Naropa University in Colorado has signed an agreement to become the first North American university authorized to offer an accredited study abroad program through the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), the national university located on multiple campuses across the Kingdom, school officials announced.
The new program will offer students the opportunity to cultivate leadership and intercultural communication skills through international learning at the RUB and deepen their roles as global citizens. The program will launch in January 2015.
“We are honored to have been selected as a partner to the Royal University of Bhutan as the North American university offering this unique study abroad program,” Naropa President Charles G. Lief said in a statement. “Bhutan is one of the extraordinary places on earth, with a kind and generous population, physical beauty, and determination to integrate 21st century progress with its deeply rooted spirituality. This student-to-student exchange can lead to lifelong friendships and collaborations.”
The Bhutan Study Abroad Program (BSAP) will be open to Naropa undergraduate students, as well as those studying at other U.S. colleges. Students will study Bhutanese culture, customs, spiritual identity, and diverse ethnography, as well as issues of modern Bhutan, a small Buddhist kingdom at the Eastern end of the Himalayas. Located between India and China, Bhutan is part of the greater geo-political landscape facing the challenge of preserving and maintaining its deep cultural and spiritual heritage while also supporting citizens as they become interconnected members of an increasingly linked world.
Naropa University faculty has been working with counterparts at RUB to create curricula in the areas of education, counseling psychology, and environmental studies.
“Naropa faculty will spend time in Bhutan each year, and Naropa is pleased to regularly host Bhutanese scholars in Boulder. This unique study abroad program is an important deepening of the inter-university relationship,” school officials said. (University Herald)