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Cambodia Summer Program.

Electronics Policy

Hello everyone!

As we continue to intentionally plan our adventure ahead, one of the things we want to offer you is a fully present and meaningful experience. For four weeks, we’re going to try to unplug to plug in; the world will be our entertainment, our group our community, the people we meet along the way our source of energy. To do that, Dragons has a policy of no media devices on all of our trips. This will allow you to connect more to the culture of Cambodia, the places and communities we visit, and also yourself.

We know that this might be difficult for some, but we ask that you keep your cell phones at home. It is incredible how much technology has changed the way we interact with the world (see: this article about electronics and empathy). If you don’t remember the last time you didn’t have a phone within arm’s reach, this summer in Cambodia might provide one of the few opportunities for you to truly “unplug” from constant social media postings and electronic connection. Though this may be a challenge, these words from a former Dragons student provide some insight to why spending time away from devices is so important, particularly while traveling: “Distraction, I think, would only be degenerative. I don’t want to be stopped from living fully. I don’t want to miss a flash of color or smell of spice. Any moment lost could be a lifelong memory missed.”

As a group, we will have irregular and limited access to the internet due to the frequent nature of our travel and the remoteness of many places we will be in. It will be an important goal for all of us to include our loved ones at home in our travels. The Yak Board will be a crucial way for those at home to know that we are safe, follow our travels, enjoy our photos, and learn about the topics we are exploring. Instructors will be in regular communication with the Dragons office by internet when available. Dragons will also be posting on the website about flight arrivals and departures. If there’s anything urgent, your instructor team will make sure that you are in touch.

Please do not bring:

  • Any sort of electronic entertainment capable of connecting to the internet (includes mp3 players). mp3 players and eReaders without internet capabilities like the Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Glowlight are acceptable to bring on course. Tablet eReaders are not allowed.

What is okay to bring and use as directed:

  • Cameras that are not cell phones (if your phone is your camera and you don’t want to buy or borrow a regular camera, we encourage photo sharing! We will make sure to set up a group file sharing system after the course).
  • Music players (MP3) without phone/internet/Wi-Fi capabilities. Keep in mind that we will have a strict music policy while on course: you will be allowed to use music only at appropriate times, such as on a long bus ride, before bed, or during solo time. Because MP3 players and earplugs can often distance us from the communities and cultures we came to visit, you will not be allowed to use them during homestays. We love music as much as you do and as a group will find as many ways to dance, sing, and celebrate sound together in as many ways as possible.
  • E-readers whose primary function is reading (instead of surfing the internet). Still, in the spirit of building a vibrant learning community, we encourage you to consider bringing physical books instead. That way, you can more easily trade (and discuss!) with others once you’ve finished.

**If you need to bring a cell phone with you for your travel time pre and post program, we will collect it and hold on to it for you throughout the duration of the course. If you bring any other media device, we will also collect it at the airport in LA and return it to you upon completion of our course. Dragons will not take responsibility in case of any damage to devices during the trip. Make sure to prepare security for email or other accounts so you can access them without using your phone. You should not need to use your phone as a security measure to access any online accounts.

Thank you for understanding this policy! If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact a member of the instructor team. We will gladly clarify any concerns.