Program description

The purpose of this program is to enhance the knowledge about Buddhist tradition in the Republic of Kalmykia, the only Buddhist enclave in Europe, about the history and culture of the Kalmyks. The Kalmyks, nomads in the past, are an integral part of modern Russian multiethnic society. Situated in the South of Russia and bordering with the republics of the North Caucasus, Kalmykia represents a unique diversity of population, cultures and religions. Kalmyks have preserved their Mongolian heritage and assimilated many of the traditions of the neighbouring ethnic groups. All these together with the rich history of the Kalmyk people influenced the development of Buddhism in the republic.

The program participants will have a wonderful opportunity to delve into Kalmyk Buddhism, to get full exposure to the culture and traditions of this ethnic minority group.


The program is aimed at undergraduate and master’s degree students specializing in history, religious studies, philosophy, cultural studies. Nevertheless, students of other specializations are welcome to apply.


The academic program consists of:

  • a course of lectures on Buddhism in Kalmykia (20 academic hours),
  • a course of lectures on History and Culture of Kalmykia (20 academic hours),
  • Russian language course (20 academic hours).

Total number of classes is 60 academic hours held on weekdays. Working language of the Summer School is English.

Extracurricular activities

A solid academic program is accompanied by an extensive extracurricular program, which includes:

  • trips to the Buddhist sacred sites of Kalmykia,
  • guided tours to museums, Chess City, etc.

Optional: visits to theatres, concerts, etc.


To apply for “Buddhism in Kalmykia: Where East and West Meet” Program the following documents are required:

  1. Application form,
  2. Statement of Purpose.

Application deadline: 15 May 2017.


The Summer School tuition is €600 and covers the academic program, guided tours to museums and Kalmyk sacred sites and housing. Participants from Germany may apply for financial support in terms of the Go East – Sommerschulprogramms of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which covers the cost of the Summer School program and part of the travel expenses. For further information visit In this case prospective participants are required to submit applications both to Summer School and to DAAD.


Bakul Budanova -

Valentiva Navasheva -