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Exploring Happiness: Religion & Politics in Bhutan
Thimphu, Bhutan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Spring Session
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
Request Advising
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Fact Sheet:
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Program Type:
College Sponsored
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OU Sponsoring College:
College of International Studies
Language of Instruction: English Housing Type: Hotel or Guesthouse, Student Dormitories
Study Abroad Adviser: Aleithia Stephens Study Level: Undergraduate
Program Description:
Program Description:


After centuries of political and cultural isolation, Bhutan today is poised at a turning point. Seeking to balance the desire for innovation with respect for tradition, the Bhutanese people face big questions about what they value most, and how those values should translate into public policy and practice. Central to this discussion—and to this course— is the idea of “Gross National Happiness.”
  • Explore Himalayan monasteries, museums, markets and parks
  • Hike to Taktshang Goemba (Tiger's Nest), a Buddhist monastery perched on a cliff
  • Witness Bhutan's third national parliamentary election
  • Get acquainted with Bhutanese students at Royal Thimphu College

Program Requirements
In addition to meeting the study abroad eligibility requirements, you will also be required to have the following:

  • Passport (valid through six months after return from study abroad)
  • 1 recommendation letter from any OU professor
  • Visa (more info will be provided to you after acceptance)

This program will offer the following course taught in English:

  • IAS 3000:  Exploring Happiness: Politics and Religion in Bhutan – Gen Ed Non-Western Civ taught by Dr. Michael Givel (Political Science)

This course is listed for Spring Session 2018, so it's included in your Spring flat-rate tuition!

2017 Dates
May 24-June 8, 2018

Program participants will stay in dormitories at Royal Thimphu College.

Money Matters
  • OU Tuition & Fees - normal in-state or out-of-state rate (counts as a Spring semester class)
  • Program Fee - $3,250 (includes housing, visa, in-country travel, international travel & health insurance, and most meals) 
    • 1st payment = $500 non-refundable deposit due within one week of program acceptance or March 16, 2018
    • 2nd payment = $1,375 non-refundable program fee due March 30, 2018
    • 3rd payment = $1,375 non-refundable program fee due April 20, 2018
  • Airfare - ~$1800 (round-trip OKC to Bangkok)
    • Round trip airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan provided through the Presidential International Travel Fellowship (PITF) Scholarship (500.00 value)
  • Education Abroad Application Fee - $50 (charged to your Bursar account)

There are also some scholarships available for study abroad students, including but not limited to the following:

Get Started
Start by attending a Study Abroad 101 information session to learn the basics about study abroad as well as your next steps. Then, log in to to schedule an appointment with Aleithia Stephens to move on to Phase 2!

Map of Locations to Visit (Tentative)

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Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Session 2018 02/25/2018
Rolling Admission 05/24/2018 06/08/2018
NOTE: Travel arrangements for this program are complicated. Participants should not purchase airfare until they have received instructions from their study abroad adviser.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
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This program is currently not accepting applications.