Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any age limits for entry to RYI?

RYI accepts under aged students (16-18) in the Summer Program on condition of signing of the legal waiver form. (unaccompanied is ok) AND, RYI accepts under aged students (16-18) in its other Programs, on condition of signing of the legal waiver form and if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the entire time of study. Students must have completed high school or equivalent in order to gain entry to the BA program. There are no upper age limits for admission.

Will my dependents be able to get a visa through RYI?

All legally married partners and dependents are eligible for spousal/dependent visas. The spousal visa cost is US$20 a month; children under the age of 10 are normally free. RYI processes all visas at the beginning of the fall semester and is unable to process visas for students who arrive late.

Is accommodation available on campus?

RYI does not currently provide on campus accommodation for students.

How can I find suitable accommodation?

There are many rooms, furnished apartments and guesthouses available within a few minutes' walk of the Institute. Apartments cost from between US$ 150 to 200 per month depending on the size, location and level of furnishing.

Most students chose to share apartments with friends while others rent rooms with local families (approx. $US 150 a month) and a small number stay in guest houses (US$ 200-500 per month).

At the beginning of the fall semester, RYI carries out a housing search and prepares a list of housing available for students. The Institute's main notice board also carries many adverts for accommodation posted by local landlords.

We recommend that all students stay at a hotel or guesthouse for the first few nights following arrival in order to have time to explore the various accommodation options available.

Please note that the Institute arranges home stays with local families as a part of its intensive Tibetan and Nepali Summer Programs and for the Summer session of the Translator Training Program.

What employment opportunities can I anticipate with a BA in Buddhist Studies and Himalayan Language? What career directions have alumni taken?

As with all liberal arts degrees, the focus of RYI's study programs is on teaching students how to think critically and creatively about their world and their role in it. RYI's graduates have gone on to become teachers, interpreters, translators, academic tour guides, social workers, counselors and international development professionals. Others have been accepted to study for higher degrees at leading international universities including Harvard and Berkeley.

One of the more popular career paths for graduates is that of oral interpreter working between Tibetan and English, or other languages. These graduates have normally focused on colloquial and classical Tibetan and studied at least two semesters of Sanskrit. Some successful graduates have also found work at RYI and other Buddhist studies centers around the world. It should be noted here that RYI's 12 month non-degree Translator Training Program is specifically designed for students wishing to specialize in interpreting.

Some BA and MA graduates have found employment as textual translators in projects sponsored by, for example, the 84,000 project (84000.co) and Tsadra Foundation (tsadra.org). The Dharmachakra Translation Committee (dharmachakra.net) frequently recruits graduates for these projects.

Several alumni have pursued careers as teachers of Buddhism in schools, colleges, dharma centers and universities around the world. Others have found work as academic tour guides utilizing their advanced language skills and in-depth knowledge of philosophy, culture and history to guide study tours in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, India and Ladakh.

Can the course be paid for in monthly instalments?

No. Full payment of tuition fees is due at the beginning of each semester, before the start of classes.

How many hours of study are required each day?

Your workload will depend on how many credits you take each semester. 15 credits is considered full-time study and will normally require an average of 4 hours of classes and 3 - 5 hours of homework each day.

How is BA program pricing determined?

Each BA student is required to pay a one-time registration fee to both RYI and Kathmandu University. Tuition fees for each semester will depend on how many course credits each student takes. An examination fee is also charged each semester.

Are there any scholarships or need-based aid services for the BA available at RYI?

RYI operates a financial aid program for BA students. This includes scholarships and work-study offered under the Khyentse Foundation/RYI Scholarship fund. Details can be found here.

Are there any scholarships or need-based aid services available at RYI for students in the MA program?

RYI operates a financial aid and program for MA students. Some MA students have also been successful in securing scholarships from the Tsadra Foundation. However it should be noted that such scholarships require that students study in the untranslated philosophy classes during their MA studies, and that they continue their studies for one additional year in the monastic Shedra at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, following completion of their 2-year MA degree programs. This means that students expecting to qualify for this scholarship must have a good command of spoken and written Tibetan before entering the MA. Applications for Tsadra Foundation scholarships are due September 1 of the year before which you plan to begin MA study.

How to do I transfer CBS credits to my home university?

If you are already enrolled in a college or university program and are considering spending a period of study at RYI, please discuss your plans with your academic tutor and university's international office. It may be possible for you to receive advance accreditation for CBS' courses. Should your university require evidence of where such credits have been accepted elsewhere, please contact the Director of Administration.

Is there the possibility of working in Nepal to earn a sufficient income to cover living expenses and incidentals?

The Government of Nepal's regulations prohibit foreign students from seeking employment and, as such, this option is not normally available.

Is the degree and/or the University accredited internationally ?

Kathmandu University is regarded as the leading University in Nepal and one of the emerging new universities in South Asia. As such, its degrees are normally accredited internationally. Credits earned at the Centre for Buddhist Studies have been accepted at more than 35 universities world-wide.

Are the courses in the MA program taught in English or Tibetan?

The MA program is taught in English and Tibetan, although students who are not able to join Tibetan-only philosophy courses are able to take translated classes, with suitable adjustments in the assignments.

Are the courses mainly an academic study of Tibetan Buddhism or do they also include guidance and practice of meditation?

RYI's main focus is the academic study of Buddhism and its associated languages. However numerous opportunities exist outside of class to receive direct instruction and guidance on meditation and to practice both with fellow students (RYI currently offers 2 sessions a week) and in retreat during vacation periods. The Institute is always happy to help students arrange meditation retreats at Nagi Gompa Nunnery and Asura Cave retreat centre in Pharping - both approximately 1 hour's journey from the RYI campus.

Can I start studying in the BA or MA program at CBS in the Spring semester?

No. The BA and MA program has only one intake per year, in the Fall semester.

Can I start studying as a visiting or non-degree student in the spring semester?

We don't usually recommend new students to join our program in Spring semester. Since only in the Fall and Summer semester we run a orientation program which introduces you to the institute, provides information about living in Nepal, staying healthy, the academic program and many more things that are good to know.

In addition, most of the classes in Spring are continuations of the Fall semester courses. So if you start your studies at CBS during Spring semester, you won't have too many class choices, unless you already studied Tibetan or Sanskrit before. We don't offer beginning level courses of colloquial/classical Tibetan and Sanskrit in Spring. Nevertheless, you are certainly welcome to join CBS in the Spring semester if you wish.

Classes have already started. Can I join classes late?

Students may join or switch classes no later than one week after the start of each semester. Registered and prospective students are welcome to audit any class that they are eligible to join for up to one week without charge. Following this period, they must decide whether or not they will formally enrol.

All those wishing to audit a class for one week are required to register in advance at RYI's Administration Office.

How many classes can I miss before dropping below the 80% attendance requirement?

The number of classes one can miss depends on the total number of times that the class meets during the semester. In general, philosophy classes meet 6 times per week for 13 weeks, i.e. 78 classes. This means that a student could, in theory, miss up to 14 classes provided there are no unforeseen changes in the schedule. Each student needs to take full responsibility for finding out how many classes there are in a particular semester and course and ensuring that they maintain the 80% attendance standard.

What credit system does CBS use?

The Centre for Buddhist Studies awards credits in accordance with the United States credit system which is based on these assumptions:

A standard full-time student load is fifteen credit hours per semester, or thirty credit hours per academic year.

Credit hours represent time spent both on the formal learning done during class hours, and on independent study and homework outside of class.

The usual ratio of class hours to independent study and homework hours is one hour of class to two hours of independent work. Thus, a three-credit class requires nine hours of student work per week, and a successful full-time student is expected to work approximately forty-five hours per week.

Please note that for three-credit colloquial language classes, the ratio of class hours to independent study and homework time is different. These classes meet six hours per week with the expectation that one-on-one conversations that take place during the two to three hours of that class time substitute for some of the out-of-class work time that would normally be expected in courses where language acquisition is not the primary goal.

For students receiving credits through European universities, CBS awards 0.5 credits for each credit earned according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Therefore, credits earned by a student studying at CBS convert on a two:one ratio. For example, one CBS credit is equivalent to two ECTS credits.

For RYI's Summer Intensive Courses, six credits are awarded for eight weeks of study because each course covers two full semesters of material. During the regular academic year, each three-credit course assumes nine hours of student work per week over thirteen weeks as a combination of in-class time and homework time (see above). This results in 117 hours of work for a three-credit class over an entire semester, or 234 hours of work for a six-credit class over an entire semester.

During the summer, students spend about four hours each day in class (152 hours overall), leaving eighty-two hours of expected work time outside of class (approximately ten hours per week). Thus, reflecting the intensive nature of the summer courses, the ratio of in-class time to homework time is higher for the summer program.

 

More FAQ