abbots: Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche. He is interested in the meeting of modern disciplines and institutions with ancient Buddhist philosophy and meditation methods.
A hallmark of the Rangjung Yeshe Institute/Centre for Buddhist Studies has been its ability to combine traditional Buddhist monastic learning with crucial aspects of modern academic scholarship. The faculty is comprised of scholars from both of these traditions, thus constituting a unique environment of learning and expertise.
Students who spend a semester at RYI have the rare opportunity to study classical Buddhist philosophy, theology, and either spoken Tibetan or Nepali as well as history and cultural studies from modern scholars in an atmosphere that welcomes modern perspectives and religious pluralism. Additional course offerings include Buddhist ritual and meditation as well as some translation projects.
Students interested in Buddhism, comparative religion, comparative theology, and comparative philosophy come away enriched for future undergraduate or graduate studies in comparative and international disciplines. The program is open to all majors, however it is required that those considering the semester or academic year option meet with the OIP advisor in advance to determine whether the program will be a good fit.
Gregory Sharkey, SJ
BC Resident Director, BC in Kathmandu
Rangjung Yeshe Institute
Academics & Support
Check the academic calendar
for dates and holiday information. Review the course offerings
For your benefit, a sample course selection sheet is available here
. Please note that course offerings are especially limited in the spring semester and students are encouraged to speak with the OIP advisor to plan in advance. Tibetan language (as well as Tibetan host family accommodations) is only offered during the fall semester.
As an integral part of the program, BC students live with local Tibetan or Nepali families that have been carefully selected by the Rangjung Yeshe Institute. This provides students with more exposure to Tibetan or Nepali language and a chance to experience life among people in the local community. Students arrive prior to the start of classes and are typically housed at a hotel for 2 nights prior to moving in with their host families for the semester.
Host families provide breakfast and dinner to the students, while lunch is served Monday to Friday at RYI's restaurant.
In the fall semester, typically during 'reading week' at RYI, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, the abbot of the monastery, offers special teachings in Bodhgaya, India, site of the Buddha's enlightenment. BC in Kathmandu program participants are welcome to join Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and his students on the Bodhgaya pilgrimage journey. Interested students are responsible for their own travel, accommodations and meals, and can contact RYI/CBS to determine the cost of the trip and make arrangements to participate.
Students are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to Kathmandu and are are strongly advised to sign up for airport pick-up provided by RYI. Program participants will receive further information regarding local transportation. Students will be expected to use public transportation to commute between their home and classes.