Explore Our 2024 Guide to Gap Year Programs!

    Where There Be Dragons: Independent Spring Experiences

    Where There Be Dragons: Independent Spring Experiences


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Senegal, Nepal, Guatemala
    • Program Length: Six Weeks
    • Start Month: January, February
    • Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
    • Selective: No
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Homestay, Other
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Affiliation: Gap Year Association
    • Minimum Cost: $5,000 - $9,999
    • Meeting: Schedule a Meeting
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    Looking for a more independent next step in your Gap Year? For those who have completed a group program (+1 month, any provider), we offer more autonomous and self-directed international experiences. Suggested for ages 18-25.

    The Independent Spring Experience (ISE) provides opportunities for meaningful cross-cultural engagement outside the structure of a group semester, but still with the support of Dragons resources and mentorship. We work with individual students to co-create a personalized and self-directed experience. Utilizing our decades of expertise in cross-cultural education, international risk management and emergency response, and ethical community engagement, an ISE program is an empowering next step in your Gap Year progression.

    ISE programs are offered in places where Dragons has long-established and active community networks. We are currently offering ISE options in Guatemala, Bolivia, China, Senegal, Nepal, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Each program site is staffed by a Dragons On-Site Coordinator: a veteran Dragons instructor with expertise in the country and extensive experience working with Dragons Gap Year students and our standards of excellence. The On-Site Coordinator has weekly face-to-face meetings with each student, conducts a multi-day orientation focused on safety, cultural norms, and strategies for engagement, and acts as a cultural facilitator and mentor throughout. ISE programs have a strong emphasis on cultural and language immersion and in-depth exploration of critical issues. Participants are placed with a trusted homestay family for the duration of the program, receive intensive language instruction (as desired), and are paired with local mentors for an Independent Study Project (ISP). In addition, participants have 24/7 access to our in-country and international emergency response resources.