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UBC Himalaya Program integrates language learning and community engaged learning

Transformative Learning | Strategy 13: Practical Learning
Theme: Innovation
Summer 2017 Nepali language students visit Thrangu Monastery in Richmond to learn about Himalayan Buddhism. Students met with Nepali-speaking monks to practice their conversational skills. 

A cross-Faculty partnership is aiming to make UBC a premier centre for Himalayan Studies in Canada.

The UBC Himalaya Program combines language training in Nepali and Tibetan, faculty expertise in a range of disciplines and community-engaged learning. The program is currently funded by the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and brings together faculty members with expertise in Anthropology, Public Policy and Global Affairs, Art History, Asian Studies, First Nations and Endangered Languages and Economics.

“[The program involves] blending traditional language learning in the classroom with an immersive language learning environment,” explains Sara Shneiderman, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, the Institute of Asian Research, and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC.

Since launching its strategic plan in 2018, UBC has endeavoured to expand experiential, work-integrated and extended learning opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni (Strategy 13: Practical Learning). The UBC Himalaya Program illustrates the university’s efforts to offer language learning opportunities to students whose fields might otherwise not lead them in that direction – such as Architecture, Engineering, Asian Studies and Philosophy.

Learn more about the UBC Himalaya Program, and how it strives to not only enrich student learning, but positively impact teaching as well.