Summer Colloquial Tibetan Language Study

Summer Program 2020

RYI’s Executive Committee and Special Committee on Covid-19, in consultation with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, have decided that the RYI Summer Program will not go ahead as planned this year. Naturally, this decision is tremendously disappointing for all those due to participate in the 2020 Summer Program. The good news is that the Program is planned to go ahead for Summer 2021. You can still study with RYI over the summer or, indeed, at any time, from the comfort of your own home with our online courses. To find out more about the Institute’s range of online learning courses please click here.

Please click here for a full details on the cancellation of the summer program.

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Please note the information below is not applicable for this summer due to the cancellation of the Summer Program.


Summer Colloquial Tibetan Course

June 10 - August 6, 2020 (Eight weeks including four days of orientation)

The colloquial Tibetan summer program is offered on three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The level of intensity of the summer Tibetan programs is high and the courses require considerable time and effort in order to meet requirements and academic expectations. However, students who successfully complete the summer program will be well on their way towards a high degree of proficiency in colloquial Tibetan.


Beginning  Colloquial Tibetan

Beginning Tibetan is for students with no prior study of Tibetan. The program facilitates and accelerates the study of Tibetan in both its written and colloquial forms. It is designed for both scholars and researchers planning to work in Tibetan regions and cultures and for students of Buddhism who wish to engage more deeply with the living tradition.

As this course is taught at the introductory level, all interested students are encouraged to join!

For more information, please download the detailed course syllabus.

Intermediate  Colloquial Tibetan

Intermediate Tibetan is for students with the equivalent of two semesters of prior study of colloquial Tibetan. While building a firm foundation of colloquial Tibetan grammar, the emphasis of the course is on developing a rich and active vocabulary through classroom lectures combined with daily individual practice sessions with native Tibetan speakers.

For more information, please download the detailed course syllabus.

Advanced Conversational & Dharma Tibetan

Advanced Tibetan is for students with the equivalent of four semesters or more of prior colloquial Tibetan study and the advanced program is therefore taught in Tibetan only. The program's unique strengths are twofold: first, to guide students to improve their spoken colloquial fluency. Second, to teach the language of Buddhist philosophy, directly in Tibetan by monks. This design enables students to further pursue the study of philosophy in a classical Tibetan setting.

For more information, please download the detailed course syllabus.



The courses are accredited at the Centre for Buddhist Studies as follows:

  • Beginning Tibetan: Colloquial Tibetan I and II (six credits total)
  • Intermediate Tibetan: Colloquial Tibetan III and IV (six credits total)
  • Advanced Tibetan: Colloquial Tibetan V and VI (six credits total)


As an integral part of the Tibetan programs, participants live with local Tibetan families that have been carefully selected by the Centre for Buddhist Studies. This provides students with intensive exposure to Tibetan language and a chance to experience life among people in the local community. Families provide breakfast and dinner to the students. Students who wish to not stay with a Tibetan family may choose to opt out of this service and arrange for accommodation and meals on their own. Tuition is adjusted accordingly.

Admission Criteria

The Tibetan programs each have a maximum enrollment of twenty students and all applications are subject to approval by the Centre for Buddhist Studies.

Students applying to the intermediate and advanced programs must present documentation of prior colloquial Tibetan studies at a university or from a similarly recognized program. In addition, if there is a concern about a student’s level, the student may be asked to participate in an interview via Skype to verify their course level.

For more information, please refer to the Eligibility Requirements and Admissions Process for the summer program.

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