Visitor Guide

Welcome at 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. This year, however, we are extremely pleased to announce that our onsite teaching and retreat programs will resume, beginning in August 2017 with His Holiness Ratna Vajra Rinpoche teaching the first year of The Complete Path program. Until then, we offer regular Dharma talks and group meditations, and you are always welcome to visit IBA during the day.

We also accept any donations towards the completion of the IBA rebuilding. For more information please visit 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 www.nepalimmigration.gov.np 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.

Visa for 2017 Buddhist teachings – the complete course, from August 1 to October 26, is 87 days, so a 90-day visa will cover this time.

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 (2017) the prepaid taxi costs Rs800 (US$ 7.50) to be taken to IBA.

  • Travel Insurance

It cannot be emphasised enough that you must have travel insurance, as recently we have had cases of accidents and broken bones which have required prompt return to their home country by visitors to Nepal. 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

In August 2017 we will resume our regular activities and can offer students of our autumn courses their own room with shared western-style bathroom. Our facilities include an extensive library, wifi, safe drinking water, dining room, all meals and basketball and badminton courts.

  • Accommodation in the Boudha area

If all our rooms are occupied, or you prefer to stay off-campus, there are a number of guest houses you can stay in at Boudha. From these it is a 20 minute walk up the hill to Tinchuli where you will find IBA. Please check the internet for availability.

  • Precepts

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

  • Communications, Wifi, phones

IBA has Wifi, however it is very slow by international standards. The password will be given to you when you arrive at IBA. Our network is open to registered students and staff only – the password is not to be given to friends. Many internet cafes and service shops in Boudha provide internet, photocopies and long distance phone calls. If you’re here for the autumn without a “global-roaming smart phone” you might want to get a 2nd hand cell phone and sim card. Nepalese power supply is 240 volts. Please bring your own plug adapters, or else buy them here at local stores.

  • What to bring

Bring clothing for rainy days, chilly or windy nights, and hot sunny days. Large umbrellas can be bought here inexpensively. Footwear should be comfortable and supportive. Everyday items like cushions, clothing, snacks, extra clothes-hangers, laundry soap, shampoo, toiletries and tea mugs are available in Boudha’s small shops or a department store 45 minutes’ walk or a short taxi ride from here.

We have a washing machine for on-campus residents’ use only.

Please bring a good flashlight and an alarm clock/watch. 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 repellents, 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 fees

Please email us at 2register4iba@gmail.com for information on course fees and details on sending money. We do not have internet payment facilities, so you may pay on arrival at IBA, or send funds either by western union or bank transfer. There are many ATMs in Kathmandu and Boudha and it is relatively easy to withdraw funds from an ATM machine after you arrive.

  • Study materials

IBA courses are based on Classical Indian texts (sometimes available in English translation) often enriched with one or more Tibetan commentaries chosen by the Khenpo or scholar monk who teaches it. These texts are often available in Kathmandu bookstores and sometimes in the IBA office. Unfortunately, our libraries were badly damaged in the quakes and all our books and texts have been removed from the libraries and packed in boxes until repairs and rebuilding is done. We are therefore unable to lend any books at present.

  • 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 FM.

  • 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 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 7:45pm.

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 behaviour 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.

The 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 – Robberies sometimes occur in Nepal and have happened within the last few years to a male and female IBA student. 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 or feel unwell or have an accident so we may assist you or refer you to a medical centre or hospital.

Please do not smoke anywhere at all inside the IBA compound, including dorm rooms, dorm balconies, or on the roof.

For more information on future courses please check our courses page or email: 2register4iba@gmail.com

You can follow IBA on Twitter at: twitter.com/buddhism_iba

We are also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/International-Buddhist-Academy-Kathmandu-159652937492000/