Bumthang District, Bhutan
English instruction with 2-credit Language & Bhutanese Culture course
Semester: 18 credits
Summer: 6 credits
Rolling admissions


The School for Field Studies (SFS) semester and summer programs in Bhutan give students a broad exposure to the core areas of environment, culture, development, and governance in Bhutan. Students apply conceptual, analytical, and technical skills to help address questions related to natural resource-based livelihoods, conservation of biodiversity, and ecological vulnerabilities. The program curriculum and research agenda address issues related to modernization in Bhutan: the support of rural livelihoods and the conservation of biodiversity in the face of a changing society and landscape.

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  • Observe changes in vegetation zones on the journey from the capital city to central Bhutan
  • Explore the Phobjikha valley, an important wetland conservation area for the black-necked crane
  • Consider the benefits and challenges of integrated conservation and development programs in rural communities
  • Trek through villages and relict forests to 14,000 feet elevation
  • Conduct biodiversity studies and habitat assessments in forests, fields, and along rivers
  • Study traditional agricultural systems and practices, and assess how modernization affects the agro-ecosystem and rural household economies
  • Visit monasteries to learn about the role of Buddhism in Bhutanese society and culture, especially as it relates to environmental concerns and national happiness


Eastern Himalayan Forests and Rural Livelihoods

Traveling through Bhutan, students learn about culture and history, religious traditions, environmental issues, and conservation policies, all while exploring the role that environmental services and natural resources play in rural livelihoods and national development. Students conduct research on Bhutan’s primary environmental concerns, including sustainable forestry, watershed management, and rural development.


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