Bhutan is a small mountainous landlocked nation in Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by the Republic of India.
Bhutan maintains its own distinct cultural flavor and vibe by combining elements of Indian and Chinese culture with an ineffable quality that is at once Bhutan. Bhutan never fails to steal the hearts of travelers with its breathtaking scenery, stunning architecture, rich culture, and its friendly people and welcoming atmosphere.
Also known as The Last Shangri-La or The Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is not only one of the happiest countries in the world, but it is also a deeply religious region, and is the only remaining Buddhist kingdom in the world. For those who enjoy the beauty of nature and are looking to get a firsthand experience of the Himalayas, Bhutan is by far the best destination.
Who wouldn’t want to study abroad in The Land of the Thunder Dragon? - A mysterious and elusive country for the Western world! The secret to a successful study abroad experience begins with research; it begins here:
“Dzongkha” is the national language of Bhutan. It is a South Tibetan language that is also somewhat similar to Sikkimese. However, international students who are looking to go abroad to Bhutan should not worry too much about the language barrier. The majority of Bhutanese are not only conversant in English, but all courses are taught in English as well.
Most students studying in Bhutan prefer to stay in dormitories. Both Royal Thimphu College and Sherubtse College encourage all new students to live on campus as a good number of faculty and staff live on campus as well, which nurtures a safe, healthy and academically interactive campus life.
The colleges’ academic year is based on a two semester system; the academic year begins in the first week of August and ends in late June or early July. Colleges and schools in Bhutan have short summer breaks (2-3 weeks) and a long winter break (2 – 2 ½ months). Most colleges are not only equipped with modern facilities designed to suit the needs of students, but they also have strong faculty advising, and normally encourage small-group discussions and class participation. For example:
“The pedagogy at Royal Thimphu College includes variety of methods: presentations, active participation in class, discussions and debates, case studies, field visits, guest lecturers and writing assignments. These methods help the students develop life skills such as the ability to learn independently and communicate effectively. This in turn prepares them for the world of work. More than 50% of student assessment is through course work.”
Colleges like Royal Thimphu College and Sherubtse College are committed to giving students the opportunity and freedom for the fullest possible development as a whole person: academically, emotionally, socially, morally and physically. Colleges also provide students an active life both in and outside of classrooms – besides the enriching academic life, students are kept busy with extra-curricular activities such as intramurals, inter-school sports competitions, debates, hiking, music, dancing, and acting programs.
The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, is an hour drive from Paro Airport - the only international airport in Bhutan. Thimphu is situated in the western central part of Bhutan and is the most liveliest and inviting city in Bhutan. The breathtaking scenery, the astonishing architecture, the friendly atmosphere, and the abundance of shops, restaurants and nightlife undoubtedly makes it the best city in Bhutan to study abroad in. Fortunately, Thimphu city is only a 20 minute drive from Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan's first and only private college. RTC is located among the silent and green cypress-hedged valley of Ngabiphu, providing a serene peaceful learning environment, yet close enough to the main city, Thimphu.
Royal Thimphu College offers general degree programs (BCA, BBA, BCOM, BA English/Env. Studies, BA Economics/ Env. Studies, BA Pol.Science/Sociology) under the auspices of the Royal University of Bhutan. RTC’s objective is to contribute to educational excellence in Bhutan and to become an institute of international repute attracting outstanding students from Bhutan and abroad. The College aims to provide the best possible education to its students, while keeping fees affordable and competitive with those in the region. It is also known to have the best facilities in the country.
The largest and easternmost district in Bhutan. It is a 17 hour drive from the country’s capital, Thimphu, and bears the first education college of the country - Sherubtse College. Sherubtse College located in Kanglung, Trashigang, is the first education college of the country under the Royal University of Bhutan. It is one of the oldest and largest colleges in Bhutan. Sherubtse College has a lush green campus and an authentic rural feel to it. It is a multidisciplinary institution that offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in the arts, humanities, social science, physical and biological science departments.
All, EXCEPT Bangladesh, Maldivians and Indian nationals, require visas to enter Bhutan. However, international students who are looking to go abroad to Bhutan should not worry about this, as the college you have been accepted to will take care of your visa and all that is necessary to come to Bhutan.
Social Life and Student Culture
There are literally hundreds of activities to keep you busy outside the classroom. Your study abroad program with us itself will come in a package which will include numerous sightseeing activities to ensure that you see the best of everything that the country has to offer. Your stay here will be an adventurous one, ranging all the way from experiencing social work such as helping build houses in the villages, teaching in schools, going on absolutely breathtaking hikes, or just experiencing the slow and relaxing Bhutanese way of living, to enjoying the assortment of food (Bhutanese, India, Mexican, Korean, Chinese, Thai, etc) and the exciting nightlife for you to explore in Thimphu City.
Out of the number of factors to consider while deciding to study abroad, fees or scholarships may be an important one. It is important to know that although colleges in Bhutan do not typically offer scholarships, Bhutan, in general, is a very affordable place to life in.
- The Boren Awards is a well known study abroad scholarship.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
Don’t miss this once in a life time opportunity to experience Gross National Happiness for yourself. The Last Shangri-La and its people will make you feel like you are home away from home. Bhutan has everything to offer, a good education with beautiful landscapes and a rich culture.
Contributed by Tenzin Wangmo
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