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For Parents

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    [post_date] => 2020-01-16 07:03:18
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-16 14:03:18
    [post_content] => 

We LOVE seeing our alumni featured in the press, and this piece spotlighting Blake Myers (Dragons Nepal Semester) is so fresh and thorough.

We've included a few of our favorite excerpts below. Head over to Buzz Magazines to read the full feature!

"Blake graduated from the Emery/Weiner School and was accepted to colleges, including Boston University, but he decided to put his formal education on hold. “I didn’t feel ready to go back to school again,” he said. Blake’s mom, Lisa, suggested looking into a gap year. She says Blake is an extremely good student and hard worker, but he was worn out and tired of school by the time he graduated. “We would rather buy a year of growing-up time so he can be excited about college than him going and maybe not having a great year,” she said." 

Alumni Magazine Feature

"Lisa says she is not surprised at all that her son chose such an unusual adventure. “We travel a lot as a family, and Blake always loved it more than the other kids,” she said. Blake spent his junior-year summer in Guatemala, where he became fluent in Spanish, and the experience reinforced his interest in learning about other cultures. “The change in him has been huge. He’s more mature with a broader view and appreciation of things,” Lisa said. “Travel has given him a whole different perspective. Living in Nepal piqued his curiosity to learn more about different Eastern religions, and he’s much more interesting and worldly.”

Read the full article, Bridging the Gap, online at Buzz Magazines.

 

Also, if you are alumni and were featured in any press after your Dragons program, please let us know!

 
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2020-01-01 11:35:19
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-01 18:35:19
    [post_content] => In addition to taking on everything from chaos theory to Rosa Parks, trusty and entertaining hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have addressed ALL the questions associated with Gap Years in a recent episode of the Stuff You Should Know Podcast.

In 55 minutes they banter with hard research and humor on subjects including:
  • The history & evolution of the Gap Year
  • The risks of schooling burn out
  • Stats that will soothe parent concerns regarding a child's wish to do a Gap Year
  • Different ways to approach planning & doing a Gap Year
  • How colleges are responding to incoming students who want to do a Gap Year (#positively!)
  • How to offset the costs of a Gap Year
  • and lots more.
Bonus?! Chuck & Josh giggling over the name, "Where There Be Dragons" at the 13-minute mark! :) Head over to the podcast to listen to the full (and fun) episode. You can also check out the show notes in this article in which the author, Clint Pumphrey, comments:

"I've always thought asking 18-year-olds to pick a college major is a recipe for disaster. How can we expect anyone with such little life experience to know what they want to do for the next 40 years? After writing this article, though, I can definitely see how a well-planned gap year might just help some people make better decisions about their future. I think it's great to take a year after high school to learn more about yourself and your interests, and even have a little fun in the process. It certainly beats switching gears when you're a few years into college, or worse, saddled with the responsibility of a family, career and mortgage!"

If you have more questions after listening to the episode, feel free to post them in the comments and we'll answer them.  
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
  [post_title] => Josh and Chuck cover "What's a Gap Year anyway?" on the podcast: Stuff You Should Know [post_excerpt] => Trusty and entertaining hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have taken on ALL the questions associated with Gap Years in a recent episode of the Stuff You Should Know Podcast... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => josh-and-chuck-cover-whats-a-gap-year-anyway-on-the-stuff-you-should-know-podcast [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-01 11:46:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-01 18:46:40 [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] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 37 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 38 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 38 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => For Parents, About Dragons ... )
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-12-16 11:58:55
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-16 18:58:55
    [post_content] => 

Dragons Podcast

You asked for it. And here it is:

THE DRAGONS PODCAST

hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon

  • EP. 6 PEPY's Executive Director Sarakk Rith on hope and struggle for education in Cambodia.
  • EP. 5 Dragons Executive Director, Reed Harwood, on the role of Dragons in the lives of students and communities.
  • EP. 4 Two Dragons fund students on "ah ha" moments and advice for future students.
  • EP. 3 Veteran Instructor Rich Brown on the realities of immigration across the southern US border.
  • EP. 2 Veteran Instructor Claire Bennett on "voluntourism" and an alternative approach to service.
  • EP. 1 A mother & daughter who EACH did Dragons programs on their unique yet similar experiences.
  Dragons is committed to cross-cultural education as a tool for breaking down barriers. Tune in to our podcast and hear for yourself how we can all make a difference.

LISTEN NOW on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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    [post_date] => 2019-05-30 12:58:24
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-30 18:58:24
    [post_content] => Dragons was recently interviewed for an article on Global Citizenship Education published in Edition 21 of the Professionals in International Education Review (PIE Review).

Here's an excerpt. You can also visit the PIE website or online PDF issue to read the article in full...
What's important to us is that our participants are actively exploring their own unique definitions...
 

"...Aaron Slosberg, the director of student programming for the transformational education tour group Where There Be Dragons, feels the definition of global citizenship is fluid.

"For some, it may mean a life mission to connect across international boundaries and embody a transnational identity," he says. "For others, it could mean devoting oneself to a single home community and addressing global issues in a local context." 

He continues, "What's important to us is that our participants are actively exploring their own unique definitions (with all their inherent complexities) of what it means to be a 'global citizen' and allowing those new understandings to inform future choices." 

 

Read the full article at The Pie Review...

  [post_title] => Dragons featured in The PIE (Professionals in International Education) Review [post_excerpt] => Dragons was recently interviewed for an article on Global Citizenship Education published in Edition 21 of the Professionals in International Education Review (PIE Review). Here's a short excerpt, or you can visit the online issue to read the article in full...  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dragons-featured-in-the-pie-professionals-in-international-education-review [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-02 12:24:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-02 18:24:30 [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] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 37 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 38 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 38 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 651 [name] => Announcements [slug] => announcements [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 651 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [parent] => 0 [count] => 51 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 51 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => For Parents, About Dragons ... )
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    [post_date] => 2019-04-17 13:56:31
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-17 19:56:31
    [post_content] => 

Modeling the Values of Responsible Travel

A Conversation With Education Abroad Professionals

Responsible travel is a concept that we talk about frequently at Dragons. On programs, we employ a variety of approaches to help students understand and then engage in activities that are responsible in nature. We might do that by asking students to dress in culturally appropriate ways, encouraging students to use the target language with host family members, teaching students how to use local transportation, etc. (see our position paper for more examples of how we strive to travel responsibly). Many of these approaches are, in essence, an effort to ask our students to adapt to the place rather than demanding that the place adapt to our own needs, desires, and expectations.
Many of these approaches are, in essence, an effort to ask our students to adapt to the place rather than demanding that the place adapt to our own needs, desires, and expectations.

Defining Responsible Travel

When talking about responsible travel, the basic question is “what distinguishes travel from being responsible or not”? In the most simple terms, it is whether or not the travel is in alignment with a specific set of values we hold to be true. Broadly, we think that responsible travel aims to minimize the negative impacts that international visitors, like our study abroad students, might have on a local economy, environment, or culture. Moreover, our sense is that responsible travel is not only about minimizing harm, but also about attempting to have a positive impact on host communities.
Broadly, we think that responsible travel aims to minimize the negative impacts that international visitors, like our study abroad students, might have on a local economy, environment, or culture.
And what ARE the values that underpin responsible travel? We recognize that there isn’t a right answer to this question, but at Dragons, we have attempted to come up with a definition to help drive our work. We define this concept as travel that aligns with the values of being culturally conscious, environmentally responsible, and focused on developing meaningful connections and mutual respect in communities.

Why Modeling Matters

As part of her Master’s thesis, our colleague Shino Marta Yoshen recently conducted a series of interviews with Dragons US-based, field staff and alumni. Shino's research revealed how important and meaningful it was to staff that Dragons, as a whole, demonstrated a willingness to incorporate the values of responsible travel into the organizational functioning. The interviews seemed to indicate that people are inspired and work more passionately when they feel their work is actively aligned with their values. Those Shino interviewed seemed to be engaging in the field of intercultural education primarily because they believe in the importance of such work. We think this is a core reason for most of us to work in this field, and therefore being mindful of how we can embody our values ourselves keeps us connected to why we choose this work. And it reminds us of the importance of these values and of passing them on to students.
Modeling the values of responsible travel is also important because students can tell when we walk the walk...
Modeling the values of responsible travel is also important because students can tell when we walk the walk, and are more likely to embody these values when they see it modeled, or can tell it is modeled. Alumni being interviewed described instances when they saw responsible travel modeled as significant moments of learning. Modeling these values before students depart for their host communities is helpful in preparing students to actually embody them when on program. Modeling values both during and after the program is also helpful because it shows students that these values can influence the way they engage/live even when they are back home, beyond just their abroad experience.

Beyond the Boundaries of a Program

While the work of striving to travel responsibly on education abroad programs is crucial, we believe it is not enough. Recently, several members of the Dragons team attended The Forum on Education Abroad conference which focuses on the best practices in the field of education abroad. As part of that conference, we invited a long-time collaborator, Darren Grosch, from Mt. San Antonio College to help us facilitate a session in which we asked our colleagues from universities and colleges, study abroad program providers, government agencies, etc. to broaden our thinking about responsible travel. In short, we considered the following question which has become increasingly central for us at Dragons: “How do we model the values of responsible travel beyond the boundaries of a program?" In other words, are there ways our work can model values such as being environmentally responsible or developing mutual respect in communities for our students before or after they go, in the ways our offices approach particular things, or in the ways we develop other programming which is not abroad?
How do we model the values of responsible travel beyond the boundaries of a program?
At Dragons we have tried to do this through ensuring program budget funds go back into local communities, having staff policies which provide paid leave for volunteering in home communities, or by creating incentives to bike to work; to give a few examples. As part of our session, we asked our colleagues from across the U.S. and the world to consider how they are or could be modeling the values of responsible travel in their offices or on their home campuses. We asked them to think broadly - things they are doing (or want to be doing) with students before or after programs, actions that model values in the way their office operates or the standards leadership sets, or how they could collaborate with other departments / organizations / or communities.
we asked our colleagues from across the U.S. and the world to consider how they are or could be modeling the values of responsible travel in their offices or on their home campuses...

A Call To Action

As a culmination of this conversation, we encouraged our colleagues to commit to one action they felt they might be able to realistically accomplish in the coming year which would help their specific work environment better model the values of responsible travel. And commit they did! Included below are a number of the inspiring responses to this call to action.

Make Your Values Known

  • “Model responsible travel through inserting values into general study abroad recruitment tools, presentations, and initiatives.”
  • “Train peer ambassadors on the values of the larger office.”
  • “Use responsible travel values as a guide for marketing and promotion. Do the messages we put out contradict these values?”
  • “Create a handout for faculty who lead programs regarding what responsible travel means and how to model it.”
  • “Have the institution integrate responsible travel values in the larger mission statement and strategic vision.”
  • “Incorporate responsible travel questions and assessment process in the faculty-led program proposal process.”

Train Students Before they Go Abroad

  • “Adding responsible travel as a topic during pre-departure programming.”
  • “Facilitate conversations with students pre-departure on resource awareness and ethical travel habits.”
  • “Implement a responsible traveler workshop for faculty and students to compliment regular pre-departure training.”
  • “Create a credit-bearing course during pre-departure and returnee process to make students more accountable for their actions while abroad.”

Be a Student Yourself

  • “Provide staff with resources to learn the language and history of host countries where we oversee programs.”
  • “Provide on-campus language workshops: conversational skills taught by native speakers.”
  • “Train staff members to the tools and importance of preparation and reflection.”
  • “Offer opportunities for staff to learn indigenous culture, etiquette, and key phrases.”
  • “Provide language training to all staff.”
Create Spaces to Share Values Learned Abroad
  • “Create a re-entry session about modeling values learned during study abroad now that students are back on campus.”
  • “Have a workshop with students who have previously gone abroad to share lessons learned about responsible travel and cultural engagement.”
  • “Start an alumni panel as the peer models for responsible travel.”
Connect with the Local Community
  • “Invite and encourage return study abroad students to attend international student events and support their fellow students both at the home campus and abroad.”
  • “Develop programs that encourage students who have returned from study abroad to engage with the local community.”
  • “Train international students on the home campus to help lead pre-departure preparation for study abroad students going to those students’ home countries.”

Value the Contributions of Host Communities

  • “Hire local scholars in order to model the value of local expertise and counteract ‘savior’ narratives.”
  • “Create a formal feedback process for community partners - their opinion matters just as much as the students’.”
  • “Organize speakers from the Global South to be brought to the home institution for shared learning and exchange.”
  • “Incorporate host community feedback and perspectives via the assessment process.”
Focus on Sustainability Efforts
  • “Create a PDF for travelers on how specific actions can offset the carbon footprint per mile traveled.”
  • “Call together a sustainability working group for colleagues at the university.”
  • “Encourage students to have conversations about consumption.”
  • “Composting and more responsible recycling at headquarters office.”
  • “Collaborate with the on-campus programs and student organizations focused on sustainability to improve practices while abroad.”
In reading through these commitments to actions, it is clear that Dragons is not alone in believing that there are, indeed, numerous ways that we can model the values of responsible travel outside of direct programming. This discussion is an evolving one and one that we feel is essential to keep at the forefront of our mind. We are committed to continuing this exploration amongst our own team and within the field of education abroad. We hope you’ll join us in that conversation. 

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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-03-28 12:39:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-28 18:39:52
    [post_content] => 

We're super excited to see and share this announcement from Tufts University.

Here's an excerpt from The Tuft's Daily article titled, Tufts Civic Semester to Offer Overseas Service Opportunities to Incoming First-Years:

"Civic Semester is intended to be embedded in the academic experience at Tufts,' McAndrew said.

The program is fully funded by tuition, and all financial aid that a student receives is applied to the Civic Semester, Dean of Tisch College Alan Solomont said.

“[The Civic Semester] really should be open to all students,” Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Jim Glaser said.

Students participating in the program will complete on-campus orientation with their fellow classmates in September, according to Glaser. Glaser expressed his belief that completing regular orientation on campus with students who are not participating in the program will be a positive experience.

“They will go through orientation with all of the students they come back to,” Glaser said. “The beauty of this is that it … allows students to have a full [orientation] experience.”

Tisch College partnered up with Where There Be Dragons, a well-known program provider for academic gap semesters and years, according to Solomont.

“[Tisch College] looked at all the programs who do this just to pick the best one,” Solomont said.

In the program’s first year, it will admit 25 students. However, Solomont said that there is room for growth in the program, saying that it could expand to 100 more students in future years."

Head over to the Tufts Daily to read more about the exciting new Civic Semester!

    [post_title] => Tufts Civic Semester in Partnership with Dragons [post_excerpt] => We're super excited to see and share this announcement from Tufts University. Here's an excerpt from The Tuft's Daily article titled, "Tufts Civic Semester to Offer Overseas Service Opportunities to Incoming First-Years"... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => tufts-civic-semester-in-partnership-with-dragons [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-28 12:44:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-28 18:44:14 [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] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 37 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 37 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 38 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 38 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 651 [name] => Announcements [slug] => announcements [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 651 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [parent] => 0 [count] => 51 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 51 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => For Parents, About Dragons ... )
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