As a part of the academic partnership between the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) and Wheaton College of Massachusetts, USA, a group of 6 students and a staff member from RTC visited Wheaton College from 24th March – 4th April 2017. During the 2-week exchange programme, the RTC students lived at the Wheaton campus with Wheaton students who had previously studied at RTC. The group attended various events that were happening on campus and also took part in many out-of-classroom activities. The students attended various lectures and seminars to gain a first-hand understanding of the typical American college experience. The group also gave presentations on Bhutan and showcased Bhutanese cultural items to various schools in the area and for the Introduction to Anthropology class at Wheaton College.
As part of the itinerary, the group also made a weekend trip to New York City and explored famous cultural, historical and tourist sites. The group also visited Boston and its environs. As much of the important events of the American Revolution took place in and around Boston, the group was able to walk back into the annals of history by following the freedom trail which led them to celebrated sites such as Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, Faneuil Hall and much more. For all RTC participants, this was their first visit to the US and a highlight of their time at the college.
The RTC-Wheaton Partnership was first established in 2009, with Wheaton College sending over 100 students starting from 2010. Since 2015, RTC has sent 15 students to Wheaton College to participate in a short-term exchange programme, where the students attend classes with their peers, give presentations and perform dances. This year, six students have participated in this programme.
The Royal Thimphu College and Wheaton College further strengthened their partnership in March, 2014 with a revised MoU that allowed for a two-way exchange programme, making it possible for this first RTC group to visit Wheaton College. The programme will continue each year.
RTC currently has formal partnership with numerous educational institutes around the world and the Wheaton-RTC programme has been the flagship of RTC’s efforts to provide more international learning opportunities for its students. RTC currently has over 20 international students from 8 countries around the world.