Spend a semester in a corner of the Himalayas where few foreigners ever step foot. Trek through remote villages and high mountain passes to experience Bhutan’s vibrant culture, Buddhist philosophy, and environmental issues firsthand. Learn about the challenges of maintaining biodiversity and traditional rural lifestyles in a time of transition. Develop skills in field research and data collection, and apply them to a research project on conservation and development issues in Bhutan.
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 10-minute walk brings you to the markets, shops, and cultural events of Paro Town.
- Embark on a multi-day cultural trek to experience the natural beauty of Bhutan’s countryside and the traditional lifestyles of its people.
- Visit monasteries 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.
- Develop field skills including: Remote sensing and mapping, species identification, camera trapping & mist netting, research design, data collection, scientific writing and presentation
- Conduct research in some of the following areas: Mountain ecology and conservation, climate change, river ecosystems, forest management, rural-urban migration, agriculture and food security