Jan 27 - May 9
Sep 1 - Dec 12
One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science
Study abroad in Bhutan with SFS and 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. Now, Bhutan is developing rapidly. 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.
Spring – November 1
Fall – May 1
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This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Bhutan. Read more about the SFS program model.
Major academic themes include:
On the Himalayan Environment and Society in Transition program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit religion and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.
Click on each course to view a description and download the syllabus
You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS and mapping, species identification and distribution mapping, forest and biodiversity surveys, camera trapping and mist netting, protected areas assessment, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, research design and implementation, and research presentation.
You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include mountain ecosystems, subalpine conifer forests, alpine meadows, rural villages and small towns, subtropical broadleaf forests, high-altitude mountain passes, monasteries and sacred sites, and agricultural communities.
In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.Find Out More
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 walk brings you to the markets, shops, and cultural events of Paro Town.