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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Greetings

Hi all,

My name is Hannah Beach. I am also not your typical gap year student. I was planning to graduate from Middlebury College in May 2018, but I decided last minute to graduate early because I had enough credits and I thought I should do something different before I begin my career in July as a Software Engineer in NYC. Immersing myself into the culture(s) of a region in the world that I have never been to sounded pretty cool…

I went to China with Dragons in 2013 for the 6-week language intensive program. I made great friends, ate delicious food, had an amazing time with my host family, and improved my Chinese. That trip inspired me to study Chinese in college and to learn more about China in general. I ended up studying abroad in Beijing for a semester and I am currently traveling around Yunnan province for the month of January to make a documentary film about Yunnan cuisine.

My experience with Dragons in the past helped me understand the crucial role that language, community, and food play into experiencing a place. I hope that this trip will instill in me a passion for a language and culture that is currently unknown to me!

As of right now, I cannot wait to meet all of you. I’m excited about trying new foods and learning a foreign language where tones are not emphasized… I’m eager to meet my host families and to become acquainted with the political and social climate of both Bolivia and Peru.

See you all in 20 or something days,

Hannah