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A Student Program Called is So Different From the Usual, Comfortable, Study Abroad Variety as to be Startling

     The "study abroad" programs that most of us know are pleasant interludes that don't really change or alter our ways of thinking.  Students opt to spend a year in London, Paris, Rome or Florence, and embark on a trip that involves carefully-supervised accommodations in comfortable hotels or guesthouses where a teacher is always nearby.  They go on supervised tours, enjoy excellent meals, and spend their days in classrooms listening to academic lectures.

     After a year (or a semester or the summer), students return to their colleges, having experienced nothing very different from what tourists experience when they book an upscale and carefully-operated tour.  The "junior year abroad", as one example of these interludes, is usually an elitist activity enjoyed by young people whose parents have money.

     The program known as "" is altogether different--a "study abroad" program for college students (and sometimes for younger teenagers) that involves challenge.  Though its planners stoutly insist that the program is safe, they send their young persons into areas where they stay with families of ordinary or low income.  They go to countries like India, Bolivia or Jordan, where life is not as sophisticated, elegant or comfortable as in London, Paris, Rome or Florence.  They experience the low-income life to which two-thirds of the human race are subject.  They engage in what is called an "extreme experience" which requires that the student adapt to the daily routines of people who must work hard to make a living or survive.

     "WhereThereBeDragons" is best described in the program's own words.  "Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound student travel adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel.  Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences". 

     As further described by an official to my daughter and myself on our weekly radio program ("The Travel Show"), students experience events ranging from Ramadan to Buddhist Monastic Rituals, in what are sometimes described as "backwards areas", living with families, on either 'semesters abroad", "summers abroad", or "study abroad programs".  The cost in many instances is $11,000 for a semester (much less than what many students pay for standard colleges), and the program is so highly esteemed that it is offered in such prestigious universities as Princeton. 

     You will be interested, I believe, in the full exposition found at "" on the internet.