Why do Tibetan women flee to Dharamsala? Are there other, more social and less explicitly political, reasons than simply wanting to escape Chinese rule and follow the Dalai Lama? How are refugee and migratory experiences gendered? With these questions in mind, the goal of this study is to investigate Tibetan women’s varied experiences of migrating from Tibet to Dharamsala, Northern India. In particular, my project aims to complicate the dominant political discourse in the Tibetan exile community of the essentialized and undifferentiated “Tibetan” refugee. This is inspired by a growing body of literature focusing on the dynamic factors in the construction of Tibetan culture and identity in exile (Anand, 2007; Hess, 2009). These studies, as does mine, show that the life experiences of different positioned actors are of great variety, relating e.g. to age and gender. Because little is known about actual refugee experiences of Tibetan women, this study aims to contribute new perspectives in this regard. I spent five months in Dharamsala carrying out research, using participant observation and semi-structured interviews. I interviewed a total of 32 women, and participated in several events organized by the Tibetan exile community. The findings are organized into three main thematic sections: pre-migration factors that shaped the motivations for fleeing, being in transit and experiences on the journey, and life in Dharamsala post-migration. I also include a section on plans for the future. My study shows that women’s experiences are more complicated than hegemonic discourses typically portray them to be. First, many reasons beyond Chinese occupation influence their decisions to flee, such as feeling oppressed by traditional social norms, gendered constraints, seeking education and economic betterment. Second, women in transit experienced physical and psychological hardships, including sexual harassment by travelling companions. Third, as for post-migration, a dominant exile culture and discourse rely strongly on traditional gender roles that constrain women’s free agency. Finally, the hegemonic exile discourse of desiring to return to (a free) Tibet, does not figure centrally in the future dreams of my study participants. These findings contribute to deepening our understanding of Tibetan diasporic experience, and, I hope, raise further questions regarding exile experiences on the part of women and minorities within refugee populations.