Program Components

A Dragons Adult Program is designed to be a fully immersive experience. 

Each course is carefully crafted to emphasize specific program components to help guide our journey and give participants an opportunity to engage with the local host community.

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Ethical Travel

Dragons participants are travelers not tourists.  We respect cultural norms by staying in family-owned accommodations and taking local transportation when possible.  The most profound learning moments often arise in the spaces in between, and traveling alongside locals creates space for un-orchestrated moments of engagement.

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Participants are matched 1:1 with a local family.  Families are selected based on their enthusiasm for cross-cultural engagement and a comprehensive safety assessment.  We find that homestay, often the most daunting and anticipated component, is the most rewarding.  Participants are invited to witness first hand the day-to-day rhythms of life.

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Language Study

Spanish, Nepali, Khmer, Wolof…On all of our courses we introduce participants to the local language in hopes that they pick up some simple  key phrases.  This  empowers participants to interact more fully with locals and enables them to deftly navigate a new cultural context.  It also works to bridge the gap of cross-cultural difference and earn the respect of our host community.

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Day Hiking

On any program you choose, you can expect that Dragons instructors will guide you into the wilderness, exposing you to the pristine beauty of nature, undisturbed by the advances of modern development.  

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Learning Service

We take pride in learning first and service second.  Participants use a framework to listen, assess, evaluate, and act when engaging in any service activity.  We don’t measure success by the number of bricks laid,  but rather by the number of critical conversations such an engagement provokes

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Development Studies

We explore questions central to conversations about development.  We learn from local activists and use regional examples to prompt discussion.  Participants are encouraged to challenge their assumptions and expand their understanding of what it means to be “developed.”

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Independent Study Projects (ISPs)

Participants are paired with a local mentor to  study  an intellectual question or artisan craft.  ISPs allow participants an opportunity to tailor the program to meet their specific interests and  delve deeper.  

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Comparative Religion & Philosophy

In each place we visit, we consider how local spiritual beliefs are used to interpret reality.  Participants explore the belief systems of the host culture while living with homestay families, visiting religious monuments, observing local rituals, and conversing with religious leaders.

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Focus of Inquiry (FOI)

Participants delve into a specialized line of questioning through specific academic themes.  We explore the FOI by hosting guest speakers, reading local news and engaging in group discussions. Please reference Dragons  individual program descriptions to learn more about the themes on your program.

Risk Management