Intensive Tibetan Language (All Levels)

Develop and expand your Tibetan language skills at all levlels through this unique online course with experienced Tibetan language instructors and an in-country experiential learning component in Kathmandu, Nepal.

At a Glance




None, but online component or equivalent to enroll in the J-Term

Language of Study


Language Levels

Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced


Jul 13 ‎– Jul 31

Program Base

Online, Nepal

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon


This course offers three weeks of online study and three weeks abroad. The online course is open to all applicants. The in-person J-term is open to college undergraduates who have completed the online term or who provide proof of completion (or the equivalent) of at least one semester of language study.

Study Tibetan online for three weeks in July 2020 and/or in Nepal for three in January 2021. Tibetan language is the key tool of communication to study and understand the Tibetan diaspora and Tibetans in Tibet, as well as Himalayans along the Tibetan borderlands. In both the online and January terms, you will build language skills through daily formal instruction as well as in one-on-one sessions with a native Tibetan language partner. After an initial language proficiency assessment, you will be placed in a beginning, intermediate, or advanced class. During the online program, you will develop oral comprehension and basic literacy skills through regular assignments, quizzes, and intensive conversation practice.

The in-country component will immerse you in the Tibetan language as you continue formal language instruction and live with a local homestay family in Kathmandu, Nepal. You will also have opportunities to practice your growing Tibetan language skills through conversations with members of the local community, including political refugees and Himalayans who have been educated in Tibetan-administered schools across the South Asian subcontinent. On excursions, you will visit some of the most important World Heritage sites of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism and civilization and learn about life in hillside villages. In recognition of your host country’s national culture, you will also take an essential Nepali language class and may participate in additional optional activities.


  • Immerse yourself in conversational Tibetan with expert support.
  • Expand your language skills by communicating with your Kathmandu homestay family in Tibetan. (J-term)
  • Decipher critical Tibetan and Himalayan political and religious concepts.
  • Explore urban World Heritage Sites and rural mountain settlements. (J-term)


In order for a student's language pledge to be effective, students are recommended to complete SIT's summer online component first, or have the equivalent of one semester of language study when starting the J-term program.



The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • Tibetan language skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing
  • Communication with native speakers in a variety of real-world situations (J-term)
  • Excursions toTibetan World Heritage sites of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism and civilization, and to hillside villages (J-term)
  • Conversational proficiency and culturally appropriate gestures

Tibetan (Online)

Beginning Tibetan – Syllabus
(TIBE1003-1503 / 3 credits)

Intermediate Tibetan – Syllabus
(TIBE2003-2503 / 3 credits)

Advanced Tibetan – Syllabus
(TIBE3003-3503 / 3 credits)

Tibetan (In Country)

Faculty & Staff

Nepal: Intensive Tibetan Language (All Levels)

Isabelle Onians, PhD
Academic Director
Dhichen Wangmo
Homestay & Program Coordinator
Thupten Tsering
Language Instructor
Pasang Tsamchoe
Language Instructor
Ngawang Choegyal
Language Instructor
Pema Norbu
Program Coordinator
Patricia Owens
Program Coordinator
Pasang Rinzi Sherpa
Office and Finance Manager
Pavitra Paudyal, MA
Language Instructor
Hubert Decleer, MA

Discover the Possibilities


    The cost for the online program is $960. The cost for the in-country term is $3,584, including tuition, room & board, health insurance, and more. Financial aid may apply. Contact your study abroad office or SIT Admissions for more information.