SFS Bhutan was an incredible experience! Past Review

By (Environmental Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/29/2018 to 05/09/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
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.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academics were not as rigorous and stressful as they are at my home university, but that was nice as it allowed me to relax and spend more time with friends and immersed in the culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administration was excellent. They were all lovely people, and exceptional at ping pong!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Our cook team was really great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went into town frequently and helped out at the elementary school down the street about once a month.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We needed the rabies vaccine to attend the program, but none of us needed the post-exposure vaccine. A few of us had some stomach issues, but those went away after a day or two.

* Safety:

The only real issue was the dog population at night, but if we walked in groups and didn't provoke them, we were fine.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I'm not sure how much I spent per week (it varied), but I spent around $300 over the course of the semester.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't spend a lot on alcohol every weekend!


* 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

We said hello and thank you to locals, but not much 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
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Dzongkha is very difficult. Hello and thank you are pretty much enough!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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 location
  • The classmates
  • The Bhutanese people
* What could be improved?
  • The organization of the program, although any blips were caused by external factors
  • The wifi
  • The electrical blackouts (although they were kinda fun)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bhutan is by no means a vegetarian country, and to expect dietary irregularity.

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.