Program Elements

A Dragons program is designed to be a fully immersive experience. 

Each course is carefully crafted to emphasize specific program elements that provide participants opportunities to engage within local host communities.

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Community Stays

Participants are matched with a local family and invited to engage first hand in the day-to-day rhythms of life. Participants share meals and stories with their family members, as well as assist with daily chores. Families are selected based on their enthusiasm for cross-cultural engagement and are screened through a comprehensive safety assessment.

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Language Study

Quechua, Nepali, Wolof … On all of our courses we introduce participants to the local language. This empowers participants to interact more with locals and enables them to navigate a new culture, while earning the respect of our host community. Local language trainers teach interactive classes offering relevant vocabulary for participants to practice throughout the course.

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Day Hiking

We explore by foot. Whether walking through urban scapes, on market alleys or along cattle trails, participants can expect to do a moderate amount of walking. More difficult day hikes are an option for interested participants. Not only do we have more of a local experience when we travel by foot, but we also get to the extraordinary places that vehicles cannot access.

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Apprenticeships

Participants are paired with a local mentor to study an intellectual question or artisan craft. Study projects  allow for an opportunity to tailor the program to meet participants’ specific interests. Whether making jewelry, learning a traditional weaving technique or inquiring into the main tenets of Mahayana Buddhism, participants can explore a topic in more depth with a local expert.

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Cultural Studies

By staying with families, visiting cultural monuments, observing local rituals, and conversing with religious, political and social leaders, participants explore the belief systems of the host culture.  Space is also created on course for participants to reflect on their experience and ponder their own personal beliefs and values.

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Course Themes

Participants delve into a specialized line of questioning through academic themes. We learn from local activists, by hosting guest speakers, reading articles on relevant topics, and engaging in group discussions. Please reference individual program descriptions to learn more about the themes on your program.

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