Photo by Hannah Norman, Nepal Semester.

About Dragons

Where There Be Dragons is the leader in cross-cultural education, fostering leadership, self-exploration and global citizenship since 1993.

Why do we believe in this work?

We are dedicated to cross-cultural education because we believe that future leaders will be required to think beyond borders when considering the implications of resource scarcity on a global community. Our courses are designed to help young adults develop the self-awareness and cross-cultural competencies to be active participants in this conversation.

What makes a Dragons course?

We travel in small groups.

A Dragons group consists of 12 students and 3 instructors. A 4:1 student-to-instructor ratio ensures that each student receives individual mentorship and appropriate challenges. It also allows us to manage responsive course itineraries, piling into a yurt or a dugout canoe, as needed.

We hire experts.

Our field staff is composed of mature adults who have years of personal and professional experience, and the skills needed to teach, guide, and empower students in profound ways. With an average of 4+ years of in-country experience, Dragons Instructors are prepared to communicate in local dialects and offer expert mentorship throughout the student experience. Cultural fluency allows instructor teams to manage responsive itineraries and capitalize on unexpected learning opportunities as they arise.

We embrace the power of experiential education.

Dragons is an experiential education company. We seek out new learning opportunities within the fabric of everyday life, stopping for chai with a sadhu in Varanasi; rolling out tortillas with an abuelita in Guatemala; or practicing Mandarin while navigating the train system in Beijing. By closely observing and engaging with local communities, we begin to ask questions about new cultural traditions, governance systems, religious beliefs, and human rights; we also ask reflective questions about who we are, where we come from, and how we’d like to live as empowered members of a global community.

We understand that change doesn’t happen over night.

When we arrive in a new place, we don’t bus between cultural landmarks. We understand that the process of knowing a place and knowing ourselves takes time and we ask our students to commit to that process. Whether you join a 4 or 6-week summer course or a 3-month gap year semester, Dragons students should expect to slow down long enough to be uncomfortable and dig deep enough to become wiser about the world and about themselves.

Why should you join us?

There’s been a growing dialogue among students and educators about the value of an education in the 21st century. We’ve been listening, and we believe that many students are hoping to gain a concrete set of “global competencies” and leadership skills before they “grow up” and join the workforce. In our experience, it’s hard to gain these skills in a classroom. We are here to provide you with an alternative approach.

If you believe that the experience of living in the world and connecting with an unfamiliar culture has something to teach you, come join us. We can’t predict exactly what skills you’ll need to succeed in your future life, but we’re willing to hedge our bets that a foreign language, a well-worn passport and a healthy dose of empathy will serve you well.

Core Values