Considering the learning, experiences, exposures, encounters with different people and opportunities to embrace various cultures, I can’t thank Royal Thimphu College and Pitzer College enough for giving me this life changing opportunity. Besides vigorous and inclusive academic learning, recreational facilities and sports like gym, cycling, swimming, skateboarding and playing snooker (pool) amongst many various supporting facilities have been a great part of the enriching new experiences of my stay at Pitzer. Everything and everyone is available and accommodative according your interest and ability. Whether your interest is in music, soccer (football), art, swimming, singing, ceramics, dancing, theatre, meditation or gardening, you can take professional and formal class of your passions and interests. In fact, Pitzer attaches great importance to the values of interdisciplinary and intercultural understanding, amongst many other missions.
Secondly, a fascinating and blessed part of my exchange program is meeting with different people from all around the world. The richly diversified circle of international and domestic friends are my everyday source of learning and exchange of ideas and cultural values. I also had the opportunity to fortuitously meet with many significant people like Ministers and politicians, musicians and movie directors, writers and academicians, environmentalist and religious personalities amongst many.
Third, travelling around to different places is a truly fulfilling and enriching part of my experiences and exposure here. Going to mountains and beaches, visiting temples and churches, museums and national parks, attending county fairs and cultural events, walking on the Hollywood walk of fame and going to the movie cinemas are among the most cherishable part of my adventure here. Indeed you cannot learn much form anything other than travelling to the places and meeting different people in life.
Most important of all, in such a diverse and inclusive place, it is always truly an honour and pride just to say that “I am from Bhutan” and deeply embracing our Bhutanese culture and values. Wearing gho, greeting people with kuzuzangpo and carrying Yathra (woolen) bag became a magnet of social network where I could draw the peoples’ attention and interest in Bhutan. In fact, many of them became my friends and acquaintances. Be it be in the class or on the street, people would stop and ask me so many things about Bhutan and its culture. Therefore, being one of the first Bhutanese to study in the Claremont Colleges, and introducing and representing our country, has be one of the proudest and memorable moments of my stay here. In fact, Bhuwan Kafley and I are eagerly waiting for an upcoming Showcasing Event about Royal Thimphu College and Bhutan to the Pitzer Community from 28th March till 30th March, and looking forward to put up our country’s booth at an international festival for the whole Claremont community in April.
Last but not least, I want to conclude with a recommendation to my friends to grab this life changing opportunity to learn or to fuel your passion for lifelong learning. In fact, I dare every one of you who fulfils the criteria, to keep aside your suspicion and timidity of being in foreign country, especially those who haven’t gone abroad, because I know it takes a lot to overcome the intimidation and reluctance just to make a decision (as it once was for me). You should not miss this opportunity and give your best in what you do in the due process. With this I sincerely wish everyone of you the best for this programme and a good semester ahead to the family of Royal Thimphu College.