Tibetan Summer Language Program

Tibetan Summer Language Program

Tibetan will NOT be offered in 2019.

Do you dream of other worlds? Do you feel learning a new language unlocks the gateway to a whole new world? Have you dreamed of exploring the Himalayan snow mountains and the rich culture of Tibet? Would you like to talk with Buddhist lamas in their own language? Do you long to see the Potala, the Dalai Lama’s Winter Palace, with your own eyes, and talk to local Tibetan pilgrims? Are you looking for a new world to explore in its own unique linguistic terms? If any of these questions resonate with you, here is the opportunity that brings you a step closer to such experiences!

Under new leadership with Franziska Oertle and Gen Phuntsok Dorje la, this fully accredited (12 credits - two years) Intensive Tibetan Language course will provide you with a superb basis for deep understanding of the modern Tibetan language in the Central Tibetan/exile dialect known as “standard Tibetan.” It is a beginner course without any prerequisites. 

Pedagogy and Philosophy

On the lovely historic grounds of the University of Virginia, you will be instructed by a native Tibetan Gen la (teacher) Gen Phuntsok Dorje la and an experienced European teacher of Tibetan language and author of a Colloquial Tibetan language textbook, Franziska Oertle.  In collaboration with a dynamic group of excellent Tibetan language tutors providing individual lessons via Skype, we will create a highly efficient and innovative learning environment. While the course is intensive and the subject matter complex, be assured that the course atmosphere and all teachers and staff are extremely supportive & joyful. This is the essential basis for any true learning. 


The pedagogical approach of this course - unlike in most traditional Tibetan educational settings - is centered on students and learning rather than teachers and teaching. Learning a language is an extremely individual matter and the “mother of learning” is practice and personalization. You will therefore be guided to develop your own way of learning and a broad variety of language practice & conversation opportunities will support this exciting process.

"America is far from here."