Spanning from Malaysia to Australia, with over 17,000 equatorial islands, Indonesia hosts the world’s highest level of biodiversity and one of the richest cultural tapestries on earth. Dragons Indonesia semester program takes students on an ethnographic adventure into remote communities and ecosystems rarely visited by travelers. Comprised of over 17,000 islands and 700 living languages, Indonesia is home to the highest level of biodiversity of any nation. As the largest Muslim nation in the world, students examine how Islam has influenced and adapted to Indonesian society, while also looking at how other religious traditions concurrently thrive. Throughout the semester program students experience the complexities and controversies of development, conservation, and human ecology.
- Explore the impacts of modernization and development as they relate to ecology and land-use within protected and un-protected areas. Delve into issues of political marginalization and under-representation.
- Study political dynamics and the impact that rapid development has on specific communities; examine issues related to gender, cultural and environmental preservation, ethnic vs national identity, and dominant cultural communities.
- Spend time in three homestays of two weeks or longer in both urban (Jogyakarta) and traditional communities (Langa, Sampela) and begin to understand their natural environments, cultures and political significance to Indonesia.
- Examine Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity, as well as Animist and Shamanistic traditions, with a focus on religious pluralism, rituals and festivals/ceremonies, religious conflict and resolution.
- Pursue self-selected studies of issues that are pertinent to the communities we visit, as well as deep engagement with the Indonesia world of arts (gamelan, shadow-puppetry, street art, yoga, dance) and culture.