Laos: Conservation & Development in Southeast Asia (Summer)

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Where There Be Dragons.

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Laos People Democratic Republic (Laos PDR) is a land of staggering beauty, reverent Buddhism and languid mystique—a land where locals pride themselves on the motto: Laos ‘People Don’t Rush’. To live this way requires a mindset and manners as fluid and clear as water itself.

Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country, Laos is dominated by two geographic entities: the mighty Mekong River and the tropical highlands, where Indochinese tigers, Asiatic elephants, Agile gibbons and Siamese crocodiles roam wild. Historically considered a geopolitical afterthought, times are changing, and students who venture to Laos will discover roiling international debates over mega-dam projects, unregulated deforestation and transboundary resource management.

New: Fall and Spring Domestic Gap Semesters

We are excited to announce two North American Gap Semesters - the Rio Grande Semester: Stories of Culture, Identity, & Environment Along the Southern Border and the Colorado River Basin Semester: Sustainable Relationships with Land and Water in the Western United States.

Questions & Answers


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Yes, I recommend this program

Mekong Semester in South East Asia

With a group of 13 other gap year students and 3 amazing instructors, we traveled down the length of the Mekong River in South East Asia observing the culture, ecology, and development issues in China, Laos, and Cambodia. In each country we did home-stays (ranging from 4 days to 3 weeks) in amazing communities, trekked, and immersed ourselves in the culture.

What would you improve about this program?
Although this program is almost perfect, there is a lot A LOT of traveling- so beware!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life Along the Mekong Semester

I traveled with WTBD to China, Laos, and Cambodia on the Life Along the Mekong semester course and had an absolutely fantastic trip. Highlights included: hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge in the Yunnan province, spending 2 nights in the jungle in Laos sleeping under lean-tos made of banana leaves and bamboo, living on an island in the middle of the Mekong for almost 3 weeks, biking to Angor Wat and watching the sunrise, and relaxing on the beach at Rabbit Island off the coast of Cambodia after 3 months of exciting travels.
The instructors were amazing and our group was comprised of 13 hilarious, fun, and brilliant students. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to explore Southeast Asia in a way that you will simply not be able to do on your own.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing it would be the homestays in Cambodia. We had amazing homestays in China and Laos but I felt that the homestay in Cambodia could have actually been found if I had been traveling alone and it was not a homestay that WTBD had used in the past - I do not think they are planning to go there again.
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