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Welcome!

Greetings, NorfolkAcademy!

It’s exciting to introduce you all to the Norfolk Academy and Where There Be Dragons Yak Board for the upcoming China course!

It may seem like the spring semester just began, yet summer is fast-approaching! In just a few months you’ll trade the beaches of VA for the verdant rice paddies of the Yunnan and sky scrapers of Beijing. Soon you’ll find yourself bouncing back and forth between time and place as you learn about China’s people and environments and experience the ever-present tension between development and tradition. You’ll spend days and nights with homestay families who will take you in as their own upon meeting you; you’ll engage with remarkable people dedicated to returning China’s environment back to lush farming ground; you’ll catch your breath with stunning and rare views of the Great Wall with a local farming community; you’ll bounce between vastly different rhythms of life and interwoven stories of ethnically diverse peoples. And alongside you, you’ll find that this Yak Board will be a powerful forum that weaves together a vibrant narrative of the collective journey you’ll be on with your NA-Dragons community from the pre-course days, well into the field, and even after.

We are thrilled to be a part of your experience in China. To make it real, the first thing we are asking of you is an introduction. You may be well-acquainted with your peers on this course, but you may not know their expectations, excitement, goals, curiosities, and fears of your classmates, instructors, and teachers. This forum will provide the space and support to share these things. And, you’ll be amazed looking back at the end of the course and witness the ways you’ve grown and changed in just a couple of weeks!

We are overjoyed to follow along with your adventure.

-Dragons Administration Team