Posts Tagged:

Internships

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    [ID] => 153156
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-05-23 11:23:47
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-23 17:23:47
    [post_content] => 

Will LeVan (Alumni of Dragons Peru Summer Program) decided to pursue a Gap Year in 2018-19. And he was kind enough to answer some questions we posed of his decision making process. Take a look...

Q: How did you come to the decision to take a Gap Year? Was it an intuitive or calculated choice?

A: During junior year I began to consider taking a gap year.  I was fatigued from a challenging high school education and hoped that a gap year would revitalize and re-inspire my education.  However, my decision was quickly made after my six-week Dragons trip to Peru. After the trip, I realized that traveling and working abroad as I did in Peru would teach me in ways that a classroom no longer could.  Additionally, the opportunity to increase my Spanish proficiency and enter college with work and service experience abroad were integral in making my decision.

Q: What were/was your biggest questions going into the process? How did you get them answered?

A: Would it be affordable?  Could I find programs that would make it meaningful?  What would I do? These were my biggest questions going into my gap year.  Through a lot of research, and I mean a lot, I scanned through dozens of programs. The trips ranged from three weeks to eight months and included volunteer work in Philly, education aboard sailboats in the Pacific, and hiking the Camino in Spain. By skimming these programs, a picture of my gap year manifested, including a Where There Be Dragons Semester program in Nepal, volunteering on a sustainable farm in Spain, helping build converted vans in Washington state, and hiking the Camino de Santiago. Websites like WWOOF and Helpstay were very helpful in my search.

Q: Did you have any regrets after making the decision?

A: I only wish I could do more.

Q: Do you know anyone else that's taking a Gap Year? Do you ever feel lonely in the decision?

A: I have a few friends who are considering it, but never have I felt lonely in the decision because others have been so supportive, and sometimes envious, of my choice and plans.  

Q: How did your parents respond to your decision?

A: They were very supportive.

Q: Is it hard to stay committed to your Gap Year vision when all your friends are talking about their fall school plans?

A: Not really.  Since I applied to college during this school year and have deferred my enrollment, I’m not too jealous about my friends’ fall plans at college because I’ll know that I’ll have those experiences eventually and don’t have to worry about the stresses of college applications in the meantime.

Q: Do you have any fears regarding your Gap Year?

A: Part of me is worried that I’ll enter college behind in my studies.  I think this is a common fear among students. However, I’m confident that I won’t be too far behind and can make it back up quickly.  Additionally, I think the lessons I learn over my gap year will be just as valuable, it not more, than anything I can learn in the classroom.

Q: Did you already know where you wanted to go for your Gap Year?

A: I really had no idea where I wanted to go.  I did a lot of research and looked at places like Chile, Jordan, Madagascar, South Africa, the Galapagos, Australia, and eventually ended up on Nepal in the fall and Spain for the spring.  How did I decide on these places? First off, I love to hike and the opportunities to hike in the Himalayas and along the Camino in Europe are hard to pass up. Additionally, the ability to study Spanish in Spain was a big pull for me.

Q: What do you hope to learn from your Gap Year that you couldn't learn in school?

A: How to live independently, work with others from different backgrounds, and be more aware and conscious of the world around me.

Q: Did language study play a role in your Gap Year decision?

A: Yes it did.  After my Dragons summer experience in Peru, I knew that I wanted to experience more Spanish immersion in a non-classroom setting.  I also believe that going into college and feeling more confident in my Spanish proficiency will only be beneficial. Therefore, I plan on volunteering and interning in Spain in the spring of my gap year and then hiking El Camino de Santiago in Spain to cap off my year.

Q: Will you be pursuing any type of internship or particular study of craft during your gap year?

A: Due to busy summer schedules throughout high school, I haven’t had many job experiences.  This in part played into my gap year decision because I wanted to have more work experience before college.  There isn’t a specific type of craft I’ll be pursuing, but instead just volunteer and work experiences in general.  To fulfill this, I plan on working on an organic or sustainable farm in Spain.

Q: What would you say to someone on the fence on if they will pursue a gap year or not? A: There are very times in life when you will be able to shed responsibilities for a year and just go travel and learn. A Gap Year is one of those opportunities. Additionally, the experiences you have and lessons will be long-lasting. If you can design a Gap Year that will be productive and constructive, I think it’ll be an amazing experience that you won’t regret. Thank you Will!

Are YOU going to do a Gap Year in 2018-2019? If so, we encourage you to share the news of your plans via a social post with the tag #gapyeardecisionday. If you'll be a Dragons students next year, include the tag #wheretherebedragons so that we can find and potentially feature you!

[post_title] => Gap Year Planning Q&A with Student Will LeVan [post_excerpt] => Will LeVan (Alumni of Dragons Peru Summer Program) decided to pursue a Gap Year in 2018-19. And he was kind enough to answer some questions we posed of his decision making process. Take a look... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gap-year-planning-qa-student-will-levan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-23 11:32:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-23 17:32:56 [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] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 18 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 18 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 21 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 21 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/alumni_spotlight/ ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Travel Guide, Alumni Spotlight )
WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-04-24 10:31:45
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-24 16:31:45
    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_152952" align="alignnone" width="1510"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption]
The struggle for the recognition and acceptance of black, African-descendent communities all over the world is an ongoing challenge. However, the Afro-Bolivian community of Los Yungas proves that communities can join together and share their history and identity through the power of music and dance.
Driving into the North Yungan community of Chijchipa on Saturday afternoon, we could hear the rhythmic beating of drums and passionate singing of the local Afro-Bolivian community that served to welcome guests for the day’s festivities. This was the day of a musical perfomance/exchange between the local community and the Tigers of Africa, a traditional musical group from Senegal. Having spent the past five days embracing Afro-Bolivian culture in the neighboring community of Tocaña, we made the 20 minute drive to Chijchipa to take part in the important cultural exchange.

‘Honor y gloria a los primeros negros que llegaron a Bolivia

Que murieron trabajando

muy explotados en el Cerro Rico de Potosi’

‘Honor and glory to the first Africans who arrived in Bolivia

Who died working

Exploited in the Cerro Rico of Potosi’

These were the words sang by the men, women and children of all ages who participated in the Saya, the Afro-Bolivian song and dance that incorporates African instruments, colonial-era clothing and powerful lyrics that share the Afro-Bolivian history. These lyrics have been passed down from generation to generation ever since the Afro-Bolivians arrived from Africa as slaves to work in the mines and coca plantations of Bolivia.
These lyrics have been passed down from generation to generation ever since the Afro-Bolivians arrived from Africa as slaves to work in the mines and coca plantations of Bolivia.
[caption id="attachment_152953" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption] Along with several performances of the Saya, we also had the chance to hear from Alejandro, an important elder who was born towards the end of the hacienda (estates or plantations owned by the Spanish colonists)  and had witnessed the transition into freedom for his people. The festival took place in the Casa de Hacienda, the former residence of one of the plantation owners in the 1800s that now serves as a meeting point and cultural center for the community. Alejandro expressed how important it is for people to recognize how the suffering of the Afro-Bolivians took place in this same location yet they have been able to look past its exploitative history and use the space to exhibit their culture and educate others of the history. [caption id="attachment_152955" align="alignright" width="294"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption] Around 6 PM, the guests of honored arrived after a long journey from Senegal that same morning and were already in song and dance as they marched into the Casa de Hacienda with the local Saya group. After taking an hour to rest and prepare, the Tigers of Africa took the stage draped in their colorful, intricate costumes to begin their performance. The fast rhythm of the traditional drums complimented the movements of the dancers who jumped, ran, flipped and twisted around.
Although the performance was only 30 minutes long, the whole crowd was profoundly impressed. Afterwards, everyone had a chance to chat with the performers who are currently on a tour throughout South America. Although there was a struggle for communication between the Spanish-speaking locals and the French/Wolof-speaking Senegalese performers, both parties were elated to interact with their African brothers and sisters. This also gave me an opportunity to use my knowledge of French and Spanish to translate between them.
Our time spent in Los Yungas with the Afro Bolivian communities was an incredible, unforgettable experience. Everywhere I went the people referred to me as ‘family’ and expressed how happy they were to have their African sister visiting the community. Having based my ISP (Independent Study Project) on the Afro-Bolivian history and culture while in our Tiquipaya homestays, travelling to Los Yungas was an opportunity to immerse myself first-hand into the culture I had read and heard so much about. [caption id="attachment_152951" align="alignleft" width="343"] Photo by Teresa Tolo, South America Semester.[/caption] The struggle for the recognition and acceptance of black, African-descendent communities all over the world is an ongoing challenge. However, the Afro-Bolivian community of Los Yungas proves that communities can join together and share their history and identity through the power of music and dance.

Read more student reflections from the South America Semester on Dragons Yak Board. 

[post_title] => From Senegal to Bolivia: A Cultural Celebration, Yak of The Week [post_excerpt] => From the Yak of the Week: "The struggle for the recognition and acceptance of black, African-descendent communities all over the world is an ongoing challenge. However, the Afro-Bolivian community of Los Yungas proves that communities can join together and share their history and identity through the power of music and dance." [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => senegal-bolivia-cultural-celebratio-yak-week [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-25 10:45:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-25 16:45:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 638 [name] => From the Field [slug] => from_the_field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 638 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [parent] => 0 [count] => 39 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 39 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) ) [category_links] => From the Field, Global Community )
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    [ID] => 151627
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2017-08-23 11:30:33
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-23 17:30:33
    [post_content] => Dragons best source of inspiration and vision comes from the voices of past participants and our Alumni Ambassadors are an integral part of the Dragons community. Our Student Ambassadors work alongside the Boulder Admin Team on several development initiatives including everything from catalog consulting, to website development, to marketing campaigns. If you’re an alumni and you’d like to help us strengthen the Dragons community, this is your opportunity.

Want to be an Alumni Ambassador? Read more about the program and fill out our application. We’d love to hear from you!

Want to know more? Here's what some of last year's Alumni Ambassadors have to say about the program:

 
The weekend trip to Boulder is one of the best parts of the Ambassador Program! Meeting the other ambassadors and participating in workshops with staff members was amazing. Walking into the office for the first time and being greeted by hugs and travel tales was enchanting - I knew I had found "my people." I have a much better connection to Dragons knowing some of the most important behind-the-scenes staff members.
       
The best part of being an Alumni Ambassador is reconnecting with the Dragons community. After my trip I wasn't able to talk to or connect with people about my experiences abroad, but meeting all of the ambassadors gave me that opportunity. We had all had such similar experiences despite our different journeys, and it was comforting to know that I wasn't alone in my experience.
         
It is a great experience becoming an Ambassador. It was a chance for me to become more connected with an inspiring community and learn the marketing, presentation and leadership skills that keep Dragons running behind the scenes! It felt so rewarding to contribute back to a program that has given me so much.
       
I liked having a say in the website and brochure development. And I also liked getting involved with Dragons at my own school as well as outside of it. I think the outreach is very important because it lets you explain the trip to someone from one teen to the other.
         
Being an ambassador is a great way to give back to Dragons and try and make it possible for more students like you to find Dragons and be able to participate - through recruitment in your area and by contributing with feedback and helping Dragons effectively reach out to prospective students.
         
The best part of being a Dragons Ambassador has been connecting with prospective students, and assisting our incoming students with whatever challenges may come their way. For instance, who remembers how perplexed they were when they first saw their packing list in the CPM or on the yak board? And so, being able to assist students as an alum who has gone through the Dragons experience is something special.
         
To continue actively participating in the Dragons family; to feel inspired; to never cease being fueled by the longing of adventure; to connect with others that share this same passion. This, this is where the true beauty of being an Ambassador lies...

       
Where There Be Dragons was a life changing experience and being able to be part of the team made my experience even more fulfilling and valuable. I credit much of who I am today from my trip and from being an ambassador, and I am forever thankful. 
       
Being an Alumni Ambassador and representing Dragons in my community has been an amazing experience. After an incredible summit in Boulder, I felt I was able to continue my connection with Dragons’ global reach through sharing my experiences with others. I was also able to make lifelong friends and meet other amazing alumni all over the country. - Benjamin Renton
   
The Where There be Dragons Ambassadorship program is an incredible opportunity to learn and acquire new skills. At the same time you help give back to the office that enabled you to go on your chosen program. It is also a chance to reconnect with the Dragon's community after your program and help improve all programs as much as you can. I highly recommend signing up and you might just be chosen to be a part of an amazing team.

Ready to apply? Here's the application.

We look forward to hearing from you!   Sincerely, Dragons HQ   [post_title] => Now Accepting Applications for Alumni Ambassadors [post_excerpt] => Our biggest source of inspiration comes from the voices of past participants. Our Alumni Ambassadors are an integral part of the Dragons community and work alongside the Boulder Admin Team on several development initiatives including everything from catalog consulting, to website development, to marketing campaigns. If you’re an alumni and you’d like to help us strengthen the Dragons community, this is your opportunity. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => now-accepting-applications-for-student-alumni-ambassadors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-05 12:37:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-05 18:37:58 [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] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 21 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 8 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 21 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/alumni_spotlight/ ) [1] => 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] => 31 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 31 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/announcements/ ) ) [category_links] => Alumni Spotlight, Announcements )