Walkabout: Sikkim, India
Baylor students who participate in the biannual trip to
India have the rare opportunity to experience traditional
Tibetan religion and culture before it completely disappears.
For 35 days, students find themselves immersed in the
culture – studying Tibetan religion, hiking trails
bordering Nepal and the Himalayan mountains, and participating
in a service project building sanitary facilities in a
village of Sikkim.
According to Tim Williams, walkabout director and an Eastern
Religions teacher, the trip defines Baylor's approach to
experiential education and is directly tied to the school's
mission statement to instill in students the desire and
ability to make a positive difference in the world. "In
order to do that we take our students out into the world –
very remote corners of the world that are different in every
possible way from our life of privilege behind the gates of
Baylor," Tim says. "The time they spend in the classroom
studying Tibetan Buddhism takes on a profound meaning while
speaking to a lama on the steps of a 1,000-year-old monastery
in the Himalayas." Tim says students who sign up are required
to go through a screening process. "We're looking for students
who are genuinely interested in experiencing another culture,"
he says. "It is a physically and emotionally demanding month.
This isn't about going to ride the elephants."