To participate in this educational course you must be at least 18 years old and have a good knowledge of the English language. It is extremely important to be interested in nature and wildlife as well as to be motivated to gain new knowledge and to actively participate in the course programme. As you will spend a large amount of time out in the field in partly tropical climate, you need to be physically fit. This is why we require a doctor's certificate confirming that you are healthy and fit as well as a certificate of vaccination. Before departing to Bhutan you also need to make sure to get foreign travel insurance. In order to prepare you for the course and to give you an idea of what to expect we will conduct several Skype interviews with you as part of the application process. We recommend you to apply early as experience has shown that your chance of obtaining a place in the course is better if you do so. In case of questions you can contact us anytime.
On the day the course starts you will arrive at Paro International Airport. In case you arrive earlier you need to take care of suitable accommodation yourself. At the airport a representative will pick you up and take you to your accommodation. The day after your arrival the actual course programme will start.
In general, the course is divided in two teaching methods: For 15 days you’ll be involved in classroom hours, whereas 20 days will be dedicated to hands-on training in the field. Theoretical and practical units are not strictly separated but often merge.
The theoretical part of the course starts with an introductory module in which the course structure and the learning objectives will be discussed. You will also be familiarised with Bhutan‘s tourism policies and the importance of ecotourism for the country. Moreover, you will talk about cultural differences and sensitivities, guest services, dos and don’ts of professional guiding as well as proper tour preparation and wrap-up. The second theory module will deal with subjects like weather and climate, geology, biomes and the Human Wildlife Conflict. The third and last theoretical module will be about the terminology description of ecosystem, biodiversity, taxonomy, ecology, flora and fauna as well as the identification of different types of ecosystem, biodiversity, ecology and taxonomy. Furthermore, all theoretical units will address the conservation significance of the content.
The practical part serves to apply your theoretical knowledge in the field. During frequent nature walks you will learn how to use your equipment properly, to identify different species, to track animals and to understand their behaviour so that you can accurately assess dangerous situations. As being a nature guide requires a good sense of direction you will also learn different methods for navigating in the wild. Moreover, it is indispensable for a nature guide to know how to apply first aid measures.
The teaching methods that are used to convey the course contents to you range from classroom lectures to oral presentation, group activities and field visits. Each module will be finished with a test – this can be a written assignment, an oral exam or a practical assessment. After successfully passing the final test you will receive an official certificate.
At the end of the course you will be able to confidently guide your guests through Bhutan’s wild nature and amaze them about the country’s flora and fauna by means of your professional knowledge and skills.
We realise that some of the people in our South Asia courses want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE makes no guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, as nature doesn’t always give us what we want. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.
During your stay in Bhutan you will switch accommodations from time to time, depending on whether training takes place at our partner’s training institute or out in the field. When training takes place in the training institute you will stay in a hotel which also provides breakfast and dinner. Lunch during theoretical lessons is not included; but you can purchase snacks in the institute’s cafeteria. In the hotel, you will be accommodated with another person.
When being out in the field you and the other course participants will either live in guesthouses or in tented camps. You will receive three meals per day. Sundays are usually off, so you can use this time for own activities. To contact friends and family at home our partner provides free access to internet. You can also purchase a sim card and use it for additional data, local calls, and international calls.
Everybody interested in our Wilderness Experiences abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.