The School for Field Studies / SFS: Bhutan - Bhutan - Himalayan Studies

7 recent reviews
  • Location(s): Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Program Type(s): Study Abroad, Research

Request Info

(For American Students)


A Program Rep. will contact you shortly after
For non-American students, please contact the program directly.

Or Register With Facebook

It will help you track your requests and only takes a second.

Our programs in Bhutan take place in the country’s mountains, valleys, rivers, forests, protected areas, and cultural sites. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as natural resource and water management, climate ... read more

All Reviews

OVERALL RATING 4.6
Based on 7 Reviews
Social/Cultural
Admin
Academics
Cost of Living
Housing
Food
Overall Experience
I learned so much about the world and Bhutanese culture. I feel like it expanded my consciousness - Wellesley College View Entire Review
December 26, 2023 Beautiful Bhutan <3
Saw Bhutans rich cultures and fell in love with the natural landscape of the area - Brandeis University View Entire Review
I saw many different ways of life in Bhutan, learned about environmental politics from a Bhutanese perspective, experienced incredible landscapes and culture, and had an intensive field work experience. - Wellesley College View Entire Review
I love Buddhism! Hiking is amazing! And I want to travel more around Southeast Asia - Muhlenberg College View Entire Review
I learned about Buddhism, GNH, environmental governance, Bhutanese culture, elevational zonation, mountain ecology, and political dimensions of the environment. Definitely worthwhile! - Brandeis University View Entire Review
I learned about local culture, ecology and land use, and myself. It was worthwhile. - Brandeis University View Entire Review
In addition to academic learning, I learned about a very interesting country in the midst of a modernization transition by experiencing it firsthand. It was absolutely worthwhile. - Brandeis University View Entire Review
I learned how to take time for myself which was important and something I hope I bring back to Wellesley. - Wellesley College View Entire Review
It was worthwhile. I met a lots of friends, and know others' perception on "happiness." I also learn to research in forest science under the instruction of local researchers. - Brandeis University View Entire Review
Past Review A Magical Summer
This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Traveling to Bhutan will never again be this easy and encompassing, and the six weeks I spent here have transformed the way I look at most things in life. The faculty, staff, and all those I met and interacted with along this trip were kind and thoughtful and greatly appreciated ou... - University of Portland View Entire Review
We learned a lot of academic information, but the most important thing that I learned is how different everything is in Bhutan, while people are at least just as happy. It put American life in perspective, and made me wonder what happiness actually is. I also enjoyed learning about the Buddhist culture of Bhutan, and how that af... - Brandeis University View Entire Review
This program has set me forth on an amazing career path, where I now hope to work in the field of international environmental development. I am also interested now in studying more deeply on the crux between religion and ecology. I have maintained the relationships with Bhutanese officials, and I am planning on going back to Bhu... - Brown University View Entire Review
I learned so many things about myself, expanded my view of our global culture, and really began to understand the beauty in simplicity. It really solidified my interest in conservation biology, sustainable development and rooted my ideas about they way to live. It has got me siked for my next internship at the eco school learnin... - Saint Lawrence University View Entire Review
December 29, 2023 The Himalaya
I got to live in a country that I otherwise wouldn't be able to - Brandeis University View Entire Review
I have a lot of stories now with a lot of incredible people, in an incredible place, at an incredible time. Worthwhile absolutely. - Middlebury College View Entire Review
I gained a sense of confidence in my ability to adapt to new surroundings - Brandeis University View Entire Review
This experience has been life-changing, so I would certainly say it was worthwhile. I learned much about myself, in terms of self-reliance, self-compassion, and self-reflection. I learned about a new culture and way of life that is unlike anything I had experienced before. I learned how complex environmental problems are and how... - Muhlenberg College View Entire Review
I learned about environmental science, how living in another country is different from living in the US, and I gained new friends! - Wellesley College View Entire Review
I gained more confidence in my ability to interact with people from a different culture. I feel more comfortable having to navigate a language barrier and talking to strangers. - Brandeis University View Entire Review
I learned so much about a field I had no prior experience in. I saw a beautiful country with some of the friendliest people I've ever met. I conducted research that has inspired my career path and improved my resume. - Berea College View Entire Review
I've thought about this question a lot since I got back, and I'm still not entirely sure how to answer it. What I gained isn't something that can easily be described. I definitely learned a lot about Bhutan and their conservation practices, and now I can say I've participated in this once-in-a-lifetime research experience, but I... - Brandeis University View Entire Review
Past Review Key To Happiness
I had entered this program hoping to learn why Bhutan, a country of only 700,000 people, was considered to be the happiest country in the world. I asked many people during my study abroad experience, what is your key to happiness? One answer clearly resonated with the community, from my perspective. "Be happy with what you have,... - Brandeis University View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with The School for Field Studies / SFS: Bhutan - Bhutan - Himalayan Studies
This experience abroad truly changed my life. Our staff members were truly so excellent and our Bhutanese staff will always be in my heart. The Buddhist culture is so simple, peaceful, and pure. Life in Bhutan is slower, less stressful, and more meaningful. I will never forget something our driver (perhaps the most compassionate... - Brandeis University View Entire Review
This program was absolutely worthwhile. It solidified my academic interests and has gotten me excited about the possibilities of working internationally after college. I learned so much about myself and now have an incredible appreciation for Bhutanese culture, Buddhism, and the Himalayas in general. The lessons I learned, the t... - Boston University View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with The School for Field Studies / SFS: Bhutan - Bhutan - Himalayan Studies
Absolutely! I really learned a lot about myself and the environments in which I learn and work best. I never realized how bored I could be in a traditional classroom until I started learning outside of the classroom. It was so rewarding to be learning a technique and putting it into practice in the field, testing it out. I l... - Albright College View Entire Review

About

Our programs in Bhutan take place in the country’s mountains, valleys, rivers, forests, protected areas, and cultural sites. Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as natural resource and water management, climate change, and sustainable livelihoods. As the country begins to urbanize, and with the looming threat of a rapidly changing climate, Bhutan is at a crossroads. In keeping with the tenets of Gross National Happiness, the people of Bhutan must balance preserving biodiversity with securing their economic futures. SFS works in partnership with the Bhutanese government and the Bhutan Ecological Society to provide much-needed data that informs sustainable conservation and development policies and climate adaptation strategies.




  • Himalayan Environment and Society in Transition (SEMESTER PROGRAM): Venture to a mountain kingdom where change is on the horizon. Few foreigners ever set foot in Bhutan’s small villages and stunning Buddhist monasteries – not until 1974 did the country open its borders to tourism. Based in Paro, you’ll explore the challenges of protecting biodiversity and maintaining traditional rural lifestyles in this time of transition. Study conservation and environmental issues firsthand against a backdrop of vibrant culture and Buddhist philosophy. Learn more about the famed principles of Gross National Happiness, gain an in-depth knowledge of local ecosystems, and wrap up the semester with an extensive field research project. Students meet SFS staff in Bangkok two days before the program start to explore the city and to ensure travel to Bhutan on the same flight.


  • Forests in the Land of the Thunder Dragon (SUMMER I PROGRAM):Explore the rich biodiversity, forests, culture, and dramatic mountain views of the Bhutanese Himalayas. Spend six weeks studying issues of conservation, forest management, and development, visiting ancient shrines, and surveying big cats and forests in one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Students meet SFS staff in Bangkok two days before the program start to explore the city and to ensure travel to Bhutan on the same flight. 


SFS students live and study at the Center for Himalayan Environment and Development Studies. The Center is located at one end of the stunning Paro Valley, at the base of a towering ridgeline dotted with Buddhist monasteries. Campus is a small cluster of buildings designed in the traditional Bhutanese architectural style. A pleasant 15-minute walk brings you to the markets, shops, and cultural events of Paro Town.


Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Research
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Summer
  • Spring
Instruction Language(s):
  • English
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Forestry
  • East Asian Studies
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Global Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religion / Religious Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Geography
  • International Relations
  • Sociology
  • History
Minimum GPA:
2.5
Website
Take me there!

Statistics

The School for Field Studies / SFS Scholarships

All students are eligible to apply for these need-based awards. SFS will work with you and your home school to understand and meet your financial need.

N/A

Deadlines:
The complete aid application is due at least 60 days before the program begins for semester applicants, and at least 30 days before the program begins for summer applicants.

Guidelines/Requirements:
All students are eligible to apply for these need-based awards.

These grants will be awarded on the basis of need and may supplement other awards of SFS need-based scholarships, travel grants, and zero- or low-interest loans.

N/A

Deadlines:
Spring: November 1st Summer 1 or Summer 1+2: April 1st Summer 2: May 1st Fall: June 1st

Guidelines/Requirements:
The SFS Trailblazer Grant is available to students who are the first from their home institution to attend an SFS program.

SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for all SFS semester programs to students who use their Pell Grant to help pay the cost of their SFS program.

N/A

Deadlines:
Spring: November 1st Summer 1 or Summer 1+2: April 1st Summer 2: May 1st Fall: June 1st

Guidelines/Requirements:
Students must complete the SFS Financial Aid Application in order to receive this award.

This need-based scholarship is available for students with a cultural and/or ancestral connection to the country in which they plan to study abroad with SFS.

N/A

Deadlines:
Spring: November 1st Summer 1 or Summer 1+2: April 1st Summer 2: May 1st Fall: June 1st

Guidelines/Requirements:
In order to be considered for the need-based Heritage Scholarship, students must complete a personal statement indicating how they qualify for this award.

SFS seeks to broaden and strengthen the participation of traditionally underrepresented minority students in all of its programs. The SFS Diversity Scholarship is one of the ways we broaden the participation of underrepresented groups of students in study abroad. For SFS, underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, students who identify with a certain race, sex, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, or veteran status. Underrepresented groups also include first generation college students and students from low income families.

N/A

Deadlines:
Spring: November 1st Summer 1 or Summer 1+2: April 1st Summer 2: May 1st Fall: June 1st

Guidelines/Requirements:
In order to be considered for this scholarship, students must explain how participation in an SFS program would broaden the diversity of the program.

Videos

Facebook

Twitter