Bhutan Tibetan Kids Monks 136179341 Small

API students who study abroad in Thimphu, Bhutan will directly enroll with Bhutanese students and take courses as only a few fortunate westerners are able to do! All API students will enroll in beginning Dzongka (traditional Bhutanese language) and a 3-credit internship in addition to selecting 2-3 courses with Bhutanese students in a variety of subject areas, including international business, computer science, environmental studies, sustainable development, and much more!

What's Included?

Highlights

Pre Departure Services

Advising

@api Online System

Orientation Materials and Resources

Access to International Phone Plans

API Alumni Network

Social Networking

Scholarships

On Site Services

Airport Reception

On-Site Orientation

Housing (including some meals)

Resident Coordinator

Tuition

Medical and Life Insurance

Excursions (international, overnight, day)

Round-trip Airfare (Bangkok – Paro)

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation

Transcript

Alumni Network and Global Leadership Academy

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

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

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.

  • Bangkok

    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.
  • 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 this 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.
  • Haa District

    The Haa 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.
  • 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 (Tiger's Nest)

    Also referred to as Paro Taktsang or the Tiger's Nest, 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!

  • 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.

  • 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). The group 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 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.
  • Phajoding

    Phajoding monastery is located at 3640m above Thimphu and is 2-3 hours 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.
  • Bangkok

    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.
  • Haa District

    The Haa 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.
  • 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 (Tiger's Nest)

    Also referred to as Paro Taktsang or the Tiger's Nest, 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!

  • 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). The group 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 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.
  • 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.

  • Visit to Eastern Bhutan

    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, Phobjikha and reach Bumthang. While on the excursion, some of the important and historical sites that will be visited include the Jakar Dzong, constructed in 1549, the Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century, the Membartso/burning lake, and the ogyen Choling village. On the way back, students will stop at Phobjika Valley and take in the natural highlights of this region. This is probably the most popular excursion that API Bhutan offers. Students in the past have enjoyed this immensely as they travel to Eastern Bhutan and witness a culture very distinct from the one they witness in Thimphu.

  • Bangkok

    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.
  • Haa District

    The Haa 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.
  • 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 (Tiger's Nest)

    Also referred to as Paro Taktsang or the Tiger's Nest, 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!

  • 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). The group 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 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.
  • 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.

  • Visit to Eastern Bhutan

    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, Phobjikha and reach Bumthang. While on the excursion, some of the important and historical sites that will be visited include the Jakar Dzong, constructed in 1549, the Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century, the Membartso/burning lake, and the ogyen Choling village. On the way back, students will stop at Phobjika Valley and take in the natural highlights of this region. This is probably the most popular excursion that API Bhutan offers. Students in the past have enjoyed this immensely as they travel to Eastern Bhutan and witness a culture very distinct from the one they witness in Thimphu.

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 12-15 per semester

API students who study abroad in Thimphu, Bhutan will directly enroll with Bhutanese students and take courses as only a few fortunate westerners are able to do! All API students will enroll in beginning Dzongka (traditional Bhutanese language) and a 3-credit internship in addition to selecting 2-3 courses with Bhutanese students in a variety of subject areas, including international business, computer science, environmental studies, sustainable development, and much more!

INTERNSHIPS

API students will participate in a for-credit internship monitored by a Bhutanese faculty member at RTC. Students will be assessed based on weekly check-ins and reports from the student and internship supervisor, and a final project or paper. The internship is graded and will follow the same grading system as the rest of RTC credited courses. Internship placements may include working with local primary schools, NGOs, government organizations and other social and environmental agencies. Students should indicate their preferred area of placement during the application process, and provide a short essay explaining the type of work they are looking to do and how that will apply to their degree plan or future career ambitions. More information and guidance will be provided upon acceptance. This invaluable experience will allow students to not only learn about the policies of a developing nation but to give back to the host community while earning credits at the same time! Note that students who are unable or unwilling to complete an internship may substitute an additional course at RTC.TRANSCRIPTSStudents receive an official transcript from the Royal Thimphu College – Royal University of Bhutan, upon successful completion of their program.

Staff & Coordinators

  • Atvbeswjqi6Nsrfcvwwq

    Sonam Choden Tshering

    Sonam will be your Resident Coordinator in Thimphu and a resource for you while living in Bhutan with us!

  • Wtcdd5V8Rtuqcoghaqsg

    Kelsey Patton

    Kelsey Patton will be your Program Coordinator and prepare you to go abroad!

    Email - kelsey.patton@apiabroad.com

While API’s standard credit conversion practice is to assign one U.S. semester credit for every 15 contact hours, most courses at RTC are worth 12 RTC credits. These credits are calculated as follows: 1 RTC credit equals 10 hours of study (consisting equally of in-class contact hours and self-study hours). This equates to a total of 120 hours per course, and 60 in-class contact hours, or 4 U.S. semester credits

Students typically take 3 academic courses and one internship for a total of 16 U.S. semester credits. Students will take 3-4 courses with Bhutanese students. Courses are worth 3-5 U.S. credits each, based on the total number of contact hours available (45-75).

API students will be required to take 2 courses from a SUBJECT AREA/MAJOR in the TERM in which they’re studying abroad (e.g. Economics, Environmental Studies, etc) in order to assure that the timetables line up and there are no schedule conflicts. They may then choose 1 course from another subject area.

This schedule will be rounded out with an internship module (which can be scheduled around the student’s coursework).

NOTE: Courses may be available and selection may change from semester to semester.

RTC Course Catalog

While API’s standard credit conversion practice is to assign one U.S. semester credit for every 15 contact hours, most courses at RTC are worth 12 RTC credits. These credits are calculated as follows: 1 RTC credit equals 10 hours of study (consisting equally of in-class contact hours and self-study hours). This equates to a total of 120 hours per course, and 60 in-class contact hours, or 4 U.S. semester credits.

Students typically take 3 academic courses and one internship for a total of 16 U.S. semester credits. Students will take 3-4 courses with Bhutanese students. Courses are worth 3-5 U.S. credits each, based on the total number of contact hours available (45-75).

API students will be required to take 2 courses from a SUBJECT AREA/MAJOR in the TERM in which they’re studying abroad (e.g. Economics, Environmental Studies, etc) in order to assure that the timetables line up and there are no schedule conflicts. They may then choose 1 course from another subject area.

This schedule will be rounded out with an internship module (which can be scheduled around the student’s coursework).

NOTE: Courses may be available and selection may change from semester to semester.

RTC Course Catalog

RTC Internship

API students are required to participate in a for-credit internship monitored by a Bhutanese faculty member at RTC. Students will be assessed based on weekly check-ins and reports from the student and internship supervisor, and a final project or paper. The internship is graded and will follow the same grading system as the rest of RTC credited courses. Internship placements may include working with local primary schools, NGOs, government organizations and other social and environmental agencies. Students should indicate their preferred area of placement during the application process, and provide a short essay explaining the type of work they are looking to do and how that will apply to their degree plan or future career ambitions. More information and guidance will be provided upon acceptance. This invaluable experience will allow students to not only learn about the policies of a developing nation but to give back to the host community while earning credits at the same time!

Recommended US semester credits: 3  

RTC Internship

API students are required to participate in a for-credit internship monitored by a Bhutanese faculty member at RTC. Students will be assessed based on weekly check-ins and reports from the student and internship supervisor, and a final project or paper. The internship is graded and will follow the same grading system as the rest of RTC credited courses. Internship placements may include working with local primary schools, NGOs, government organizations and other social and environmental agencies. Students should indicate their preferred area of placement during the application process, and provide a short essay explaining the type of work they are looking to do and how that will apply to their degree plan or future career ambitions. More information and guidance will be provided upon acceptance. This invaluable experience will allow students to not only learn about the policies of a developing nation but to give back to the host community while earning credits at the same time!

Recommended US semester credits: 3  

RTC Course Catalog

While API’s standard credit conversion practice is to assign one U.S. semester credit for every 15 contact hours, most courses at RTC are worth 12 RTC credits. These credits are calculated as follows: 1 RTC credit equals 10 hours of study (consisting equally of in-class contact hours and self-study hours). This equates to a total of 120 hours per course, and 60 in-class contact hours, or 4 U.S. semester credits.

Students typically take 3 academic courses and one internship for a total of 16 U.S. semester credits. Students will take 3-4 courses with Bhutanese students. Courses are worth 3-5 U.S. credits each, based on the total number of contact hours available (45-75).

API students will be required to take 2 courses from a SUBJECT AREA/MAJOR in the TERM in which they’re studying abroad (e.g. Economics, Environmental Studies, etc) in order to assure that the timetables line up and there are no schedule conflicts. They may then choose 1 course from another subject area.

This schedule will be rounded out with an internship module (which can be scheduled around the student’s coursework).

NOTE: Courses may be available and selection may change from semester to semester.

RTC Course Catalog

RTC Internship

API students are required to participate in a for-credit internship monitored by a Bhutanese faculty member at RTC. Students will be assessed based on weekly check-ins and reports from the student and internship supervisor, and a final project or paper. The internship is graded and will follow the same grading system as the rest of RTC credited courses. Internship placements may include working with local primary schools, NGOs, government organizations and other social and environmental agencies. Students should indicate their preferred area of placement during the application process, and provide a short essay explaining the type of work they are looking to do and how that will apply to their degree plan or future career ambitions. More information and guidance will be provided upon acceptance. This invaluable experience will allow students to not only learn about the policies of a developing nation but to give back to the host community while earning credits at the same time!

Recommended US semester credits: 3  

RTC Course Catalog

While API’s standard credit conversion practice is to assign one U.S. semester credit for every 15 contact hours, most courses at RTC are worth 12 RTC credits. These credits are calculated as follows: 1 RTC credit equals 10 hours of study (consisting equally of in-class contact hours and self-study hours). This equates to a total of 120 hours per course, and 60 in-class contact hours, or 4 U.S. semester credits.

Students typically take 3 academic courses and one internship for a total of 16 U.S. semester credits. Students will take 3-4 courses with Bhutanese students. Courses are worth 3-5 U.S. credits each, based on the total number of contact hours available (45-75).

API students will be required to take 2 courses from a SUBJECT AREA/MAJOR in the TERM in which they’re studying abroad (e.g. Economics, Environmental Studies, etc) in order to assure that the timetables line up and there are no schedule conflicts. They may then choose 1 course from another subject area.

This schedule will be rounded out with an internship module (which can be scheduled around the student’s coursework).

NOTE: Courses may be available and selection may change from semester to semester.

RTC Course Catalog

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)

Students in Thimphu will live on campus in student dorms alongside Bhutanese students. Rooms are double-occupancy with shared bathrooms and laundry facilities. There is not space to prepare meals in the rooms; however, students will receive meals at the campus cafeteria and will receive credit to purchase additional snacks and hot meals in the campus canteen or in local shops. Students will also be provided with a space heater and internet surf stick to help them complete assignments and communicate with home.

Note: Housing between the fall and spring semesters is not included.

2010 09 20 012441 42222802450 O
2011 04 30 102403 43983422442 O
2012 04 05 001612 43313109714 O
2012 04 05 001621 43983441632 O
Dsc03657 42222798800 O
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Spring Feb 22, 2020 - Jul 2, 2020 $17,150 Oct 1, 2019 Oct 15, 2019
Spring Feb 20, 2019 - Jul 1, 2019 $16,980 Oct 1, 2018 Oct 15, 2018
Fall Jul 25, 2019 - Dec 2, 2019 $16,980 Apr 15, 2019 May 1, 2019
Academic Year Jul 25, 2019 - Jul 2, 2020 $32,960 Apr 15, 2019 May 1, 2019