Where There Be Dragons

Where There Be Dragons Logo 2016

About

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.

Reviews

Laureen
10/10

I joined Dragons for the Fall 2017 trip and it was an incredible experience. I met 10 amazing other Gap Year students who I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life and the three instructors were absolutely amazing. They came from all over the world and had such a passion for China and teaching us everything they know and love about it as well as learning new things with us.
Every trip differs just a bit depending on the group but ours did two rural homestays in Tibetan regions and one in Banna (the tropics in the Yunnan province). We also spent a month in Kunming experiencing life in the city and studying Chinese intensively. My grasp of the language accelerated in a way it would never have without that complete immersion and three hours of instruction per day.
I lived and breathed China for 3 months and all I can say is that I can't wait to go back. Thanks Dragons! It was unforgettable :)
-Laureen Akram

Yes, I recommend
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Nina
10/10

HI! I did the Peru 6-week program with Where There Be Dragons in the summer of 2017, and I found it to be one of the best experiences of my life. I came back with increased knowledge about who I am, what the world is, and how the two fit together. I have noticed these changes every day in the way that I interact with my family, my friends, nature, my health, my patterns as a consumer, and anyone that I meet who is from another culture. I can not recommend this program highly enough.

Yes, I recommend
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Nils
10/10

There is simply no better way to learn about yourself and the world around you then by travelling. What Dragon's gives you, and what this program gives you is exactly that opportunity. I flew to Nepal full of nerves and expectations. I spent the next three months with a group of unique and inspiring individuals as we explored a country full of beautiful moments and even greater people. When I finally came home, those nerves were long gone and instead were replaced by a greater confidence in who I was as a person and what I wanted from my life. While I cannot say that each person's experience will be the same, I can feel certain when I say that no matter what it will be a highlight of one's life.

As I often think back to my time in Nepal, I think about the experiences I had. Whether becoming part of two Nepalese families, hiking through the Himalayas, apprenticing as a blacksmith, learning from Buddhist monks, or exploring Kathmandu I always look back with a smile. I think what is a true testament to Nepal and Dragon's is just how happy I am to have taken a gap year. I could spend the rest of the year doing nothing but my three months in Nepal and it would still be one of best decisions I have made.

How can this program be improved?
While it certainly has academic qualities, people should understand that the academics is largely experiential and requires initiative by individuals. My program gave us the tools to learn but it certainly did not force us to learn. I think before the trip I had envisioned more of a structured learning environment. I quickly realised that the classroom was Nepal, and I had to seek the knowledge.
Yes, I recommend
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Steven
10/10

Whenever I think about sharing “My Madagascar” with people, I was always struck by the urge to present them with the best of the best. So I show them images of lemurs, canyons, rock forest or baobab trees. However, I have come to the realization that the beauty of this program is not that. Of course, you will get to see the breathtaking canyons, pretty lemurs, and etc, but this program really lets you experience and understand the average Malagasy (people of Madagascar) life. You can see the breathtaking view on any other trips, but only this trip offers you the experience of a true Malagasy.

This is the trip that let you blend in with Malagasy families. It lets you live with them side by side. Learn what it's like to grow up in a house the same size of your living room, sharing a bed with 4 other siblings, and going to the bathroom in the "wild."

This is the trip of slow Taxi-brousses(local buses), cramp seats, loud Gasy music, and glancing out the window.

This is the trip of the people under the Baobab trees, the families that are so busy trying to make a living that they never had a moment to admire the mighty Baobab.

This is the trip to dance with strangers, laugh uncontrollably, and talk without knowing the language.

This is the trip of the living, of the 25 million Malagasy, their stories, struggles, and success.
This is the trip to a nation poor in material, but rich in kindness.
This is the trip where your peers and instructors will push you out of your comfort zone. And let you fall into their arms when needed.

This is the trip that reminds you how real and imperfect this world is.

It's the journey of discovery and self-reflection. It lets you ask yourself how much is enough and reflect on what happiness means.

It's the one of a lifetime chances to get lost in the canyons and again find yourself beneath the stars; to scream for life when leeches crawled into your sleeves and praise the earth when the sun rises through the “root” of the Baobab trees; To run toward the Indian ocean and walk into your local market; To be woken up by your host siblings' laughs, and fall asleep listening to the loud motorcycle outside; To smell the diesel smoke, and taste the fried banana wrapped in newspaper.
To learn what is Madagascar is to talk with the stranger sitting next you, share your laugh with the children that's dragging your arm, and open your heart to the host families that took you in as their own children.

"A curtain divides one home from another, but laughs are shared nonetheless." My friend Avery wrote.

If this trip still sounds interesting to you, Please join us!
I am sure a Tsara be experience awaits you.

Best,
Steven Gu

Yes, I recommend
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Samantha
10/10

I knew I wanted to travel during the summer, but wasn't sure quite how to channel that into a trip. Many stayed at fancy hotels, and others were more touristy than real traveling. That is, until I found Dragons.

My trip to Indonesia was unlike anything before. I learned more about myself than I have in the traditional classroom setting, and learned how to live in the world, not just walk through it.

Our trip started with a trek into the Sumatran jungle, with a one week orientation nestled against the canopy and the river. We continued into our first homestay in Jogja, a popping urban city with vibrant life around every corner. We then travelled to Langa, a farming community tucked into the mountains on the island of Flores, where we experienced the unique culture and life of Indonesian coffee growing. Our X-Phase, or student lead portion of the trip, traversed the many islands near Labuan Bajo, where we set sail on a boat for two days and one night, falling asleep under the consuming stars and waking up to a painted sky. Our last stop was Sampela, a nomadic community buillt upon stilt and coral houses creating a labrynth of houses right on top of the ocean.

The homestays were more than safe, extremely friendly, and the best part of the trip!

Six weeks of travel, but also six weeks of knowledge, of absorbing a culture so different yet so similar to my own, of making everlasting bonds with the people around me, and eating, smelling, and breathing the excitement that is Indonesia.

What is unique about Dragons is it's mission- it's dedication to not sightseeing and picture taking, but to living in the moment and gaining experiential knowledge. It was the most amazing experience of my life!

Yes, I recommend

Where There Be Dragons Programs

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China
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China

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