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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Jakar, Bhutan; Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: The School for Field Studies (SFS) 
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 09/01/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2024 12/31/2024 ** Rolling Admission 01/30/2024 05/10/2024

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Affiliate Partner Housing Options: Dormitory
Credit Type: Transfer Credit Language of Instruction: English
Provider: SFS Experiential Learning: Research
Program Description:


sfs bhutan


  • Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Credits: 18 semester-hour credits
  • Prerequisites: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 2.7 GPA, 18 years of age
  • Application Deadline: Fall: May 1st. Spring: November 1st. Early applications encouraged
  • Financial Aid: All accepted students can apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans


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.  

  • Embark on a multi-day cultural trek through remote villages and high mountain passes to experience the natural beauty of Bhutan’s countryside and the traditional lifestyles of its people. 
  • Visit monasteries, such as the famed Tiger’s Nest, and take part in unforgettable tsechus (festivals) to learn more about Buddhism and Bhutanese culture. 
  • Explore Bhutan’s diverse range of biomes through trips to Himalayan ridges, the subtropical Punakha and Chukha Valleys, and the alpine meadows of Phobjikha. 
  • Debate and reflect on the complex and philosophical intersections of nature, development, livelihoods, religion, and happiness. 
  • Conduct a comprehensive field research project: Develop a research question, collect and analyze data, write a paper, and present your findings.

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.


  • Mountain and forest ecology and conservation
  • Climate change
  • Geology and hydrology of mountain regions
  • Environmental governance
  • Gross National Happiness and influence of Buddhist philosophy on conservation
  • Forest and natural resource management
  • Urban migration and development
  • Agriculture and food security


  • GIS and mapping
  • Species identification and distribution mapping
  • Forest and biodiversity surveys
  • Camera trapping and mist-netting
  • Protected areas assessment
  • Research design and implementation
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Research presentation





Visit the SFS website
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