Page 1

SUMMER · GAP YEAR · COLLEGE-ACCREDITED | 2017–18 THE LEADER IN CROSS-CULTURAL + EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION SINCE 1993


COVER Maria Xu, Nepal Semester: Himalayan Studies

2

THIS PAGE Ryan Gasper, South America Semester: Andes & Amazon


MAPMAKERS ON C E D R E W D R AGON S TO R E PR E SE NT L A NDS UNKNOW N. BOLD EXPLORER S W HO VE N T U R E D BE YON D T HE M AP ’ S E D G E W E R E SA I D TO G O “ W HE R E T HE R E BE D R AGON S.” WE GO THERE...

will you?

3


PHOTO Parker Pflaum

4

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2


WHO WE ARE W H E R E T H E R E B E D R AG O N S I S A C O M M U N I T Y O F B O L D E D U C AT O R S A N D I N T R E P I D A D V E N T U R E R S . We guide participants to the map’s edge and invite them to build relationships that foster empathy and understanding across cultures.

W E A R E D E D I C AT E D T O C R O S S - C U LT U R A L E D U C AT I O N B E C A U S E W E B E L I E V E T H AT F U T U R E L E A D E R S W I L L B E R E Q U I R E D T O T H I N K B E YO N D B O R D E R S W H E N A D D R E S S I N G E N V I R O N M E N TA L H E A LT H A N D E Q U I TA B L E A C C E S S T O L I M I T E D R E S O U R C E S . Our courses are designed to help young adults develop the self-awareness and cross-cultural competencies to be active participants in this conversation.

A B O U T D R AG O N S

SUMMER PROGRAMS

ABOUT US

4/6-week programs for students ages 15-20

3-month semesters for students ages 17-22

ASIA

ASIA

OUR STORY

7

CHINA

WHAT MAKES IT A DRAGONS COURSE?

9

MYANMAR

OUR PROGRAM COMPONENTS WHY IS A DRAGONS PROGRAM RIGHT FOR YOU? > > PROGRA M COMPA R I SON C HA R T << COLLEGE-ACCREDITED PROGRAMS RISK MANAGEMENT MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

10-11 13 34-35

GAP YEAR SEMESTERS

16-20

CHINA

52

21

MEKONG

53

LAOS

22

SOUTHEAST ASIA

54

CAMBODIA

24

INDONESIA

55

THAILAND

25

NEPAL

56

64

INDONESIA

27

INDIA

57

65

NEPAL

66-67

NORTH INDIA SIKKIM

28 29-32 33

S T U D E N T S T O R I E S | N EW

L AT I N A M E R I C A SOUTH AMERICA

58

CENTRAL AMERICA

60

LAOS: MOON, MOM, CRICKETS

23

L AT I N A M E R I C A

INDONESIA: FLIP FLOP TANLINE

26

GUATEMALA

30-31

NICARAGUA

39

MIDDLE EAST

61

BOLIVIA

42

WEST AFRICA

63

PERU

43

NEPAL: THE 7 WAYS TO EAT A MANGO GUATEMALA: WRITTEN ON A SPANISH KEYBOARD IN FRONT OF CHIPPING PAINT

40-41

BOLIVIA: A LUNES (MONDAY) WITH DOÑA LETI

59

SENEGAL: MY NAME IS NENE

62

38

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST SENEGAL

46

RWANDA

47

MADAGASCAR

48

JORDAN

49

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

5


â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar; it keeps the mind nimble; it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor."

PHOTOâ&#x20AC;&#x192;Annie Jiao

S A N T AYA N A

6

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2


O U R S TO RY O U R S TO RY B E G I N S O N A S T R E E T M E D I A N I N B E I J I N G I N T H E W I N T E R O F 1 9 8 8 . . . Coal smoke blanketed the city. Founder Chris Yager remembers standing alone that day,

Today, Where There Be Dragons is the leader in cross-cultural education. We offer

mesmerized by tens of thousands of bicyclists pedaling by. They didn’t smile and they didn’t

summer and semester programs for high school and college students in 22 countries in

make a sound: a mass of humanity commuting to work in the smog of an industrial, closed

the developing world. Our programs have evolved, but we still follow the same essential

society. He remembers wondering what he wasn't seeing—what was beyond the faces of the

model as we did in 1993: we empower expert instructors to bring their vision and expertise

people who pedaled by. What kinds of conversations were out there that could bridge gaps in

to a dynamic course design; and through small-group travel and meaningful engagement,

understanding? How does one create dialogue to discover shared hopes and aspirations.

we discover knowledge and wisdom in places of exceptional beauty along the map’s edge.

How does one go about problem solving shared needs? We are committed to working with inspired students. Participants join us from across the In that moment, the idea of Dragons was born: A  fter five years of research and program

US and from a number of foreign countries. We have a robust scholarship program to meet the

development, Dragons launched its first programs in the summer of 1993. In the twenty-five

needs of enthusiastic participants who may not otherwise be able to join us. At Dragons, we

years since, more than a thousand educators have come together to inform the learning

work with students who are comfortable being uncomfortable and who are willing to get dirty

adventures that represent our current programming.

for the sake of discovery.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

7


PHOTOâ&#x20AC;&#x192;Chloe Hall

8

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2


W H AT M A K E S I T A D R A G O N S C O U R S E ? A D R AG O N S CO U R S E I S … BOLD

AG I L E

We embrace challenge and push against the edges of our comfort zones. In doing so, we see

No two Dragons courses are the same. The world is constantly changing and we believe our

more, learn more, and experience the world more authentically.

courses should too. All program itineraries are flexible, and will change. Pre-programmed itineraries are not the center of our planning; the student experience is.

RESPONSIVE A Dragons group consists of 12 students and 3 instructors. A 4:1 student-to-instructor ratio

INSTRUCTOR-DRIVEN

ensures that each student receives individual support and appropriate challenges. Cultural

We empower our instructors. Individual instructor teams collaborate to design a customized

fluency allows instructor teams to manage responsive itineraries and capitalize on unexpected

course itinerary based on their personal in-country experience and the interests of their

learning opportunities. We continually adapt itineraries to produce fresh, timely and progressive

incoming student group.

experiences.

A N D M O S T I M P O R TA N T LY… W E U N D E R S TA N D T H AT M E N T O R S H I P M AT T E R S With an average of 4+ years of in-country experience, Dragons Instructors are prepared to communicate in local dialects and offer expert mentorship throughout the student experience. Our instructor community has an 85% staff retention rate because instructors fall in love with the work. There’s a special magic when guides are emboldened to create singularly unique experiences— when their creativity is unleashed in a supportive, respectful and collaborative environment. Under skilled and experienced leadership, groups become exceptionally close, with most Dragons students and instructors keeping in touch long after course end.

“The manner in which you run your programs—student driven, flexible itineraries, tremendous freedom for the student, small groups, unbelievable student-to-instructor ratio made this a valuable learning opportunity for Scott, but also facilitated his personal growth in a manner I’m not sure any other program could have accomplished." PA R E N T O F S C OT T N E W M A N

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

9


OUR PROGRAM COMPONENTS T H E B U I L D I N G B LO C K S O F E V E RY D R AG O N S CO U R S E

H O M E - S TAY S

L A N G U AG E S T U DY

TREKKING

Dragons students are travelers

In a Tajik yurt, in a Bedouin tent,

Mandarin, Arabic or Spanish…

Some Dragons students hike

not tourists. We believe in

in an apartment in Kunming…

All Dragons courses include

over 16,000ft passes in the

low-impact travel, and that

Every Dragons student is

language instruction. We do not

Andes; others leap through

means minimizing both our

matched 1:1 with a local family.

expect students to arrive with

waterfalls in the jungles of Laos.

environmental impact and our

Students live in the same

any level of understanding. We

Wherever you chose to trek, you

cultural impact at every possible

neighborhood, allowing them to

do expect students to interact

can be assured that Dragons

juncture. On course, we respect

build meaningful connections

with locals, and build an arsenal

Instructors will guide you into

cultural norms by staying in

both within the host community

of vocabulary words that enables

the wilderness, exposing you to

family-owned accommodations

and within the group. Students

them to deftly navigate a new

the pristine beauty of nature,

and riding local transportation.

often tell us that their home-stay

cultural context. On our language

undisturbed by the advances

The most profound learning

was the most transformative

intensive courses, students

of modern development. Treks

moments often arise in the

part of their Dragons experience.

can expect 3-4 hours of daily

provide a unique opportunity for

spaces in between, and traveling

All families are selected based

instruction with a 2:1 student-

students to assume leadership

with locals creates space for

on the safety of their home

to-instructor ratio. Few skills do

roles and build personal survival

un-orchestrated moments of

environments and genuine

more to empower students to be

skills, like learning to pitch a tent

engagement and epiphany.

enthusiasm for cross-cultural

independent global citizens.

or navigate above tree-line.

engagement.

10

RIGHT PAGE Christina Cogswell, Simon Gulergun, n/a

R U G G E D T R AV E L

LEFT PAGE Christy Sommers, Danny Wood, Michael Woodard

We adventure, we explore, we learn... A Dragons course is designed to be a full immersion experience. We employ nine program components to ensure that every course hits the mark.


INDEPENDENT

C O M PA R AT I V E

LEARNING

D E V E LO P M E N T

S T U DY P R O J E C T S

RELIGION &

FOCUS OF

SERVICE

STUDIES

(ISPs)

P H I LO S O P H Y

INQUIRY (FOI)

We take pride in learning first

What variables contribute to a

Every Dragons student is paired

In each place we visit, we

Every Dragons course has an

and helping second. Students

good quality of life? How does

with a local mentor and asked

consider how local spiritual

academic focus of inquiry. This

rarely arrive in-country with the

privilege shape our sense of

to study a particular intellectual

beliefs are employed to interpret

allows students to delve into

tools to genuinely ‘help’ another

global responsibility? These

question or artisanal craft in

daily reality. Dragons Instructors

a specific line of questioning,

community, and we work hard

questions are central to the

greater depth. Anything is

help students explore the

exploring the impacts of climate

to dispel such expectations.

conversation about human

possible, and as a student,

belief systems of their host

change, the core tenets of

Students use a four-step process

development in the 21 century.

the ISP is a great way to

culture while living with home-

Buddhism or the idea of cultural

to listen, assess, act and then

Instructors introduce students to

tailor the course to meet your

stay families, visiting religious

survival. We explore the focus

evaluate: a framework that can

local activists who’ve taken a vo-

specific interests. We’ve had

monuments, observing local

of inquiry by hosting guest

be applied to future learning

cal stance on the topic of ‘human

students study everything

rituals and reading relevant texts.

speakers, reading local news and

service ventures. We don’t

development’, while using local

from kathak dance to the

Such an examination generally

engaging in group discussions.

measure our success by the

examples to prompt discussion.

impacts of exploratory drilling

sparks an internal conversation,

Please reference Dragons’

number of ‘service hours’ logged,

Students are encouraged to

in the Amazon. If you take the

and instructors are available to

individual program descriptions

but rather by the number of

challenge their assumptions and

opportunity seriously, this is

assist students as they juxtapose

to learn more about the FOI on

critical conversations that such

expand their understanding of

a great way to develop place-

in-country traditions with their

your course.

an engagement provokes.

what it means to be “developed.”

based expertise and hone your

own belief systems and values.

st

ethnographic research skills.

11


PHOTOâ&#x20AC;&#x192;Christy Sommers

12

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2


WHY IS A DRAGONS PROGRAM R I G H T F O R YO U ? W E ’ R E G L A D YO U ’ R E H O L D I N G T H I S C ATA L O G . There’s been a growing dialogue among students and educators about the value of an

In our experience, it’s hard to gain these skills in a classroom. We are here to provide you

education in the 21st century. Students and educators are increasingly asking for concrete sets

with an alternative approach. Dragons courses are imperfect. We can’t predict exactly what

of “global competencies” and leadership skills before they “grow up” and join the workforce,

skills you’ll need to succeed in your future life, but we’re willing to hedge our bets that a foreign

or before they take on myriad global challenges that can only be addressed from a place of

language, a well-worn passport and a healthy dose of life experience will serve you well.

empathy and understanding.

GOIN G W HE R E TH E R E B E D R AG O NS TA KE S CO UR AG E . W E G O TH E R E ...

will you?

“Thus travel spins us round in two ways at once: It shows us the sights and values and issues that we might ordinarily ignore; but it also, and more deeply, shows us all the parts of ourselves that might otherwise grow rusty.” PICO IYER Why We Travel

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

13


Bustling street corners. Steaming bao... ...A cacophony of engines, horns and vendors blend into the ambient hum that gives every conversation a sense of urgency and movement.

14


ASIA IS CHANGING EVERYDAY.

Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in China, where suited entrepreneurs cut deals beneath billboards papered in Communist slogans, or in Cambodia, where monks might friend you on Facebook, the collision between traditions and modernity is evident at every turn. We invite you to join us in this exploration of culture and contrasts. In cities where cows share the bike lane and monkeys slide down the banisters. In mountains where holy men bless the dead and stand guard as vultures return their remnants to the sky. On rivers where pink dolphins swim free, and fishermen rise at dawn to drag their seining nets to shore. Asia is big and beautiful and full of mystery. We go there...

will you?

15


CHINA MANDARIN LANGUAGE INTENSIVE 4-Week & 6-Week Summer Abroad Programs

AGES

Improve your Mandarin language skills through daily instruction in small, personalized classes; live with carefully selected homestays; engage in Independent Study Projects (ISPs).

June 28 – July 28 June 28 – August 8

15 – 18 16 – 18

LANGUAGE IN CHINA HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DYNAMIC AND POWERFUL

home-stay with farming families in Lashihai, a

cultural influences, the voice of this great country speaks louder than ever before.

traditional Naxi community situated at the base

Dragons’ Mandarin Language Intensive offers comprehensive instruction through formal

of the 5596m Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. In

RUSSIA

study projects (ISPs).

and enjoy daily activities with locals, includ-

are based in Kunming, a leafy university city in the

ing “U.S. vs. China” pick-up soccer and bas-

for its natural beauty and ethnic diversity—including the

AS I A:   S UM M ER 16

XI ’A N

CHINA

us a home-base to build linguistic confidence and prepare for expeditions into more rural areas of southern China. While

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

ketball with village teenagers. Students have the opportunity to continue their independent study projects in Lashihai, perhaps foraging for medicinal plants, practicing martial arts, teaching English to local children, or documenting their experiences through writing or photography.

in Kunming, students meet for four hours of formal Mandarin

TIGER LEAPING GORGE

instruction per day, with the option for 1:1 tutoring sessions in the

LASHIHAI HONG KONG KUNMING

ISPs

about China’s many ethnic minority groups

Naxi, Tibetan, Yi, Mosuo and Bai peoples—Kunming offers BEIJING

LANGUAGE STUDY

this picturesque environment, we learn more

Our 4 and 6 week Mandarin intensive courses heart of China’s Yunnan Province. In a region renowned MONGOLIA

HOME-STAY

We leave the busy streets of Kunming for a rural

FORCE, a  nd as we enter a contemporary reality of emerging powers and dominant

language classes, home-stays and independent

INDIA

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

afternoon for hungry learners. Home-stay placements reinforce

“During my rural home-stay I learned what it means to truly be part of a community, care for one another, and live with no boundaries... I'm so thankful for the opportunity

language acquisition, encouraging students to practice new vocabulary with their host brothers and sisters at night. F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

to live in an environment completely unlike my own.” KYRA HAMERLING-POTTS

RIGHT PAGE n/a, n/a

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE Eric Jenkins-Sahlin, Rachel Russell

30/42

DESCRIPTION


CHINA THE SILK ROAD 6-Week Summer Abroad Program

42

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Explore the diversity of China’s cultural traditions: live with nomads on the Tibetan Plateau, cross the Taklamakan desert, discuss issues of religious plurality with monks and Imams.

June 28 – August 8

16 – 18 RUGGED TRAVEL

MORE THAN HALF OF CHINA’S LAND IS POPULATED BY LESS THAN 5%

TREKKING

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

“I never expected to have this much fun, and learn so

OF ITS POPULATION. Worlds away from Beijing, the far-western province of Xinjiang is a land where vast desert basins meet 20,000-foot peaks; where Central Asian

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUSSIA

much about the culture. I truly felt immersed.”

CLAIRE NUSEKABEL

cultures blend together. The adventuresome Silk Road itinerary engages students with diverse communities in western China—including Uyghur, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik, Mongol, Tibetan, Hui, and Han communities—

bazaars and the call to prayer reverberates from towering

seldom-visited range in the Himalayas.

ruins of Turpan and the world-renowned painted caves

related to human rights,

of Dunhuang. Overnight trains take us to the edge of

political representation and

the Tibetan Plateau, where we learn the basics of yak herding from nomadic home-stay families.

oasis of Kashgar, where the merchants waft through labyrinthine

BEIJING XINING

CHINA

Circling back to Beijing, we take in the markers of contemporary Han Chinese society with new eyes and a sense of wonder for the vastness and cultural difference that is today’s China.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

INDIA

XI ’A N

ASI A:   S UM M E R

cross the Taklamakan desert. We explore the ancient

ancient perfumes of Silk Road

TURPAN

KASHGAR

Over the next month, we traverse the Tarim Basin and

consider complex issues

Our course begins in the

URUMQI

Pamir Mountains, enjoying the phenomenal beauty of this

while challenging them to

globalization.

MONGOLIA

minarets. Donning our packs, we ascend high into the

17


CHINA T H E YA N G T Z E R I V E R 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Experience life in Asia’s largest river basin: live with families on the Tibetan Plateau, learn about interconnected environmental realities at the Three Gorges Dam, explore the world's largest port.

June 28 – July 28

16 – 18

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

FROM ITS HEADWATERS IN THE HIGHLANDS OF TIBET TO THE DELTA

“I learned so much more on this program than I ever could in a classroom.

IN SHANGHAI, t his program follows the Yangtze River as it rushes nearly 4,000

Most importantly, this trip made me realize that there is so much to see in the world.” NU XIONG

miles across southern China. This sinuous river has long shaped the region’s cultural

cast for carp and monks ascend to a Taoist monastery overlooking the city. We travel

estimated 550 million people who live along the

by boat 360 miles downstream to the world’s largest hydroelectric project, The Three

banks of this vital waterway.

Gorges Dam. Local experts provide insight into the

Our course begins in the Tibetan Kingdom of

MONGOLIA

environmental impact, and China’s age-old

pillars of local culture and pilgrims still arrive with

struggle to control water resources.

AS I A:   S UM M ER

yak butter offerings each day. After our first rural

INDIA

18

BEIJING

CHINA NANJING CHONGQING

SHANGHAI

myriad issues related to power generation,

Amdo, where Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are the

Continuing east, we pass through

home-stay, we journey east through Sichuan Prov-

the cultural center of Nanjing,

ince, meeting with local farmers and environmental

and eventually arrive in Shanghai.

activists in this renown “Land of Abundance”. Our downriver journey takes us to Chongqing, a thriving city situated at the confluence of the azure Jialing

Standing on the docks of the world’s busiest port, we consider all that we’ve learned about the raw tensions

River and the golden Yangtze. Sitting on the banks, we watch

between tradition and modernity

as farmers haul cargo on bamboo shoulder poles, fisherman

represented by life along the Yangtze River.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

LEFT PAGE n/a, n/a

RUSSIA

course gain firsthand insight into the lives of the

RIGHT PAGE Eric Jenkins-Sahlin, Travinee Maithai

traditions, agricultural practices and industrial development, and students on this


CHINA THE SEARCH FOR MEANING 6-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Explore China through its religious traditions and philosophies; engage with Tibetan monks and pilgrims, Taoist priests, Hui Muslims.

June 28 – August 8

16 – 18 RUGGED TRAVEL

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

“A PATH, TRAVELED, IS NO LONGER THE SAME PATH. A NAME, SPOKEN,

modern megacity. Weaving through crowded streets, scented with

IS NO LONGER THE SAME NAME.” Like the words of the “Old Master” (Laozi),

steamed mutton, we meet with Hui Muslims at China’s oldest

Chinese philosophy has long been a source of fascination and inspiration as well

mosque and hear about the history of Christianity at the

as confusion and debate. Today, the question of what people in China believe is as

city’s oldest Catholic church. We encounter China’s growing

RUSSIA

MONGOLIA

complex as ever: Taoist, Confucian, Buddhist,

problem with homelessness when we volunteer at a soup

Muslim and Christian ideas along with new religious

kitchen, gaining insight into local ideas of social welfare.

movements, nationalism, and consumer culture are all in the mix. So what does religious practice in

and stop at Labrang Monastery, one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. We

meaning in their lives?

witness stark contrasts between rural rhythms and urban

XINING LABRANG

XI ’A N

development when we begin a home-stay in Qinghai Province.

harvest rites at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven and a stone on the main altar was believed to be the center of the universe. We begin our course here,

Moving southeast into Chonqing, we settle in for our final retreat at a Chan (Zen) Monastery, with a history of nearly a thousand years. Here we reflect on all that we've learned... As our search goes on.

preparing for a journey that will bring us closer to understanding our own belief systems, as well as the diverse

"This course will not only make you question your beliefs and values, but will immerse

ideologies that influence modern-day China.

you into a culture that is also questioning their beliefs."

We board a train to Xi’an, an ancient capital of China and a

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

BRENDEN PICARD

ASI A:   S UM M E R

BEIJING

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

Traveling further west, we enter the Tibetan Plateau

China look like now? How do people find and create In days past, the Emperor performed ritual

CHINA

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

19


CHINA A COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Experience urban and rural realities in modern-day China: explore mega-cities and camp at the Great Wall; discover the ethnic tapestry that is modern China.

June 28 – July 28

15 – 17

WHEN YOU VISIT CHINA FOR THE FIRST TIME, IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG TO REALIZE THAT EVERYTHING IS CHANGING AT WARP SPEED. Old

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

“This summer was one of the best (if not the best) I have ever had. It opened up a whole new world to me, one of exploration and independence and risk taking, that I do not

neighborhoods of wooden houses are demolished to make way for 80-story buildings.

have access to at home... This trip has made me want to become a traveler.” M AT T H E W K AT Z

Buddhist monks read ancient sutras from iPads. Millions of rural farmers now work in the city to support their families. The construction RUSSIA

of new highways, rail lines and airports is underway herders; we visit serene monasteries and booming

understand China.

mega-cities.

AS I A:   S UM M ER

This program is Dragons’ version of an

INDIA

20

BEIJING

CHINA

XI ’A N

“Introduction to China” and part of what makes it unique is that our journey changes each year

CHENGDU

as we encourage our instructors to explore new

LASHIHAI

areas and interests with their intrepid students. Our China

KUNMING HONG KONG

Comprehensive journey includes a broad survey of contemporary realities: we trek beyond roads and learn about life for people on the periphery; we follow the daily routines of farmers and

As we travel across China by foot, train, bus and boat, we learn just how diverse it is. We witness the Chinese peoples’ amazing capacity to adjust and adapt, and with each new experience we take on, we challenge ourselves to do the same.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE n/a, Xenia Octavia Viragh

MONGOLIA

1.4 billion people on the move. If you want to understand the world we live in, you have to

LEFT PAGE n/a, Eric Jenkins-Sahlin

virtually everywhere, in a race to keep up with


M YA N M A R D E V E LO P M E N T S T U D I E S & S O C I A L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Explore one of Asia’s last frontiers: hike between the bucolic farming communities of Shan State, build core competencies in learning service, learn the tenets of Theravada Buddhism.

June 28 – July 28

17 – 20 RUGGED TRAVEL

MAGNETIC. INSPIRING. DEVOUT.

LEARNING SERVICE

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

“I loved the fact that we were given the opportunity to

Myanmar is a nation of warmth, beauty,

choose a service site to work at independently. I think that is

and complexity. Through numerous engagements with development

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

an opportunity few students have in foreign countries.”

ALEXANDER WEISMAN

CHINA

professionals, youth activists and NGOs, we uncover significant pieces of the puzzle of Myanmar. Our journey begins

sustainable approaches to local development. Next we enjoy an unforgettable four-day trek through

in Bagan, where we watch the sun rise

the patchwork fields of Shan State. By day we hike through

over the majestic Irrawaddy River and

fields of ginger, peppers and grain; at night we bed down

cycle among golden-spired temples in a vast complex of ancient pagodas.

dhist faith. We come to rest in one of the 500 monasteries scattered over the hills, and delve into Buddhist learning alongside local practitioners. Pressing even further east we begin our first learning service project in Mandalay—

BAGAN

K ALAW

LAOS

in the welcoming stilted houses of our village hosts. We then transition into a ‘student-led expedition’. Past groups have traveled to Karen State to explore issues of identity with Karen and Mon minority groups; others have ventured into the Irrawaddy Delta to discover how local farmers are creatively dealing with water scarcity. Concluding the course in Yangon, we continue our focus on learning service by

Myanmar’s last royal capital. Dragons students teach in a monastic school that services

volunteering in small groups according to interest and paired

6,000 disadvantaged students and volunteer with an organization that promotes

with Burmese students as cultural ambassadors.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

YA N G O N

MAWLAMYINE

ASI A:   S UM M E R

Next we travel to Sagaing, the spiritual heart of Myanmar and center of the country’s Bud-

M A N DA L AY

M YA N M A R

THAILAND

21


LAOS C O N S E R VAT I O N & D E V E L O P M E N T 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

AGES

Witness the awakening of Southeast Asia’s hidden gem: discuss the environmental impacts of mega-dams, trek through CHINA jungle, live on an island in the middle of the Mekong.

June 28 – July 28

15 – 17

VIETNAM LUANG PRABANG

LAOS

THAKHÈK

Khouay National Protected Area wilderness, where

REPUBLIC (LAOS PDR) IS

we splash beneath picturesque waterfalls and

A LAND OF STAGGERING

wander into isolated Lao Theung hamlets.

languid mystique—a land where locals pride themselves on the motto: Laos ‘People Don’t Rush’. Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country, Laos is

THAILAND 4,000 ISLANDS

AS I A:   S UM M ER

CAMBODIA

22

RUGGED TRAVEL

LAOS PEOPLE DEMOCRATIC

BEAUTY, r everent Buddhism and

VIENTIANE

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

dominated by two geographic entities: the mighty

In Vientiane, we find a dazzling monuments and 21st century construction projects, highlighting the interplay between traditional values and modern aspirations. Local

Indochinese tigers, Asiatic elephants, Agile gibbons

experts offer insight into future dam

and Siamese crocodiles roam wild. Historically

development, and historians help us

considered a geopolitical afterthought, times are

unpack little-known stories from the US’

changing, and students who venture to Laos will

Secret War (1964-1973).

discover roiling international debates over mega-dam We begin our journey on the placid shores of Nam Ngum Lake. Here students re-

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

array of medieval temples, Socialist

Mekong River and the tropical highlands, where

projects, unregulated deforestation and transboundary resource management.

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

A week-long rural home-stay on the idyllic island of Don Dohn gives us insight into traditional fishing practices and the daily rituals of Theravada Buddhism. By course-end, students

ceive an overview of Theravada Buddhism and introductory language classes, prepar-

grapple with questions about the tension between traditions and modernity, returning

ing them for the travels ahead. A four-day trek takes us into the heart of the Phou Khao

home with some answers, but more significantly returning with better questions.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE Sampor Burke

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE Parker Pflaum, Chris Yager

30

DESCRIPTION


A Course Posting from Laos

MOON, MOM, CRICKETS L U P I TA VA L L E , S T U D E N T

MY LAO MOTHER HOLDS THE SPIRIT AND AGILITY OF A 7 YEAR OLD GIRL. A 38 year old mother of three teenagers, Mae Ton spends 1/8 of her day cleaning house and spends the rest of her day visiting friends and siblings in Don Dohn. I’ve observed that her eyes always appear to be lost in another realm of consciousness. As a farmer, her favorite time of the year comes with the rain and ends with the harvest. Last night, I truly discovered Mae’s love for the land when I partook in the full moon ritual of hunting crickets. Moments before the cessation of my finger-licking dinner of fried lemongrass fish (that Mae so thoughtfully prepared), she hopped onto the balls of her feet and half motioned half spoke in Lao that she was going to hunt for crickets. I nodded in understanding and continued to pick at my fish with my fore finger and thumb like all Lao do when eating. About 20 minutes later, I found myself under the glow of the moon, the beam of my headlamp pointing and pouncing at crickets the size of my nose, with my youngest brother Weet by my side.

"Last night, I truly discovered Mae’s love for the land when I partook in the full moon ritual of hunting crickets." Occasionally, we would hear our Mae in the distance, informing us of her location. Every time I looked in the direction of her voice, I would see a light leaping up and down then back, and the silhouette of Mae’s arm whipping sleekly through the light. Imagine the terror of the crickets of Don Dohn when they see lights entering into the dry rice paddies at night and smell jasmine and sticky rice on the slender hands that pluck them from their clay homes. It made sense that Mae wanted to keep a distance from me and Weet when I saw the contrast in the amount of crickets Weet and I trapped to the almost brimming liter soda bottle of crickets she hunted. We would only slow her down in her monthly midnight escapade. While some women still wore their beautiful sarongs and lovely blouses to catch their future meal, my Laos momma arrived prepared to ruin the nights of Lao crickets in her son’s baggy shirt and basketball shorts. After 2 hours of attacking the dirt, I watched her walk home in delight, excited for one of her favorite snacks to be cooked and satisfied that she got to spend the night with her hands playing in the mud.

ASI A:   S UM M E R 23


CAMBODIA PEACE & DEVELOPMENT STUDIES 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

AGES

Examine issues of human rights and international development: engage in the optimism of Cambodian youth, unpack the legacy of the Khmer Rouge.

June 28 – July 28

16 – 18 HOME-STAY

KNOWN FOR THE INCOMPARABLE RUINS OF ANGKOR WAT, C  AMBODIA IS

the floating villages of Lake Tonle Sap, we pause

A COUNTRY THAT EVOKES IMAGES OF OVERGROWN JUNGLE TEMPLES,

in the provincial city of Battambang where we

ROBED MONKS AND DANCING APSARA. Our course begins in the sleepy coastal

participate in a learning service project with

village of Kampot, where we engage in a community-run mangrove restoration project

a local circus troupe, Phare Ponleu Selpak,

and learn basics of the Khmer language. We travel from the coast to Koh Ksach Tonlea,

and meet with officials at the Three Rivers

an island situated in the main tributary of the Mekong River, where we slow down for

Protection Network to discuss environmen-

a week of home-stays that allow students to experience the simple rhythms of rural life. Returning to Phnom

CHINA

THAIL AND

L AOS

genocide, building a profound sense of empathy for

AS I A:   S UM M ER

the Cambodian people, and gaining an informed context for Cambodia’s present-day political landscape.

SIEM REAP

CAMBODIA

B AT TA M B A N G

VIETNAM KEP

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

food security. Finally we arrive in Siem Reap, where pilgrims and adventurers flock to the storied ruins of Angkor Wat. We celebrate the final days of our course reflecting and playing with group members amid the white sand beaches of Rabbit Island.

We travel onwards into the Stung Sen river basin where we gain insight into the realities of

“The walls that humans put up between countries, made up of money, skin color

climate change and the effects that upriver dams PHNOM PENH

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

tal issues that are critical to Cambodia’s

Penh, we confront the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge

24

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

and language are meaningless. Our experiences shape the way that we see the world,

are having on the delicate ecology of Cambodia’s largest body of fresh water. Continuing past

but we are unified on the basis of compassion, love and a thirst for knowledge.”

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

OONA McDOWELL

RIGHT PAGE n/a, n/a

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE n/a, n/a

30

DESCRIPTION


THAILAND THE SPIRIT OF GRENG JAI 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Explore the idea of reciprocity: participate in hands-on learning service projects, live with hill tribe communities, and study Theravada Buddhism along Thailand’s exquisite coast.

June 28 – July 28

15 – 17

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

LEARNING SERVICE

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

CHINA

FROM THE VERDANT MOUNTAINS

MYANMAR MAE HONG SON

L AOS

CHIANG MAI

AND RICE PADDIES TO THE BUZZING METROPOLIS OF BANGKOK AND THE

U B O N R ATC H ATA N I

THAILAND BANGKOK

staggering beauty of Thailand leaves one enchanted and yearning to explore the next wonder. Our program begins in the capital of the ancient

CAMBODIA

THAILAND GROUP JOURNAL

Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai. Here students orient to

partner with brothers and sisters in a cultural exchange at the local high school. From Chiang Muen, we visit Pun Pun village, an intentional community where we learn about natural building practices, work at the seed bank, get our hands in the dirt on the local organic farm and study

the cultural, spiritual and culinary nuances of the north

the basics of traditional medicine, massage and

before entering into a Theravada Buddhist monastery

rice cultivation.

for a meditation retreat. We then move further north

From the hill-regions of the north, we travel

into the mountainous areas outside of Mae Hong Son,

to the coastal communities of the south

where we hike through jungles teeming with a dazzling

for a week-long exploration of sea-fairing

array of wildlife and stay with ethnic Karen villagers near the Myanmar (Burma) border. Here we survey border

communities where students participate in a mangrove restoration project and learn

issues and integrate service work with inspiring visits to

about local batik. Our Thailand adventure

medical clinics and various NGOs.

culminates with a few day’s exploration of the

Students then enter into week-long home-stays in the village of Chiang Muen and

country’s colorful and bustling capitol, Bangkok.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

ASI A:   S UM M E R

KRABI

I can truly say that I have been to paradise.”

IDYLLS OF THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS, t he

SUKHOTHAI

INDIA

“The jungle came right up to the sand and the water was so calm and clear.

25


A Course Posting from Indonesia

F L I P F LO P TA N L I N E O W E N YA G E R , S T U D E N T

TOTOMBO AND I SAT SIDE BY SIDE THAT FIRST NIGHT, LEFT LEGS CURLED IN AT THE KNEE, FEET RESTING AGAINST OUR RIGHT THIGHS, RIGHT LEGS OUTSTRETCHED UNTIL THEY POKED OVER THE EDGE OF THE PORCH AND DANGLED OVER THE OCEAN. A shifting swirl of stars and clouds and waves had conspired to hide the horizon, and trying to pinpoint the middle of the blurred border between sea and sky was futile. The next morning, I sat looking at the old Milan jersey that hangs outside of our house to dry every night, black and red bars sun bleached and washed out, making it impossible to say for certain where one stripe ended and another began. As the wind gently teased threads into loops dangling off of the jersey, they became windows through which I could see another layer of Sampela’s barely visible and often permeable edges. They exist in Sampela’s arteries, the boardwalks that transform a collection of stilted bamboo houses into a village. Like the floors of the houses themselves, the wood on the walkways, in many places, does not exist or is rotted through, and it’s almost as easy to find yourself under a boardwalk as on top of it. The roofs of the houses that the boardwalks weave between are not clean lines either, but fluid ones made from overlapped pieces of rusted corrugated steel or palm fronds battered by the salty breezes that roll through Sampela under the unrelenting sun. Underwater, too, there are lines; lines in brain coral and the borders between green shallows and blue depths and imagined lines that would get drawn onto a topographical map. One of these is a big line, a border between a protected reef around the small island of Hoga and the open fishing grounds that surround it. That demarcation, though, is really only a grey area turned black and white and put on a map, emblematic of the struggle between the sea gypsies of my childhood dreams and a well-intentioned Diagram by some far-off policy maker who considers whether or not the sea-faring Bajau of Sampela should be allowed to take a toll on nearby reefs. Should the strictly protected reefs of this island chain be enlarged, risking a war but preserving an ecosystem that was here long before there were people in it? Should the elite few who may

26

does the wellness of a nation of over two hundred and fifty million people or uncountable oceanic animals matter more than the wellness of thousands of laughing, crying, feeling humans—the people that had become my family? Contemplating those questions and being unable to form any sort of linear, ordered answer has made me feel like a boy again. In the States, I can grow a beard and drive and vote and smoke and join the army, but here, looking at my host father’s legs side by side with mine on that bamboo porch, I’ve been reminded of something else. His were strong and dark, seasoned by decades of pushing off of coral lumps towards the glimmer of the sun and the waves far above and indicative of extensive and hard won knowledge—how to craft a speargun from driftwood, navigate by the tropical stars and identify Wakatobi’s countless fish. As I watched him trim his toenails with a machete, I noticed that my legs were still pale and soft and my feet had a flip flop tan .

LEFT PAGE Hannah Richter

AS I A:   S UM M ER

make those decisions be more concerned with a fisherman and his kin going hungry or with the loss of life from the most diverse ecosystem on the planet or, on a larger scale,

RIGHT PAGE Beatriz Schaver Eizaguirre, n/a

government. That struggle, one with vague political origins, has now morphed into an undeniably human one, one in which the good side is determined on a moral Venn


INDONESIA C O M M U N I T Y & C O N S E R VAT I O N 6-Week Summer Abroad Program

42

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Experience the most diverse archipelago on Earth: live with sea gypsies, attend a Torajan buffalo ceremony, and learn about efforts to protect the world’s most extraordinary coral reefs.

June 28 – August 8

16 – 18 RUGGED TRAVEL

COMPRISED OF OVER 17,000 ISLANDS AND

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

as I did. It was so powerful knowing that I had touched someone’s life that radically,

TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF BIODIVERSITY OF ANY NATION. Whether you’re attending a buffalo

HOME-STAY

“My home-stay in Tana Toraja was life changing. When I left, they cried just as hard

700 LIVING LANGUAGES, INDONESIA IS HOME

CHINA

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

and that they were able to touch mine in the same way in just one short week.”

M O R G A N AV I S

sacrifice in Toraja, spearfishing with your home-stay father in Sampela, or examining gender roles in the MANADO

BORNEO

LUWUK

TA N A TO R A JA

MOROWALI

world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia is sure to challenge your worldview and stimulate your

archipelago of Wakatobi, home to the Bajau people, or the “sea

senses.

nomads”. The Bajau build homes over the open ocean and only go to

Arriving first in Yogyakarta, students dive headMAKASSAR

FLORES

snorkeling over fragile reefs, attending indigenous ceremonies, and

attending shadow-puppet performances and studying

learning about conservation initiatives from local leaders.

the basics of the Bahasa Indonesian language. We then head east to the island of Flores, where students live in the pastoral village of Langa. We meet with local coffee producers, hike up dormant volcanoes, and discuss the idea of ‘spiritual plurality’ with our AUSTRALIA

shore an average of five days/year. We embrace their unique lifestyle,

long into Javanese culture, working with street artists,

gracious hosts.

As we engage with the disparate peoples of Indonesia, we begin to understand that our definition of “community” extends far beyond the people in our own towns. Diverse experiences help expand our worldview and encourage us to be more mindful of the interconnected relationships between people and an increasingly fragile natural world.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

ASI A:   S UM M E R

INDONESIA UBUD, BALI

A few flights and an overnight boat trip takes us to the

27


N E PA L T R A D I T I O N S O F T H E H I M A L AYA S 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

AGES

Discover the mysticism of the Himalayas: trek into remote CHINA mountain communities, participate in a meditation retreat, and engage with post-earthquake reconstruction efforts.

June 28 – July 28

16 – 18

SINCE ANCIENT TIMES, TRAVELERS,

TIBE T DELHI

N E PP OAK LH A R A

BHUTAN PATA N

AS I A:   S UM M ER

INDIA

28

RUGGED TRAVEL

AND WARRIORS HAVE PASSED THROUGH KATHMANDU d  uring their journeys across the great

ISPs

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

emphasizing in particular the importance of exchange.

MONKS, MERCHANTS, POETS, ARTISTS, K AT H M A N D U

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

Saying good-bye to our gracious hosts, we head to a Buddhist meditation retreat in Pharping, where we learn about the foundations

Himalayan range. Some never left, and today, Newaris,

of Buddhist philosophy and participate in a

Sherpas, Gurungs, Tamangs, Magars, Thar, Limbus,

spiritual practice that is both personal and

and ethnic Tibetans all peacefully co-exist in the

deeply introspective. Back in Kathmandu,

peaks and valleys of this dynamic country. Nepal’s rich

students begin independent study projects

cultural diversity provides a strong foundation for a

(ISPs), delving deeper into Ayurvedic medicine,

larger conversation about the underpinnings of identity,

thangka painting, sarangi lessons, or a topic of their

community, and spirituality.

choosing. Local scholars come to our Program House

Our journey begins in the hilltop Newari trading

to share their insights on Nepal’s history, politics and culture; they also offer a unique

village of Bandipur. After a short orientation, we venture

perspective on the socio-political complexities facing a newly-Democratic Nepal, and

into the Himalayan foothills, where we settle in for home-

about the challenges that the 2015 earthquake poses to Nepali society.

stays with a community of subsistence farmers in Ale Gau. Local leaders teach us about the values and challenges

“Nate scored his trip an “11” on a scale of 1-10. He arrived home dirty and smelly, but

of learning service within their cultural context. We experience what it means to give and to receive,

more mature, thoughtful and with a greater understanding of that part of the world.”

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

PA R E N T O F N AT E Z U C H E R

RIGHT PAGE Cara Starnbach, Christy Sommers

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE Kyle Lee, n/a

30

LEH

DESCRIPTION


NORTH INDIA IDENTITY IN EXILE 6-Week Summer Abroad Program

42

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Examine the roots of Tibetan identity: join refugee communities for a learning service project, discuss climate change in the Himalayas, and trek into the sacred Changtang Plateau.

June 28 – August 8

17 – 20

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

TREKKING

LEARNING SERVICE

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

CHINA LEH

FOLLOWING THE DALAI LAMA’S ESCAPE IN

MANALI DHARAMSALA

A K I S TA N

“This experience was simultaneously vast and deeply personal. I couldn't be more

THE WAKE OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN TIBET,

TIBE T

grateful for the chance to grow and question and laugh and explore surrounded by

t housands of devout followers traced their leader’s

NEPAL

path, seeking refuge in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

DELHI AGRA

Dharamsala, nestled along the western edge of India’s

INDIA

HELENA THOMAS Leaving the oasis of Ladakh, we venture to the

Himachal Pradesh, was eventually established as the

remote Changthang Plateau, a land of herders

seat of His Holiness’ exiled government. To this day, it is a

and nomads and the symbolic end of many

place where the traditions of Tibetan language, traditional

Tibetans’ safe pilgrimage east. At the

medicine, art, and spirituality are studied, preserved, and its

people that competed in beauty and grace with the mountains around them.”

alpine reserve of Lake Tso Moriri, we visit herding encampments, volunteer with an ecological preservation project, and

and compassionate identity.

prepare for a challenging 9-day trek

Our exploration of Tibetan culture begins in Ladakh, North India, often known as “Little Tibet”. We immerse ourselves in the local culture by engaging in a learning

into the Himachal Pradesh. Eventually, we return to Dharamsala to live with families of Tibetan refugees,

service project and sitting before Buddhist philosophers, climate-scientists, and

volunteer with Gu Chu Sum’s ex-political

scholars who present on their traditions, as well as the shifting cultural, ecological, and

prisoner’s organization, and attend classes

economic patterns within the region.

at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

ASI A:   S UM M E R

upheld. It is a place that inspires the world community with stories of struggle and perseverance, and with its hopeful

29


Rich in antioxidants and high in vitamin B6, Mangoes are purported to contribute to healthy brain function, reduce the risk of cancer, enhance sight and boost the immune system. They have been promulgated throughout the Global South for their health benefits, particularly among young children.

PHOTOâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;Grace Powell, South America

AS I A: â&#x20AC;&#x201A; S UM M ER

Semester: Andes & Amazon

30


A Course Posting from Nepal

T H E 7 WAY S T O E AT A M A N G O L I L A B R A D Y, S T U D E N T 1) The way I used to eat it at home: peel with a knife and slice. Rating: a ton of work and wastes some mango, also need a cutting board and knife, hands get really messy. «

On our first day here at the Ashram, we had a session with Swami-ji, the spiritual man in charge, and he told us his life story along with the philosophy of well-rounded education, care, attention, engagement and love that he fosters here. The energy and

2) Slice the sides off with a knife, then cut across the mango so you get little cubes

vibes at the ashram are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. With around 200 people

that you eat off the peel. Rating: also a lot of work and you need a knife and plate. And

here, there are always games and activities going on. I learned that many of the children

napkins. Kinda fun to eat though. ««

had been saved from horrible situations in orphanages, on the street, or even human trafficking. The amount of kindness, generosity, and spirit that radiates from people’s

3) Peel the skin off with your fingers then eat it like an apple. Only works with the

souls here is more than moving. The little girls yell my name and call me over to teach

right mango, also can get really messy. This is a risky situation as the mango is really

me a dance, and the girls who cook for us always smile as they bring us their delicious,

slippery. ««

vegetarian, organic food that they’ve grown and cooked on this property. Every evening, the community gets together for singing and chanting or meditation. At the first night’s

4) Bite into the mango, skin and all. Then chew it so you get all the fruit, then spit the

chanting, I was so astonished at the mindfulness and attention of the children that it

skin out. It should only be done with organic, local mangoes though because of pesticides

brought tears to my eyes. As the room vibrated with drums, guitar, harmonium and a

in the skin. «

collection of voices chanting rhythmically and spiritually in Sanskrit, the young children closed their eyes and swayed. I thought about what sort of neglect or abuse this beautiful

5) Slice like an avocado. Once you’ve separated it into two halves, slice to create little

girl who looked about 5 might have endured, but she chose to be present, compassionate,

cubes and then eat the cubes off the skin. Requires cutting tools and is really messy. ««

and alive with hope as I watched her chant the mantra with her hands in a namaste prayer position. The beauty of the music and collective support, smiles, and peaceful being is

6) Slice in half like an avocado, but don’t split them apart. Then, peel back the skin on

something I will never forget. I am so utterly in love with this place. Never before in my life

each side with your fingers. You need a knife but no cutting board, but will get really

have I visited somewhere for such a short time but felt so connected and attached. The

messy. «««

thought of leaving here in 2 days gives me a pit in my stomach. As I chanted last night, finally picking up on some of the words, I found a big smile immediately emerging on my face. I found deep gratitude for my life and everything that had gotten me to this moment. The happiness I feel here is something so deep and unexplainable. It’s not the first type of happiness (referencing the TED talk “the new era of positive psychology”) that comes from pleasureful, fun moments of passing laughter. That's the type of happiness I’m used to feeling at home- the feeling of getting a good

7) THE MOST ENLIGHTENING WAY...The mango needs to be really ripe, far squishier

grade that feels fantastic for an hour but doesn’t sustain me during my neutral or downhill

than something I would have picked out at the grocery store. Then, massage the mango

parts of life. That happiness is important, but the main contributor to overall fulfillment is

firmly for a minute all over so that the fruit moves around inside. Bite the top off, and then

the third kind. On this trip, I’ve found the third type of happiness as well as the first. The

suck the mango out like a squeezable applesauce! You don’t need any tools, napkins, or

type of happiness that leads to lifelong fulfillment and joy even during moments when

plates, and your hands don’t get sticky! Taught to us a couple days ago by Swami-ji here

I’m not doing something “fun”. Here at the Aurobindo Ashram in Nepal, I have found true

at the Aurobindo Ashram, this has revolutionized how I eat mangoes.

meaning. And that’s the best way to eat a mango. «««««

ASI A:   S UM M E R

"You don’t need any tools, napkins, or plates, and your hands don’t get sticky! Taught to us a couple days ago by Swami-ji here at the Aurobindo Ashram, this has revolutionized how I’ll eat mangoes. "

31


NORTH INDIA THE ROOF OF THE WORLD 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Test your limits: trek over snow-capped passes in the Himalayas, live with yak herders, and discuss the impacts of globalization on isolated mountain communities.

June 28 – July 28

16 – 18

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

TREKKING

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

CHINA LEH

NEPAL DELHI

cradle seldom-visited farming and monastic communities. These villages run as they

SET AGAINST A BACKDROP OF

have for centuries, sustained by limited farming, yak and sheep husbandry, trade, and

CERULEAN SKIES AND FLUTTERING

the patronage of monasteries. Because many of these villages

PRAYER FLAGS, o  ur Roof of the World course

are often cut off from the rest of the world by heavy

is a trekking-intensive program designed for

AS I A:   S UM M ER

INDIA

32

snowfall, few of the world’s inhabited places are so

students who are physically fit and intellectually

isolated. And due to their isolation, the remote

curious. Amid the breathtaking mountains of the

villages of the trans-Himalaya have experienced

Indian Himalayas, students experience unparalleled

a cultural barrier of sorts, preserving their

mountain scenery as they cross snow-covered passes

traditional culture and Buddhist heritage

by day and button into zero-degree bags at night. As

like a snow-hushed secret. Throughout the

we hike through this rugged landscape, we pass small

journey, students meet with local leaders and

communities of Ladakhis and Tibetans—nomads,

guest speakers to learn the basic teachings of

herders, farmers, and devoted practitioners of

Tibetan Buddhism, while also learning how these

Tibetan Buddhism—often learning as much about our

principles guide regional development.

physical limits as we learn about new ways of life. Staging our course out of Leh, Ladakh, set

“I have to commend your instructors again—all 3 of them were absolutely amazing… They

high up in the Tibetan Plateau, we journey into the higher climes of the Tibetan Plateau. Jagged peaks and windswept expanses

were inspiring and we truly appreciate the positive influence they had on our daughter.”

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

P A R E N T O F L I LY H I M M E L M A N

RIGHT PAGE n/a, n/a

TIBE T

PA K I S TA N

A CHALLENGING JOURNEY

LEFT PAGE Cara Starnbach, Kristin Brudevold

MANALI


SIKKIM H I M A L AYA N S T U D I E S 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Experience the mysticism of remote Himalayan communities: work with artists and healers in Darjeeling and gain insight into the Himalaya’s myriad spiritual traditions.

June 28 – July 28

15 – 17

NESTLED DEEP IN THE EASTERN END OF THE GREAT HIMALAYAN MOUNTAIN RANGE, S  ikkim is a CHINA restricted LEH

HOME-STAY

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

ISPs

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

“You gave me such an opportunity this summer, not just to travel to this magical place, but something to hold on to that has sparked a new light, purpose and ambition in my life.” B R I G E T T E B A R N AT O

Indian province that sits snugly between Nepal

and Bhutan. Referred to as the last “Shangri-La,” this ancient kingdom was the final state to become part of India in 1975 and only in TIBET

DELHI

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

N E PAL K AT H M A N D U

L A N G TA N G KANCHENJUNGA GANGTOK KALIMPONG DARJEELING

BHUTAN

families and work with local ISP mentors, taking

the 1990’s did it open to tourism. The

up apprenticeships with artists, musicians,

tension between modern influences and

healers, cultivators, and practitioners of

traditional values is strikingly apparent in

Hinduism, Buddhism, and local versions

Sikkim, as various ethnic groups, including Bhutias, Tibetans, Indians, Gurkhas, Sherpas, Lepchas,

of shamanism. We delve more deeply into Buddhism by sitting for a three-

and Magars work to safeguard their heritage amidst the

day retreat at a local monastery.

draw of globalization. Dragons students engage with local

Heading further into the Himalayas,

communities and explore ancient Buddhist and Hindu

students witness Sikkim’s incredible

traditions, gaining insight into the age-old wisdom that has

biodiversity, trekking through

held these Himalayan tribes together for centuries. Our course begins in Darjeeling, a hill station—renowned for its fine tea—that serves as an introduction to the cultures and traditions

lush forests and looking up at the shadows of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

ASI A:   S UM M E R

INDIA

of the region. In Kalimpong, we live with home-stay

33


FO C IN US Q UI OF RY (F O

I)

T CO M RE PA LI RA GI T O IVE N

IN D ST EPE U N (IS DY DE P) PR N T OJ EC

V ST ELO UD P IE ME NT S

DE

LE A SE RN RV ING IC E

TR EK KI NG

M EST AY

LA N ST GU UD AG Y E

PROGRAM COMPONENT, GO TO PAGES 10–11.

HO

FOR A COMPREHENSIVE DESCRIPTION OF EACH

RU G TR G E AV D EL

P R O G R A M C O M PA R I S O N C H A R T ASIA SUMMER China: Mandarin Intensive, 4-wk

10+ days

40+ hours

Day Hikes

10+ hours

China: Mandarin Intensive, 6-wk

15+ days

60+ hours

Day Hikes

15+ hours

5+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

5+ hours

China: The Silk Road

10+ days

10+ hours

Day Hikes

5+ hours

China: The Search for Meaning

15+ days

20+ hours

Day Hikes

10+ hours

China: A Comprehensive Survey

5+ days

20+ hours

Day Hikes

5+ hours

3+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

20+ hours

Myanmar: Development Studies

3+ days

10+ hours

Cambodia: Peace & Development Studies

5+ days

10+ hours

3+ days

10+ hours

Thailand: The Spirit of Greng Jai

10+ days

10+ hours

3+ days

10+ hours

10+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

5+ hours

Indonesia: Community & Conservation

Nepal: Traditions of the Himalayas

10+ days

10+ hours

3+ days

10+ hours

North India: Identity in Exile

3+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

15+ hours

3+ days

5 hours

15+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

5 hours

3+ days

10+ hours

North India: The Roof of the World Sikkim: Himalayan Studies

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p16

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p17

6/28 – 7/28

16–18

p18

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p19

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p20

6/28 – 7/28

17–20

p21

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p22

6/28 – 7/28

16–18

p24

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p25

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p27

6/28 – 7/28

16–18

p28

6/28 – 8/8

17–20

p29

6/28 – 7/28

16–18

p32

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p33

DATES

AGES

PAGE

LATIN AMERICA SUMMER Guatemala: Spanish Intensive, 4-wk

10+ days

40+ hours

3+ days

15+ hours

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p38

Guatemala: Spanish Intensive, 6-wk

10+ days

40+ hours

5+ days

20+ hours

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p38

Nicaragua: Community In Action

10+ days

40+ hours

3+ days

20+ hours

Bolivia: Identity & Development, 4-wk

5+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

10+ hours

10+ days

20+ hours

10+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

10+ hours

5+ days

5+ hours

10+ days

20+ hours

10+ days

5+ hours

Bolivia: Identity & Development, 6-wk Peru: Sacred Mountains, 4-wk Peru: Sacred Mountains, 6-wk 34

PAGE

AGES

DATES

p16

10+ hours

HIGH EMPHASIS

15–18

5+ days

LOW EMPHASIS MODERATE

6/28 – 7/28

Laos: Conservation & Development

China: The Yangtze River

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

6/28 – 7/28

16–18

p39

6/28 – 7/28

16–18

p42

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p42

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p43

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p43


FO C IN US Q UI OF RY (F O

I)

T CO M RE PA LI RA GI T O IVE N

IN D ST EPE U N (IS DY DE P) PR N T OJ EC

T V ST ELO UD P IE ME N S

DE

LE A SE RN RV ING IC E

TR EK KI NG

LA N ST GU UD AG Y E

M EST AY HO

PROGRAM COMPONENT, GO TO PAGES 10–11.

RU G TR G E AV D EL

FOR A COMPREHENSIVE DESCRIPTION OF EACH

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

LOW EMPHASIS MODERATE HIGH EMPHASIS

DATES

AGES

PAGE

6/28 – 7/28

15–17

p46

SUMMER Senegal: In the Shade of the Baobob Tree

10+ days

10+ hours

3+ days

10+ hours

Rwanda: Development & Peace-building

10+ days

5+ hours

Day hikes

10+ hours

6/28 – 7/28

17–20

p47

Madagascar: Island of Diversity

10+ days

10+ hours

Day hikes

10+ hours

6/28 – 8/8

16–18

p48

Jordan: Crossroads of Traditions & Modernity

5+ days

30+ hours

3+ days

5+ hours

6/28 – 7/28

16–19

p49

DATES

AGES

PAGE

GAP YEAR 3-MONTH SEMESTER China Semester: South of the Clouds

Mekong Semester Life Along the River

India Semester: Visions of India

Central America Semester: Roots of Rebellion Middle East Semester: The Fertile Crescent West Africa Semester: The Many Stories of Africa

20+ hours

20+ hours

10+ days

20+ hours

10+ days

30+ hours

5+ days

20+ hours

10+ days

30+ hours

10+ days

10+ hours

30+ days

40+ hours

20+ days

30+ hours

30+ days

40+ hours

10+ days

20+ hours

30+ days

40+ hours

20+ days

20+ hours

20+ days

40+ hours

5+ days

20+ hours

20+ days

60+ hours

5+ days

10+ hours

30+ days

30+ hours

5+ days

20+ hours

Indicates a college-accredited option for this semester, p64

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p60 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p58 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p57 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p56 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p55 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p54 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p53 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p52 2/7 – 5/1

South America Semester: Andes & Amazon

10+ days

Nepal Semester: Himalayan Studies

5+ days

Indonesia Semester Community, Culture & Conservation

40+ hours

Southeast Asia Semester: Myanmar in Transition

30+ days

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p61 2/7 – 5/1

9/15 – 12/6 17-22 p63 2/7 – 5/1

35


Take three coca leaves between your fingers and bless Pachamama.

36


L AT I N A M E R I C A IS FULL OF BEAUTY, AND IT IS ALSO UNDERGOING RAPID CHANGE.

Plant a row of seedlings to ensure next year’s harvest. Crest a 14,000ft pass and remember how grateful you are to be alive. Quechua communities are learning to cope with impacts of climate change in the Andes. Mayan communities are still reclaiming their land after 36 years of civil war. Bolivia’s Aymara President, Evo Morales, is crafting new legislation to promote climate justice on a global scale. Latin America is a continent filled with movers and shakers; you can hear it in the rhythm of their music. Whether you're interested in learning more about the silver mines in Potosí or the legacy of US military tactics in Guatemala, Latin America is a landscape rich with color, community and fervent activism. In Latin America, we are students of community reinventing itself…

are you?

37


G UAT E M A L A S PA N I S H L A N G UAG E I N T E N S I V E 4-Week & 6-Week Summer Abroad Programs

38

AGES

Investigate issues of social justice in the wake of Guatemala’s thirty-six year civil war while improving your Spanish language skills through individualized 1:1 instruction.

June 28 – July 28 June 28 – August 8

15 – 17 16 – 18

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

HOME-STAY

LANGUAGE STUDY

LEARNING SERVICE

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

OUR GUATEMALA COURSE OFFERS THE PERFECT MELD OF INTENSIVE

Todos Santos. Hidden in the clouds, Todos Santos is a mystical mountain town that

LANGUAGE, SERVICE AND HANDS-ON EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING. Known as

challenges definitions of “traditional” and “modern”. While

the “land of eternal spring”, Guatemala is a country where towering volcanoes cradle

continuing with our Spanish language instruction, we

the rich cultural heritage of the resiliently colorful Maya peoples. Through this lush and

meet with shamans and healers, learn traditional

ME XICO

textured land we travel to remote communities

cooking, volunteer in local schools, and receive

to study with professional Spanish instructors

instruction in weaving and marimba.

in personalized one-on-one lessons while

TIKAL

BELIZE

engaging in authentic home-stays and meaningful

folds of the Cuchumantes Mountains, to the

community-driven service projects.

community of San Juan Cotzal. Here we join

We begin our course in Pachaj, a small mountain community nestled in the pine forest outside of Guatemala’s second biggest city, Quetzaltenango. In Pachaj we live with generous home-stay families, enjoy one-on-one Spanish language instruction, and volunteer

COBAN TODOS SANTOS

We then wind our way into the protective

our home-stay families in the fields as they plant their food staples of beans, corn and squash. Our comprehensive Latin American journey concludes with a few days in the spectacular ancient colonial capital of Antigua.

with the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project. G UATE M A L A SANTIAGO ATITL A N

After a three-day trek from Quetzaltenango to Lake

“We sent our son to Guatemala as a teenager, and he returned as a Spanish-speaking,

Atitlan and a visit to the Mesoamerican Permaculture

thoughtful, sensitive and appreciative young man; a powerful evolution!”

Institute, we travel to the highland community of

SAN LUCAS TOLIMÁN

EL

SALVADOR

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

R O B I N F E L L , PA R E N T

RIGHT PAGE n/a, n/a

L AT IN AM ER IC A :  SU M MER

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE n/a, Sydney Yang

30/42

DESCRIPTION


NICARAGUA COMMUNITY IN ACTION 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Improve your Spanish through daily 2:1 instruction and learn what it takes to be a grassroots activist in some of Central America’s most politically engaged communities.

June 28 – July 28

16 – 18 HOME-STAY

CENTRAL AMERICA, A NARROW STRIP OF STEAMING JUNGLES AND

LANGUAGE STUDY

LEARNING SERVICE

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

“There have been so many different vibes and opportunities in just one month. I can

FIERY VOLCANOES, is the earth’s most recent major land formation, and a melting pot of cultural and biological diversity. At its heart lays Nicaragua, the “land

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

safely say that this course is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.”

ELLA PEPPER

of lakes and volcanoes,” and a hotbed for innovative community response to the rapid changes of globalization.

ESTELÍ

our Nicaragua program allows students to learn directly from

options to play music with a local band, act

justice and sustainability.

M ATAG A LPA

NICARAGUA

LEÓN

independent study projects (ISPs), with

community activists, farmers, and NGOs working for social

O COTA L

enjoying the warm hospitality of carefully selected home-stays.

GRANADA

We then travel to the island of Ometepe, where we summit the Concepcion volcano and visit lush coffee and banana plantations COS TA

RIC A

with a socially conscious theater troop, learn to cook in a giant adobe oven, or

Our journey begins in the picturesque colonial city of Esteli, where we deepen our understanding of Spanish language while

MANAGUA

visions for a brighter future. Students dive into

intimate home-stays, and exceptional language instruction,

that skirt its base. Moving on to the highlands of Nicaragua, we settle into the hamlet of El Lagartillo for a two-week home-stay. Local families invite us into their humble,

take advantage of other myriad learning opportunities. In the afternoons, we study Spanish with professional teachers before cooling off in thunderous waterfalls. After heartfelt goodbyes, we travel south for a learning service project with Los Quinchos, an organization that takes children off the streets of Managua.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

LATI N A ME R IC A :  S U MM E R

With an emphasis on community based learning service,

HONDUR A S

solar-powered homes, share meals and discuss their

39


40

L AT IN AM ER IC A :â&#x20AC;&#x201A;S U M MER


A Course Posting from Guatemala

W R I T T E N O N A S PA N I S H K E Y B OA R D I N F R O N T O F C H I P P I N G PA I N T H E N R I E T T A R E I LY, S T U D E N T

I WAS SITTING ON A SHORT PLASTIC STOOL, CRYING FROM LAUGHTER WITH MY HOST MOTHER AND BROTHER. We had just placed a new container of filtered water into its holder. After struggling to lift it up three flights of stairs, we all boosted it high over its holder, struggling to balance it, and flipped it over quickly. When it began to glug pleasantly and I knew it was safe, I let out a chuckle. My host brother, Nery, began to giggle and his mother soon joined in. Before long, we were clutching our stomachs and gasping for air, the laughter and awkwardness of my first few hours traveling out the window towards the beautiful mountains of Todos Santos. There is no way to compare this, whatever it is, to any type of travel I’ve experienced in the past. I never pictured myself on a small stump in an Internet café, typing on a decade-old computer in front of a peeling white wall. Three men in traditional Mayan dress watch as I write, though I’m sure they don’t speak or read a word of English. Perhaps I’m overly naïve, but I never imagined travel as a time for great challenges, or for an appreciation of the mundane in another culture. I never pictured myself heaving water from a third floor wood-burning stove to the first floor defunct shower, and giving myself a bucket bath. I never imagined I’d so enjoy playing the same game with Leandro, my other host brother, seemingly dozens of times each day. I never pictured myself explaining to a group of intrigued children why my hair is blonde, or resorting to desperate gestures when I need to use a Spanish word I never learned in school.

LEFT Dragons students in traditional dress in Todos Santos, Guatemala. Eva Jahn, Instructor

RIGHT Dragons inaugural Central America students traveling by chicken bus across intercontinental land bridge. Adelaide Nalley, Instructor

LATI N A ME R IC A :  S U MM E R

If I had imagined myself in any of these situations before, I don’t think I would have liked the idea. But here, now, it’s unbeatable. I’ve never felt so out of my element, but I’ve also never felt so strongly and unashamedly like myself.

41


BOLIVIA IDENTITY & DEVELOPMENT 4-Week & 6-Week Summer Abroad Programs

AGES

Immerse yourself in the Andes: perform a ritual ceremony for Pachamama, trek over snow-swept passes, and discuss the impacts of resource extraction with local communities.

June 28 – July 28 June 28 – August 8

16 – 18 16 – 18

L AT IN AM ER IC A :  SU M MER

HOME-STAY

TREKKING

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

on a four-day trek in the snow-capped Cordillera Real range, and then descend into

MOST STAGGERING CULTURAL AND ECOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ON THE

dense cloud forest on the edge of the Amazon Basin.

PLANET. Host to 36 distinct ethnic and language groups, vast mountain ranges,

Observing striking ecological transitions, we

dense Amazonian jungle, and a shifting socio-political landscape, Bolivia provides a

discuss issues of conservation and resource

links between past and present in the heart

management in one of the most biodiverse pockets of the planet.

of South America. Students integrate into

BR A ZIL

CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA S O R ATA L A PA Z COCHABAMBA CORDILLERA REAL

BOLIVIA

Our trek ends in the Yungas region,

several local communities through extended

known for producing chocolate,

home-stays, focused language study, and

coffee and coca, and home to Bolivia’s

a direct engagement with local activists and politicians.

Afro-Bolivian population. We settle into a relaxing retreat for the final days

The course begins in Cochabamba, where

and reflect on all we've learned about

we live in a small Quechua farming community.

Bolivia’s distinct indigenous identities

Students enjoy daily Spanish language

and environmental preservation.

instruction at our Program House while learning about the vibrant history of grassroots

“I looked for a course that would challenge me physically, emotionally,

mobilization and resistance in the Andes. Acclimatized to the Andean elevation, we depart PAR AGUAY CHILE

RUGGED TRAVEL

KNOWN AS A LAND OF EXTREMES, BOLIVIA IS HOME TO SOME OF THE

vast panorama for students to explore the

42

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

mentally yet still teach me about the world. Well I found it.”

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

JAMES TEJERA

RIGHT PAGE n/a, n/a

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE Moria Kofsky, n/a

30/42

DESCRIPTION


PERU S AC R E D M O U N TA I N S 4-Week & 6-Week Summer Abroad Programs

30/42 DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Celebrate Peru’s unbelievable diversity: paddle the Amazon River Basin in a dugout canoe and live with Quechua families in the heart of the Andes.

June 28 – July 28 June 28 – August 8

15 – 17 16 – 18

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

TREKKING

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

ECUADOR

PERU, ANCIENT SEAT OF THE INCA—

“Q’eros changed something big inside me. What I value has changed;

ONCE THE GREATEST CIVILIZATION IN PERU

BR A ZIL

SOUTH AMERICA, is a land of towering peaks and

so has my definition of happiness.”

JULIA LOTVINA

steamy jungles, of modern urban centers and hidden

HUARAZ

CHIQUIÁN

villages. The radical juxtapositions in landscape and

S ATI P O LIMA

CUSCO

PUERTO MALDO NATO

BOLIVIA

the striking socio-economic disparities that

We travel overland to Cusco, exploring the relics of Sacsayhuamán and the central Plaza, listening for tales of Incan rulers and the Spanish conquistadors that

pervade society. Students dig into critical

came before. A short trek takes us to Machu

development issues by living with families

Picchu, although we quickly skirt the crowds

in remote indigenous communities and

and settle in for a four-day home-stay in the

exploring seldom-visited regions of

Parque de la Papa. We rise with our home-

the sacred Andes Mountains and lush

stay siblings, harvesting potatoes, herding

Amazonian forests.

and milking livestock, and participating in a

Our journey begins with a short flight into the heart of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. A small boat takes us up the Madre de Dios

learning service project led by local leaders. By the end of the course, students are

River, where we learn about forest ecology while listening to a symphony of tropical

equipped with basic wilderness skills, and a

birds and jungle calls. We meet with local elders who share their hopes and fears about

deeper understanding of regional environmental

regional development initiatives.

issues and the mysticism of Andean cosmology. W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

LATI N A ME R IC A :  S U MM E R

culture of this majestic country are reflected in

O L L A N TAY TA M B O

MACHU PICCHU

43


The beat of a djembe. The call to prayer. A warm chuckle as your nene pulls up her chair and serves you another plate of ceebu jen.

44


AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST HAVE THEIR OWN RHYTHM.

Sounds announce our arrival in a new place, and slowly their rhythm reminds us that we’ve landed in Africa or the Middle East. In urban Senegal, you’ll find young entrepreneurs huddled in high-tech co-working spaces just as readily as you’ll stumble upon an open-air market selling fish from the morning haul. Jordan is a haven for Iraqis, Palestinians, Syrians and Norwegians, welcoming refugees and aid workers amidst regional unrest; and Rwanda, a refuge for the last wild herds of East Africa. Whether you’re dancing to the beat of a drum, paddling a pirogue out to sea or sipping black coffee in a souq, there are stories in the lands of our ancestors and wisdom in the echoes of their laughter. Come learn to speak French or Arabic, Pulaar or Wolof… there are stories waiting to be heard. We’re listening…

are you?

45


SENEGAL IN THE SHADE OF THE BAOBAB TREE 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Discover true generosity: live with a Senegalese family, learn a drum and dance; find yourself deeply immersed in a new worldview.

June 28 – July 28

15 – 17

M A U R Inew T A Ncraft, IA

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

HOME-STAY

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION DR

SAINT LOUIS

SENEGAL. Enter a fortuneteller’s hut and ask a

SENEGAL TA M BACO U N DA

MALI

KOLDA

“The trip did an amazing job of giving us the right direction, but not holding our hands all the time like many other programs out there. I have developed as an individual,

question about your future. Spin and dance with Sufi

as a global citizen, and as a contributing member of a community.”

mystics. Discover fluent Spanish speakers on a man-

MICHAEL FORTENBERRY

grove island. Speak with a young man preparing to

GUINE A

cross the Strait of Gibraltar to find work in Spain. This

Fouta mountains, visiting Pulaar villages, traditional

country is a collision of influences: French, Islamic, Af-

healers, and environmental activists along the way.

rican— and increasingly, American and Chinese. Renowned

for its hospitality and tolerance, Senegal makes room for it all.

We come to rest for a week of home-stays, where students live in a traditional thatched-

Our journey begins in the peaceful fishing neighborhood of

hut family compound with no electricity

Yoff, where horse-carts crowd out taxis and pedestrians share

or running water. Students spend the day

the roads with parades. We spend the first week learning

as locals do, working in the fields, milking

about cultural “do’s and dont’s”, practicing greetings in

cows, partaking in drumming and dance

Wolof and French, and unpacking the term ‘development’. This week sets the stage for an in-depth exploration of issues related to public health, gender, education, social justice and human migration.

lessons, and sitting in on village meetings. As we sink into the rhythm of Senegalese life, we see that the tradition of

From Yoff, we travel on to the holy city of Touba, encountering Sufi mysticism and the mysterious Mouride Brotherhood. We trek through the gorgeous foothills of the

teranga, the culture of giving, offers us many lessons about community and our own humanity.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE Rebecca Thom, Cheney Hagerup

KEDOUGOU

LEFT PAGE n/a, Morgan Sutton

AF R IC A & MID D LE E AST:  SU M MER

THIES

46

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN

TOUBA

DAKAR


R WA N DA DEVELOPMENT & PEACE-BUILDING 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Celebrate resilience: examine post-genocide reconstruction initiatives, participate in a learning service project with Congolese refugees, and track giraffes in Akagera National Park.

June 28 – July 28

17 – 20

UGANDA

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

HOME-STAY

LEARNING SERVICE

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

CONGO

RUHENGERI

JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF EAST

craftsmen, while a Rwandan-run NGO

AFRICA TO A LAND OF MISTS AND

specializing in micro-grants offers us insight

KIBUYE

RWANDA B U TA R E

TANZ ANIA

BURUNDI

into the meaning of the term ‘development’.

Land of a Thousand Hills”, Rwanda is at the

Returning to Kigali, we visit memorial sites

forefront of African development, making

and take a closer look at the history of the

it an ideal place to study the relationship

1994 genocide.

between traditional models of international

The final weeks of the course bring us

aid and the growing movement towards

to another learning service project with

entrepreneurship and innovation in East Africa.

community members from a Congolese

The course begins in Kigali, where students find

refugee camp; it takes us on a safari among

an 'Africa' rarely shown in the media: a landscape of modern buildings and highways. We quickly leave the

zebras and elephants in Akagera National Park; and it brings us to the shores of the majestic Lake Kivu.

honking streets of Kigali for the cooing hills of Nyungwe Forest. After a short orientation to Kinyarwanda, we depart on a trek among the aweinspiring volcanoes of the Musanze region, listening for the distant rumblings of wild mountain gorillas.

“The home-stays are what taught me the most as they demonstrated the warmth and light in the heart of Rwandans. Each home had revolving doors and would feed and shelter neighbors and friends without hesitation. Though they materially had less than we do back

When we emerge from the woods, we find ourselves in the university town of

home, it felt as though they had so much more because of their willingness to give.”

Butare for our first home-stay. Students begin independent study projects with local W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

NOEMIE HAMKER

A FR ICA & M ID D LE EAST:   S UM M ER

MOUNTAINS: RWANDA. Known as “The

KIGALI

47


MADAGASCAR ISLAND OF DIVERSITY 6-Week Summer Abroad Program

AGES

Become a steward of the earth: understand the competing interests of economic development and resource conservation in an international hotspot of biodiversity.

June 28 – August 8

16 – 18

MADAGASCAR: THE EIGHTH CONTINENT.

AF R IC A & MID D LE E AST:  SU M MER

Stunningly diverse and colossal in size, more than 80%

48

A N TA N A N A R I VO TOAMASINA AMPEFY

MADAGASCAR

ISALO PARK

TOLIARA

RUGGED TRAVEL

found anywhere else in the world. The Malagasy people

canyons of Isalo National Park and

are similarly unique. Over the past 2,000 years, immigrants

searching for lemurs in Ranomafana’s lush

narratives of the Malagasy people, as well as the diverse species that inhabit this incredible island.

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

mid-altitude rainforest.

floated rafts across the Mozambique Channel, blending the influences of Southeast Asia and Africa into a distinct Malagasy

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

perspective on this global issue. We return to the highlands, camping in the sandstone

identity. Over the course of the summer, we uncover the diverse

HOME-STAY

and local environmental activists share a unique

of the plant and animal species in Madagascar are not

have paddled dugout canoes across the Indian Ocean and R ANOMAFANA PARK

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

The rest of the month takes us on a rugged, winding journey through rural home-stays and a few learning service projects. Whether we’re meeting with policymakers in Antananarivo or looking for

Our journey begins in Ampefy, a village nestled in the shadows of a booming waterfall. A short orientation provides

chameleons in Andasibe National Park, we come to realize that each creature has a role to play in shaping the future of Madagascar.

the foundation for our future travels, as we learn to navigate local transportation, speak with home-stay families and examine the influences of globalization with a more critical eye.

“This trip was incredible. The fact that we fit so much into six weeks and were able to explore so many different aspects of Madagascar from rainforest to beach to sandstone

Next, we travel to the coast of the Mozambique Channel for our first home-stay. This community is grappling with the impacts of overfishing and marine habit destruction,

canyon was amazing. Everything was an experience. I loved it.”

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

ELSA BECHU

RIGHT PAGE Riley Smith, n/a

DAYS

DATES

LEFT PAGE Eloise Schrier, Bella Heffer

42

DESCRIPTION


“Dragons is stellar. It is the leader in student travel to developing nations. I can’t thank you enough!” PA R E N T O F P H O E B E S M I T H

JORDAN CROSSROADS OF TRADITIONS & MODERNITY 4-Week Summer Abroad Program

30

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Venture into the heart of the Levant: trek across the storied Wadi Rum Desert and discuss issues of resource scarcity with environmental activists.

June 28 – July 28

16 – 19

A CAMEL DRINKS WATER OUT OF A RECYCLED NESTLÉ BOTTLE.

IR AQ AMMAN

JORDAN

EGYP T AQABA

AR ABIA

Leaving desert-scapes for metropolitan streets, the group travels north to Amman

just after Friday prayers. The world certainly isn’t

lessons each morning, we immerse ourselves in diverse conversations with academics, laypeople, relief

of traditional values and modern consumerism,

workers, advocates for tradition, and advocates

footprints of strong family connection and the

for change.

a history of colonialism followed by decades of

Once we’ve had our fill of the city, we embark on a student-led expedition to the

regional unrest and forced migrations, and you’ve

town of Madaba. Perched next to Mount

found yourself at the epicenter of a hot conversation

Nebo, one of the holiest sites in the three Abrahamic religions and home to the largest Christian population in Jordan, we

Our journey begins in the heart of the Wadi Rum

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

storied ruins of ancient Petra.

flat; if anything, it’s textured by the intersection

preservation in the modern-day Levant. SAUDI

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

for an extended urban home-stay. Meeting at The University of Jordan for Arabic

about personal freedoms, state-building and resource

WADI RUM

LANGUAGE LANGUAGE STUDY STUDY

PEDESTRIANS QUEUE OUTSIDE OF KFC,

demands of global population growth. Consider MADABA

HOME-STAY

visit old churches while the call to prayer

desert, where our Bedouin guides host a traditional goat

rings out over the cobblestone streets. We

roast beneath a sea of stars. A four-day trek leads us along

look closer at issues of religion, history, and

Lawrence of Arabia’s famed path, as we rise with the sun, study

Jordanian social life as we learn about spiritual

Arabic, and play sija in the late afternoon. We then visit the

traditions by day and sip tea by night.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

A FR ICA & M ID D LE EAST:   S UM M ER

SYRIA

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

49


Take a beat. Listen for the rhythm of your own steps.

50


GAP YEAR SEMESTERS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY.

This is the first year of your adult life and it’s a good time to gain some perspective. You might find it from a snow-capped peak in the Andes or from a sleepy fishing village in Laos. You could be inspired by your first meditation retreat in the Himalayas or by an impromptu drum circle in Senegal. This is your time to wake up. To reconnect with curiosity. To find joy. To use your voice. To consider critical issues and be optimistic about cross-cultural solutions. It doesn’t take a classroom to be a student…

are you ready for the world to teach you?

51


RUSSIA

MONGOLIA

BEIJING

CHINA

XI’AN

XIAHE

CHENGDU

SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS

KUNMING

NDIA

3-Month Gap Year Program

DAYS

DATES

AGES

Improve your Mandarin, practice a traditional Chinese art form, and explore ethnic minority communities along China’s northwest frontier.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

LANGUAGE STUDY

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

ISPs

to healing, cooking, body discipline, art and music. While in Kunming, students live

FASCINATION. Dragons’ semester in China does more than introduce the

independently with Chinese host families, many of whom represent the “new class”

contemporary China that is seen in the country’s burgeoning cities; our course

within contemporary society. At the Dragons Program House, we gather for Chinese

takes us deep among this country’s various faces and across disparate urban and

language study, work on Independent Study Projects, hear from visiting scholars, and

rural landscapes. Inventive travel experiences are balanced with a strong language

cook traditional meals with fresh foods purchased at the local market.

history and economic development, society, and cultural tradition.

GA P Y E AR   SE MEST ER

HOME-STAY

CHINA. FEW COUNTRIES EVOKE THE SAME CURIOSITY AND INTENSE

curriculum and a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary exploration of modern Chinese

52

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

Kunming—southeast of the Tibetan Plateau, within a few days’ reach of either

Two travel segments bookend our Kunming experience, with options to sink deep into Central Asian culture in China’s northwestern

Myanmar or Laos—is our home for six weeks of the program. This “city of eternal

provinces, or traverse the dramatic

spring” is the capital of China’s southwest Yunnan Province; it is an ideal location from

valleys of the Hengduan Mountains

which we explore Han Chinese/minority relations, economic reforms and development,

in Northwestern Yunnan, or connect

environmental concerns, and China’s rich history. Through guest-lectures, discussions

lost and forgotten Tibetan Buddhist

and mentored community-engagement we explore traditional Chinese approaches

Monasteries. With a broad curriculum and an itinerary designed to explore

"Some of the best most impactful and enjoyable [memories] were actually unplanned

both thriving urban centers and

or even unintended. They just happened on the road or were bumps along that road,

undeveloped villages, our China semester

and those are probably the ones which leave the biggest impressions."

offers an unparalleled comprehensive

ROBERT BURNS

overview of today’s China. F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE Sampor Burke, Emma Hoffman

84

DESCRIPTION

LEFT PAGE Parker Pflaum, n/a

CHINA


KUNMING

CHINA

XISHUANGBANA

VIETNAM LUANG PRABANG

LAOS

MEKONG

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

LIFE ALONG THE RIVER

BANGKOK

3-Month Gap Year Program

CAMBODIA K R AT I E

PHNOM PENH

84

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Examine issues of transboundary resource management within Asia’s largest river basin, explore diverse belief systems, and participate in community-driven service projects.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

FROM ITS SACRED HEADWATERS IN THE TIBETAN PLATEAU, THE MEKONG

the Secret War. We then slow down and enjoy

RIVER FLOWS 4,800-KM TOWARDS THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, c  leaving

rural home-stays on the idyllic river island of

a boundary between Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, and coursing into the heart of

Don Dohn, relaxing into “Laos time” as we

mainland Southeast Asia. To the Tibetans, the Upper Mekong is a powerful spiritual

prepare for the final leg of our journey. In Cambodia, we learn about

on the interdependency of people and the natural world, students on The Mekong

the ancient Angkor empire and the

Semester examine how the demand for electricity and anthropocentric resource

tumultuous history of a region ravaged

management is causing irreparable damage to delicate ecosystems and traditional ways

by war and genocide. We meet

of life.

with NGOs in Phnom Penh and visit

Our journey begins in China’s Yunnan Province where we trek through sacred

RUGGED TRAVEL

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

marginalized communities on houseboats.

Buddhist landscapes and examine the impacts of China’s controversial mega-dam

At the mouth of the Mekong Delta, we

projects. In border villages, we explore transnational trade, ASEAN, and China’s impact

reflect on the long-term health of the river

on the cultural integrity and economic security of the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

ecosystem and bring our great journey to a close.

Crossing into Laos, we explore the provinces of Luang Namtha, Bokeo, and Udomxai, some of the most remote regions in Southeast Asia, where cross-border

“Dragons strengths are in the authenticity of where they go, what they choose to do and

trade and a booming ecotourism industry are contributing to rapid modernization. In

see, where they stay and how the participants are involved along the way. Dragons does

Vientiane, we turn our focus towards public health initiatives, visiting the headquarters

not just lead students by their hands and guide them, they let them figure things out.”

of MAG, an international NGO working to clear unexploded ordnance leftover from W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

PA R E N T S O F N I T S A P L AT I S

GA P Y E AR S EM E STE R

entity. To the Chinese, the river is a means of economic development. By focusing

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

53


CHINA

M A N DA L AY

M YA N M A R K ALAW

LAOS

SOUTHEAST ASIA M YA N M A R I N T R A N S I T I O N

MAWLAMYINE

THAILAND

84

DAYS

3-Month Gap Year Program

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Witness democracy in action: meet with international development experts and volunteer at the largest monastic school in Myanmar.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

IN MYANMAR, MEN STILL WEAR TRADITIONAL LONGYI AND WOMEN USE THE BARK OF THE THANAKA PLANT AS A NATURAL SUNSCREEN.

GA P Y E AR   SE MEST ER 54

LEARNING SERVICE

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

After a visit to Shan state for a gorgeous trek through the highlands, students spend the final weeks

to the international community. Students on this unique semester program have

of the course directing their own travels,

the opportunity to engage with Myanmar’s rich cultural heritage, greatly untouched

perhaps into the Irrawaddy Delta or a

by Western influences. Together, we explore complex themes related to cultural

journey to Karen state.

shifting face of Myanmar today.

RUGGED TRAVEL

learning at the largest monastic school in the country.

In 2011, after fifty years under a repressive military dictatorship, the country opened

preservation, economic development and political transition as they relate to the

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

Concluding the course in Yangon, we continue our focus on

We begin our voyage at the tranquil Shewdagon Pagoda, where Nobel Peace

learning service by volunteering

Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi once asked the world to “Please use your liberty to

in small groups according to

promote ours.” After soaking in the majesty of this Great Dagon Stupa, we hop on a

interest and paired with Burmese

train for orientation in Bagan, the ancient temple complex in the north. We become

students as cultural ambassadors.

acquainted with cultural ‘dos and dont's’, begin lessons in introductory Burmese and

Over the course of three

learn more about each other, building the foundation of the strong group experience

months, students on our

that lies ahead.

Southeast Asia Semester build core

The next few weeks find us visiting the great Mount Popa for a short trek and our

competencies as global citizens and

first encounter with devout Theravada Buddhism. Following a rural home-stay in the

discover community-led models for

village of Atar, we travel to Mandalay where students spend five weeks living and

societal change.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE Aaron Slosberg

YA N G O N

LEFT PAGE Xenia Octavia Viragh, n/a

BAGAN


CHINA

MANADO

BORNEO

INDONESIA

LUWUK

TA N A TO R A JA

MOROWALI KENDARI

MAKASSAR

C O M M U N I T Y, C U LT U R E & C O N S E R VA T I O N

WA K ATO B I

3-Month Gap Year Program

INDONESIA UBUD, BALI

84

DAYS

AUSTRALIA DESCRIPTION

Experience the majesty of the most diverse archipelago on Earth: live with a remote jungle tribe, spearfish with sea nomads, and discuss conservation initiatives with local experts.

DATES

AGES

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

SPANNING FROM MALAYSIA TO AUSTRALIA, WITH OVER 17,000

endangered mangrove ecosystems, and look at various

EQUATORIAL ISLANDS,Indonesia hosts the world’s highest level of biodiversity and

paradigms of environmental conservation.

one of the richest cultural tapestries on earth. Our program begins in Yogyakarta, on

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

source of nutmeg and cloves. Featuring dramatic

been for centuries. With our Program House as a base, students engage in arts study,

volcanic formations draped in luxuriant vegetation and

language instruction, and topical discussions on the course’s themes of cultural and

uninhabited islands wrapped in white sand beaches,

religious diversity, creative expression, ecology and environmental protection, all while

the Bandas boasts the world’s most biodiverse marine

living with carefully selected home-stay families.

environment and much of our stay is spent studying coral reef ecology and learning about the area’s rich marine life. We return to Yogyakarta to wrap up a course that is rugged and

coffee production, hike spectacular volcanoes, explore topics in spiritual plurality and

comprehensive, and that introduces students to the most significant ecological, cultural

develop a deeper understanding of traditional farming.

and geo-political conversations of our time.

We then travel to the southeastern archipelago of Wakatobi, an extraordinary National Marine Park and home to the Bajau people (otherwise known as “sea nomads”). Staying in the stilted bamboo huts of Sampela, students learn about Bajau culture, practices, and religion. We snorkel world-class coral reefs, learn from

“Each place we went to and family I stayed with showed me something about life. Swimming with dolphins in the Bandas. Spear fishing in Sampela. Playing soccer in Langa. Playing gamelan in Java. There were so many impactful and enjoyable activities.”

host fathers how to fish with spears and nets, attend indigenous ceremonies, visit W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

W I L L I A M D U FA U LT

GA P Y E AR S EM E STE R

a small group of 10 volcanic islands famous as a

dance and shadow puppetry are dutifully studied and expertly performed as they have

From Java, we head east to the island of Flores where students live in the pastoral

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

Heading east we travel to the mysterious Bandas,

the island of Java. In this center for arts and culture, ritual crafts of gamelan, Javanese

village of Langa. Here students stay with generous home-stay families, learn about

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

55


CHINA

EH

N E PA L

TIBET N E PAL

LHI

K AT H M A N D U

L A N G TA N G KANCHENJUNGA GANGTOK KALIMPONG DARJEELING

BHUTAN

H I M A L AYA N S T U D I E S 3-Month Gap Year Program

INDIA

84

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Experience the mysticism of the Himalayas: trek above 16,000ft, study traditional arts with a local master, live in a farming village, and sit for a Buddhist meditation retreat.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

THE HIMALAYAS. SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL,these colossal peaks with their vast web of rugged, isolated valleys and distinct ethnic groups have drawn only the most intrepid travelers from distant lands. Through rural and urban home-stays, ten days

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

HOME-STAY

TREKKING

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

"I learned how to harvest barley, milk cows, and sort flax seed. I learned about Ayurvedic healing and took a jungle hike to find herbs. I had private lessons on the Bhagavad Gita. I witnessed the true meaning of community and felt a deep connection to humanity.” ISABELLE GRANT

in a Buddhist monastery, high mountain trekking, learning service, and independent study, Dragons’ Himalaya students explore this remarkable region and its people,

56

melting pot of Himalayan peoples. While living with host families and studying Nepali

reflect on their place in the world through exploring concepts of service, visiting grassroots development projects or participating in the daily workings of an ashram. From Kathmandu we hike into the foothills of

language, students meet with local scholars and activists and learn about Nepal’s

the Himalaya to explore rural Nepali village

history, politics and culture while pursuing a wide range of independent study and

life. We settle into a calmer pace of agrarian

learning service projects.

life, living simply while learning about

The study of spiritual traditions is a central component of our Himalaya semester,

subsistence living. We also venture high

introducing students to a range of concepts in Buddhism and Hinduism. From academic

into the Himalayas for an unforgettable

discourse to hands on study, students find areas of personal interest to explore in depth

trek amid the earth’s tallest mountains.

during our time in Kathmandu. Bronze casting, jewelry making, stone carving, thangka

Hiking at elevations over 15,000 ft, we

(Buddhist iconography) painting, and music are just a few of the apprenticeship

enjoy several weeks of active exploration

opportunities available. Students interested in traditional medicine can work with a

through one of the most ruggedly

Tibetan doctor, or with Ayurvedic practitioners or shamanic healers. Students critically

beautiful and dramatic areas on earth.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE n/a, Maddie Pryor

GA P Y E AR   SE MEST ER

Our Himalaya Semester is based in the Kathmandu Valley, an ancient crossroads and

LEFT PAGE Maria Xu, Catherine Von Holt

encountering ancient spiritual traditions with deep roots in a mystical land.


CHINA LEH

“Go to India, learn something new, light a fire, get excited. TIBE T

A K I S TA N

Find that you can. Find that amid the craziness and noise,

NEPAL

DELHI

you have no choice but to find stillness in yourself.”

INDIA

VAR ANASI C A LC U T TA

INDIA

MARJORIE ISAACS

VISIONS OF INDIA 3-Month Gap Year Program

84

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Immerse yourself in the rich fabric of Indian life: meditate beneath the Bodhi tree, deconstruct the term ‘caste’, and become a new family member in India’s holiest city.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

BASED IN VARANASI, THE CITY OF LIGHT, OUR INDIA SEMESTER

artisans. Daily language classes in Hindi

IMMERSES STUDENTS IN AN INTENSELY THRIVING COMMUNITY BUILT

not only help students communicate

ALONG THE BANKS OF THE GANGES RIVER. Among the most sacred cities in

with Indian hosts, but with leaders

India, Varanasi is a melting pot of ancient tradition, modern commerce and spiritual

of community service projects

exploration.

sponsored by schools, clinics, and

Depending on the season, we either begin or end our course with a mountain trek deep into the Indian Himalayas. To communicate the breadth and depth of Indian

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

HOME-STAY

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

environmental organizations. Independent Study Projects are a core component of Dragons’

Calcutta, Agra and the Taj Mahal, and Bodhgaya. However, it is our extended stay in

India semester, giving students the

Varanasi that frames this course, providing students a deep cultural encounter that

chance to master new and fascinating

encompasses extended home-stays, yoga instruction, artist internships, ISPs, and

skills, develop a fresh perspective on

service work. In Varanasi students see Hindus walk through dawn light for a ritual dip

historical and social issues, and practice

in their cherished Ganges, and they learn as well from the communities of Buddhists,

traditional Indian art forms. While engaging

Jains, Muslims, Sikhs and other devoted people who live and practice in this holiest of

in these studies, students also have the chance

holy cities.

to explore some of the subcontinent's most venerated and least-known places. From a trip to the Bodhi Tree and Temple at Bodhgaya, where the

ourselves. Students live with welcoming families whose members might include world-

Buddha attained enlightenment, to traditional local villages rarely visited by Westerners,

renowned sitar and tabla players, traditional doctors, university professors, or local

students witness what it means to live in India in the 21st century.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

GA P Y E AR S EM E STE R

culture and the complexities of the modern Indian State, we embark on trips to Delhi,

It is in this inspirational celebration of life and transformation that we immerse

ISPs

57


BR A ZIL

PERU CUSCO CORDILLERA APOLOBAMBA PUNO S O R ATA L A PA Z COCHABAMBA

SOUTH AMERICA ANDES & AMAZON 3-Month Gap Year Program

CORDILLERA REAL

BOLIVIA

CHILE

84

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Examine social movements and environmental conservation efforts in the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN BOWLERS. THREE COCA LEAVES PRESSED TOGETHER FOR PACHAMAMA. Fresh snow on a ridge of the Cordillera Apolobamba. Gold miners bent over trays alongside the Madre de Dios… These scenes

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

HOME-STAY

TREKKING

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

"The most wholesome, frustrating, nourishing, enriching program. This journey came full circle, and the experiences we had on our own, as a group and within Bolivia and Peru seemed to be exactly what we all needed. I would not change a thing.” F A R I D A H N D I AY E

all speak to the many walks of life in Bolivia and Peru. Whether it’s a remnant of the

58

resonates from this sacred land seeps into every aspect of daily life. Students on the

youth to engage with issues of social justice

Andes & Amazon semester have the opportunity to learn about issues of social justice

on stage. Charged up by this display of

and environmental activism, while the warm culture of ayni, or reciprocity, makes them

democracy in action, we strike out

feel at home throughout their journey.

on our first trek, circling up at night to discuss the impacts of climate change as we witness glaciers

of daily life. Our time is characterized by intensive Spanish instruction, exposure to local

receding before our eyes.

activists in Cochabamba, and independent study projects (ISPs). This first month lays

In Peru, we re-trace ancient

the foundation for our future travels, helping students develop critical language and

Incan trekking routes to Machu

leadership skills.

Picchu, and venture deep into the

Ready for the next challenge, we set off for the twin cities of La Paz and El Alto,

Amazon where we listen to indigenous

dramatic urban centers that sit above 13,000 feet amidst the snow-capped peaks of the

leaders recount the impacts of natural

Cordillera Real. Here we partner with Teatro Trono, a local theater group that empowers

resource extraction on their communities.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE TomPablo

The semester begins in the agricultural town of Tiquipaya in Central Bolivia. Here, students live with local families, largely of Quechua descent, and settle into the rhythms

LEFT PAGE Grace Powell, n/a

GA P Y E AR   SE MEST ER

Spanish empire or a tribute to the Aymara’s gods, the magic and mysticism that


A Course Posting from Bolivia

A L U N E S ( M O N D AY ) W I T H D O Ñ A L E T I E M I LY N G , S T U D E N T

7:34 AM I awake to my dogs Osa and Negra trotting about outside my window. My

4:27 PM The Dragons group is gathered again at the program house, listening to our

host dad Don Wilfredo is making mate tea on the kettle and my host mom Doñá Leti

program director Julianne´s charla (chat). Some questions that pop in my head: Why

is already stewing the verduras (vegetables) for almuerzo (lunch). I nibble on leftover

does the U.S. spend most of their foreign aid on military causes? Why are the figures

choklo (corn) and snag a piece of pan (bread) for desayuno (breakfast).

for children dying of malnutrition still so high?

8:10 AM My host brothers Juan and Jorge once again are seeing how late they can

6:19 PM Back at mi casa (my house). I´m going over all the new palabras (words) I

be for the school bus down the road.

have learned that day. Patty fortunately corrects me endlessly on my spelling.

9:29 AM Profesora Vilma is teaching me and Makena more conjugations of more

8:04 PM The family gathers once again for cena (dinner). I have officially determined

verb endings. Definitely getting the cabeza (brain) working during these lecciones (lessons)!

12:28 PM I get back home, with the sol (sun) definitely rising high above the

"Questions that pop in my head: Why does the U.S. spend most of their foreign aid on military causes?"

montañas (mountains). My older sister Patty says hola (hello) and Doña Leti is just

that Doñá Leti works magic among comida (food). This time, we chow on pumpkin

getting in from her trabaja (work).

soup, small fries, and pasta in a bowl.

1:16 PM The entire family comes back for almuerzo (lunch). We devour Doña Leti´s

9:46 PM Patty, Ana, our friend Becca, and I play our fourth round of the card game

delicious quinoa, queso (cheese), and verduras pie that's been heating all morning.

Ligretto. Why must Ana have such quick hands at this game?

2:32 PM We all take siesta (naps) in our respective rooms, needing a quick sleep after 10:23 PM I say buenos noches (good night) to mi familia (my family), and snuggle such a scrumptious meal.

under four layers of quilts and blankets to rest for the next dÍa (day) in Tiquipaya.

GA P Y E AR S EM E STE R 59


BELIZE

G UAT E M A L A HONDURAS

CENTRAL AMERICA

E L S A LVA D O R NICARAGUA

ROOTS OF REBELLION

84

DAYS

3-Month Gap Year Program

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Build Spanish language fluency, examine models of political activism and connect with land-based communities in Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

CENTRAL AMERICA: A NARROW STRIP OF STEAMING JUNGLES AND

GA P Y E AR   SE MEST ER

FIERY VOLCANOES, unites two massive continents and splits the world's largest

60

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

HOME-STAY

LANGUAGE STUDY

involved in contemporary struggles for continuity and change in Guatemalan society. Our final destination is Nicaragua, where communities have long relied on local

oceans. Rising out of the sea at a confluence of five tectonic plates, this causeway

solutions to social and environmental challenges. In the face of political strife,

of cultures and ecological diversity is an explosion of rapid biological and cultural

devastating war, and rapid globalization, these

change. Today the countries of Central America continue their historic legacy of

communities have joined together to come

adaptation, responding to environmental and social challenges with innovative

up with creative and revolutionary

communal strategies. The Central America Semester takes a hands-in-the-dirt approach

responses in the form of radical

to understanding indigenous culture and collective life in Guatemala and Nicaragua

people’s movements, progressive

through extended rural home-stays, one-on-one language study, work on communal

organizations, and innovative

farms, and a participatory examination of land-use and grass roots activism.

appropriate technologies. While

In the western highlands of Guatemala, over eighty percent of the population

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

living in homes with local farmers

is indigenous Maya who maintain a legacy of rich cultural survival and community

and continuing with their one-on-

strength in the face of diverse external pressures. Living with indigenous families,

one Spanish instruction, students

working the fields, and learning Spanish, we begin our semester with an experiential

learn about the revolution,

understanding of Mesoamerican culture and the legacy of conquest and resistance that

participate in local agricultural co-

has played out here for five hundred years. Herbal healers, weavers, and community

ops, intern with NGOs, partake in the

leaders share their arts and experience while conversations with local NGOs working

annual coffee harvest and meet some of

in human rights, community health, and development provide opportunities to get

the friendliest folk in this part of the world.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

RIGHT PAGE n/a, Elley Cannon

PANAMA

LEFT PAGE Lital Netter-Sweet, Reed Harwood

CO S TA R I C A


SYRIA

IR AQ AMMAN

MIDDLE EAST

MADABA

JORDAN

THE FERTILE CRESCENT

EGYP T AQABA WADI RUM

SAUDI

84

DAYS

3-Month Gap Year Program AR ABIA

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Venture into the heart of the Levant: live with Bedouin communities in Wadi Rum, and examine issues of resource scarcity and refugee resettlement with experts in Amman.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

HOME-STAY

STAND ON THE SHORES OF THE DEAD SEA AND RECOUNT STORIES

development sector and the local arts scene to add

FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT a  s you gaze across the incredible expanse of

perspective to our conversation about what it

Jordan’s Rift Valley. Hike up to the ancient citadel in the center of Amman, and count

means to be Jordanian today. We continue our

the construction cranes silhouetted against the evening sky. Walk through the famous

study of Arabic, drawing on resources at the

Souk Jara on Friday night and take your pick of succulent medjool dates, traditional

University of Jordan, and we participate in

shemagh and pirated DVDs. The tension between tradition and modernity is ever-

an extended learning service project. The final weeks of course are a

will have the opportunity to delve into the complex history of the Hashemite Kingdom

student-led expedition. This provides

of Jordan, while considering how resource scarcity and human migration are shaping

the group a unique opportunity to

the modern Middle East.

delve further into a specific course

Our semester begins in the small villages of Desa and Tweisi just outside the Wadi

resettled Syrian refugees in Irbid; exploring

course, offering students a unique window into modern-day Bedouin life. We begin

the ancient city of Petra; or interviewing

daily Arabic lessons while local mentors help students initiate their independent study

Christian pilgrims amidst the interfaith community

projects (ISPs): topics may include dhobka—a traditional Jordanian dance, falconry,

in Madaba.

Trading desert-scapes for metropolitan streets, our group travels north to Amman for an urban home-stay. Here, we draw on a robust network of contacts within the

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

topic, perhaps working alongside recently

Rum desert. Bedouin families welcome us into their homes for the first few weeks of

Bedouin law, or an inquiry into cultural narratives on gender, to name a few.

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

Our Fertile Crescent itinerary is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of Jordan today, drawing on the complex narratives of Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees to add breadth to the conversation.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

GA P Y E AR S EM E STE R

present in the storied land of the Levant. Students on Dragons’ Middle East Semester

LANGUAGE STUDY

61


A Course Posting from Senegal

KO NENE MI WIETEE (MY NAME IS NENE) G R A C E M c N A L L E Y, S T U D E N T

IN THE COMPOUND WHERE I LIVE THERE ARE FOUR HUTS AND TEN PEOPLE, FOUR LITTLE BOYS AND ONE LITTLE GIRL WHO IS MY NAMESAKE. ON THE FIRST DAY THEY LED ME BENEATH A TREE BY THE HUT OF MY FATHER. The eldest boy brought me a bundle of peanuts freshly ripped from the earth. He lay them beside me and then sat cross legged on the mat, looking up at me with a joyful glow that seemed to come from very deep within him. Fatemata, my home-stay mother, her tiny frame enfolded in strong sinewy muscles, laid her hand on my shoulder and pointed to my chest. Nene Balde, she says happily. I pause for a long pregnant stretch of time and then point at myself questioningly. This isn’t the first time I’ve been reintroduced to myself in Senegal. Fatemata’s face lights up and she nods happily, buzzing in Pulaar to her husband and sister in law. Then she points to the little girl in my family, she is plump with huge shiny brown eyes and soft fuzz crowning her head. Nene, says Fatemata again. She is pointing at me and then the girl, binding us together with the invisible rope of our same name. She plucks her daughter, Nene, from the ground and puts her in my lap, she is warm and small and I don’t feel awake enough to be trusted with a child but I hold her in my arms anyway, give her a gentle squeeze. I look around at the faces of my home-stay family and I see an undeniable joy. They are all clustered together underneath the tree, looking so at ease they might have just sprouted from the earth beneath them.

Without hesitation they christened me as one of their own, shed my Western shell and blessed me as their daughter. We are entering into a blind trust of one another, I am putting my body in their hands and they are cradling me. It is an exchange of unconditional love, of acceptance without question. For these 12 days I am surrendering to Nene Balde, and I see that this is the only way to thrive within this home. We are strangers bonded together for less than two weeks. My family knows nothing of Grace, of Seattle, of Reed College or of my life at home. And I also, am eternally ignorant of much of their lives. But what we do know of each other is worth more than I ever recognized.

62

of chewing, the look of bleary, morning eyes, the smell and feel of our different bodies, the emptiness of our silence together. I am realizing that this is all my family needs to know about me. My life here may be stripped of context but I have been given the freedom to be simply, beautiful human. I am grateful to Nene Balde, for my week of freedom.

RIGHT PAGE Elke Schmidt, Anastasia Maranto

laughter shared at awkward moments, the sound

LEFT PAGE Elke Schmidt

GA P Y E AR  SEM E STE R

We know of the effort made to communicate, the


M AU R I TA N I A

SAINT LOUIS

DAKAR THIES

SENEGAL

WEST AFRICA

TA M B ACO U N DA

KOLDA KEDOUGOU

THE MANY STORIES OF AFRICA 3-Month Gap Year Program

LABE

GUINEA

84

DAYS

DESCRIPTION

DATES

AGES

Explore issues of human migration, community development and Islamic spirituality through intimate home-stays and learning service projects in rural Senegal.

Sept 15 – Dec 6 February 7 – May 1

17 – 22 17 – 22

Amazing and transformative! Eve learned so much about global issues.... She became

confront pressing development issues including

sensitized to how people live outside the US and the challenges they face. All this

health, unemployment, gender, human rights,

learning and growing took place within a joyful, warm and welcoming environment."

and education through a series of NGO

PA R E N T S O F E V E S T E I N

visits and mentored study. Heading

PROGRAM COMPONENT EMPHASIS

RUGGED TRAVEL

HOME-STAY

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

east, we trek from village to village amidst the rolling hills around

THE WORD PEACE AND STRANGERS INVITE YOU INTO THEIR HOMES FOR

Kedougou, stopping to bathe

A CUP OF TEA. You can feel Senegal’s famous hospitality, called teranga, the moment

beneath breathtaking waterfalls and

you set foot in Dakar, and students are encouraged to leave their pre-conceived

speaking with local environmental

identities and stereotypes of “Africa” at home, opening their hearts to the many stories

activists along the way.

that constitute modern-day Senegal.

The Nigerian writer Chimamanda

Our exploration of Senegalese identity begins in a pirogue, a Senegalese fishing

Ngozi Adichie writes: “Stories

boat, as we cast off for home-stays on an island in the Sine-Saloum Delta. Here, we

matter. Many stories matter. Stories

listen to our home-stay ‘parents’ recount tales of harrowing canoe journeys to Europe in

have been used to dispossess and to

search of work. We also partner with a local women’s cooperative to replant mangrove

malign. But stories can also be used to

trees, and camp on nearby islands, keeping our eyes peeled for the dolphins, manatees,

empower, and to humanize.” We leave Senegal

and flamingos that call this unique environment home.

with stories, many stories, far beyond what media

Returning to mainland Senegal, we enter urban home-stays in Kolda. Students

sources can tell us at home.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

GA P Y E AR S EM E STE R

AS YOU WALK DOWN THE STREET IN SENEGAL, PEOPLE GREET YOU WITH

63


COLLEGE-ACCREDITED A D D A G L O B A L P E R S P E C T I V E T O YO U R A C A D E M I C S T U D I E S Dragonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Study Abroad o  ffers college-accredited semester programs for ambitious students who are interested in engaging more deeply with the world and building the practical skills to make a greater impact as global citizens. Our Study Abroad Faculty p  ossess a rich blend of academic training, life experience, and field-based teaching skills. When we recruit new Faculty we look for an equal measure of place-based expertise (4+ years of in-country experience) and a strong commitment to providing our students with the most exceptional educational experience possible. We partner with Naropa Universityto offer college-accreditation. Naropa University is a Buddhist-inspired liberal arts university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs based on an educational philosophy of contemplative education. This educational approach emphasizes an acute awareness of place and of self amidst a rigorous liberal arts curriculum.

S T U DY A B R O A D P R O G R A M S

COURSE OPTIONS

S O U T H A M E R I C A S E M E ST E R : A N D E S & A M A ZO N

THE REGIONAL SEMINAR

Immerse yourself in Spanish-language study, hone your

WE OFFER FOUR

backcountry skills, and examine trends in environmental

INTERDISCIPLINARY

conservation and social justice by working alongside

C O U R S E S F O R AC A D E M I C

community members in Bolivia and Peru.

C R E D I T O N E V E R Y S T U DY

C H I N A S E M E ST E R : S O U T H O F T H E C LO U DS

A B R OA D P R O G R A M .

examination of resource management, economic development, public health policy and human rights. C O N T E M P L AT I V E I N T E R C U LT U R A L D E V E LO P M E N T & L E A D E R S H I P A course in cross-cultural leadership and communication

Study Mandarin, live with a home-stay family in Kunming, and engage with issues of human rights and economic

*Students may enroll in 1 to 4

styles. Students explore their personal belief systems and

development through an extensive exploration of rural and

academic courses per semester.

consider alternative worldviews.

urban communities in southern China.

Each course is worth 4 credits.

N E PA L S E M E S T E R : H I M A L AYA N S T U D I E S

*Course credits are transferable to

Individualized study with a local mentor. Students develop

Trek through the Himalayas, participate in a 10-day

colleges and universities across the

ethnographic research skills and practice working in cross-

introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and meditation, and delve

country. Interested students should

cultural partnerships.

into complex issues related to social equality, religious diversity

check with the Study Abroad office

and sustainable development.

at their university to make sure that academic credits can be transferred.

INDIA SEMESTER: VISIONS OF INDIA Study Hindi, practice a traditional art form â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as yoga, tablas or Ayurvedic medicine, and connect with experts at

*A separate fee of $1,200 per accredited course applies.

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to explore contemporary issues related to religion and social inequality. 64

A survey of regional history and politics, including an

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2

I N D E P E N D E N T S T U DY P R O J E C T ( I S P )

L A N G U AG E S T U DY Daily lessons focused on increasing verbal competency. Local home-stays and ISP partnerships help reinforce language acquisition.


“The strengths of Dragons programs are tremendous attention to safety, great opportunities

RISK MANAGEMENT

for travel into ‘the beyond,’ an impressive student-to-instructor ratio, varied experiences, and unique opportunities to grow and learn about yourself and a group of amazing peers.” P A R E N T O F K A I T L I N D O N N E L LY

OUR EXPERIENCE We challenge our students, both physically and emotionally. Our job is to help students embrace that challenge while navigating the associated risks, safely, professionally and transparently. In our 20+ years of experience in the field, we’ve successfully trained over 1,000 Dragons Instructors and stewarded over 300,000 “in-field” days. Over time, we’ve built Risk Management systems and regional contacts that help us navigate a wide-range of unexpected challenges—from dog bites to lost passports to political instability. With every incident we’ve encountered, we’ve developed a broader understanding of safety issues within a regional context and we’ve worked hard to incorporate our new findings into the pedagogy that currently supports our students' experiences.

T H E R E A R E F O U R F O U N D AT I O N A L A S P E C T S O F O U R R I S K M A N A G E M E N T S Y S T E M : WE HIRE EXPERIENCED INSTRUCTORS

W E H AV E A R O B U S T N E T WO R K O F I N - C O U N T R Y R E S O U R C E S

Dragons Instructors average 30+ years in age, with 4+ years of in-country experience. When

Our organization is built on 20+ years of personal connections, and we often receive word of

needed, Instructors call on their linguistic fluency, local contacts and regional expertise to

security issues before they are taken to press. We supplement word-of-mouth updates with

deftly navigate unexpected risk management issues.

daily reports from the US State Department, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. If the occasion should arise, we leverage these contacts to mobilize the

W E P L AC E A P R E M I U M O N P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E LO P M E N T

necessary resources immediately.

Each year, we coordinate a 2-week training focused on wilderness risk management, student group management and cross-cultural communication. This keeps our entire staff up-to-date

W E H AV E A 2 4 / 7 S U P P O R T T E A M I N B O U L D E R

with best practices in international experiential education.

The Dragons Risk Management Team is dedicated to ensuring the highest-quality international programming, with acute attention to the safety and security of our students, instructors and in-country partners. This team is on-call 24/7 for instructors while we have students in the field.

There are inherent and other risks in adventure and recreational activities and travel which we cannot control. Traveling in foreign countries, at high altitudes, in wilderness areas or mountainous terrain, presents real risks. Unpredictable changes in weather conditions, political instability, or recreational or travel activities such as trekking, backpacking, bike riding, or taking local transportation involve hazards that can lead to injury or possibly even death. Evacuations can be difficult, and can be complicated by severe weather, poor roads or other unforeseen circumstances that are beyond our control. On some of our programs we may be several days from competent emergency medical care. Students interested in our programs should understand the risks and hazards, and be willing to take personal responsibility for their well-being. This process begins when students are medically screened for our programs. In consideration of the primacy we place on risk management, we require a candid review of each student’s medical history, and students found to have withheld medical or psychological issues will be asked to return home early, without refund. Though courses vary in physical rigor, all students should be in reasonably good physical condition prior to attending a Dragons program. Some programs are much more strenuous than others; students should carefully read individual program descriptions for details. If you have questions about Dragons’ safety and security policies, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to discuss the finer points of our Risk Management system with you. W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

65


M E E T A F E W O F O U R I N S T R U C TO R S D R A G O N S I N S T R U C T O R S A R E AT T H E C O R E O F O U R I N T E R N AT I O N A L P R O G R A M M I N G . They join our community from all walks of life – from the stacks at the Harvard Kennedy School, from a classroom in Urumqi, or perhaps from a window seat on the Trans-Mongolian Express. When they begin their first course, Dragons instructors have an average of 4+ years of in-country experience. We hope that the bios below give you a window into the diversity of skills and experiences that contribute to Dragons’ strong culture of mentorship and responsible community engagement.

Kawsar Muhtar China

B.A. Huazhong University; Radio Television Journalism M.A. Xinjiang University; News Communications M.A. University of Westminster; Communications Kawsar is of Uyghur ethnicity and grew up in Kashgar, one of China’s most ancient cities, along the Silk Road. Because of her background and diversity of experiences, Kawsar understands deeply what tradition, religion and culture mean to different ethnic groups in China. Now in London, Kawsar is focusing on the role of mass media in the social construction, representation and understanding of difference and social diversity. Kawsar speaks six languages, including English, Mandarin and her mother tongue Uyghur.

Luke Hein China

B.A. English, Minor in Asian Studies, Auburn University Luke spent his senior year of high school living in China and never looked back. Since then, he’s explored the nuances of Chinese culture by interviewing migrant workers, interning at CNN, teaching English and traveling by foot, bus, plane, train, horse, and tractor through rural and urban China. Luke is especially fascinated by the country’s regional diversity and the rural-urban divide; his article, “Who Are the Migrants?” appears in FROMzine. Luke epitomizes the idea of life-long learning, and when he’s not instructing for Dragons, he’s working hard to compile a book of Chinese short stories and stay sharp on a slew of stringed instruments.

Ei Shwe Sin was inspired to be a teacher when she was only 16, growing up in a monastic school in Mandalay. From her calling at an early age she has developed into an educator that uses tools from all areas of educational pedagogy. In the last few years she has participated regularly in advocacy projects centered on teaching educational methodologies in monastic schools all around Myanmar. Her classes were filmed to showcase to hundreds of teacher training participants, and it was awarded Best 2013 documentary in the Yangon Film Festival. Most recently, she started a university foundation for youth in Mandalay to participate in foreign exchange programs.

Aaron Slosberg Indonesia

M.A., summa cum laude, History; B.A., summa cum laude, Study of Religion and History, University of California – Los Angeles. After spending half a year working and volunteering in Guatemala in 2007, Aaron found the perfect vehicle for sharing his eclectic global interests through Dragons; he has been fueled by the inspiring people and places encountered along the Dragons’ path ever since. Aaron completed his masters degree in History at UCLA with a focus on U.S. influence in Latin America and Southeast Asia. While at UCLA, Aaron was awarded a Foreign Language and Areas Studies fellowship to support his study of Indonesian language and history. Aaron is a Wilderness First Responder, avid surfer, and strong believer in the transformational power of travel.

Sarah Bolasevich China, Himalayas

Rita Suwantari Indonesia

Sarah is a humanist at heart. She began studying the human process of “makingmeaning” of the world as an undergraduate student, and it has since led her on a wild path, from Kathmandu to Lhasa to the base of Mt. Kailash, delving deep into the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism. Sarah currently speaks five languages, and has built a base of Asia-specific expertise through her work as a teacher’s assistant for SIT Nepal, and later as a graduate student at Harvard Divinity.

Rita was born and raised in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She is the youngest of 9 children and currently lives with 13 of her family members. In her words, “It is amazing! I love to be in a crowd.” On course, everyone benefits from her easygoing nature and innate compassion; and traveling with 12 students is nothing new. Rita got her start as a guide with ViaVia, a Belgian travel company and after 15 years in the industry, we were lucky enough to harness her talents as an experiential educator. Rita is an invaluable mentor, graciously helping students and instructors unpack the intricacies of Indonesian culture.

Anna McKeon Cambodia

Caitlin McKimmy Himalayas, North India

Anna left university intending to be an actress and singer in London’s West End, but ended up working on social change initiatives in Cambodia. Anna's experiences along the way have given her a unique skill set that she finds particularly useful for introducing young people to new cultures, challenges, and perspectives as they explore the world and their own identity. Now a freelance communications consultant based in Phnom Penh, Anna spends most of her time working for the Better Volunteering, Better Care initiative, advocating against volunteering in orphanages and promoting ethical and responsible volunteering alternatives.

Caitlin once found the word “Dragons” spelled out in stones at the crest of a high mountain pass in North India. Intrigued, Caitlin tracked us down, and has since led courses in the Himalayas and the Andes. Caitlin speaks Tibetan, Hindi and Spanish. She has lived in a Buddhist monastery in central India, taught English in Northeast Tibet, interviewed Sri Lankan forest hermits about love, and worked with the Tibetan community in exile to understand their conception of “Buddhist Ecology.” Caitlin believes that the upheaval of conscientious travel can unearth something inexpressibly rich within us.

M.T.S. South Asian Religious Traditions, Harvard Divinity School B.A. Religious Studies and Multidisciplinary Studies, Stonehill College

MA University of Cambridge: English Literature P.G.Dip GSA Conservatoire, Musical Theatre

66

Ei Shwe Sin Myanmar

B.A. in English, Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

M.T.S. in Buddhist Studies, Harvard Divinity School B.A. in Religion and Neuroscience, Carleton College

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N C A L L 3 0 3 . 4 1 3 . 0 8 2 2


Japhy Dhungana Nepal

Irene Platarrueda Latin America

Japhy speaks five languages, and always has a difficult time answering the question: “Where are you from?” Raised in Nepal, Japhy spent his childhood exploring the Himalayas and dreaming of exploration and adventure in distant places like California. As a teenager, he immigrated to inner-city Los Angeles with his family, setting the stage for a dramatic cross-cultural education. After completing his undergraduate studies, he rode his beloved bicycle, “Bucephalus,” from his mother’s front door in the US all the way to Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia. Japhy is an accomplished alpinist and rock climber.

Irene spent her early childhood in the Colombian Amazon forest where her mother worked with indigenous communities. Later, her family moved to the shores of Lago Atitlan in Guatemala. As she grew up, Irene came to believe that the real richness of our planet lies in the diversity of the human experience. Irene has since worked with the United Nations Development Program on a joint peacebuilding initiative with the Colombian government. Irene is committed to holistic community building, and works with Dragons students to help them realize the fullness of their potential.

Thinlas Chorol North India

Kane Smego Latin America

Thinlas is the founder of the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company, the first travel company in Ladakh to be solely owned and operated by women. A strong advocate for eco-friendly, community-based tourism, Thinlas helps both Dragons students and local developers understand the interconnected nature of natural resources and human development. Thinlas is incredibly accomplished— voted the Vellore Institute of Technology’s “Person of the Year” in 2015 for her contributions to the female job market in Ladakh—and we feel privileged to work with such a strong female role model on our North India programs.

Kane is a performing artist, writer, National Poetry Slam Finalist, and youth educator raised in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Kane’s first big break came after he recorded oral histories of the 2011 uprisings in Egypt and Morocco, eventually aired on NPR and American Public Media. Later that year, Kane co-founded a youth arts and education nonprofit called Sacrificial Poets, where he helped underserved youth tell their stories. Since then, Kane has performed all over Africa, Central America, the Middle East, and Europe, notably facilitating a cross-cultural hip-hop exchange for the US State Department. Kane believes that language is a tool for empowerment, and hopes to help every Dragons student find their voice.

Claire Bennett Southeast Asia, Himalayas

Micah Lemasters Madagascar, Indonesia

Claire is driven by a passion for global equality and social justice. She first ventured to Asia as a volunteer in Nepal and later returned to found a rural development organization, PHASE. Since then, she has spent time volunteering in Cambodia, coordinating regional strategy for “global education” within the UK school system, and facilitating Global Youth Action—a global work project for disadvantaged youth. Claire is an incurable optimist and has boundless energy – mainly fueled by caffeine from her British tea-drinking habit. She’s currently writing a book on the value of learning service, instructing courses for Dragons, and working as a freelance development consultant.

Micah first traveled outside of the US after buying a plane ticket to London on a whim. Immediately falling in love with the idea of ‘other’, he spent a year living in Australia studying Aboriginal history and Australian literature. After several backpacking trips through Europe and the US, Micah joined the Peace Corps in Madagascar, where he taught high school, conducted adult literacy classes, and worked with the World Wildlife Federation. He then enrolled in a Master’s course where he studied the implications and effects of multi-modal literacies, cultural nuance and language on educational processes and experiences.

B.A. Summa Cum Laude, with Honors in Anthropology from the University of California Los Angeles.

B.A. from Jammu University

B.A. in Socio Cultural Anthropology from the National University of Colombia

B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

M.A. History, University of Cambridge

Luis Alvarado Latin America, India, Himalayas

B.A. Spanish Language and Literature, B.A. Fine Arts, Truman State University Inspired by the intact cultures of the Mayan people of Mesoamerica, Luis has spent several years living, working and learning in Central America. Over time, he developed an interest in regenerative agriculture and traditional healing. Since beginning work with Dragons in 2011, Luis has explored those interests in further flung reaches of the world, including Nepal and India where he developed a deep and abiding interest in the traditional spiritual and healing practices of South Asia. Luis currently works for Dragons in a number of capacities while continuing to pursue his passions in language, music, and health.

M.S.ed, Literacy, Language and Culture studies from Indiana University B.A. with honors, American history/English, University of Indianapolis

Babacar Mbaye Senegal It takes a wise man to know one, and sometimes it feels hard to quantify all that Babacar brings to a Dragons program. Babacar is an educator at heart, and has worked as an English teacher in Senegal since 1997 after receiving his MA in English. Babacar has been working with Dragons since 2006, first supporting Dragons summer courses and more recently moving into a full-time position with our Princeton Bridge Year program. Although students see Babacar as their fearless leader, he maintains that he is first and foremost a student of their unique perspective and wisdom.

Juan Salvador Galich Guatemala

Elley Cannon Jordan

Proud of being the son of artists and a true nature lover, ‘Juancho’ has worked as a professional guide and educator in Antigua Guatemala for over 10 years. When he is not climbing volcanoes or guiding film crews on adventures, he is collaborating on musical projects with local and international artists. Juancho discovered the beauty of Guatemala through his passion for mountain biking and outdoor adventures, and was inspired to work as a local activist campaigning to help support communities as they endeavored to preserve nature and improve their lives. Juancho is a trained chef who traveled and lived in the U.S. for two years before following his heart back to Guatemala—where he continues to pursue a lifestyle that is deeply connected to the natural landscape.

Raised in the redwoods of California, Elley grew up aching to explore the world. For her senior thesis, Elley translated an Arabic novel by Moroccan author Rachid Nini into English. Next, she won a highly competitive fellowship from the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad and spent a year studying in Egypt. Later she worked as the Study Abroad Coordinator for Middlebury College in Amman, Jordan. With a nuanced understanding of the modern Middle East and a biting Arabic tongue, Elley is an exquisite educator. Students find solace in her warm sense of humor and her passion for issues of social justice.

W W W.W H E R E T H E R E B E D R A G O N S . C O M

B.A. Arabic & Int’l Letters, magna cum laude, Tufts University Fellow, Center for Arabic Studies Abroad, American University in Cairo

67


MAPMAKERS ONCE DREW DRAGONS TO REPRESENT LANDS UNKNOWN. BOLD EXPLORERS WHO VENTURED BEYOND THE MAP’S EDGE WERE SAID TO GO

“ where there be dragons ”… There are people who live their lives for adventure, exploration and knowledge… people who are willing to venture into the unknown for the sake of discovery. For those people, we offer incredible experiences. We hope you are one of them.

RUGGED TRAVEL

HOME-STAY

LANGUAGE STUDY

TREKKING

LEARNING SERVICE

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECTS

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

PHONE: 303.413.0822 | EMAIL: INFO@WHERETHEREBEDRAGONS.COM | FAX: 303.413.0857 3200 Carbon Place #102, Boulder, CO 80301

WWW.WHERETHEREBEDRAGONS.COM

FOCUS OF INQUIRY

Dragons 2017 Catalog: Summer, Gap & College-Accredited Programs  

For 25 years, Where There Be Dragons ("Dragons" for short,) has pioneered unparalleled small-group global citizenship & leadership programs...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you