Photo by Cara Starnbach, student.

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Continued Education

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    [post_content] => Students choose to take a semester overseas for a myriad of reasons, and among those is the career benefits of studying abroad. Study abroad programs provide unmatched and unfiltered experiences that are irreplaceable on a personal and professional level. Not only does studying abroad benefit one’s own life, but it develops a deeper understanding of unique cultures, languages, perspectives, and ways of life. 

[caption id="attachment_159144" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Spanish Lessons in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Administrator[/caption]

Career Benefits of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad benefits a student's career path by opening up doors they may have never known existed. Students are able to learn about themselves and grow within their interests and skillsets, as well as take on brand new experiences. It can be a scary and challenging time in a student’s life, but it’s also exciting! 

Having a Multicultural Understanding

During study abroad, students are introduced to religious and spiritual traditions in a new setting. Where There Be Dragons considers local beliefs and spirituality as an important component of the immersive experience. Whether at their local homestay or while visiting monuments, students are encouraged to have an open mind, compassion, and empathy. This opens up the possibility for students to navigate their own personal belief systems from a new perspective. Similarly, students are encouraged to travel as the locals do and live with no impact on the community. Each student is paired with a local family to gain an intimate insight into the culture. We believe this offers a unique opportunity to engage and learn. Multicultural experiences give students a competitive advantage in the workforce because it broadens understanding and perspective.  [caption id="attachment_159142" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Laughing in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Administrator[/caption]

Gaining a Global Perspective

Studying abroad gives students a global perspective on social, environmental, cultural, and political issues. Being a global citizen provides a wider vantage point to understanding issues that impact the planet. Those who believe in the power of being a global citizen are often more engaged in their local community, have an open mind, are empathetic, and enjoy ongoing education. In the workplace, a global perspective can translate to offering insight and being open to new ideas and solutions. 

Learning a Foreign Language 

There are few other skills that can empower individuals as global citizens than knowing how to communicate in another language. Language skills also serve as a great addition to any resume. Students who have experience learning and speaking in another language are able to understand cultural context in more depth as well. This can be especially helpful when working in an international office or company.  [caption id="attachment_159143" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Presenting in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Instructor[/caption]

Developing Personal Independence

When you travel abroad as a student, it might be your first time leaving home without your parents or family. It forces an individual to be able to handle situations without their traditional support system. For some, this can be very challenging at first, especially if they come from a home setting where they have constant support. However, it can be incredibly beneficial for people who want to learn how to think critically and have impactful interactions. This can translate to an increased ability to deal with stress and conflict.

Discovering Global Justice Concerns

Students gain an understanding of what environmental and social variables contribute to daily quality of life while traveling to international destinations. It also offers a perspective of privilege and the meaning of intersectionality when it comes to environmental and social justice issues. Students communicate with local activists and artists and have critical conversations about equity. Understanding environmental and social justice from a global perspective opens up the opportunity for a career path in a similar line of work. [post_title] => 5 Career Benefits of Studying Abroad [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => career-benefits-of-studying-abroad [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-28 11:52:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-28 17:52:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 655 [name] => Continued Education [slug] => continued_education [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 655 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [parent] => 0 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 655 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [cat_name] => Continued Education [category_nicename] => continued_education [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/continued_education/ ) ) [category_links] => Continued Education )
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5 Career Benefits of Studying Abroad

Posted On

04/28/22

Author

Kimberly Manning

Description
Students choose to take a semester overseas for a myriad of reasons, and among those is the career benefits of studying abroad. Study abroad programs provide unmatched and unfiltered experiences… Read More
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    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_158446" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]photo of a group of people walking down a path in senegal  Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Senegal[/caption]

Gap year programs are a year or semester of experiential learning for students to deepen their personal awareness and gain a broader perspective of the world. Typically taken after graduating high school and prior to college, gap year travel programs are ideal for students seeking a break from their regular studies. 

Where There Be Dragons gap year programs are located in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States. Our programs offer a unique and transformative experience during which students can develop valuable life skills and explore their interests. Learn about culture, social justice, conservation, language, sustainability, history and community through our three-month or year-long gap year programs. College credit is available for our gap year programs. 

Gap Year Travel Program Benefits

Students looking for non-traditional study right after high school will find gap year travel programs to be beneficial in a myriad of ways. You can expect personal, educational and professional growth. The immersive experience that comes from a gap year program can offer long-term benefits and a refreshed perspective to prepare for adulthood. 

Head to College Feeling Refreshed

A gap year program can help you recover from academic exhaustion and explore your personal interests and passions. It can also help ensure you don’t burnout at the beginning of your college career. Additionally, it’s a helpful alternative for students who may be unsure of the path they want to pursue educationally while still gaining valuable knowledge. A gap year offers the ability to experience independent and hands-on learning through language study, apprenticeships and local homestays. [caption id="attachment_158477" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]a group of students posing with a local monk outdoors with brightly colored flags surrounding Photo by Annika Kendall, Student.[/caption]

Gain Perspective to Assist in Decision Making 

Leaving your home, friends, family and everyday comforts is a big deal, and for some people it can be quite challenging at first. However, by stepping out of your comfort zone you’re able to overcome challenges and grow as an individual. And with that comes an increased sense of self-confidence and awareness that improves the ability to make decisions for yourself. 

Learn More About Yourself and Your Future Goals

You might discover a hidden passion that you never knew you had or dive deeper into your current interests in a way that’s not possible during your first year in a traditional college setting. Gap year travel programs provide the flexibility and freedom to learn about the world and its diverse cultures without a filter. For many, this insight can’t be found in a book.  Choosing a major and determining your life goals can be challenging for many people, and sometimes it’s a matter of being unclear about personal wants and needs. An incredible benefit that gap programs can offer is the chance to give yourself extra time to reflect and make those decisions with a clear mind. [post_title] => Gap Year Travel Programs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gap-year-travel-programs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-07 15:14:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-07 21:14:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 655 [name] => Continued Education [slug] => continued_education [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 655 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [parent] => 0 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 655 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [cat_name] => Continued Education [category_nicename] => continued_education [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/continued_education/ ) ) [category_links] => Continued Education )
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Gap Year Travel Programs

Posted On

04/07/22

Author

Kimberly Manning

Description
Gap year programs are a year or semester of experiential learning for students to deepen their personal awareness and gain a broader perspective of the world. Typically taken after graduating… Read More
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    [post_content] => The benefits of studying abroad are virtually endless. Immersing yourself in an unfamiliar country and culture offers boundless opportunities to discover who you are as a person and understand the vastness of the world. Study abroad programs help students develop a growth mindset, resiliency, and empathy toward others who experience life in a different way. Students are able to gain a global perspective that is hard to find elsewhere. 

Dragons study abroad programs allow for reflection and deep understanding through our unfiltered and immersive travel programs. If you’re considering whether the benefits of studying abroad align with your personality and goals, discover our favorite reasons to take the leap. 

5 Benefits of Studying Abroad

young woman studying abroad in west africa with two local woman

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language has a myriad of benefits, including building problem solving skills, improved memory, strengthened cognitive skills, and enhanced creative abilities. Studying another language improves your communication in general, making it easier for you to engage with people from all walks of life. It also enhances your world view and perspective as well as improves your understanding of your native language. 

Experience a Different Culture

Study abroad provides exposure to diverse arts and traditions, evolving cross-cultural competencies and broadening overall perspective. Exposure to new lifestyles through responsible travel builds compassion and cultural sensitivity, and Dragons programs are carefully designed to allow full immersion into the experience. For students, the experience varies based on the location in which they are visiting. Oftentimes they are left with increased knowledge of social justice, environmental awareness, and advocacy. 

Meet People From Diverse Backgrounds

Students who attend Dragons study abroad programs meet people with diverse backgrounds from all over the world. Each participant is matched to a homestay with a local family while living near other participants who can connect and share in the experience. From locals to the fellow students, individuals have the opportunity to meet others who share a common sense of community, connection, and adventure. The bond created via study abroad is one-of-a-kind. 

Discover New Things About Yourself

walking through hallway with colorful flags overheadWithout technology or your everyday support system, students are able to open up a world of possibility to discover more about themselves. Through opportunity to adapt to the unexpected and unfamiliar, comfort grows from the discomfort over time. Students are able to appreciate being unplugged and engulfed in a new experience. This breeds self-reliance, humility, empathy, and awareness of privilege. It’s common to arrive back home with increased self-confidence and self-reliance. 

Education and Career Advancement

In addition to the personal benefits, study abroad programs open up career opportunities and promote on-going education. Study abroad builds critical thinking and decision making ability, as well as conflict resolution and improved communication skills. While studying abroad may have nothing to do with overall career goals, it can provide students with essential skills to be successful in the workplace. [post_title] => What Does Studying Abroad Do For You? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => benefits-of-studying-abroad [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-01 12:40:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-01 18:40:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 655 [name] => Continued Education [slug] => continued_education [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 655 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [parent] => 0 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 655 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [cat_name] => Continued Education [category_nicename] => continued_education [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/continued_education/ ) ) [category_links] => Continued Education )
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What Does Studying Abroad Do For You?

Posted On

04/01/22

Author

Kimberly Manning

Description
The benefits of studying abroad are virtually endless. Immersing yourself in an unfamiliar country and culture offers boundless opportunities to discover who you are as a person and understand the… Read More
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    [post_content] => Few skills are more empowering than being able to communicate in a foreign language. About one in four adults in the United States can hold a conversation in a language other than English. But even if you speak multiple languages, chances are your high school didn’t offer classes in Bahasa Indonesian, Aymara, Khmer, or Wolof. 

[caption id="attachment_158763" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Language Classes in Guatemala  Students taking Spanish language classes in Guatemala[/caption]

So what happens when you want to travel to one of the many interesting places in this world where you don’t speak the language? Here are the top ten tips we’ve learned over 30 years facilitating language study for beginners.

A little goes a long way. If you don’t have much time to study before you travel, consider focusing on a few key phrases that are helpful in any language. Hello. Thank you. Sorry. Where is the bathroom? Do you have ____? How much does it cost? I don’t understand.

Loosen up and practice, practice, practice. Imperfection is your friend when learning a language. Don’t stress about small mistakes, and feel free to fill in the gaps with whatever is available. It’s okay to break the rules— people who grow up speaking multiple languages often mix them together in the same sentences.

Don’t let words get in the way of meeting people. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to communicate is actually having people to talk to. Communication experts agree that the majority of human communication happens through body language and tone of voice. Use non-verbal communication skills such as hand gestures and facial expressions to interact with people.

[caption id="attachment_158760" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Taking time to learn Arabic on the flight.[/caption]

Set yourself some daily challenges. Pick one small language task for yourself every day. Go buy some basic necessities in the local market. Memorize a phrase to repeat to a taxi driver. Introduce yourself to someone and ask them their name. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even try learning a local joke or tongue twister.

Stay with a family. Learning a language is about more than just learning words. Languages are born out of cultural contexts, and living with a family means steeping yourself in the many subtle ways of being that are deeply connected to communicating in a new language. This is one of the many reasons homestays are a core component of every Dragons program.

Kick off your travels with a basic class. Even a single hour-long class with a local teacher can go a long way. Try to find a teacher who uses a communicative approach and gives you chances to practice your skills in class or on field trips outside the classroom. Take advantage of your time with your teacher to ask questions about cultural norms.

Learn from someone who understands both cultures. See if you can find someone who is willing to unpack some of the cultural differences you might encounter in your new environment. In addition to being multilingual, many of our instructors play the role of intercultural mediators, helping language learners understand the “why” and “how” of language alongside the “what.”

[caption id="attachment_158761" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Mandarin language classes[/caption]

Give yourself a break. Do you feel like you’re hitting a wall with your language learning? Take some time off to give your brain a break. Sometimes when there is a lot of new language input, our mind needs time to digest and process. Don’t be surprised if a week later you experience a sudden explosion in your language skills! Language learning takes time, one of the many reasons why our programs emphasize slowness and depth.

Have fun! Learning a new language opens up new experiences, friendships, ways of thinking, and maybe even a new favorite song, film, poem, or proverb. Don’t forget to take a moment to delight in it all!

Find a penpal. Staying in touch with friends you meet during your travels is a great way to keep your language skills from disappearing once you return home. A video call can transport you back into a homestay experience, and social media, texting, and emailing are all low-pressure ways to keep a new language alive in your brain. 

We wish you the best of luck in your travels, and hope you find it fulfilling to cultivate meaningful connections with people you might not normally be able to communicate with!
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    [post_content] => This webinar is brought to you by the Dragons Global Speaker Series – a program where our global educators share lessons in critical thinking related to current world events.
____
On October 18, 2020 Evo Morales's leftwing party, Movimiento al Socialismo (Mas), celebrated a stunning comeback with the progressive candidate, Luis Arce winning Bolivia's presidential election in what could be considered a landslide victory (about 20 points according to exit polls.)

It’s a remarkable turn of events, especially considering that just under a year ago, Morales—the longtime indigenous president and incumbent—was overthrown in a police-military coup who then installed the right wing evangelical Jeanine Áñez as president.

In this webinar recorded in May of 2020, Julianne Chandler, Dragons Latin America Program Director, shares her experience of living in Bolivia as the Coronavirus pandemic collided with the fallout from an already devastating political crisis.

A COUP OR NOT A COUP?

The Fall of Evo Morales and Political Transformation in Bolivia

Synopsis:

The Plurinational State of Bolivia was already in crisis when the global pandemic took hold, after contested elections in October of 2019 incited national protests and the sudden ousting of longtime indigenous president and incumbent Evo Morales. A highly controversial debate about whether or not Morales was victim to a right-wing coup has been overshadowed by draconian quarantine measures and increasing restrictions on civil liberties being implemented by the interim government of Jeanine Añez, no friend to Bolivia’s indigenous majority. As a new round of national elections in Bolivia continue to be delayed indefinitely in the face of the public health emergency, serious questions remain unanswered about Evo’s hurried departure, what constitutes a coup d’etat, and the politics of pandemic under a de facto government in South America’s diverse and often misunderstood Andean nation. This session will provide an outline and assessment of recent events in Bolivia from Julianne’s personal experience living through the political crisis and pandemic.

Presented by:

Julianne Chandler, M.A. Poverty and Development, The Institute of Development Studies. B.A. Anthropology and Latin American Studies, New York University. Julianne is the Latin America Program Director with Dragons and lives in Tiquipaya, Bolivia with her husband and two daughters.

____

Interested in developing your own in-field perspective of Bolivia through cultural immersion, wilderness exploration, and language study? Learn more about our unfiltered and immersive Summer and Gap Year programs here.

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    [post_content] => Buddha Bhutan Summer Abroad

To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We hope you'll join us and learn something new!

Register now. Space is limited. Missed a session? Watch the recorded webinar on YouTube.    

Intro to Ayurveda: Self Healing in The Time of Covid-19

An introduction to this 5,000-year-old system of understanding how our bodies and minds interact with nature and society with simple techniques to remain balanced in times of stress and uncertainty. Presented by: Jenny Wagner, Dragons Princeton Bridge Year Program Director. Jenny shares her passion for Ayurveda drawing on her experience as a Dragons instructor, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), and life coach. May 13th, 10am MST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Resume Building 101: Planning for Your Future Career

Feel empowered and productive with Ellery's guidance on resume building best practices to show that you're qualified, stand out, and translate nuanced experiences to paper. Presented by: Ellery Rosin, Dragons Staffing Director. Ellery's coveted tips are rooted in her behind-the-scenes knowledge of the hiring process and experience as a field-educator and Peace Corps volunteer. May 15th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Packing 101: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Travel Packing

We may not be able to travel yet, but why not keep the travel stoke alive by practicing your packing skills? Ellery will walk you through best practices in packing for extended travel experiences. Presented by: Ellery Rosin, Dragons Staffing Director. Ellery shares her packing expertise learned during her time as an international experiential education leader and Peace Corps volunteer. May 18th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Urbanization in China and the Biggest City You've Never Heard Of

Drawing on life experience and a passion for Chongqing's local history and economic transformation, Jody will introduce students to this city of 12 million and discuss migration and urbanization in China today. Presented by: Jody Segar, Dragons College Program Director, draws upon his experience living and working in China for 11 years as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and China program director. May 20th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Foreign Friends, Foreign Devils

What is it like to live in China long-term as a "foreigner"? Jody will engage attendees in thinking about how being perceived as a foreigner can change and shape the way they might perceive themselves and others, in China and in the US. Presented by: Jody Segar, Dragons College Program Director, draws upon his experience living and working in China for 11 years as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and China program director. May 27th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

A Coup or Not a Coup? The Fall of Evo Morales and Political Transformation in Bolivia

With the sudden ousting of longtime indigenous president and incumbent Evo Morales, Bolivia was already in a major political crisis when Covid-19 took hold. Presented by: Julianne Chandler, Dragons Latin America Program Director, shares her experience living in Bolivia during dual crises of pandemic and coup d'etat. May 29th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>
 
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Self Healing, Coups, Foreign Devils, Resume Building + more! New Online Virtual Global Speaker Series Webinars

Posted On

05/11/20

Author

Dragons HQ

Description
To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We… Read More
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