Earlham College in Indiana offers a unique opportunity for its students to live and study in Dharamsala, home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the cultural and intellectual capital of the Tibetan exile community. Students gain an in-depth understanding of a community in exile and issues associated with Tibetan refugees.
The Earlham program works with the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) to create a semester of rigorous academic work, language study, cultural immersion, contemplative practice, and field research. IBD provides the teachers and lecturers for the program. Students attend classes at the Sarah Campus of IBD and have an opportunity to experience the daily life of the Tibetan community in Dharamsala.
During the first part of the program students live with Tibetan roommates while on the Sarah campus and take most meals in the cafeterias. During the second part of the program students live with Tibetan families in McLeod Ganj, the community immediately surrounding the IBD. During the program students participate in weekly field trips, celebrate several important Tibetan and Indian holidays, and attend numerous cultural events.
Courses and Credits
- Tibetan History and Culture, 4 Credits
In this class, students will learn Tibetan history and learn about and experience Tibetan cultural expressions, including visual and performing arts.
- 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 fundamentals of Buddhism and more advanced explorations of Mahayana psychology, philosophy, and ethics.
- Independent Research Project: Selected Topics, 2 Credits
This course allows students to explore a particular Tibetan Studies-related topic and ends with a major paper.
- A Mathematical Exploration of Tibet, 4 Credits, taught by Julie Beier
Mathematics is a way of knowing and examining the world. In this course, we seek to use it to explore a variety of issues related to Tibet. We will use mathematics to explore political issues and to understand other cultural expressions such as mandalas and local art. Prior mathematical knowledge is neither required nor assumed.