Photo by Michael Woodard, India Bridge Year Program.

Risk Management

We believe in leaning into risk.

We also believe in helping every Dragons group navigate the challenges associated with rugged travel safely, professionally and transparently.

In our 20+ years of experience in the field, we’ve successfully trained over 1,000 Dragons Instructors and stewarded over 300,000 “in-field” days. Over time, we’ve built Risk Management systems and regional contacts that help us navigate a wide-range of unexpected challenges—from dog bites to lost passports to political instability. With every incident we’ve encountered, we’ve developed a broader understanding of safety issues within a regional context and we’ve worked hard to incorporate our new findings into the pedagogy that currently supports our student experience.

Our risk management system is supported by:

Experienced instructors

On average, Dragons Instructors are 30-years old with 4+ years of in-country experience. When needed, Instructors call on their linguistic fluency, local contacts and regional expertise to deftly navigate unexpected risk management issues.

A culture of professional development

Each year, we coordinate a 2-week training focused on wilderness risk management, student group management and cross-cultural communication. This keeps our entire staff up-to-date with best practices in international experiential education.

A robust network of in-country resources

Our organization is built on 20+ years of personal connections, and we often receive word of security issues before they are taken to press. We supplement word-of-mouth updates with daily reports from the US State Department, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. If the occasion should arise, we leverage these contacts to mobilize the necessary resources immediately.

The Risk Management Team in Boulder

Dragons’ Risk Management Team is dedicated to ensuring the highest-quality international programming, with acute attention to the safety and security of our students, instructors and in-country partners. This steadfast team is on-call for our instructors 24/7 while we have students in the field.


There are inherent and other risks in adventure and recreational activities and travel which we cannot control.

Traveling in foreign countries, at high altitudes, in wilderness areas or mountainous terrain, presents real risks. Unpredictable changes in weather conditions, political instability, or recreational or travel activities such as trekking, backpacking, bike riding, or taking local transportation involve hazards that can lead to injury or possibly even death. Evacuations can be difficult, and can be complicated by severe weather, poor roads or other unforeseen circumstances that are beyond our control. On some of our programs we may be several days from competent emergency medical care.


Students interested in our programs should understand the risks and hazards, and be willing to take personal responsibility for their well-being.

This process begins when students are medically screened for our programs. In consideration of the primacy we place on risk management, we require a candid review of each student’s medical history, and students found to have withheld medical or psychological issues will be asked to return home early, without refund. Though courses vary in physical rigor, all students should be in reasonably good physical condition prior to attending a Dragons program. Some programs are much more strenuous than others; students should carefully read individual program descriptions for details.


If you have questions about Dragons’ safety and security policies, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We would be more than happy to discuss the finer points of our Risk Management system with you.


FAQs