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Our Story


In September 2010, UCI Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Manuel Gomez, and Vice Provost Emeritus, Herbert Killackey, together with a delegation of select students and administrators, traveled to India to visit the exiled Tibetan community.


The three main goals of the trip were to:

  • Exchange cultural experiences and student activities with exiled Tibetan scholars and students.

  • Foster friendships and partnerships with Tibetan educational institutes with the hopes of implementing a global campus village concept.

  • Plant the seeds to establish an exchange program at UCI.


During this trip, the UCI delegation attended His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s teaching at Namgyal Monastery, and visited and interacted with students at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD), Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) in McLeod-Ganj, and College for Higher Tibetan Studies (CHTS) in Sarah, Dharamsala. While in McLeod-Ganj, the delegation was also granted an auspicious opportunity to meet His Holiness in his private chamber. Before returning home, the UCI delegation traveled to South India to visit Gaden Shartse Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka. The delegation observed monastic life, activities, and teaching curriculum at a typical Tibetan Buddhist monastery.


This visit ultimately inspired the formation of the UCI-Tibet Initiative as a language, research and cultural exchange program. Today, the UCI-Tibet Initiative is known as Kamalashila Initiative's (KI) Visiting Scholars Program.


Since its inception in 2011, KI's Visiting Scholars Program has served 29 Visiting Scholars, offering them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend 10-weeks being immersed in western University scholarly life on the beautiful campus of the University of California, Irvine.


More information on past years of the Visiting Scholar Program (formerly known as the UCI-Tibet Initiative).

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