One of the world's most prominent Buddhist spiritual leaders met with immigrant students in California and shared his own story of fleeing his birth country.

The 29-year-old Karmapa is seen as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama as head of the Tibetan freedom movement in exile. He left Tibet in 2000 and has since been living at a monastery in India. He is the current head of the 900-year-old Karma Kaguy school of Tibetan Buddhism.

On Tuesday, the Karmapa visited the University of Redlands as part of his two-month visit to the United States.

He met with 15 students who listened to him speak and shared their own stories of immigration.

Students from the university traveled to Indian in 2011 and in 2013 to study with the Karmapa.