Visitor Guide

Welcome to the International Buddhist Academy

Due to the ongoing reconstruction of the IBA buildings damaged during the 2015 earthquakes, our regular teaching activities were interrupted until 2017 and we were unable to offer accommodation. In 2017, however, we were extremely pleased to announce that our onsite teaching and retreat programs would resume, beginning in August 2017 with His Holiness Ratna Vajra Rinpoche teaching the first year of The Complete Path program.

We also offer regular Dharma talks. For information please click here

…. and you are always welcome to visit IBA during the day.

We accept any donations towards the completion of the IBA rebuilding. For more information please click here.

The following guidelines were prepared for visitors to IBA. We hope they will help you to prepare your journey and during your stay in Nepal.

Travel information

  • Visas

All visitors to Nepal require a tourist visa.You can apply for a tourist visa  before traveling to Nepal, or get a 30 day visa on arrival at the airport. Please go to for the latest information on fees.

If you apply at the airport you will need two passport photos for a 15 OR 30 day multiple entry visa and it is best to bring US dollars to pay for it. You can extend your visa when you are in Nepal and apply for a trekking permit (TIMS card) and National Park permit if you wish to go trekking.

If extending your visa, indicate that you are a ‘tourist’, not a ‘student’

  • Airport arrival and taxi to IBA

You can take a prepaid taxi to IBA. If your flight lands after 3.30pm, please inform us so that someone can be here to meet you and give you your key, as the office closes around 5pm. If your flight arrives late at night (after 9pm) let us know well in advance so we can ask someone to be at IBA to receive you. We do not arrange airport pick-up, so you will need to take a taxi. At present (2019) before 8pm the prepaid taxi costs Rs800 (US$ 7.50) to be taken to IBA, after 8pm it is Rs900.

  • How to find IBA

If you come by taxi, tell your driver to go to Tinchuli Chowk (the chowk is a crossroad with a Bodhi tree in the centre). From there continue straight ahead towards Arubari. Take the third street on the left. It has a sign to “IBA Sakya Monastery” on the corner, as well as signs to “The Valley Guesthouse” and “Toddlers Int’l Pre-school” (see photos below). Drive to the end of this street, turn left and follow the road to our gate.

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If you walk from Boudha stupa, take Pulbari Road from the stupa to Tinchuli Chowk. Turn right at the Chowk and follow the directions above.

  • Travel Insurance

It cannot be emphasized enough that you must have travel insurance, as recently we have had cases of accidents and broken bones which have required prompt return f visitors to their home country. Please arrange your own comprehensive travel insurance, as IBA is not responsible for any medical or other costs related to your stay in Nepal. Talk to your doctor about suitable vaccinations for Nepal.

  • Medical

If you need special medications, please bring them with you. Kathmandu has a number of good hospitals and clinics and many pharmacies, but it may not be possible to obtain your special medications, or they may be poor quality. It is recommended you bring your own medical kit.

Your stay at IBA

  • Accommodation on campus at IBA

We can offer students of our autumn courses their own room with shared western-style bathroom. Our facilities include libraries, safe drinking water, all meals, limited hot water for washing and a basketball court.

  • Accommodation in the Boudha area

If all our rooms are occupied, or you prefer to stay off-campus, there are a number of guesthouses you can stay in within the local area. From these it may be a walk of between 2 to 20 minutes to IBA. Please check the internet for availability.

  • Precepts

While within IBA premises we request everyone to follow the five basic precepts of abstaining from killing, stealing, lying, sexual conduct and intoxicants.

  • Communications, phones

At present IBA is not able to offer Wifi, so if you need wifi you will need to purchase your own data or visit nearby cafes. Mobile data can be obtained at Kathmandu airport on arrival. Many internet cafes and service shops provide internet, photocopying and long distance phone calls. Nepalese power supply is 240 volts. Please bring your own socket adapters and power board, or else buy them here at local stores.

IBA new shrine room 7

  • What to bring

Check the expected weather for the season you are visiting Nepal and bring suitable clothing. Umbrellas are useful in all seasons, for either rain or sun, as well as a strong insect repellent as dengue fever is now common in Kathmandu. Footwear should be comfortable and supportive. If needed, everyday items like cushions, clothing, snacks, tea, coffee, extra clothes-hangers, laundry soap, shampoo, toiletries, etc. are available in local stores.

Please bring a good flashlight and an alarm clock (your phone would usually suffice). For teachings it is recommended you bring a laptop or net-book plus a good supply of USBs. If you need a chair instead of a cushion for shrine room seating, please let us know in advance as we can provide either.

Many kind people ask if there is something they can bring for us. We need first-aid supplies and over-the-counter remedies for autumn students, monks and staff. If you bring a personal first aid kit, (recommended) please consider donating the unused items to us at the end of your stay. If, in addition, you are able to donate any of the following frequently used items it would be greatly appreciated: fabric-backed and waterproof bandages, insect repellent, drug-free cough/cold remedies, alcohol wipes, self-adhesive gauze bandages and elastic support bandages. Some airlines offer extra baggage allowance to people carrying “medical supplies” for schools, NGOs and community facilities. If you need a letter from us to allow you to make legitimate use of such an offer, ask us at least a month in advance to email you a letter, for the airline requiring it. For this, you must provide us with the suggested wording of the letter requested.

  • Course donations

This information will be provided when you apply to register for courses. Any payments can be made at our Gofundme earthquake relief site at  This site only takes Australian dollars, so multiply US dollar amounts by 1.50. On arrival at IBA payments can be made in cash or by credit card. For credit card payments a 5% charge is added.

  • Study materials

IBA courses are based on Classical Indian texts (sometimes available in English and Chinese translation), often enriched with one or more Tibetan commentaries chosen by the Khenpo or scholar monk who teaches it. Information on texts will be given for each teaching.

  • Translation during teachings

Our teachings are given in English, but if you have a group of 10 or more students who need translation into a certain language, we can arrange equipment for an FM simultaneous translation. You need to arrange your own translator, cover their costs, including any offering for their services, and bring your own android phone or digital radio to receive the FM transmission. Please note that iphones do not receive an FM signal.

  • General guidelines

Permission to take photos should be obtained beforehand. Please do not post any photos of monks on any social media site such as Facebook, wechat etc. Recording teachings is allowed for personal study use only, not for sale or for free distribution to others.

IBA is not responsible for the safety of your personal possessions. Please do not leave packs, purses or computers unattended anywhere on campus. If you are not staying at IBA, do not ask resident students to keep your things for you in their rooms. Dorms are for resident use only.

Visitors – no students may enter the monks’ dorm or rooms. No visitors may stay past 7:30pm.

IBA monks need to concentrate on language studies, practices, ritual duties, teaching, research and translation, as well as helping with cleaning and cooking. Rules governing their behavior help them focus on academic goals and on their important roles in the smooth running of IBA. Please be respectful towards them and do not introduce any influences or attitudes that are not in harmony with their goals. Please always dress modestly in comfortable, “non-revealing” clothing, out of consideration for them and out of respect for our teachers. Routine use of dorm washrooms by off-campus students is not permitted. There are toilets in the dining room hallway and in the 2nd and 3rd floor hallways.

Please wash your dishes or mug using the soap provided at the sinks outside, behind the dining room, placing your dishes to dry in one of the wire racks. Do not leave clean or used cups anywhere else—in classrooms, on windowsills, tables, inside or outside.

Drinking water – Don’t drink the tap water. Safe filtered water is provided from dining room water dispensers.

Kitchen facilities are not for student use. Please keep out of the kitchen.

Dogs – The IBA dogs are not allowed in the dining room, kitchen, hallways, dorms, stairways, classrooms, or any other indoor areas. They are very well fed and can get sick if they are fed cookies, or small bones. Don’t feed them anything!

Evening safety – If you are going outside IBA in the evening after 6pm, it’s best to do so in a group of three or more and it is safest to return by 9pm.

Eating street food can make you sick, and fruit bought from anywhere needs to be well-scrubbed before eating, even if it has a removable peel.

Please inform the office promptly should you get sick, feel unwell, or have an accident so we may assist you or refer you to a medical center or hospital.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere at all inside the IBA compound.

For more information on future courses please check our courses page or email:

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