Christopher Wilvert, RYI Visiting student
“When potential students are considering higher education, many factors come into play. They are making the one of the most crucial decisions that often times influences the remainder of their lives. Many aspects, such as the location, the institutional, and the program, affect their ultimate decision. Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI) is uniquely placed to offer extraordinary programs, within an exceptional campus situated near the Great Stupa of Boudha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As one ascends the steps to RYI, with the Himalaya Foothills to one side and the Boudha Stupa to the other, inspiration comes easily. Students from across the world come here to study and many must feel like they are coming home. If one wishes to study Buddhism, its philosophies and languages, this traditional setting near a sacred site on an ancient trade route will take one to the heart of the matter.
Students and faculty on the way to class, with take-away coffee in one hand and laptops in the other, mingle effortlessly with red-robed monks on their way to morning prayers. For international students, the adjustment to life here at RYI is made easy by the care of staff and administration. A well-organized student society provides varied opportunities for social activities. Film nights, yoga classes, chess clubs and Sanskrit chanting groups meet in coffee shops, gardens and rooftops, and provide a wonderful opportunity to connect and network with like-minded people from the world over.
An excellent instructor to student ratio ensures a deep dive into the subject matter and trust quickly develops within the class. Faculty are readily accessible outside of the class and office hours, often going out of their way to address any questions or concerns from that students may have.
I had travelled to Nepal on a number of occasions previous to my visit as a visiting student for two semesters. Knowing the campus and the location, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect during my nine months stay. What I failed to take into consideration was the people I would meet there. The warm and welcoming nature of the people that I met there directly affected my overall state of mind. Whether I was at the coffee shop or local shops, greetings of “Namaste!” were always genuinely given.
Many post-secondary institutions offer the opportunity for a degree; few offer the opportunity for inspiration. That is what RYI provides, inspiration. So, to anyone who is considering pursuing a degree at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, prepare to be inspired. Prepare for moments that will take you breath away.”