A Treasure Past Review

By (Environmental Studies, Naropa University) - abroad from 01/12/2015 to 06/12/2015 with

Naropa University: Bhutan Study Abroad Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program was extremely worthwhile. Impossible to put into words the growth I gained from this experience. The Bhutanese culture is strict but gentle, beautiful and rigid. The opportunity to actually slow down and be present was such a gift. The Bhutanese friends I made are among my best.

Review Photos

Naropa University: Bhutan Study Abroad Program Photo Naropa University: Bhutan Study Abroad Program Photo Naropa University: Bhutan Study Abroad Program Photo Naropa University: Bhutan Study Abroad Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The education system was hard to adjust to, however, we all ended up doing well with grades and assignments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Loads of rice. Chilies and cheese. Not a lot of variety.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Super friendly and welcoming culture. A little shy at first. If they offer you tea, accept.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We used the tradition medicine clinics, which were easy to find and there was hardly ever any wait. It worked like magic and it was free!

* Safety:

I always felt safe!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Very easily!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe a couple hundred dollars throughout the entire trip.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

This was not a big part of this program, mostly because Bhutanese people speak a lot of English. However, if this is a large interest for a student then it wouldn't be hard to incorporate it more.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None in Dzongkah
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Bhutanese friends I made.
  • The Naropa Faculty member who accompanied us and the classes they taught.
  • The unique and isolated culture I was able to witness.
* What could be improved?
  • Preparation for the program.
  • Support for students identifying as LGBT*QIAP.
  • Immersing in the culture even more.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is nearly impossible to find the LGBT*QIAP community.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.