Founded in 1993, Where There Be Dragons is the leader in cross-cultural education. Dragons offers 3-month immersive and responsible international and domestic Gap Year programs in Asia (including India), Latin America, Africa, and the Southwestern USA.
Our approach is simple: build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with local communities, work with the best instructors, and stay true to our responsible travel ethics. Travel with purpose and gain skills. Hear stories, discover fresh perspectives, and engage with critical global issues.
Dragons students are travelers, not tourists. Dragon Gap Year Programs are authentic, rugged, and profound opportunities that expose students to the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which they travel. Programs give students the rare opportunity to genuinely experience the places they travel and create meaningful connections across cultures. Several of Dragons Gap Year programs are available for college credit.
Immersive + Well-Rounded: Dragons students are travelers, not tourists. Course itineraries are built around nine Program Components which engage students in a wide range of hands-on activities such as homestays, trekking, apprenticeships, and language learning.
Small Groups + Professional Instructors: A typical group consists of 12 students and 3 instructors to ensure each student receives individual support and mentorship. On average our instructors are 30+ years of age, have 4+ years living abroad, and are fluent in the local language.
Handcrafted Experiences: We run a limited number of programs because we value quality over quantity. And we never run the same trip twice; each program itinerary is intentional and directly infused with the regional expertise and passions of instructors.
Safety: Safety is our first priority. Over almost 30 years we’ve built robust risk management systems and have been vetted by key partners including Princeton University, Tufts University, the Gap Year Association, and the US Secret Service.
Responsible Travel: Dragons programs are environmentally conscious and committed to building meaningful connections. We run longer programs that maximize time abroad, offset carbon emissions, and empower students to learn service responsibly.
Cost and Session Information
Where There Be Dragons Gap Year Dates:
Fall Semester: September 15th - December 6th
Spring Semester: March 8th - May 26th
Cost for programs varies and is listed on each specific program page
Where There Be Dragons Gap Year Semester Programs:
Rio Grande Semester: Stories of Culture, Identity, & Environment along the Southern Boarder
Colorado River Basin Semester: Sustainable Relationships with Land and Water in the Western USA
Central America Semester: Spanish Language & Social Justice*
West Africa Semester: The Rhythms of Senegal
Morocco Semester: Ancient Cities to the Atlas Mountains
Madagascar Semester: Cultural & Ecological Diversity
Nepal Semester: Himalayan Studies*
Bhutan Semester: Environmental Sustainability & Community Happiness
Southeast Asia Semester: Spirituality & Resilience
India Semester: On the Front Lines of Climate Change*
China Semester: South of the Clouds*
Indonesia Semester: Community, Culture & Conservation
Mekong Semester: Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia
South America Semester: Andes & Amazon*
Andes Leadership Semester: Patagonia to Peru
Independent Spring Experiences: An Independent Gap Year Experience
*College Credit Available
Dragons Study Abroad Semester Programs:
Nepal: Passages and Peaks of the Himalaya
China: Mountains & Megacities
India: Mosaic of Culture & Contrast
South America: The Spirit of the Andes
1 Participant ReviewWrite a Review
Where There Be Dragons really and truly changed my life. I gained a sense of independence, a strength of character, and a feeling that I could conquer any obstacles that came in my way. I met a truly exceptional group of people, people who I was able to get to know in such a deep and personal way due to our shared experiences. Going to India was by far the most interesting, scary, and amazing experience, and without this program, I would never have been able to experience it the way that I did. Our instructors definitely did an amazing job, for they not only provided help when we needed it, but also allowed us to truly grow in this strange environment. The times I remember most are the times when I or other members in the group had to step up, assume responsibility, and lead the group on. This program is not for those who are not willing to open their hearts and their eyes, and to this day I think of this trip as one of the more difficult things I have ever done. However, it was by far the most amazing thing. I learned to open my eyes in a way I did not dream was possible, I learned to accept things about myself that before I could barely acknowledge, and, above all else, I came back a better person, a better citizen of this world. I cannot do Dragons justice just with these 5 stars and this jumbled review, but to anyone reading this, i beg of you, take a leap of faith, just as I did. You will be changed forever.