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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.
Scholarships and college credit available.
In some cases, students may be advised not to speak about their sexual orientations and/or gender identities with local contacts (such as homestay families, ISP mentors, language teachers, and guest speakers) due to safety concerns. Likewise, transgender and non-binary students may have to choose to present outwardly as male or female in certain contexts during the program. In other cases, “coming out” to some or all host community members may be a safe choice.
Learning Service is a holistic experience that combines an intimate and authentic engagement with the local community, the study of effective development, and the contribution to an established community-driven project. It is the process of living, working alongside, and humbly absorbing the culture of those being served while coordinating closely with project managers to understand the trajectory of the project, from inception to completion and beyond. It is an acknowledgment that often it is the volunteer who stands to gain as much or more from the work. And it is a commitment to making contributions that create positive impacts in the communities coupled with the humility to always listen and learn first.
- 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.
Where There Be Dragons Financial Aid & 529 Funds
Where There Be Dragons offers need-based financial aid to students that demonstrate reasonable financial need and are excited to engage with communities around the world.