Transition. Inspiration. Devotion. Myanmar is a nation of warmth, beauty, and complexity. Heralded as some of the friendliest people in Southeast Asia, Myanmar’s people are eager to share their country and culture with foreigners, particularly due to the global isolation in which so many have lived for so long.
Dragons summer abroad program in Myanmar tackles critical questions related to Myanmar’s recent democratic transition: How has a country so rich in culture and religion struggled politically and economically for more than fifty years? What has prompted the recent reform process? What impact is reform having on the lives of local people? Through engagements with development professionals, community leaders, youth activists and spiritual torchbearers, Dragons summer program examines the socio-political changes that have transformed the country from a locked military dictatorship into its current political state.
- Multiple meetings with people in development fields: critical and close look at contemporary and long-term development in a so-far sanctioned and closed nation. Look at Ethnic Minority Issues, Community-Based Development, and Environmental Conservation.
- Stay in a small Theravada Bhuddist monastery for three nights and participate in guided meditation sessions and Dhamma talks with resident monks.
- Volunteer opportunities in education (monastic school), rural development, and environmental awareness/conservation. Approximately 10 hours of service credit earned.
- Travel by way of buses, trains, bicycles, tri-shaws, possibly boats: old vehicles on older roads, wooden benches on daylong trains. Embark on a 3-4 day intensive trek through ethnic minority villages.
- Basic and introductory Burmese. Classes the first two weeks, optional learning afterward.