Study Abroad South America

Andes & Amazon

A 3-Month Study Abroad Program

Enroll
Duration
83 Days
Description

Examine social movements and environmental conservation efforts in the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru.

Spring Dates

Feb 7 - May 1, 2018


Spring Availability

open

Fall Dates

Sep 15 - Dec 6, 2017


Fall Availability

five spaces

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College Students

Spring Begins In

46 Weeks

Fall Begins In

25 Weeks

Land Cost

$14,555


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,095

Puno

Cusco

Cordillera Apolobamba

Sorata

La Paz

Cordillera Real

Cochabamba

Program Overview

Take your college education to the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru.


The sparkling lights of La Paz below sacred 20,000-foot peaks. Three coca leaves pressed together for the Mother Earth. Fresh snow on a ridge of the Cordillera Real. Local markets exploding in color… These scenes all speak to the many walks of life in Bolivia and Peru. A land of extremes, this Study Abroad program explores the dizzying diversity of the Central Andes and Amazon while delving into themes of social justice, environmental conservation, and leadership in an inter-cultural context. Accredited courses provide depth and context to the experience while preserving the rugged and adventurous nature of our Andes & Amazon Gap Year Program.

The backdrop for the semester is the tranquil agricultural town of Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba in Central Bolivia. Here students live with local families, largely of Quechua descent, and have the opportunity to connect intimately with a local community. Our time here is characterized by intensive Spanish instruction, exposure…

The sparkling lights of La Paz below sacred 20,000-foot peaks. Three coca leaves pressed together for the Mother Earth. Fresh snow on a ridge of the Cordillera Real. Local markets exploding in color… These scenes all speak to the many walks of life in Bolivia and Peru. A land of extremes, this Study Abroad program explores the dizzying diversity of the Central Andes and Amazon while delving into themes of social justice, environmental conservation, and leadership in an inter-cultural context. Accredited courses provide depth and context to the experience while preserving the rugged and adventurous nature of our Andes & Amazon Gap Year Program.

The backdrop for the semester is the tranquil agricultural town of Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba in Central Bolivia. Here students live with local families, largely of Quechua descent, and have the opportunity to connect intimately with a local community. Our time here is characterized by intensive Spanish instruction, exposure to local activists and social organizations in Cochabamba, and opportunities to delve into independent study projects (ISPs). Based at the foothills of the Andes, this is an ideal backdrop for settling into the rhythms of a local community, exposure to important issues affecting the Andean landscape, and developing critical language and leadership skills.

Beyond Tiquipaya, our journey takes us deep into the forests, jungles, and urban landscapes of the Central Andes. In the twin cities of La Paz and El Alto, situated at 13,00 feet and surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real, we partner with a local theater organization and meet with important social actors in the city. Heading into the mountains, we hike to the edge of receding glaciers and witness first-hand the delicate transition between the high Andes and tropical forests below. Our journey will take us to remote indigenous communities tucked within the folds of time, where community leaders grapple with the destabilizing affects of development and modernization. Along the way, our integrated accredited curriculum challenges students to engage with pressing regional issues and develop skills in leadership, self-awareness, and cultural competency.

In Peru, our journey takes us around glittering Lake Titicaca to the heart of the Incan empire. Trekking routes carry us by foot to the lost city of the Incas at Machu Picchu, while remote mountain excursions take us farther afield to remote Quechua communities that exist much as they did half a century ago. Our time in Peru is highlighted by dramatic mountain landscapes, exposure to remote indigenous communities, and a deeper understanding of development trends and contemporary issues in southeastern Peru.

Poised on the frontlines of globalization, the struggles and triumphs of the Andean people offer valuable lessons about cultural resiliency, adaptation, and everyday resistance. This program provides intimate exposure to pressing development issues in some of the planet’s most dramatic backdrops. Students can expect to engage directly with local actors and communities, deepen their Spanish language skills, develop competence in inter-cultural and wilderness settings, and become informed and aware global citizens.

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Student Profile

Naropa University LogoStudents on this program come from all different backgrounds, universities and areas of interest. You do not have to be currently enrolled in Naropa University to apply. If you are interested in taking our courses for credit, and you know that your university supports your participation in our program, please sign-up. For more information about transferring credits to your university please see our Frequently Asked Questions.


Accreditation Costs

There are 4 course options for credit. Each course is worth 4 credits. The cost per course is $1,200 in addition to the Dragons’ program price. Therefore a student wanting to participate for the maximum amount of course credit will receive 16 college credits and pay $4,800 in addition to the program cost.


Faculty

Members of Dragons’ Faculty possess a rich blend of academic training, unique life experience, and field-based teaching skills. Whether working for local and transnational NGOs, conducting primary field research in remote communities, or founding their own organization abroad, all share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible. With a 4 to 1 student to faculty ratio, no other college semester abroad approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our Faculty will challenge you academically and physically, draw you into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide you through transformative experiences that enliven and inform your academic career at your home institution. Please take the time to review our Faculty bios listed below.

College-Accredited Curriculum

This program is a college accredited version of the Andes & Amazon Semester. On these programs, we often have both accredited and non-accredited students. Much of the curriculum is the same. Accredited students will spend more time in class and working on formal assignments, whereas non-accredited students may have more time for other independent study and personal exploration of Cochabamba.

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University to offer four interdisciplinary courses for credit that extend from our Core Curriculum. The college accredited courses we offer focus on building important skills, fostering a concern for global issues, expanding self-awareness and gaining an understanding of pertinent issues in each program area. Our approach is both experiential and conventional, using local resources, expert guest lecturers, excursions, pertinent readings, multi-media, and immersion to provide an intimate, well-rounded and powerful learning experience.

The course options are:

  • Regional Seminar – Tradition, Change & Cultural Resilience – This course is designed to immerse students in the myriad cultures of the Andes and Amazon and their relationship to the land, both as manifest in their understanding of the natural world and agricultural practices. This course surveys issues related to South America’s colonial history, the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures, racial and social conflicts, sustainable development, human rights and globalization.
  • Contemplative Intercultural Development and Leadership – Students examine global citizenship, meet with heads of organizations, develop effective leadership skills in intercultural communication and explore the depths of their internal landscape in relationship to the outside world.
  • Independent Study Project – This course offers each student the opportunity to conduct in-depth study on a subject of his or her choice. An ISP may involve either an academic focus of inquiry or learning a skill through apprenticeship. Typical ISP projects include: studying sustainable agricultural techniques, Andean folk weaving, an investigation of the coca leaf through various lenses, learning to play the charango, for example.
  • Spanish Level I,II & III Language Study – Students will participate in daily formal Spanish lessons customized to challenge their current level of fluency for two hours per day on average while traveling and during extended home-stays. Classes focus on increasing vocabulary, improving grammar and pronunciation.
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Program Components

3/5
Comparative Religion

Gain insight into Andean cultural and religious worldview, Amazonian traditions and practices, and the spiritual syncretism between pre-colonial belief systems and Christianity.

5/5
Development Studies

Engage with issues in resource management, modernization and globalization, indigenous movements and political representation, urbanization and rural poverty, environmental conservation, and community and sustainable development.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Examine land use and relationships, social and political activism, and indigenous identity and representation. The accredited curriculum also delves into pre-Incan and Incan history and culture, the coca leaf, sustainable agriculture, and the arts.

5/5
Home Stay

Enjoy a three to four-week homestay outside of Cochabamba, with two possible shorter homestays in the Amazon and remote mountain communities.

3/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Independent Study opportunities include traditional arts in weaving, dance and music, Bolivian cooking, education, Andean spirituality, traditional agricultural practices, and a range of topics surrounding politics and ecology in Bolivia and Peru. This accredited course also includes a semi-independent, two week period for students to deepen their Independent Study topic.

4/5
Language Study

Engage in three to four weeks of personalized language instruction with local teachers for 16-20 hours a week, in addition to opportunities for language immersion throughout. Quechua lessons also available.

2/5
Learning Service

Embrace several opportunities for community-led service engagement. Past projects have focused on sustainable agriculture, collaboration with local NGO's and community initiatives, and arts-based activities with urban youth.

5/5
Rugged Travel

Delve into homestays with limited or no amenities, extensive walking in high altitude mountains and humid rainforests, and lengthy travel by boat, bus and truck.

5/5
Trekking

Participate in multi-day treks moving from the high Andes to the Amazon basin in Bolivia. Wilderness exploration also includes travel through remote rainforests of Bolivia and Peru, and a challenging trek in the Ausangate range in Peru.

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