My private experience of IBC

Reported by Chan Sivilay
Class: M.A (1)
Date: 4/8/2017

I have been living at IBC for around a month. Since I came here, I have been very impressed by the peaceful environment of this area. It is the perfect place for me to learn Dhamma as an academic pursuit. There are a lot of useful sources of information available here for every student. It provides us with almost everything we need to approach the Buddha’s teachings in both theoretical and practical ways.

On the first day I stepped into IBC, I was surprised to see my new dwelling place. It is a huge difference from where I have lived before. Previously I used to stay alone and loved being alone. However, when I arriving here I found that I had to share my room with other students. Most of them are foreigners and have different cultures and lifestyles. Therefore, at first I found it difficult to adapt to this unfamiliar atmosphere. To live harmoniously with others we must definitely change our attitude and develop mutual respect and mutual understanding.

In addition, some students might have problems with the different food. Fortunately, I could somehow adapt since I have some experience studying with international students. However, it is common for anyone to face these sorts of hardships when coming abroad to places far away from our home.

Anyhow, certain situations are also new to me. Before coming here I had assumed that every student would receive some monthly allowance. However, one must adapt to whatever might be provided. Indeed, although a monk might need more money than he is provided with, it is awkward to discuss financial issues as a monk even though we may need addition materials for our individual study. Some monks have problems securing their own money without lay sponsors to support their daily needs.

Although I have been living here for a short time, I have really gained many worthy lessons and experiences by meeting new people. I have been able to face various challenges, particularly during the orientation ceremony and educational tour around the local town. This has given a tremendous boost for my English skills.