How we build one-of-a-kind programs.
The world is constantly changing, and we believe our programs should too. Far from a fixed tourist itinerary, we keep our programs flexible and responsive because many of the best experiences are found in the unscripted and unexpected moments.
INTENTIONAL DESIGN: HOW WE BUILD PROGRAMS
STEP 1: PEOPLE
Although Dragons participants come from all different backgrounds, they’re bonded by a shared sense of curiosity and adventure. All participants go through an admissions process that tonesets our programming, addresses your questions, and briefs all participants on the pre-trip experience and logistics.
Staff skill-sets, passions, and personal connections combine with course vision and participant goals to define a unique design for every program.
Dragons has cultivated a notable depth and breadth of community networks. Our programs are born out of sustainable connections in the places we travel (rather than impersonal contracts with tour operators). Our personal relationships and desire for reciprocal engagement—rather than travel trends—dictate where we travel.
STEP 2: PROCESS
Months before departure we begin co-creating an itinerary based on the goals of the course and Dragons relationships with in-country communities. We break the course vision into actionable pieces such as language study, apprenticeships, community stays, etc.
Rather than a series of sightseeing stops, each Dragons course is built with a curricular flow that underlies the itinerary. We create a progression of appropriate learning objectives for participants, employing group dynamics that foster self-directed learning and community engagement.
STEP 3: EXPERIENCE
We see responsible travel as environmentally conscientious, culturally aware, and focused on developing mutually beneficial connections with communities. As travelers, we ask participants to humbly adapt to the places we visit, rather than asking those places to adapt to our expectations.
WHAT PARTICIPANTS TAKE HOME
Beyond the time abroad, we help participants integrate the lessons from their Dragons experience into their lives back home. Here are the skills and outcomes people have reported taking home after their Dragons program:
Growth mindset, grit, & resiliency
Compassion, curiosity, & gratitude
Reflection & mindfulness practice
Comfort with discomfort
Appreciation of “unplugged” time
Power & privilege awareness
Education, career, and/or life path development
Responsible travel practices
Exposure to diverse arts, cultures, & traditions
Community & relationship building
Ethical photography & videography
Environmental awareness & advocacy
Learning service & social justice
Optional College Credit