Nepal

Intensive Tibetan Language (All Levels | J-Term)

Develop your Tibetan language skills through this unique course with experienced Tibetan language instructors in Kathmandu, Nepal.

At a Glance

Credits

3

Prerequisites

None

Language of Study

Tibetan

Language Levels

Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced

Dates

Dec 28 ‎– Jan 15

Program Countries

Nepal

Program Base

Boudha

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon

Overview

In this course, you will build language skills through daily formal instruction as well as 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. You will immerse yourself in the Tibetan language through your language classes and while living 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 course and may participate in additional optional activities. 

SIT is also offering a supplementary online Tibetan Language course during the fall semester. 

Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in conversational Tibetan.
  • Expand your language skills by communicating with your Kathmandu homestay family in Tibetan.
  • Learn about critical Tibetan and Himalayan political and religious concepts.
  • Explore urban World Heritage Sites and rural mountain settlements.

Prerequisites

Through oral proficiency testing you will be placed in beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes.  

Program Sites

Kathmandu, Nepal

Live in Kathmandu’s historic, walkable Boudha district, home to many Tibetan families who will welcome you to their homes. Daily activities will take place at the program center’s beautiful classroom spaces, library, organic garden and gathering areas where we enjoy tea and meals each day.  

During the three weeks in Kathmandu, you will undertake 45 hours of Tibetan language instruction and receive regular individualized tutoring and training. You will rapidly expand and improve your Tibetan language skills through a combination of interactive classroom learning, cultural immersion with a local homestay family, and conversing with native speakers during everyday interactions, excursions, and other program activities. 

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Academics

Coursework

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

  • 45 class hours of Tibetan language study over 3 weeks in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 15 hours of one-on-one tutoring in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Daily homework and regular outside the classroom activities
  • Immersive learning environment enhanced by a language pledge
  • Tibetan proficiency tests at the beginning and end of program, and mid-term and final exams

Beginning Tibetan

Beginning Tibetan – syllabus
(TIBE1003 – 1503 J Term Course / 3 Credits)

The primary objective of the Introductory Tibetan language course is for students to develop oral skills that will allow them to communicate with members of different Tibetan communities. This course includes intensive language classes and placement with a Tibetan homestay in Boudha, a Tibetan and Himalayan enclave outside Kathmandu. The students learn modern standard Lhasa dialect, which is customarily used (at least as a lingua franca) by both Tibetans within Tibet and in exile, as well as by the many Himalayan peoples who have had a Tibetan language education. Reading and writing skills are also introduced, since students are required to include names and terms written in Tibetan script and/or scholarly transliteration (i.e. the Wylie system) in their papers and research projects.

Students will also sign a Tibetan language pledge for the duration of their program.

Intermediate Tibetan

Intermediate Tibetan – syllabus
(TIBE 2003 – 2503 J Term Course / 3 Credits)

Our Intermediate Tibetan language course is tailored to fulfill the need to acquire intermediate Tibetan language skills in a short span of time through intensive language classes and placement with a Tibetan homestay in Boudha, a Tibetan and Himalayan enclave outside Kathmandu. This course exposes students to intermediate colloquial Tibetan vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures, with an emphasis on enabling students to develop literate as well as oral proficiency. The students learn modern standard Lhasa dialect, which is customarily used (at least as a lingua franca) by both Tibetans within Tibet and in exile, as well as by the many Himalayan peoples who have had a Tibetan-language education.

Students will also sign a Tibetan language pledge for the duration of their program.

Advanced Tibetan

Advanced Tibetan – syllabus
(TIBE 3003 – 3503 J Term Course / 3 Credits)

Our Advanced Tibetan language course is tailored to fulfill the need to acquire advanced Tibetan language skills in a short span of time through intensive language classes and placement with a Tibetan homestay in Boudha, a Tibetan and Himalayan enclave outside Kathmandu.This course exposes students to advanced literary as well as colloquial Tibetan vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures, with an emphasis on enabling students to develop literate as well as oral proficiency. The students learn modern standard Lhasa dialect, which is customarily used (at least as a lingua franca) by both Tibetans within Tibet and in exile, as well as by the many Himalayan peoples who have had a Tibetan-language education.

Students will also sign a Tibetan language pledge for the duration of their program.

Homestays

You will live with a Tibetan-speaking homestay family in the Boudha area of KathmanduWhile on excursion, you will stay in small boarding houses or hotels. 

Faculty & Staff

Nepal: Intensive Tibetan Language (All Levels | J-Term)

Isabelle Onians, PhD
Academic Director
Thupten Tsering
Language Instructor
Pasang Tsamchoe
Language Instructor
Ngawang Choegyal
Language Instructor
Patricia Owens
Program Coordinator
Pasang Rinzi Sherpa
Office and Finance Manager
Pavitra Paudyal, MA
Language Instructor

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Financial Aid

    The tuition for this program is $3,790. You may be able to use financial aid from your home school, if applicable. Contact your study abroad, advising or financial aid office for more information. SIT Admissions is also available for questions.