Bhutan Study Abroad Excursions
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Excursions

Highlights

  • Classes in English with Bhutanese students
  • Internships available for credit
  • Visa processing included
  • International excursion included (round-trip flight from orientation to Bhutan included)

Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5G.P.A.
  • Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Completed API application
  • University contact information form
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Official transcript
  • Internship essay
  • Entry requirement: valid passport with supporting documents (more information provided post-acceptance)

Dates & Fees

SPRING SEMESTER 2018
Feb 22, 2018 - Jul 1, 2018
$17,250
FALL SEMESTER 2017-2018
Jul 27, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017
$17,250
FALL SEMESTER 2018
Late Jul, 2018 - Early Dec, 2018
$17,250
ACADEMIC YEAR 2018
Late Jul, 2018 - Early Jul, 2019
$33,500
ACADEMIC YEAR 2017-2018
Jul 27, 2017 - Jul 1, 2018
$33,500

Deadlines

SPRING SEMESTER 2018
APPLICATION DEADLINE
Oct 1, 2017
PAYMENT DEADLINE
Oct 15, 2017
FALL SEMESTER 2017-2018
APPLICATION DEADLINE
Apr 15, 2017
PAYMENT DEADLINE
May 1, 2017
FALL SEMESTER 2018
APPLICATION DEADLINE
Apr 15, 2018
PAYMENT DEADLINE
May 1, 2018
ACADEMIC YEAR 2018
APPLICATION DEADLINE
April 15, 2018
PAYMENT DEADLINE
May 1, 2018
ACADEMIC YEAR 2017-2018
APPLICATION DEADLINE
April 15, 2017
PAYMENT DEADLINE
May 1, 2017

Excursions

API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API Thimphu programs. All excursions are subject to change.

In addition to the excursions below, API students in Bhutan will also have the opportunity to participate in numerous day trips in and around Thimphu, and may include visits to the National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, Weekend Market, Craft Bazaar, Tango Monastery, and the Takin Zoo.

Spring

BANGKOK, THAILAND
INTERNATIONAL EXCURSION

All API students will first arrive into Bangkok, Thailand on the program start date. Here students will meet each other and an API group leader for the first time, undergo an initial orientation, and receive their Bhutan visas and group plane tickets to Paro. The group will also partake in an initial, pre-program excursion in this location.

DOCHULA

In preparation for a longer trek later in the semester, a day hike to a small monastery/ retreat centre 2 hours away from Dochula is planned. Dochula is located about 45 minutes drive from Thimphu. It has 108 chortens/stupas and it is a highly visited pass, at altitudes of 10,000 ft/3050 meters.

JOURNEY ACROSS HIGH PASSES AND DISTRICTS

Once the mid-terms are over, students will find time to mentally relax while traveling halfway across the country. Beginning from Thimphu, students will cross the districts of Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa and reach Bumthang. While on excursion, some of the important and historical sites that will be visited include the Trongsa Dzong constructed in 1648, The Ta Dzong or the watchtower, the Jakar Dzong, constructed in 1549,the Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century, the Membartso/burning lake, and the Ogyen Choling village and museum in Bumthang along with visits to the local beer and cheese factory.

HA DISTRICT

The Ha District provides a wonderful example of rural Bhutanese life. Previously pronounced as ‘Hay,’ the name Ha connotes esoteric hiddenness. Ha is known for its ‘Miri Phuensum’ or ‘the three brother hills’. Locals believe that if you can walk over the three hills in a day, in pilgrimage, you will be blessed!

PARO

Students will begin their Bhutan adventure by flying into Paro of course, but this will not be their only visit to Bhutan’s international port of entry. Students will explore the town and the beautiful Paro Dzong, the Druigyel Dzong (constructed in the 16th century to commemorate a victory over Tibetan forces), and other monasteries and sacred sites. The trip will also include a visit to the Paro National Museum, known for its exhibits on traditional Bhutanese art.

PHAJODING

Phajoding monastery is located at 3640m above Thimphu and is a 2-3 hour from the Takin Zoo. From the monastery, it is possible to get a spectacular view of Thimphu valley and students can learn more about the Phajoding Monastery Project. The project looks after and educates young orphaned and disadvantaged monks. If the weather is good, the next day a 5 hour hike will take students to the sacred mountain lakes.

PUNAKHA

Once the capital of Bhutan, Punakha sits at the confluence of two main rivers. Considered to be one of the most scenic locations in Bhutan, Punakha features terraced rice patties, traditional mud houses, and a peaceful, serene setting. Punakha also hosts the country’s second oldest and second largest Dzong – Punakha Dzong.

TAKTSANG MONASTERY

Also referred to as Paro Taktsang, this sacred site and temple complex is perhaps the most visited and most iconic site in all of Bhutan. Hugging a cliffside in the Paro valley, the temple was first built in 1692 over a cave where Guru Padmasambhava (Rimpoche) is said to have meditated for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days. Legend says the Guru went there to meditate on how to defeat the tiger spirit that was threatening the community below (Taktsang means tiger’s nest in Dzongkha). Students will hike the 3-4 hour walk up the trail, stopping for a break mid-way at a cafe to enjoy the view and catch their collective breath. But don’t worry, all of the stress and strain is more than worth it – Taktsang offers one of the most amazing views and spiritual experiences around!

Fall

BANGKOK, THAILAND
INTERNATIONAL EXCURSION

All API students will first arrive into Bangkok, Thailand on the program start date. Here students will meet each other and an API group leader for the first time, undergo an initial orientation, and receive their Bhutan visas and group plane tickets to Paro. The group will also partake in an initial, pre-program excursion in this location.

DISCOVERING THIMPHU

Thimphu will be home for the students for the whole semester so the first weekend will be spent taking students to familiarize themselves with the location of the Dzong, Banks, Police station, hospitals and their internship sites (if these have already been determined). We will visit the Takin, which is the National Animal of Bhutan at the Motithang Zoo, and will also visit the Museum of Traditional Medicine.
The Thimphu Tshechu (festival) is the one of the most popular religious dance festivals that attracts a huge number of tourists each year. The Thimphu Tshechu is an annual, three-day Buddhist festival that has been held in Bhutan’s capital city of Thimphu every year since 1867.

JOURNEY ACROSS HIGH PASSES AND DISTRICTS

Once the mid-terms are over, students will find time to mentally relax while traveling halfway across the country. Beginning from Thimphu, students will cross the districts of Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa and reach Bumthang. While on excursion, some of the important and historical sites that will be visited include the Trongsa Dzong constructed in 1648, The Ta Dzong or the watchtower, the Jakar Dzong, constructed in 1549,the Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century, the Membartso/burning lake, and the Ogyen Choling village and museum in Bumthang along with visits to the local beer and cheese factory.

HA DISTRICT

The Ha District provides a wonderful example of rural Bhutanese life. Previously pronounced as ‘Hay,’ the name Ha connotes esoteric hiddenness. Ha is known for its ‘Miri Phuensum’ or ‘the three brother hills’. Locals believe that if you can walk over the three hills in a day, in pilgrimage, you will be blessed!

HIKE TO WANGDITSE

In preparation for a longer trek later in the semester, a day hike to a small monastery / retreat center an hour and a half away from Sangaygan is planned. The monastery, Wangditse, was originally built in 1750 and was recently renovated.

PARO

Students will begin their Bhutan adventure by flying into Paro of course, but this will not be their only visit to Bhutan’s international port of entry. Students will explore the town and the beautiful Paro Dzong, the Druigyel Dzong (constructed in the 16th century to commemorate a victory over Tibetan forces), and other monasteries and sacred sites. The trip will also include a visit to the Paro National Museum, known for its exhibits on traditional Bhutanese art.

PUNAKHA

Once the capital of Bhutan, Punakha sits at the confluence of two main rivers. Considered to be one of the most scenic locations in Bhutan, Punakha features terraced rice patties, traditional mud houses, and a peaceful, serene setting. Punakha also hosts the country’s second oldest and second largest Dzong – Punakha Dzong.

TAKTSANG MONASTERY

Also referred to as Paro Taktsang, this sacred site and temple complex is perhaps the most visited and most iconic site in all of Bhutan. Hugging a cliffside in the Paro valley, the temple was first built in 1692 over a cave where Guru Padmasambhava (Rimpoche) is said to have meditated for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days. Legend says the Guru went there to meditate on how to defeat the tiger spirit that was threatening the community below (Taktsang means tiger’s nest in Dzongkha). Students will hike the 3-4 hour walk up the trail, stopping for a break mid-way at a cafe to enjoy the view and catch their collective breath. But don’t worry, all of the stress and strain is more than worth it – Taktsang offers one of the most amazing views and spiritual experiences around!