Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices
Students travel across Bhutan to learn about Bhutanese culture, environmental issues, and rural development. While passing through valleys and villages, students will learn about local environments and rural life. Students will also conduct research on Bhutan's environmental concerns and conservation strategies.
The program is based at Lamey Goempa, a former palace and monastery of King Ugyen Wangchuckm, builts in the 1800s. The palace is now a research center dedicated to the study of the environment and conservation. This institute is situated in the hills above the town of Jakar at the foot of the Chokhor valley. The rich forest surrounding serves as the field laboratory and experimental site for students.
Getting to Your Program
Students book their travel on the group flight as Bhutan is a difficult location to get to and that there is only one airline that flies there.
When SFS books the Druk Airline tickets in the spring, they will get a visa clearance. The actual visa endorsement is stamped in the student's passport when they arrive at the airport in Paro, Bhutan. The visa will be arranged to cover only the length of the program. Should students wish to remain in Bhutan after the program they will need to arrange for a visa extension through an authorized travel agent.
**All students' passports must be valid for up to six months past their expiration date!!!
Students are required to participate in a pre-departure orientation at UW-Madison as well as an on-site orientation upon arrival in country. The orientations are designed to introduce students to the program and prepare them for living abroad.
Students live at the research center which is the former palace and monastery of the King.
Excursions and Activities
There is one multi-day trek (supported by pack animals). Local travel costs are included in the program fee.
All participants in IAP programs are enrolled in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
School for Field Studies Center Director and staff
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.SFS Academic Notes
(Summer - 2012-13)
Returned Student Network
to see testimonials from students abroad or to contact a returned student.
Read about current & past students' adventures.
SFS is partnering with the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, an international research and training facility in Bhutan. SFS students and faculty will help the Institute advance its research agenda in several priority areas, including community and private forest management, the role of non-timber forest products in rural livelihood, human-wildlife conflict in agricultural areas, and pollution of fields and waterways. Academic activities, including classroom lectures, field lectures, discussions, and field research, will occur six days a week. Students will have very few days off during the program. The program is intensive and highly structured. One day a week there will be an organized recreational and cultural activity, and students will not have the opportunity during the program to spend nights away from the center.
Eastern Himalayan Forests and Rural Livelihood Eastern Himalayan Forests and Rural Livelihood is a six-week summer course that integrates education on the social and biophysical aspects of natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. In this interdisciplinary, field-based course, students will get to know a country in a region that is recognized worldwide for its dramatic mountain landscapes and rich flora and fauna. We will travel in Bhutan learning about culture, Buddhist philosophy, and environmental issues. Trekking across valleys and ridges and through villages students will gain an intimate knowledge of the local environments and rural livelihoods. Students will develop skills in assessing environmental problems, defining research questions, conducting field research, and communicating results. They will gain an appreciation for the complexity of identifying and addressing conservation issues in a rapidly developing region.
School for Field Studies
Program Web Page(s)
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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