Amazing Culture, Religion, and Hikes June 09, 2022

By (Sustainability Studies and Political Science, Muhlenberg College) - abroad from 02/08/2022 to 05/17/2022 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I love Buddhism! Hiking is amazing! And I want to travel more around Southeast Asia

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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

I had the opportunity to learn about Buddhism and climate change while making close relationships with program staff and exploring the Himalayas


* 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? 10-20 USD each week (snacks, drinks, souvenirs)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring extra money just in case, but the Bhutanese nuu is worth so much less than US dollars that you don't have to worry about it much on this program


* 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

While language is a small component of the program, it is not the focus and most 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? 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? No need

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* 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?
  • People
  • Hiking
  • Cultural Components
* What could be improved?
  • Language Barrier makes classes less rewarding
  • More organization from the program, culturally Bhutanese are last minute decision makers
  • You have to teach youreself some of the culture, professors forget to explain it sometimes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? SFS does a great job of preparing you for these semesters with their many resources. I wish I brought more short sleeve shirts on the spring semester because it gets hot starting in March in Paro, Bhutan

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.