Visitor Guide

IMG_4632VISITOR GUIDELINES

Welcome to the International Buddhist Academy, Kathmandu
The IBA buildings were damaged during the 2015 April and May earthquakes. We are therefore unable to provide teachings or accommodation in 2016.  However you are welcome to visit IBA during the day and we will also accept any donations towards our rebuilding.  There are a number of guest houses you can stay in at Boudha – please check the internet for availability.  From these it is a 20 minute walk up the hill to Tinchuli where you will find IBA.  Before the quakes we prepared the following guidelines for visitors to IBA and we hope the guidelines may help you during your stay in Nepal.

Accommodation on campus at IBA
IBA is unable to provide any accommodation at present due to damage to the dormitory building during the 2015 earthquakes.  Please contact guesthouses in Boudha via email to check they are open.

When we are operating normally, we can offer students of our autumn Buddhist courses their own room with a shared western-style bathroom. Our facilities include an extensive library, wi-fi, safe drinking water, dining room, all meals and basketball and badminton courts.

Precepts
While within IBA please follow the five precepts – no killing, stealing, lying, sexual conduct or intoxicants.

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.

IMG_4650Visa 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’

If you are staying at IBA, the address and phone number are International Buddhist Academy, PO Box 23034, Tinchuli-Boudha, Kathmandu, Phone No. +977-1-491-5218.

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 (2016) the prepaid taxi costs Rs900 (US$8.50) 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.

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.

IMG_0015What 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.  

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.
IMG_1058IBA 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/