In short, my month in Nepal was the best month of my life thus far.
Ever since I was 8 years old and got my hands on National Geographic Kids, I knew I needed to get to the Himalaya. As I read more about Nepal, I couldn't help but fall in love from afar. As I was approaching my high school graduation, I was intent on exploring the country before starting college. After a friend of mine recommended Where There Be Dragons, I looked into the program and requested a home visit by a staff member. As soon as he finished his presentation to my family, I knew Dragons was the right program for me--someone intellectually curious, adventurous, creative, open-minded, and looking to gain a deeper understanding of the way people live.
To say that my experience with Dragons in Nepal was phenomenal is an understatement. My instructors were nurturing, knowledgable on a wide range of topics, always willing to have personal discussions, open to student comments and suggestions for improvement, seemingly knew how to address every situation relating to health and safety, optimistic, and FUN!
The experiences I had, support I received from my instructors, conversations and laughs shared with my peers, knowledge gained, situations I encountered, and people I met are all aspects that contribute to the massive impact my program had on me and the way in which I view the world. Throughout my time in Nepal I always felt safe, but was challenged to grow, think and experience in ways I never thought were possible.
If you are a student looking to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn a foreign language, spend time acquainting yourself with Tibetan Buddhism, familiarize yourself with the breathtaking landscape that is the Himalaya, experience living with a family in a country thousands of miles from your home, or merely embark on a new adventure, I couldn't recommend this program more. If you are a parent looking to send your teenager on their dream trip- but also one that is safe and "worth the money," as my parents were, send them with Dragons.
When asked the question "How could your program have been better?", I stutter, as I honestly cannot imagine a better program. Though my program was only one month long, I forged lasting relationships with instructors and peers that now--five months after returning from Nepal--are still very strong. I can't imagine a program that does it better than Dragons.