Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


International Experience Program: Bhutan

Faculty of Science

Conservation and Development in the Land of Gross National Happiness

Proposed 2018 program 

BhutanIThis three week program in Bhutan will engage you in a diversity of experiences with partner organisations, including joining with existing education & research institutions in classroom & fieldwork activities, and learning of the challenges of natural & cultural heritage management in populated landscapes in the face of change. Of particular interest is the Gross National Happiness model adopted in Bhutan, that integrates the four pillars: environmental conservation; culture; socio-economics; good governance, that all institutions and projects must work within.

The project will visit the districts of Paro, Thimpu, Pobjikha, Punakha, Trongsa and Bumthang to visit partner institutions, speak with academic teachers and researchers, government agencies and community members, and learn from existing projects in community forestry, integrating community livelihoods into protected area management, community conservation areas, and wildlife research.

A great trip and subject. The host people and organisation were fantastic, couldn't fault them. 2016 Program Participant

This program is partially funded by the Australian Government's Australian Postgraduate Short Term funding. CSU recognises the support of the Australian Government in providing targeted funds to our postgraduate students which have subsidised the cost of this program to students.

Program Dates: Approximately 2 - 20 April, 2018 (exact dates advised on notification of successful application)
Please note that this program overlaps with session time. Students will need to liaise with their Course Director to meet any subject/exam requirements due in this period. 

Number of places: 15 students
NB This program requires minimum of 10 participants to proceed. 

Eligibility: Any undergraduate or postgraduate coursework student enrolled in a CSU degree through the School of Environmental Sciences at the time of undertaking the program.

Students should have a moderate - good level of fitness as some aspects of this program can be physically demanding. 

Academic Information: Students may be eligible to receive academic recognition up to 8 points for participation in this program. This recognition will require payment of a subject tuition fee and satisfactory participation and completion of specified assessment items. Students should liaise directly with their Course Director for approval to include this program and associated academic recognition in their course structure and should do so prior to applying for this program.

BhutanIIFinancial Assistance: The advertised program cost for undergraduate students is based on the provision of the $450 Vice Chancellor Travel Grant for Undergraduate students and Australian Government funding for Postgraduate students. Eligibility is restricted to CSU students receiving academic recognition for their participation in the program. These Grants are not paid directly to students but has already been deducted from the advertised program cost.

Students may also be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Australian Government's OS-HELP loan. OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible Commonwealth Supported students who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.

Eligibility for OS-HELP will be assessed once successful students are selected and is based on a number of criteria.  Acceptance into a CSU Global program does not guarantee eligibility for the loan. Please note, you cannot pay your program deposit through OS-HELP.

All funding associated with CSU Global programs (travel grants, scholarships, subsidies and loans) is linked to successful completion of academic and program expectations. Failure to meet these requirements may result in funding being revoked.

Refer to Global's Scholarships and Funding webpage for further information on OS-HELP and the Vice Chancellor Travel Grant. 

Cost: exact costs to be advised on notification of successful application
- Undergraduate students: approximately $5200 (CSU Vice Chancellor Travel Grant funding)
- Postgraduate students: Approx. $3650 (Australian Postgraduate Short Term funding)

Bhutan CSU studentCosts should include: In-country program fee, international flights, travel insurance, in-country accommodation (twin share), most in-country transport, most meals, entry fee to some tourist sights.

Costs do not include: CSU subject fees, passports, visas, passports, immunisations (if required), additional local transport/meals/sightseeing, recreational activities, souvenirs, gratuities and incidentals.

Please note all CSU Global Programs are group ticketed.  Your program will depart from one designated international airport and return to the same airport as a group. 

Application Timeline:

  • Application closing date: 26th November, 2017
  • Successful students notified (email): within two weeks of the application closing date
  • Non-refundable $1000 deposit date: within two weeks of notification of successful application
    (You MUST have obtained your passport prior to this date. Please note it may take 4-6 weeks to obtain a passport)*
  • Full and final payment date: 9 February, 2018
  • Pre departure sessions: TBA 

*Students failing to provide a passport within the time requested by CSU Global may fail to obtain the correct visa as required by the Bhutan government. Refund will not be available to students that are unable to provide passports at the time of program deposit.

Further enquiries regarding the application process should be directed to: 

Alice Wood
CSU Global
Charles Sturt University
Building 1395
Bathurst, NSW 2795
Phone: + 61 2 6338 4068

Further enquiries regarding the content of this program should be directed to: 

Dr Alexandra Knight
School of Environmental Sciences 
Phone: + 61 2 6051 9778

Indicative Program Outline - subject to change 
Day numberActivityLocation
0Fly from SydneyBangkok
1Arrive Paro, travel to ThimpuThimpu
3Thimpu to WagdueWagdue
4Wagdue to BumthangUgyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE), Jakar
5Lectures from UWICE and social researchUWICE, Jakar
6Lectures from UWICE and social researchUWICE, Jakar
7Lectures from UWICE and social researchUWICE, Jakar
8Lectures from UWICE and social researchUWICE, Jakar
9Homestay in JakarUWICE, Jakar
10Bumthang TrekThangbi to Chokortoe
11Bumthang TrekChokortoe to Tang
12Bumthang TrekTang to Ugyencholing
13Return to UWICE, JakarUWICE, Jakar
14Agricultural homestay, Bumthang to PhobjikhaPhobjikha
15Phobjikha to ThimpuThimpu
16Thimpu to ParoParo
17Fly from ParoBangkok
18Arrive SydneyEnd of trip