Remember that summer we went to India and met the Dalai Lama?

Ten Western students in the university's summer Global Learning Faculty-led Program, “Himalaya Cultures & Ecology: Field Program in Ladakh” recently had a private audience with the Dalai Lama in Zanskar Valley, India. These students were participating in a Global Learning Program through the WWU Education Abroad office, which was led by Peter Impala in association with Charles Ashbaugh, Director of the Institute for Village Studies (IVS). IVS has had a long and enduring partnership with Western, and it facilitates intensive field course experiences for students in collaboration with Western faculty members. This particular program combines Himalayan culture, history, religion, sociology, and ecology with service learning projects. This special and singular opportunity to meet with the Dalai Lama arose when a good friend of IVS, who also happened to be the interpreter for the 3-day teaching event in Zanskar, made the surprise arrangements for our students.


To find out more about the program go to