The Dragons Experience

Since 1993, Where There Be Dragons has offered students and educators learning adventures along the map’s edge. Operating in 20 countries across Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Dragons programs challenge participants academically, physically, and emotionally. Through small group travel and meaningful engagement, Dragons participants discover knowledge in places of exceptional beauty.


Here’s why Dragons programs are unique:


A typical Dragons group has a 4:1 participant-to-instructor ratio. This ensures that each person receives individual support and personalized challenge. The intimate group dynamic of a small cohort fosters deep dialogue and an inclusive group spirit that builds alumni friendships that last a lifetime.


Dragons works with the best international guides and educators in the industry because they know that mentorship matters. Instructors are selected based on their group facilitation skills, local language fluency, and regional experience in the country. When not guiding with Dragons, instructors are graduate students, returned Peace Corps Volunteers, U.N. development professionals, veteran wilderness guides, and career teachers. The majority of their staff were born outside of the U.S. and are multilingual.


On course, you learn by doing. They travel like locals, live with families, apprentice with artists, and learn from scholars, factory workers, sages, and community leaders alike. Their goal is to connect participants to a direct experience of a different place through hands-on meaningful engagement. They embrace a leadership model of leading-from-behind, such that participants follow their own questions and curiosity.


Dragons itineraries are flexible to create space for unscripted, serendipitous, and candid moments of surprise and discovery. Each program has an intentionally crafted structure, yet the dynamic itinerary allows the group to be responsive to unique realities and opportunities as they arise. Backpacks, not roller bags, are on the packing list because it’s a novel combination of gravel roads, local transportation, and dirt paths that make each program an original adventure.


Dragons is committed to the highest ethical standards in cross-cultural education. Responsible travel is environmentally conscientious, culturally self-aware, and focused on developing mutually meaningful connections with local communities. They advocate for longer-term programming and smaller groups to reduce our ecological and cultural footprints. And they don’t shy away from—but actively engage with—the complex themes of learning service, neocolonialism, and global citizenship that arise in a group dynamic that encourages critical reflection.