This program offers students the opportunity to join the emerging dialogue between the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the Inner science of the mind and the western tradition of science of the External world. Participants on this program engage in an exciting experiment in cross-cultural collaboration that has the potential to lead to breakthroughs in a variety of fields. Students will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers in the western and Tibetan traditions, while actively engaging in dialogue with Tibetan monks and nuns who will be studying neuroscience, biology, and physics in the month-long Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. The program will take place half in Dharamsala, the head of the Tibetan exile community in India and half in Karnataka, India, at Drepung Loseling Monastery. No prior knowledge of Tibetan or these subjects is required.
- India is the most populous Democracy in the world
- Dharamsala is situated in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas and is home to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
- Mundgod, located in South India, is home of the Drepung Loseling Monsastery, where students reside alongside more than 3,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks
Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted starting December 14. The deadline for applications will be Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Students will be contacted to schedule a mandatory interview once their application fee and essay have been submitted.
Acceptance Process: Applications for this program will be reviewed together after the application deadline.
May 19 - June 25, 2019 (The official program dates are the arrival and departure dates for the program)
*Program activities end on June 24, 2018, but program lodging will be available until check-out on June 25, 2019. Students will be able to leave on June 24, 2019 if needed. Please speak to Program Assistant, Michelle Heker, for more information.
Courses: Students take three courses for a total of 8 Emory credit hours.
REL 331/ ANT 385 / MESAS 390 / HLTH 385: Culture and Religion of Buddhist Tibet (3 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to Tibetan culture through the particular lens of how health, illness, and death are experienced and conceptualized in Tibetan society in exile, including the full context of cultural and religious beliefs, rituals and practices. Students will learn not only through the lectures of the faculty and visiting local experts and cultural representatives, but also by experiencing first-hand through field trips a number of cultural practices, such as healing rituals, as they are actually performed in Tibetan society. Students will learn how suffering, like, illness and death are conceptualized in a way sometimes remarkably different, and sometimes in a way similar to that in the U.S., due to the larger religious and cultural framework, which includes notions such as karma, rebirth, the role of lamas or spiritual teachers, and the efficacy of contemplative and religious practices. As a culture in which medicine, religion and culture are intertwined and related in ways different to the U.S. Tibetan culture serves as a particular rich case study for learning about the relationships between health, religion, culture and science.
REL 358RS / HLTH 385 / IDS 385: Mind, Medicine, and Healing (3 credits)
This course examines the mind/body connection through the lenses of both modern science and Tibetan Buddhist contemplative science. These traditions that have developed distinct approaches for tackling the problem of the relationship between mind and body, yet they may be approaches that can be complementary if brought together in dialogue. By presenting materials from both traditions as well as some of the most recent research that has been emerging from scientific studies on the relationship between mind and body and the effects of meditation,students will have an opportunity to synthesize thoughts and concepts from the humanities and the natural and social sciences that up to this point have rarely met each other. The final section of the course examines the system of Tibetan medicine, which offers an alternative model of mind/body interaction to that of modern biomedicine.
REL 370: Special Topics Abroad (2 credits)
This course will be comprised of daily morning meditation practice and discussion and twice-weekly debates on Buddhism and Science with the monastics participating in the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. This gives students an opportunity to interact with monastics in a variety of settings and to become more fully immersed in monastic life and culture. It also gives students an opportunity to practice the practical, active component of meditation, the philosophy of which will be discussed at length in the other courses. This course will also have a service component such as teaching monks basic English language at Drepung Loseling School.
Students will share a room with another Emory student for the entirety of the program. In Dharamsala, students will live in the guest house of the Sarah Campus of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. In South India, students will stay at Drepung Loseling Monastery.
Cost and Funding
A full description of the program costs and billing procedures is described in the budget sheet
Emory undergraduate students who qualify are considered by the Office of Financial Aid for a summer aid award after registration in summer study abroad classes. The amount of the award depends on the number of credits and current financial aid package. Students currently receiving financial aid from Emory are typically eligible. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for information about specific awards. Emory Scholars are informed separately about the procedures for Scholars Summer Study Abroad awards. Emory University Employee Courtesy Scholarships may be applied to the academic fee portion of the summer study abroad program's cost. For more information, please see Summer Study Abroad Scholarships.
Each summer study abroad program will have at least one mandatory pre-departure orientation session and/or other pre-departure activities for accepted program participants. The Program Director will contact program participants with details. Emory College Study Abroad will also require all students to complete a mandatory online pre-departure orientation by April 15. This assignment will be deployed through Canvas early April.
Summer Study Abroad Refund Policy
Summer Study Abroad Information for Visiting Students