The Himalayan Experience Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/27/2018 to 12/05/2018 with

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

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were not very challenging but they were interesting. They forced me to evaluate the lens through which I was looking at environmental problems in Bhutan. It may not have been rigorous but I learned so much about Bhutan culture, life, and environmental policies.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Staff were absolutely wonderful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At the center it was dominated with Americans so at times it did feel very western but most of the staff were Bhutanese and we went into town often and made friends as well as volunteering at a local school and soccere games with other college students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

The program was incredible but the people are what made it unforgettable. The 22 other students as well as the professors and staff made this semester one of the best I have had in college. I have never felt more loved, comfortable, or supported. I would do this all over again in a heart beat.


* 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)

I did not spend very much but I kept myself on a strict budget and was also not buying souvenirs.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

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

The language was very minimal and many Bhutanese speak English.

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? None

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

  • 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 people
  • The mountains
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • Wifi
  • Plumbing
  • Longer camping trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Its warmer than you would expect and the Bhutanese staff at the center are some incredible people - get to know them as well as you can.

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.