There is no age restriction, everyone with the will and ability to study is welcome.
Is the course restricted to FPMT members or students committed to be an interpreter for FPMT?
Unlike previous courses LRZTP6 is open to all students from all traditions, whether a member of FPMT or not, and whether committed to be an FPMT interpreter or not.
Is there a difference in terms of fees between those students committed to be apprentice interpreter in an FPMT center and those who do not?
Yes, as the tuition fees for the students committing to be an FPMT interpreter are partially sponsored (for students committed to serve as FPMT interpreter = 4300US$; for freelancers = 6300US$).
Are the second two years of the course (training as apprentice interpreter in an FPMT center) optional?
They are, if you do not commit to become and FPMT interpreter, you do not have to complete those final two years of training.
Is the course open to new students from the second year onward?
If there are students willing and capable of starting the course from the beginning of the second year, there will be a possibility of entering the course at that time, upon successfully passing and entry test to ensure the required level is mastered.
Is there a required level in Tibetan to enter the course?
The students should have at least a basic knowledge of the alphabet (together with prefixes, suffixes, post suffixes, under and super scribed letters) and basic reading skills to enter the course. If you wish to apply but do not have this level yet, you can come a few weeks early and train with a conversation partner that we can introduce you to, or train with online tutors (http:esukhia.org/en/).
Are there days off when His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaches in Dharamsala?
As much as possible the schedule will enable the students to attend His Holiness’ teachings in Dharamsala.
What is included in the tuition fee?
The classes, conversation partners sessions, visiting guest teachers, workshops, tea twice a day, and all material.
Is lunch provided at the school?
Yes, our cook Acha Choezomla cooks delicious, clean and vegetarian lunch for us for 120 IRS (2.4US$).
Where to live?
There are rooms to rent in the school building, small rooms for 3500IRS/month and bigger ones for 4500IRS/month (these rents are special for long term stay). All rooms have attached bathrooms and there is the possibility of setting up a stove in the room (even though there is no actual kitchen). Otherwise, there are many studios to rent around the school in Gangchen Kyishong, and in upper MacLeod Ganj, ranging from 3500IRS to 8000IRS/month.
How to get an Indian visa?
You should contact the Indian Embassy in your country. Concerning student visas, contact us.
What is the weather like?
Lower Dharamsala is at an altitude of 1400m, while McLeod Ganj is at around 1750m, making them considerably cooler than the plains below. During the months of December and January, snow and sleet is common. Temperatures in January can dip below freezing, while June can go up to 38°C, and the monsoon season from July to September is very wet indeed.
How to reach Dharamsala?
By land: Most people come to Dharamsala by bus. It has good connections with other parts of North India, although the journeys are often slow due to the narrow winding roads in the hills. The main bus terminal is in Lower Dharamsala, but some public HRTC buses to Delhi and Pathankot go all the way to the main square of McLeod Ganj, where you can also book advance tickets for the return trip. Unreserved HRTC buses from Pathankot cost Rs.75 and take 3/4 hours to Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj.
Many private bus companies are available for travel from Manali, Dehradun and Delhi. Overnight buses from Delhi, many private ones leaving from the Tibetan colony of Majnu ka Tilla, take upwards of 13 hours and cost anywhere from Rs. 650 for a basic bus to Rs. 850 for a plush Volvo.
By train: The nearest railhead is at Pathankot (Chaki Bank, 90 Kms away from Dharamsala), a comfortable overnight journey from Delhi. A taxi from Pathankot to McLeod Ganj takes about 3 hours. You can also take the bus which is most of time packed and crowed. By bus it is about 4hrs journey to Dharamsala.
By air: The nearest airport is at Gagal, which is 13 kms away and a half an hour to forty five minutes drive by taxi. This airport links Dharamsala with Delhi, Kullu, and Shimla. Indian Airlines operates a service from Delhi about 3 times a week.
We recommend the following travel agencies:
Global Tibetan Travels
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
tel. +91.9891003143 or +91. 8802168505. (Cho Gelek is very helpful and kind).
Potala tours and travels
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
tel. in Delhi: +91-11-31306161; in Dharamsala: +91.9857964604
Local taxi drivers:
Sanjay Taxi Service