SFS Bhutan: Forests in the Land of the Thunder Dragon (Summer I)

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Explore the rich culture, biodiversity, and dramatic mountain views of the Bhutanese Himalayas and learn how forests - which cover more than 70 percent of the landscape - are integral to the goals of Gross National Happiness. Spend four weeks surveying forests, visiting ancient shrines, and studying conservation and development in one of the most fascinating countries in the world.

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.

  • Trek across forested ridges and remote villages, camping out under the stars and learning about Bhutanese culture and ecosystems firsthand.
  • Develop core skills such as: GIS and mapping, species identification, camera trapping and mist-netting, biodiversity surveys, research design and implementation, data collection and analysis, research presentation

We’ve updated our refund & cancelation policy to allow for flexible booking due to COVID-19

We’ve updated our refund & cancelation policy to allow for flexible booking due to COVID-19


SFS Awards More Than $650,000 in Need-based Aid Each Year

SFS works closely with your home school to help you fund your SFS program. Many applicants receive aid through their home institutions or other outside sources, so check with your financial aid office to see what aid may apply to an SFS program.

$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers


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Yes, I recommend this program

Really Powerful Learning

I don't think I have grown more in six weeks than when I was in Bhutan. It took me out of my little, conservative northern California bubble and filled me with new thoughts and ideas. My classmates love hearing my stories of monsoons, nights in the karaoke bar and directed research. This trip has also given me an edge and left an impression when I interview for student jobs and internships.

What would you improve about this program?
More freedom. We got treated like little kids a bit too often.
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