Exchange to Bhutan

Bhutan what? Where? Why?

Quest has a variety of exchange options that all offer their own experiences but deciding where I wanted to go last spring was an easy decision. I wanted to go to the place that was the farthest away, hardest to get to, and the most different from home (Western Canada).

Mountain Pass

Being a small Buddhist country in the middle of the Himalayas, “sandwiched” between China and India, with no direct flights, restricted visa policies, and a democratic system that had been implemented very recently by the still much loved monarchy, Bhutan was all that and more.

Tigers Nest Monastery
Tigers Nest Monastery

I have been home to Quest for about five months now, and looking back on the whole experience, I can confidently say that going to Bhutan was one of the better decisions that I have made.

Although the first month there especially was hard, getting used to the lack of hot water, language barriers, transportation systems, being stared at on the street, tying a Kira (the traditional dress), different social rules, and all of the differences that come with going to a different and developing country, it was so so valuable.

A wonderful taxi driver named Tashi, wearing a Gho, traditional Bhutanese clothing for men
A wonderful taxi driver named Tashi, wearing a Gho, traditional Bhutanese clothing for men

I have a better understanding of what parts of my world view (most/all of it) are a product of the culture I was raised in, as opposed to being something inherently mine. I am more able to identify my own inherent biases and adjust my actions accordingly. I know that when meeting people who come from backgrounds indescribably different from mine and who don’t speak english (and I speak only a little of their language), I am still able to make connections and learn from them.

It was sometimes a challenge, but I learned and experienced more than I ever thought I would, and I know I will be back.


  1. Rakesh

    Can get to MassMirror okay, but the d/l speeds are miianml. I’m experiencing massively reduced d/l speeds with all sites though.I’m not sure what you’re talking about. You’re not downloading the file from Mass Mirror, you’re downloading it from one of the hosts, such as Rapidshare, Megaupload, Badango, etc.So if the actual file downloading is slow, it’s one of those; not Mass Mirror. Or maybe your computer is not configured to download optimally.Jeff

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