A brief encounter with a sadu along the ghats of the Ganges River. Photo by Jen Goings, India Semester.
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20 Bits of Travel Advice from Dragons Alumni to Future Students

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One of the questions we ask our students after they travel with Dragons is: Having finished your program, and knowing what you now know, what advice would you give to a future student before they get on the plane? The following is a collection of 20 pieces of alumni advice offered to future Dragons students before they embark upon their summer and gap year travels…

Q: What advice would you give to a future student before they get on the plane?

“Come empty as you can and, yes it’s a long time, but I promise you it flies by so fast!” – Harrison Gully

“It’s totally fine to be nervous, but don’t let it overcome your excitement. There will be moments that are awkward or uncomfortable, but they don’t last.” – Kate Canning

“Talk to everyone, even strangers on the streets while waiting in line for tacos, because you can learn so much about the country and the environment in simple conversation.” – Rebecca Worth

“Don’t overthink it. You can’t always be prepared for the experiences that you will encounter on this trip. And even though that fact is a little daunting, it’s also the best aspect!” – Ana Cordes

“Come in with an open mind. Most of your preconceptions will be shattered.” – Jack Fitzgibbons

“Don’t waste too much time being homesick.” – Ava Samuels

“Express early and often what you want from the course!” – Miles Dyke

“Be open minded because many activities seem impossible at the time, but actually come much easier as you do them.” – Wes Breier

“Keep an open mind. It is definitely not like home but when you keep a positive outlook, even sleeping on a board isn’t that bad and sometimes enjoyable.” – Pearl Rincon

“Pack lots of layers!” – Mollie Ames

It is going to hard and stressful at times. The simplest things at home take much more time and energy here. But it gets easier and you find your favorite boutiques that carry your favorite yogurt and there is a chair in your homestay living room that the whole family knows is yours. This faraway place will always be different from home but you will find a new home here in every new person you greet and every handful of cheb you eat.” – Julia Kelly

“Your goals at the beginning will change so much over the course, just let it happen.” – William Albright

“Be prepared and excited to be pushed out of your comfort zone.” – Corinna Donovan

“Don’t stress too much before hand. Everything is organized and all opportunities are open.” – Meike Leonard

“Enter the course with an open mind and let it take you down its path without fighting.” – John Marangola

“Try and push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone every single day. Stick your neck out, be aware, and it will surprise you how, if you do this every day, you will grow and evolve as a person, individual, and team player.” – Briana Frost

“Travel light. Emotionally and physically. Be a feather in the wind. Be okay with not always knowing what to expect.” – Rachel Wolf

“Be aware of your preconceived biases, and work hard to combat that. This experience is incredibly powerful and you will be experiencing a very different culture to the one in the United States. Take the time to find the beauty in difference. You won’t regret it.” – Thomas Sulger

“This will be the most profound experience of your life. It will be educational, exciting, beautiful, challenging, deep and
raw. The hardest moments will teach you just as much if not more than the magical ones, so value them.”- Claire Lindsay

“Jump in! You can only truly experience this trip if you leave your fears and hesitations at the door (or on the airplane).” – Sophie Ashley

“Take a deep breath, you are here, you made it, and you have chosen this journey for yourself. That on its own speaks volumes about how strong and courageous you are. Know that you are here for a reason; it may be the hardest thing you’ve done in your life and it will be a series of moments in which you will learn and grow, and it will be nothing short of amazing. Theres no way I can tell you to take every last drop out of this experience without sounding preachy or echoing what your parents have already nagged you with. I can only echo it. Your time here will end all to soon, so jump in feet first, make friends on the street and create a home for yourself here. You’ve got this.” – Espoir DelMain

If you’re Dragons alumni and would like to add a piece of advice to this list, feel free to leave it in the comments!


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