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A practiced hand paints a thanka. Photo by Cara Starnbach, North India Program.

Welcome to the 2018 Summer North India 6 Yak Board

Dear North India 6 Student and Families,

Welcome to our diverse community of travelers, educators, students and cultural ambassadors! Although the summer is still months away, we’re excited to initiate this process with you and help you ease into the expansive experience that is Dragons. Our hope in facilitating this early connection is to address any pre-course questions and concerns you may have and to initiate a relationship that establishes a foundation for collaboration and trust throughout the spring and early summer.

Every student’s connection to Dragons begins with our Admissions Department, and throughout the early spring you’ll hear from them most consistently. As the summer nears, you’ll also hear from members of Dragons’ administrative staff, your course instructors, and your fellow students. By mid-May, you’ll be preparing for the adventure of a lifetime. As Southeast Asia Program Director, I will also be available to provide guidance and support throughout this process. 

To introduce myself, after completing my Bachelor’s coursework in the Costa Rican Alta Talamanca, where I lived and researched adolescent rites of passage in the indigenous Bribri community of Yorkin, I chose to get involved with an NGO focused on peace and sustainable development in war-torn Sri Lanka. The vibrancy and rapid evolution I witnessed in Sri Lanka set me on a path of exploration in Asia that ultimately led to China’s Yunnan Province, where I based myself for the next ten years working as an editorial director, film producer and experiential educator.

My initiation into Dragons came in 2010 when I served as a mentor for students on the China internship program. I discovered in Dragons an organization at the vanguard of cross-cultural experiential education and a collection of educators dedicated to student-centered teaching that transcends the classroom. I began working as a field instructor in 2011, and since then I’ve found that Dragons courses provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in global issues, to re-imagine one’s role in the world, and to develop confidence and responsible leadership qualities.

Having spent half my life abroad I am excited to talk with you more about what the journey entails. While many of the logistical questions can be answered by anyone here in our office, I will be your primary contact for questions relating specifically to North India programming.

As we communicate throughout the spring, we hope that you’ll see that Dragons programs are designed with exceptional care and intention, and that your excitement continues to build in the coming months!

Sincerely,

Justin Kiersky

South & Southeast Asia Program Director

800-982-9203 x137

[email protected]