Indonesia: Community, Culture & Conservation High School Summer Program

Video and Photos


Comprised of over 17,000 islands and 700 living languages, Indonesia is home to the highest level of biodiversity of any nation. Whether you’re hiking amid the rice paddies of highland Tana Toraja, snorkeling with your home-stay father in Sampela, chatting with your homestay family over a cup of locally-roasted coffee or examining gender roles in the world’s largest Muslim democracy, Indonesia is sure to challenge your worldview and stimulate your senses. Students on the Indonesia summer program examine the complex relationship between cultural and environmental preservation as they traverse ecologically and anthropologically distinct islands in Indonesia’s grand archipelago.

We offer comprehensive, personal home visits so that we can answer your questions in person. One of our expert staff members will present on our program options and share stories from their own formative Where There Be Dragons program. To request a home visit in less than 2 minutes, fill out this form.

  • Study ancient, imperial, and modern politics and the development of market economy; gender and race studies; cultural and environmental preservation; marginalized and dominant cultural communities.
  • Develop diversified relationships with both urban and traditional communities that have to 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.
  • Hike through rice paddies and on jungle trails, moderate hikes to the summit of volcanoes, short treks in the jungles of Borneo and Flores on narrow footpaths.
  • Travel by bus, truck, ferry, small boats and dugout canoes, sleeping on bamboo mats on the floor in some home-stays, group camping on wooden platforms in jungle.

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
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Indescribable Experience

I knew I wanted to travel during the summer, but wasn't sure quite how to channel that into a trip. Many stayed at fancy hotels, and others were more touristy than real traveling. That is, until I found Dragons.

My trip to Indonesia was unlike anything before. I learned more about myself than I have in the traditional classroom setting, and learned how to live in the world, not just walk through it.

Our trip started with a trek into the Sumatran jungle, with a one week orientation nestled against the canopy and the river. We continued into our first homestay in Jogja, a popping urban city with vibrant life around every corner. We then travelled to Langa, a farming community tucked into the mountains on the island of Flores, where we experienced the unique culture and life of Indonesian coffee growing. Our X-Phase, or student lead portion of the trip, traversed the many islands near Labuan Bajo, where we set sail on a boat for two days and one night, falling asleep under the consuming stars and waking up to a painted sky. Our last stop was Sampela, a nomadic community buillt upon stilt and coral houses creating a labrynth of houses right on top of the ocean.

The homestays were more than safe, extremely friendly, and the best part of the trip!

Six weeks of travel, but also six weeks of knowledge, of absorbing a culture so different yet so similar to my own, of making everlasting bonds with the people around me, and eating, smelling, and breathing the excitement that is Indonesia.

What is unique about Dragons is it's mission- it's dedication to not sightseeing and picture taking, but to living in the moment and gaining experiential knowledge. It was the most amazing experience of my life!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Growth and Development

The overall experience of this trip was quite amazing and somewhat life changing. My perception of the world changed entirely as I come from a sheltered part of the nation. By being able to expand my horizons and experience these different lifestyles has caused me to grow in ways that otherwise, would not be possible.
At first, I was like any normal kid, afraid of leaving my family and friends for the entirety of the summer. As soon as I left and was welcomed by the Dragons family I immediately knew I had made the right choice. After the 6 weeks were over it had felt like we just scratched the surface of all Indonesia had to offer. I highly recommend this program if you love to travel, appreciate different cultures and want to have the best experience possible.
Do not hesitate to ask questions or reach out to the Dragons administration as they are very knowledgeable and love to share information.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Where There Be Dragons

Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly...