Summer Colloquial Tibetan Language Study



Summer Colloquial Tibetan Course

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.

Please note that, on each day of classes for your Summer Program course, the same live masterclass is delivered at two different time slots. At RYI these two schedules for the same course are called ‘Sections’. You can choose from either Section 1 (S1) or Section 2 (S2) based on your time preferences. To find out the class times for each Section of your course, please refer to the syllabus.


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!

Syllabus and schedule/course structure.

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.

Syllabus and schedule/course structure.

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.

Syllabus and schedule/course structure.

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Orientation sessions start from 9 June to 11 June 2021, and classes run from 14 June to 5 August 2021. This year the Summer Program will be offered online.

Applications close May 23, there is no late application period for Colloquial Tibetan courses. No applications will be accepted after May 23. 


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)

Housing (This is not applicable for the online format that RYI will offer this summer).

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.

Fee Request

In accordance with University guidelines, RYI course fees are determined by each student's home base and nationality. A three-tier system is in effect which covers (i) Nepali students, (ii) SAARC students and (iii) other international students. Please select below to find out the fees structure for your particular circumstances.

You will find the Tuition Fee List for all programs, including the Summer Program, linked on the right hand side of this page (at the end of the page if you are on a mobile device) under the heading "Tuition Fee List."