How We Are Different

What Sets Dragons College Study Abroad Programs Apart

Our programs are…


We go where other study abroad programs don’t. Whether trekking in the snow-capped peaks of the Andes or drinking chai along the ghats of Varanasi, we take students to places seldom visited by tourists. We’ve fine-tuned our risk management systems to support academic programming in places that are often challenging to navigate as an individual. We provide mentorship that supports academic programming in places that are often challenging to navigate as an individual.  We strive to have a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio. Our staff attend to program safety and quality, and are also invested in establishing strong mentor relationships with students. This mentorship supports students as they make meaning out of experiences abroad and has a powerful impact on academic and personal growth. Our program design, implementation, and academic offerings utilize place-based learning and offer students the opportunity to do more, see more, learn more, and experience the world in intimate and meaningful ways.


Our academic courses utilize learner-centered pedagogy and our instructors skillfully transform daily activities into opportunities for meaningful discussion, challenge, and growth. These processes provide students with ample opportunities to deepen regional knowledge, cultivate self-awareness, hone leadership skills, develop greater language competence, and explore what it means to be a global citizen. Programs typically settle into a base community to focus on immersion and then move through the countryside to experience the diversity of the host country. The travel experiences embedded into our curriculum are undertaken as a group and are more than simple excursions. We travel to communities with whom we have developed deep relationships in order to facilitate intimate interactions, often in remote locations. Dragons programs are well-rounded and employ the following nine program components to ensure a meaningful experience: rugged travel, homestays, language study, trekking, learning service, development studies, Independent Study Projects (ISPs), comparative religion & philosophy, and Focus of Inquiry (FOI).


No two Dragons programs are the same. The world is constantly changing and we believe our programs should too. We do not sub-contract programs to in-country operators or use recycled itineraries. We carefully construct each program from the inside-out. Months before program departure, our staff builds a program itinerary based on the instructor team’s personal in-country connections and experience, the academic goals of the program, and the specific ambitions of the student group. This approach to planning ensures the student experience is at the center of our programming. Dragons students enjoy a customized experience, with a flexible, fresh itinerary that brings a high degree of authenticity and meaning to each student’s experience. 


We believe in low-impact travel, and that means minimizing both our environmental and cultural impact at every possible juncture. On program, we opt for local—not private—transportation and pile into train cars and buses along with everyone else. We carry only the essentials that fit into our backpacks, live with host families in both rural and urban environments, and explore the wilderness in intentional ways. Dragons students have lectures and classes in unconventional places alongside a small group of peers, and our instructors collectively prioritize opportunities for students to fine-tune key language and travel skills. Our approach to study abroad is to deliver rigorous learning in unlikely settings.

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