The Dharmachakra School of Translation offers intermediate-level training in written, classical Tibetan. Our program is open to students with one or more years of formal study of the classical Tibetan language in either an academic or traditional context.
Through our partnership with Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute we are pleased to offer internationally-recognized academic credit to students who successfully complete our program.
Our program has drawn students from all major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and has attracted graduate students from Yale University, the University of Chicago, Emory University, and UC Berkeley.
The application cycle for next summer’s program will open in November 2018
Led by the faculty of Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies, the course will focus on developing the students’ ability to read diverse genres of Tibetan Buddhist literature through the application of the formal rules of classical Tibetan grammar. Though the program’s emphasis will be on reading Tibetan Buddhist literature, ample time will be given to the review of important points of Tibetan syntax.
Classes are held four hours a day, five days a week. Daily lessons consist of two hours of reading practice and grammar review with the course instructor. Students will be provided with the text to be translated and other resources, and will be expected to come to each class session having prepared the day’s material, to be actively engaged in discussion of the text, and to bring their questions and comments. Students are expected to study with the same degree of diligence required of any intensive academic setting.
An additional hour of formal review with the Teaching Assistant is offered daily, as is an optional, informal Q&A session with the TA.
Mondays and Tuesdays are free days, but it is expected that students will need to use some of that time to prepare the material for the translation sessions.
In addition to these sessions, students may choose to take part in Gomde’s Buddhist Studies Summer Program, the center’s regular meditation practices, and will have the opportunity to attend Gomde’s programs with visiting teachers in exchange for their work during the event.
Applicants must have a minimum of one year of formal study or equivalent experience with classical Tibetan grammar, a demonstrated capacity for advanced language study, and strong support from language teachers or mentors.
All applicants will be asked to submit official academic transcripts* and a letter of recommendation from one of their language teachers. Students who did not study academically may submit a one-page description of their studies in place of transcripts.
We encourage students who do not yet qualify for our Intermediate Program to enroll in the online classical Tibetan courses offered by the Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Satisfactory completion of Introduction to Classical Tibetan and Classical Tibetan II will satisfy the prerequisites for our summer course.
*Students wishing to take this summer intensive course for credit through Kathmandu University will need to submit either their official high school transcript or an official college or university transcript in order to qualify for admission in the program.
Program with academic credit: $2500
Program without academic credit: $2000
The cost of the program includes room and board onsite at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde, which is located on 250 acres alongside the Eel River in the forested mountains of Northern California. The cost of the program also includes participation in all talks led by our resident lamas, meditation sessions, group practices, and lectures by Kathmandu University faculty. Students will be given free admission to seminars by visiting Tibetan teachers in exchange for the performance of staff duties during the program. Students are invited to stay at the center following the completion of the program for a reduced residential fee.
We encourage applicants in need of financial assistance to apply for support from the Khyentse Foundation’s Translation Studies Scholarship. This scholarship provides up to half the program costs for enrollment in a recognized translator training program. The Dharmachakra School of Translation has been recognized as such a program by their scholarship committee. Please click here for more information and to apply.
Students enrolled in graduate programs should seek funding from their home departments or institutions. Past students have been successful in securing institutional support, and we are happy to provide any additional information your department or university may require.
The application for next summer’s program will be available in November 2018
This is a competitive application, and we unfortunately cannot admit all applicants. Applicants are considered based on their previous studies, their aptitude for more advanced language training, and fit with the program. Because we offer rolling admissions, you are encouraged to apply well before the deadline. If you have any questions about the program, or for more information, please contact us.