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IAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. SFS will provide you with visa information.
Getting to Your Program
You will book your travel through a group flight arranged by SFS. SFS will provide you with details.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Offered through the School for Field Studies (SFS), the SFS Himalayan Forests, Watersheds, & Rural Livelihoods programs is an approved UW affiliate program. You will travel across Bhutan to learn about Bhutanese culture, environmental issues, and rural development. You will also conduct research on Bhutan's environmental concerns and conservation strategies.
You will be working closely with both IAP and SFS on this program. You can access the program;s main information page through the SFS website
to learn more about the academics, housing, excursions and activities, and location.
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!!!
OrientationStudents 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.
HousingStudents 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
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
Read about current & past students' adventures.
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. UW Affiliate programs may require you to apply directly to the affiliate either simultaneously during the IAP application process OR after you have received a preliminary admissions decision from IAP. After you have completed the IAP Online Application, the following forms will become available to you through the application portal. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for information on when to apply to the affiliate.
Summer Program Forms
SFS Academic Reference Form: Submit to SFS
SFS Application Fee: Submit to SFS
SFS Application Instructions Checklist: Upload + Submit
SFS Character Reference Form: Submit to SFS
SFS Online Application for Admission: Submit to SFS
SFS Participation Approval Form: Submit to IAP
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make a preliminary admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email. The affiliate university or organization will make the final admissions decision.