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Miami delegation meets with Dalai Lama, others to create partnership


His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Provost Jeffrey Herbst
Beginning fall of 2009, Miami University students can study at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) and the College for Higher Tibetan Studies (CHTS) in Dharamsala, India. An agreement was signed during a ceremony Jan. 1 at the IBD to officially launch Miami's Tibetan Studies Semester Program.

Members of the Miami delegation met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Dec. 31, 2008, to explain the agreement and provide a comprehensive introduction to Miami.

The new program will be offered each fall semester beginning with fall of 2009, and Miami faculty will accompany the students to the region.

"It will help our students to understand Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan society and culture that cannot be learned anywhere else in the world," said Provost Jeffrey Herbst. "The program is an important part of Miami's effort to teach our students of the world outside of the United States and commitment to reach out to the entire world."

The program will offer a range of courses focusing on Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan medicine and meditation, as well as an intensive sequence of language courses in Chinese, Tibetan and Hindi. A sequence of three courses on the peoples and cultures of Tibet and South Asia, taught by Miami faculty, will be offered as a thematic sequence. The courses offered can serve as capstones and senior seminars.

"I'm very excited about the extraordinary opportunity this Tibetan Studies Semester Program offers to our undergraduates," said Linda F. Marchant, chair of Miami's anthropology department.

"We're committed to expanding the global perspective of our students and I am delighted by the richness and depth of the program. I am certain this experience will truly help our students embrace global citizenship."

Other members of the delegation included David Keitges, director of international education, and Deborah Akers, H. Sidky and Mark Peterson of the anthropology department.

The new program is a direct outcome of the "Peoples and Culture of Tibet" summer workshop conducted by Akers and Sidky during the past four years in Dharamsala.

The international experience with which the workshop participants returned, and the strong ties Miami and IBD were able to establish as a result of the workshop, provided the foundation for establishing this new program.

The Open Doors 2008 report by the Institute for International Education recently ranked Miami 25th nationally among comparable universities in undergraduate participation. 
Miami is the only Ohio doctoral institution in the top 40 for undergraduate participation in study abroad.

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Anthropology Chair Linda Marchant
Anthropology Lecturer Deborah Akers, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Anthropology Associate Professor Homayun Sidky


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