SFS BHUTAN: HIMALAYAN ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY IN TRANSITION (SEMESTER)
- Terms: Fall, Spring
- Credits: 18 semester-hour credits
- Prerequisites: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 18 years of age
- Application Deadline: Rolling admissions. Early applications encouraged
- Financial Aid: All accepted students can apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans
Explore a corner of the Himalayas where few foreigners ever step foot. Experience Bhutan’s unique culture and diverse ecosystems as you trek through remote villages and high mountain passes. Learn how Buddhist philosophy influences the country’s environmental policies and how the people of Bhutan are addressing the challenge of maintaining biodiversity and traditional rural lifestyles in a time of transition. Gain practical skills in field research and data collection and apply them to an extensive research project.
- 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 tshechus (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.
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 15-minute walk brings you to the markets, shops, and cultural events of Paro Town.
- Mountain ecology and conservation
- Climate change
- Gross National Happiness
- Forest management
- River ecosystems
- Agriculture and urban migration
- GIS and mapping
- Species identification
- Camera trapping and mist-netting
- Biodiversity surveys
- Research design and implementation
- Data collection and analysis
- Research presentation
CONNECT WITH SFS
Visit the SFS website
Call the Admissions Hotline at 800.989.4418
Read updates from the field on the SFS Blog
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Watch student videos on YouTube
Ohio State works in cooperation with the School for Field Studies, the oldest and largest educational institution in the United States exclusively dedicated to teaching and engaging undergraduates in environmental problem solving. The School for Field Studies (SFS) Bhutan, Summer, Himalayan Forests, Watersheds and Rural Livelihoods program introduces students to Bhutanese culture, society and environment. Traveling and trekking across valleys and ridges and through villages, students will gain an intimate knowledge of the diverse ecosystems and rural livelihood strategies, and conduct research on Bhutan's priority environmental concerns and resource management and biodiversity conservation strategies.
This program is located in the Bumthang District of Bhutan. Bhutan is nestled in the remote and rugged eastern Himalayan region, an area characterized by extensive and numerous mountains and valleys, the world's highest peaks and a diversity of vegetation types and unique animal species. The country has also been identified as one of the top ten biodiversity hot spots in the world. Bhutan is home to an estimated 770 species of birds and an astonishing variety of medicinal plants and orchids. Takin, snow leopards, golden langurs, blue sheep, tigers, water buffalo and elephants are among Bhutan's diverse wildlife. Traveling across Bhutan, students will learn about Bhutanese culture, environmental issues and rural development.
Students will stay at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment.
Ohio State Program Contact
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Courses and Credits
Each course a student takes abroad, regardless of the grade received or how course credit counts toward degree requirements, must:
- Be approved via the credit evaluation process; students are strongly encouraged to do this prior to submitting their applications.
- Transfer back to the student’s Ohio State record.
- Be completed for graded Ohio State credit. This grade will be factored into the student’s GPA.
Completion of the credit evaluation process does not guarantee the availability of the course abroad. Students are encouraged to have multiple back-up courses approved. Students who cancel their participation for failure to secure approval for desired course work will be subject to the cancellation policy
Admitted participants are required to register themselves in the temporary study abroad placeholder course, ARTSSCI 5797. Further instructions will be provided upon admission to the program.
Completion of the 6 week summer session will earn approximately 6 semester hours.
In order to be eligible to apply for this program, students must meet the SFS program-specific eligibility requirements and meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for Participation. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.
Students may not graduate during the same term in which they are participating on a third party provider/direct enroll program.
Applicants are required to submit TWO applications:
1. OIA education abroad application (start at the "Apply Now" at the bottom or top of this page);
2. SFS application.
IMPORTANT: Both applications must be submitted by the Ohio State application deadline.
Passports are required for every Ohio State study abroad program. For many study abroad destinations, passport information is required to apply for an entry visa (as early as 6 months prior to departure). For information about applying for a passport, go to travel.state.gov
Students will pay the SFS program fee and GeoBlue international insurance fee. A waiver of tuition for Ohio State students that participate on university-approved third party provider or direct enroll programming is in effect until June 30, 2021. The SFS program fee includes tuition, housing and on-site orientation. Airfare, books and supplies, personal expenses and independent travel are not included in the program fee.
If students withdraw or become ineligible any time 11 days after the acceptance notification from OSU, they will be held responsible for a $200 cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy
Students should begin researching funding opportunities
before they have been accepted into a study abroad program. Grants and Scholarships
deadlines may occur before the study abroad program application deadline.
U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov
(travel advisories/country specific safety information)
Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov/travel
(pre-travel health guidance)
Ohio State reserves the right to change without notice any statement contained herein, concerning but not limited to rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses. In the event of a change to an existing U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, CDC Travel Health Notice or other risk designated criteria
, the Office of International Affairs reserves the right to cancel any program prior to departure or while in progress. Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, is prohibited.