Volunteer profiles

LINDA LINNARTZ

Linda Linnartz May 2013

University of Virginia, USA

In April 2013, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the DLIHE and work with the Institute’s administrative team on several projects.  In return, I was able to learn more about the Tibetan society and culture, as well as higher education in India. My primary interest in visiting the DLIHE was to spend time with my good friend, Bumo Tsering, and to assist with the development and expansion of the Institute’s academic programs.  My expertise in higher education administration and quality assurance turned out to be a perfect fit for volunteering at this specific time in the Institute’s development.

When I arrived, I was immediately embraced into the warm, caring culture of the Institute and was able to experience higher education in India at the ground level.  Not only was I able to work side-by-side with school administrators on specific projects to learn about higher education in India, I had an opportunity to participate in an evening class in secular ethics, which strongly aligns with a fundamental Tibetan philosophy. During my two-week visit, I was impressed with the quality of the faculty and staff and with the commitment of the students to succeed in their educational endeavors.

If you have an opportunity and interest in volunteering at the Institute, and have skills that you can share with this amazing group of people, I highly recommend that you apply.  It will be an experience that you will never regret.

DEANE CURTIN

Deane Curtin pic

Hanson-Peterson Professor of Liberal Studies

Gustavus Adolphus College

I taught at the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education as part of a year spent in India on a Fulbright Nehru Fellowship. At the invitation of Principal Dr. B Tsering, I designed and co-taught a core ethics course based on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s book Beyond Religion.

As His Holiness has said, “Education is the best way to train ourselves that we will secure our own well-being by concerning ourselves with others. It is possible to create a better world, a more compassionate, more peaceful world, which is not only in everyone’s interest, but is everyone’s responsibility to achieve.” I believe that the DLIHE plays a central role in educating young Tibetans for meaningful lives a service to others in the 21st Century.

I was honored to spend two months living and teaching at the DLIHE. I team-taught a core ethics course with Geshe Dorji Dumdul La, Director of Tibet House in Delhi. I also had the opportunity to get to know the administration, faculty and students in ways that would not have been possible at a non-residential university. I share and support the DLIHE’s aspiration to educate the whole person, not just the intellect. I had many wonderful opportunities during a year spent in India, but my experience at the DLIHE was the highlight. Students at DLIHE receive a world-class education. I am happy to count myself as a visiting faculty member.

VICTORIA CAMP

victoria-camp

Teacher, San Francisco School District, retired

Victoria moved to Mcleod Ganj in 2005 after she retired from teaching. As she learned about the problems facing Tibet and its people she saw many opportunities to help.

Over the years Victoria has worked tirelessly as a volunteer at the Tibet Museum, TCHRD, TCV, and at TWA where she first met the then President, Dr. B.Tsering La. They have been friends ever since. Victoria volunteered as an English teacher for the three months English Language program for  Geshe-las at the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education. It was a very valuable contribution and we remain grateful to her for making this program a success.

WERNER NATER

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Ph.D (Physics), Switzerland

Dr. Werner Nater studied Physics at the Swiss Federal lnstitute of Technology and received his doctorate for his work in atmospheric physics. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Development and Cooperation. As well, he is a dance and movement therapist and in this capacity has worked in Swiss psychiatric clinics.
For some years Werner held a physics professor post at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Later, after completing a Master’s degree in Development and Cooperation, he managed a research project in forest ecology, and a foreign aid project in Nepal.
Returning to Switzerland he took up his previous work in forest ecology and worked on air pollution. Dr Nater taught physics at a number of colleges, also working on school and curriculum development.
More recently, he has been key in the building of the Science Meets Dharma programme, (a project initiated by the Dalai Lama) involving the teaching of science to nuns and monks in Buddhist monasteries in India. At present, as of 2015, he continues to teach at, and is Project Manager of this venture based in Bylakuppe and Mundgod in Karnataka.
Dr. Nater’s contributions to the Dalai Lama Institute of Higher Education, (DLIHE) have been various. In October and November 2012, he trained TTC, (Teacher Training College) students in science teaching methods. These were teachers in TCV (Tibetan Children’s Village) schools in Bylakuppe, and at the DLIHE. In 2013, Werner coached TTC students in a two week programme. In April 2014, he gave teacher training to monks and nuns from a number of monasteries in Mundgod and Bylakuppe and in January 2015 he taught classes in biological psychology. Werner has also taught yoga to interested staff, as well as to students wishing to de-stress during examination periods.
The DLIHE greatly appreciates his continuing voluntary contributions.

RAY

ray

Taiwan

My first encounter with Tibetan community in exile was as a volunteer teaching Chinese language at LHA, a non-governmental organization in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala. I felt a strong affinity with Tibetans’ plight as Taiwanese had also been through a similar fate, but I realized Tibetans are in a much more difficult state.

I volunteered to teach the first batch of Tibetan students specializing in Chinese language at the DLIHE for a semester. During my stay, I felt more  at home than in a foreign land. I was able to build such a strong bonding with both the students and the staff that I couldn’t help wishing I could stay longer. The institute is like a big family wherein everybody cares about each other genuinely. The students are given quality education with love and care, which I think is rare these days. At the same time, my experience here taught me to appreciate more of the freedom I enjoy in my country, which Tibetans don’t have here.

RINCHEN NAMGYAL

Rinchen

Ex-TCV student

I have been educated at TCV and I am truly grateful. I feel fortunate to be able to volunteer at DLIHE for four months, This has been a real growing time and experientially time worth spent.

I was assigned to work with student tech-team to develop website for the institute . With overwhelming support from the administration and the colleagues, we successfully launched the website at the end of December last year (2012).

One can find a professional as well as a  friendly work environment over here. I cherish every single moment spent over here, and the experience that I have gained will surely be an aid in enhancing my future professional career.

I would like to recommend all those who wish to intern/volunteer at the Institute to wait no time.

Wen-haur Shieh

Wen_ HaurTaiwan
The 6-month volunteer work in DLIHE will be the most unforgettable experience in my life. Last year, I happened to learn that DLIHE was founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and it needed volunteer workers to work here as Chinese language teachers. I applied for it and I got the opportunity to be here.
Before I came here, I knew little about Tibetan people and Tibetan culture. They even seemed somewhat mysterious to me. Soon after I came here, I became fond of Tibetan people and their culture. The entire faculty are so friendly and hospitable. They are always ready to provide help to me. It seems that they feel it is their duty to make me feel at home while I stay here. I enjoy the close relationship between us. It seems that we have known each other for a long time. I was especially impressed by their hard-working attitude and their commitment to Tibetan culture. I believe the friendly relationship among us will continue forever after my leave, despite the possible language barrier and physical distance.
I was also impressed by Tibetan students’ politeness, diligence, and respect for teachers. Their manners seem to be a mixed result of Tibetan culture, successful TCV (Tibetan Children Village) education, and blessings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I like to get along with them as much as possible and talk with them. They share with me their life stories, tell me their current learning, and describe their dream for the future. I forgot how many times I had to control myself not to cry before them when they told me their life stories. I like to see how excited they are when they share with me their current learning success and their future hope. You just want to express your sympathy, love, and encouragement to them. Thanks these lovely Tibetan students. They made my stay here meaningful and enjoyable. It will be extremely difficult to forget them.
I like to walk on the campus, exchanging warm greetings with Tibetan teachers and students, enjoying the fresh air and quietness, watching the eagles fly freely in the sky, and appreciating the beautiful flowers along the campus pavements. You can even watch the sunrise when you are enjoying your breakfast. Walking on this beautiful campus, you just feel a peaceful campus atmosphere. It is such a nice campus.
DLIHE is a new institute. It needs more care and demand more people to devote their effort to it. I am glad I could come here to witness its moving toward excellence. I feel grateful toward all people who made my stay here possible and enjoyable.

Lin,Shang-Wei

lhamoTaiwan
I completed Bachelor in Biotechnology from Ntational Chiao Tung University, Taiwan and Chinese as second language teaching program last year in 2014, I have been looking for any opportunity to teach abroad. When I saw the demands of volunteering teachers of DLIHE online, I sent my resume immediately. Before I came here, I had known nothing about DLIHE. All I know is His Holiness Dalai Lama and Tibetan people stay in India. As soon as i got here, I like it here. This place is just like my second home in the world. Fun and new things happens everyday and friendly staff and polite students treat me as their family. Everyone is from everywhere and they all have their own stories which I can learn a lot from. It’s really precious experience for staying here for 4 months.

Tenzin Kunzin

kunzinTaiwan
Lying under the night sky, I think blankly about my life at the Dalai Lama Institute, Bangalore, why, how and when I came here? I have a month before I return to Taiwan. Time really flies; I am unaware of or forgot about my return as if I were to stay for ever at the institute. Sometime when I think about my return, it really gives a big jolt, “ Oh really I got to return?”.
Being a Chinese volunteer teacher here at the institute for a year is one of best the moments in my life. All those beautiful moments and thoughts are vividly linger in my mind as if it all happened just yesterday: Moreover, walking in institute’s huge campus, I feel very safe and relaxed. Reading a book or two on Buddhist thoughts or philosophy, I begin to believe there is a life after a life, there exits many things which we can not touch or see. I really appreciate the opportunities and the experience with students and the staff.
At the beginning I thought it was a choice, that I made to be a volunteer but now I think it is nothing but a ”law of karma”, and I still stand on it.
The day I landed at the Bangalore International airport, the official said I will get my baggage after waiting for a minute but it took almost two hours to get my stuff. I felt so impatient; gradually I realized that this is normal in India. When I think of Tibetan exiles in India, I ask myself, what kind of cultural fusion there will be?
My first day at the institute with my students was quite impressive. We started our class room journey with introductions and the stories of their past. It was quite astonishing and breathtaking to know more about Tibet and Tibetan people here in exile and inside Tibet. Moreover, most of my students here are full of innocence, contentment and optimist about their lives.
As far as their study is concerned, they believe that learning Chinese language will enable them to get to know more about the China and to bring down the narrow gap between the Chinese and Tibetans; and to settle the Tibet situation with peace and harmony.
Lastly, my understanding and awareness of Tibet and Tibetan people was quite limited before I joined here, because my sources were based on network media and what I heard, which is not true for the most part. Tibetans are peace loving people and who wanted to settle the issue in harmony. And I am happy to enlighten myself on this. Lucky me…

Pema Yangchen

pema_yanchen Ed. D. in Curriculum and Instruction & M.A. in TESOL
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, USA

Dr. Pema Yangchen served the institute as the Head of the School of Education from 2009 to 2012. In September 2012, she was promoted to the post of Vice Principal of the institute which she served in good stead till August 2016. After her resignation from the post of Vice Principal, she has offered to assist the administration of the institute as a volunteer from September 2016.

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