In Kathmandu. It is in English. You can learn Sanskrit and Tibetan, and many other subjects related to Dharma.
Not too expensive. About US$6000/year for BA program as I recall. Living costs in Kathmandu are dirt cheap.
Sherlock wrote:Well, the problem with it might not be widely recognised and a degree in Buddhist Studies limits one's career options quite a bit.
Huseng wrote:Sherlock wrote:You'd never have to worry about food, shelter and clothing.
Huseng wrote:Sherlock wrote:Well, the problem with it might not be widely recognised and a degree in Buddhist Studies limits one's career options quite a bit.
If you have a BA degree in the humanities from a nice western university it is still nevertheless possible you'll be working at Starbucks after graduation. The same goes for a MA degree. PhDs are in no better position actually.
The humanities are actually crumbling in the western world as they get their funding slashed and retiring professors are not replaced with new tenured staff. I had an instructor in my undergrad who taught Tibetan Buddhism. He said when he applied for the job he was one of eighty applicants. Here is a guy who has fluency in Tibetan, and has taught Sanskrit in India, yet the university had no inclination to hire this guy as anything more than a contract instructor.
Actually I really recommend you go to Kathmandu and learn Tibetan and Sanskrit. If you become a talented and skilled translator of Tibetan you'll have opportunities you've never dreamt of. It might mean living in Asia for the long-term, but you'll live a largely stress free lifestyle in the presence of fellow Buddhists who appreciate your skills and come to you for assistance. You might teach a few classes a week and then be left to do translation work on your own time. Such a lifestyle would be immensely more healthy than moving from university to university every few years on contracts.
If, on the other hand, you get a BA or MA from a western university you'll have minimal contacts with Buddhists in Asia and your oral language skills in the target language might be lacking. Literacy is always different from spoken fluency. Moreover, you'd be competing with other people for a dwindling number of career opportunities. If you became really proficient in Tibetan any of the Tibetan lineages and organizations could make ample use of you. The same goes for other languages like Chinese. You'd never have to worry about food, shelter and clothing. It might not be as glamorous as graduating from Cambridge, but that's a worldly concern anyway. As a Tibetan-English translator in Nepal or anywhere really you'd have minimal stress and be part of a welcoming community.
The academic study of Buddhism is being slowly transferred to Asian Buddhist colleges who are willing to fully fund it. This is where the future is. In the years to come Buddhist Studies will not survive ongoing budget cuts in western universities.
Yudron wrote:Huseng wrote:Sherlock wrote:You'd never have to worry about food, shelter and clothing.
Yes, the Dharma center will find you some substandard housing, and maybe some food when the communal kitchen is open, but getting clothes involves having money--and money is often not forthcoming for translators.
Sherlock wrote:I think Huseng is talking about larger centres, probably affiliated to a large monastery.
JKhedrup wrote:Is that Dharamsala in the background? I'd recognize those hills anywhere!
Raksha wrote:In the UK Edinburgh is also good for Sanskrit, and Cambridge for Central Asia. Unfortunately Huseng is quite correct, in the West you will constantly feel a pair of shears clipping at your tail, and if you are unlucky your entire department will get sliced away while you are in the middle of it (happened to me twice). Since there are no longer viable careers in these subjects you need to carefully consider your personal motivation for studying these subjects in the first place. If it because you love the subjects themselves then you should plan to put yourself in a position where you will be most happy in the future, along the lines that Huseng has suggested.
Huseng wrote:In any case, a lot of academic Buddhology in the west is of questionable value. Rehashing old arguments, offering new opinions on long standing unresolved questions, or revisionist readings of Buddhism used to address modern social issues...
The law of diminishing returns is also in effect. When Conze and Lamotte were doing their thing they covered much of the field and even with a few scholars they developed it greatly.
If you researched Central Asian stuff there might be uncharted territories, but that's not an easy subject to pursue by any means, and you won't have much of an audience.
Raksha wrote:My old boss told me that the best way to get ahead in the academic world is to viciously savage the work of another scholar
Because he was a bit of an eccentric his colleagues conspired against him and eventually forced him into early retirement....he retired to Thailand to teach Western academic methodology and English to scholarly young monks on a part-time basis, and he is supremely happy!
As for Central Asia, this would depend on your gift for languages. If you can master several at once, and are happy to spend your entire life in a musty library then it could be the career for you. The problem is that the texts in are in an absurd number of very different languages; Mongolian, Uighur, Tocharian, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan etc. etc. An old acquaintance of mine is the foremost scholar in this field and I seriously doubt that he has seen any daylight in twenty years.
mirage wrote:Thought this would be an appropriate thread to ask this question.
I am considering the Rangjung Yeshe Institute's BA program, but I am still having a lot of second thoughts. Apart from the obvious ones (quality of living in Kathmandu, etc)
there is one main concern: even assuming that I successfully finish the 3 year course, what will I do next? Suppose I'll have good language skills in Tibetan ( and maybe even Sanskrit), and a good understanding of Buddhist Philosophy. Will I be able to find a way to support myself, and, eventually, my family?
Will it be possible to continue my studies and get MA and Ph.D degrees, preferably in a different (for example, East Asian) country? My ultimate dream is to write a Ph.D thesis on Tibetan and Japanese Vajrayana, but this is probably unrealistic.
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