I am a student on my gap year after high school, and I just went on the Where There Be Dragons semester-long program to Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. It was an absolutely incredible and life-changing experience.
The instructors that I had were some of the most amazing and accomplished people I have ever met. Three of my instructors were local Myanmar people, and the other two instructors had lived in Asia for many years. To travel with locals and to travel with people that have experienced the culture and have so much knowledge about it enhanced the trip enormously. I learned so much from them, and I will always remember the impact they had on me.
Furthermore, the way the trip was organized pushed us to delve deeper into the culture and to appreciate and understand the people. The trip truly did follow the motto of teaching us to be "travelers rather than tourists."
I am walking away from the three months with a love for the country and people of Myanmar and fond memories of my instructors and fellow students.