North India: Identity in Exile (Summer Abroad)
100% Rating
(4 Reviews)

North India: Identity in Exile (Summer Abroad)

Explore mountain cultures and mountain landscapes on the roof of the world. Stretching more than 1500 miles from Pakistan to China, the Himalayan Range boasts half the world’s highest peaks and is home to diverse mountain peoples. Ladakh is a particularly unique region in this mountain expanse. Clinging to the far western flank of the Tibetan plateau, jagged peaks and windswept valleys have largely preserved local cultures, but the region is particularly susceptible to a warming climate and hasn’t experienced a similar economic and development boom as the Indian plains. This course is a window into diverse Himalayan cultures and landscapes, as the region adapts to both challenging environmental and political climates.

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.

  • Extensive discourse on both Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism and the role that religion plays in Indian culture, frequent meditation and yoga practice. Broad introduction in Sikhism and Islam.
  • Look at resource management, creative responses to climate change, human rights, political economics, cultural preservation, democracy and communal conflict in India.
  • A 6-8 day high-altitude village trek in the awe-inspiring Ladakhi Trans-Himalaya.
  • A 6 day homestay with Tibetan refugee families in Dharamsala, a 5 day homestay in a remote Ladakhi village.
  • Help Buddhist monks and nuns in Dharamsala practice their English conversations skills at LHA, a Tibetan right organization. Work with environmental educators in Ladakh with the option to visit local schools.
Asia » India
1-3 Months
Host Family
Starting Price
Price Details
The land cost for North India 6: Identity in Exile is 8,080$ for 6 weeks. Flight costs are estimated at $2,070. Need-based scholarships are available.
Other Locations
Ladakh, Dharamsala

Program Reviews

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Program Reviews (4)

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17 years old

Life changing experience


Participating in a Dragons course was the most incredible experience of my life and the best decision I ever made. The opportunities I had were ones that I would never have elsewhere, such as staying with a family in rural villages high in the Indian Himalayas, studying buddhist philosophy with a nun, and creating my own Independent Study Project to dive deeper into my personal interests. I learned more this summer than I have in my whole life, and I am forever grateful to everyone at Dragons for making it possible.

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North India: Identity in Exile


In 6 weeks, Dragons opened my eyes to the world and its opportunities; to the infinite amount of things to see and do and learn that exist. I learned invaluable lessons that I cannot explain on paper, from about my innermost self to the history and plight of Tibetan refugees. The depth of my experience, the people I met, the places I saw, and the things I learned both solidified and changed me as a person. The program components include home stays, trekking, rugged travel, language study, learning service, focus of inquiry on comparative religion, development studies, and independent study projects. Each of the program components are integral parts of the experience. My personal favorite were the home stays, because I was able to connect with people that I would never have been able to form relationships with, and the relationships I was able to form with my families were unbelievable to me. The academic focus on minority issues in Ladakh added another layer to exploring the region, as we understood and knew much about the region that many Western travelers do not. Overall, it was an incredible experience that I am very blessed to be able to have had.

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19 years old
Westchester, NY

Immersive, Educational, Transformative


Where There be Dragons is truly an incredible organization and I had such a positive experience on the Identity in Exile course. My instructor team was absolutely amazing and their combined wisdom and experience in country allowed my group to learn so much, explore remote locations and have the opportunity to meet with inspiring individuals throughout our travels. My two favorite aspects of the trip were our homestays and the Independent Study Project. Being able to live with 2 different families in both and urban and a rural homestay was one of the most valuable opportunities that Dragons has given me and I fostered such profound connections with the families I was fortunate enough to become a part of. I also really enjoyed our Independent Study Project. I chose to study Hindi and I had 2:1 lessons over the course of 6 weeks with my instructor, a native speaker. My group-mates explored a variety of topics ranging from Buddhism, Social Justice to meditation and it was so awesome being able to explore an area of interest and later share that with the rest of my group. I loved every second of this course and I would recommend it to the open minded, curious and adventurous traveler in a heart beat.

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19 years old
Birmingham, Alabama
Pomona College

Leap of Faith


Where There Be Dragons really and truly changed my life. I gained a sense of independence, a strength of character, and a feeling that I could conquer any obstacles that came in my way. I met a truly exceptional group of people, people who I was able to get to know in such a deep and personal way due to our shared experiences. Going to India was by far the most interesting, scary, and amazing experience, and without this program, I would never have been able to expereince it the way that I did. Our instructors definitely did an amazing job, for they not only provided help when we needed it, but also allowed us to truly grow in this strange environment. The times I remember most are the times when I or other members in the group had to step up, assume responsibility, and lead the group on. This program is not for those who are not willing to open their hearts and their eyes, and to this day I think of this trip as one of the more difficult things I have ever done. However, it was by far the most amazing thing. I learned to open my eyes in a way I did not dream was possible, I learned to accept things about myself that I could barely acknowledge, and, above all else, I came back a better person, a better citizen of this world. I cannot do Dragons justice just with these 5 stars and this jumbled review, but to anyone reading this, I beg of you, take a leap of faith, just as I did. You will be changed forever.

About The Provider


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 different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel,