South America: The Spirit of the Andes College Study Abroad Semester

This program has been paused and is currently not being offered. View more programs from Where There Be Dragons.

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Take your college education to the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru.

Hike to the edge of receding glaciers at 17,000 feet. Get your hands dirty with traditional agricultural practices on the sparkling shores of Lake Titicaca. Witness first-hand the dizzying shades of green deep within the folds of the Amazon rainforest. Meet with indigenous leaders in the Peruvian Andes, working to preserve their linguistic and cultural diversity. These are just a few of the many classrooms you encounter on this College Study Abroad program in Bolivia and Peru. Through academic courses, the program explores the diversity of the Central Andes and Upper Amazon while delving first-hand into themes of social justice, indigenous rights and identity, environmental conservation, and political leadership in an intercultural context.

Eligible participants should have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale).

We offer comprehensive, personal home visits so that we can answer your questions in person. One of our expert staff members will present on our program options and share stories from their own formative Where There Be Dragons program. To request a home visit in less than 2 minutes, fill out this form.

  • Engage in three to four weeks of personalized language instruction with local teachers for 16-20 hours a week, in addition to opportunities for language immersion throughout. Quechua lessons also available.
  • Examine land use and relationships, social and political activism, and indigenous identity and representation. The accredited curriculum also delves into pre-Incan and Incan history and culture, the coca leaf, sustainable agriculture, and the arts.
  • Enjoy a three to four-week home-stay outside of Cochabamba, with two possible shorter home-stays in the Amazon and remote mountain communities.
  • Participate in multi-day treks moving from the high Andes to the Amazon basin in Bolivia. Wilderness exploration also includes travel through remote rain-forests of Bolivia and Peru, and a challenging trek in the Ausangate range in Peru.
  • Gain insight into Andean cultural and religious worldview, Amazonian traditions and practices, and the spiritual syncretism between pre-colonial belief systems and Christianity.

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience in the Andes and Amazon Program

I participated in the Andes and Amazon semester for where there be dragons last fall and could not have asked for a better experience. Through the program I made friends that I will stay in touch with forever and instructors who inspired me daily. I was able to increase my spanish speaking and communication skills, learn how to do traditional Bolivian dance, and live with some amazing host families. Although some of my days in the Andes and Amazon were the hardest of my life- trekking at 17 thousand feet is never easy!- I would not trade that experience for anything in the world. Truly, cannot recommend this program highly enough! It will stretch your comfort zone and leave you more prepared for your future life ahead!

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program


Where There Be Dragons is an unbelievable, life changing Gap Year program that allows you to become fully immersed into a culture. After spending 3 months in Bolivia and Peru, I felt like a true global citizen. Through home stays, language classes, volunteer work, trekking, and independent study projects, I grew as a person and made some unforgettable memories. I HIGHLY recommend Dragons.

1 person found this review helpful.