Academic Travels: Faculty Opportunity in Bhutan
As the Academic Travel Editor, I have encouraged my readers to take working vacations – short-term overseas jobs (usually 3–9 months) that provide amazing adventures without requiring you to quit your teaching job, sell the home, and kiss friends and family goodbye. The problem, however, has always been finding such a temporary post in a locale that is both safe and culturally rewarding.
Well listen up, because I have a gift for you from the working vacation gods; get ready for a chance to have a cultural experience that will, I guarantee you, be more amazing than anything you have ever done. Get out your keyboard because I think there will be a lot of emailing in the next few hours and days. Here is my offer.
In October and November, 2010 my wife Ruthann and I spent two glorious months at Royal Thimphu College (RTC) in Thimphu, Bhutan. Bhutan, an ancient Buddhist kingdom situated in the Himalayas between India and Tibet, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries I have ever visited and, dear reader, my country count is well over 100. Bhutan was closed to Western tourism until the mid-1970s, but in the last 20 years it has been modernizing rapidly–and, yes, this is the place the NY Times voted the “happiest country” in the world. The campus sits at 8,500 feet, and there are spectacular vistas everywhere you look. It is a relatively well-developed country with excellent sanitation, quality medical care, good highways, coffee houses, restaurants, cable TV, WiFi, even public golf courses. However, it is also a highly traditional Buddhist nation where the students still wear traditional 15th century garb–the gho for men, kira for women. It is a fascinating mix of East and West, old and new, tradition and modernity. Most important for anyone considering a working vacation, it is NOT a hardship post. You will live quite well (see the photo of our apartment), eat well, have many amenities, and enough free time to travel around the region–India, Nepal, Tibet, and China.
Typical mountian view from the campus which is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Thimphu.
I recently received a letter from the Academic Dean of RTC (www.rtc.bt) that there are current openings for faculty and staff, and they would consider an appointment for a single academic year (9 months) although they would be even more happy to consider longer appointments as well. The minimum requirement is a Masters Degree and teaching experience (high school or college). A Ph.D. is desirable.
Main academic building, RTC
Staff: There is an opening for an IT Director to manage the computer labs, networking facilities, and student employees.
Faculty: There are openings for faculty in Business, Economics, English, Sociology, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Computer Science.
If I have piqued your curiousity, then email a resume and cover letter to Dr. Shivaraj Bhattarai, Academic Dean, at bhattaraisr[at]gmail.com. If you have any questions about living and working in Bhutan you can contact Dr. Janet Schofield. Janet is a Professor from the University of Pittsburgh who, along with her husband Doug, moved to Bhutan three years ago and is still there enjoying the school, her teaching post, and a new life in the high Himalayas. You can reach her at schof[at]pitt.edu.
Faculty Housing, RTC, Bhutan
G. Michael Schneider is the Academic Travel Editor for Wandering Educators. You can read more of his work at http://otherguysdime.wordpress.com/, and learn more about his new book, entitled On the Other Guy's Dime: A Professional's Guide to Traveling without Paying.
Feature photo: Typical Street Scene in Downtown Thimphu, Bhutan