Where There Be Dragons
99% Rating
(58 Reviews)

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 different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Default avatar
cora
Female
17 years old
Boulder
Other

Life changing experience

10/10

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.

Default avatar
John
Male
16 years old
Rochester, New York
Other

Peru Trip

10/10

This was a fantastic trip that has forever changed my perception of the world we live in and also changed my life. I will never forget the inumerable experiences I had in Peru that are really irreplaceable. Out group bonded so closely with each other and the new culture that we were experiencing that by the end of the course, it felt as though I had known everyone for years. I would defininetly recommend this course as it was great for expanding my horizons and perspective of the world.

How can this program be improved?

I think a little more in-depth study of the region and the history and geography of the region would improve the course. A little more studying and lecturing in general would also improve this course.

Default avatar
Matt

China: Comprehensive, One of the best decisions I've ever made for a summer break

10/10

Spending an entire month in a foreign country with a group of strangers can be daunting, but it was by far and away one of the best decisions I've ever made. I spent a total of four weeks in china, traveling all the way from Shanghai to Qinghai in the greater Tibetan area. During our travels, we lived in a variety of housing spaces, from hostels to the homestays. Throughout the entire trip, we threw ourselves into the culture, experiencing the foods and aspects that regular locals would go through on a day to day basis.

We had the opportunity to learn about the things ranging from Mandarin to the Bang Bang army, a group of people who carry loads up and down the hills of Chongqing, one of the biggest and hilliest cities in china. We had the opportunity to plant rice in rice paddies and learn card games that locals play often. We observed park-goers playing competitive games of Chinese chess, surrounded by crows of spectators all chiming in on what they believe the correct move would have been. We really got the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the world around us, detaching ourselves from the daily stresses that we often have to endure during school to experience a life changing journey.

Overall, the entire trip was great. The amazing instructors were all well qualified, and they all brought a unique experience and perspective to the trip. They gave the group an enormous amount of independence, allowing us to plan entire expedition days out into streets of Chongqing or onto the Three Gorges Dam. They also had safety as a top priority and kept our families up to date with the things that went on in our month long trip through the "Yak board."

I would highly recommend Where There be Dragons as an amazing organization that works year round to give amazing educational experiences to students of all backgrounds. If you are taking a gap year or just jumping into your Sophomore year in high school, Dragons is a great way to spend your summer.

How can this program be improved?

I believe that the already strong feedback system within Dragons allows for improvement to happen naturally.

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alexa

North India: Identity in Exile

10/10

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.

Nick
Male

China Language Immersion 4 week summer program

10/10

I spent an amazing month in China with the Dragons program. The highlights were two homestays - one in the city of Kunming and the other in a small village in South East China called Nan Yao. I spoke only one word of Chinese when I arrived ("Hello") and left with a growing vocabulary and a grasp of the basics of this complex language. More importantly, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in both city and rural culture.

The organization of the trip was superb. The 3 trip leaders were fun, creative, and had great in-country experience. They gave the group a great deal of independence while maintaining a high level of support and safety. Communication was excellent - Dragons kept our families well updated on how the group was doing, and the "Yak Board" communication site was excellent.

I would HIGHLY recommend WTBD as an organization that knows how to lead youth in international trips.

How can this program be improved?

Continue to expand the countries/experiences provided!

Program Listings

Indonesia

Where There Be Dragons
Spanning from Malaysia to Australia, with over 17,000 equatorial islands, Indonesia hosts the world’s highest level of biodiv...

Guatemala

Where There Be Dragons
At dawn a howler monkey cries from the branch of a giant ceiba tree. In the Cuchumatanes Mountains, a young woman rises to gr...

Nepal

Where There Be Dragons
The Himalayas. Since time immemorial, these colossal peaks with their vast web of rugged, isolated valleys and distinct ethni...

Nepal

Where There Be Dragons
Since ancient times, travelers, monks, merchants, poets, artists, and warriors have passed through Kathmandu during their jou...

India

Where There Be Dragons
Examine the roots of Tibetan identity: join refugee communities for a learning service project, discuss the impacts of climat...

Peru

Where There Be Dragons
Celebrate Peru’s unbelievable diversity: motor into the Amazon River Basin in a dugout canoe, live with Quechua families in t...

Senegal

Where There Be Dragons
You never know what might happen in Senegal. Enter a fortuneteller’s hut and ask a question about your future. Spin and dance...

Laos

Where There Be Dragons
From its sacred headwaters in the Tibetan Plateau, the Mekong River flows 4,800-km towards the South China Sea, cleaving a bo...

Peru

Where There Be Dragons
The sparkling lights of La Paz below sacred 20,000-foot peaks. Three coca leaves pressed together for the Mother Earth. Fresh...

Madagascar

Where There Be Dragons
Madagascar: the eighth continent. Stunningly diverse and colossal in size, more than 80% of the plant and animal species in M...

Nicaragua

Where There Be Dragons
Central America, a narrow strip of steaming jungles and fiery volcanoes, is the earth’s most recent major land formation, and...

China

Where There Be Dragons
Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and develop a broad understanding of the drivers and challenges confronting the world’s s...

Cambodia

Where There Be Dragons
Known for the incomparable ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a country that evokes images of overgrown jungle temples, robed m...

Myanmar

Where There Be Dragons
Dragons’ summer abroad program in Myanmar tackles critical questions related to the Myanmar’s recent democratic transition: H...

Laos

Where There Be Dragons
Laos People Democratic Republic (Laos PDR) is a land of staggering beauty, reverent Buddhism and languid mystique—a land wher...