Study Abroad China

Study Abroad Through Dragons-Naropa: Andes & Amazon


Good for: Students interested in cultural ecology, sustainability and environmental justice issues or students who want to study Spanish.


The ancient Land of the Incas contains a fascinating blend of vibrant cultures and dramatic landscapes placed in a modern context of political change and cultural identity issues. Through intensive Spanish language courses, numerous service-learning opportunities, rugged travel, wilderness trekking and independent study, Dragons Andes and Amazon semester abroad explore the links between land and people, past and present. Dragons' students will also examine current political trends, social movements and environmental conservation efforts in the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru.

Through guided study and hands on experiences in the local culture, expect to hone your Spanish skills while discovering the links between vibrant indigenous peoples and the diverse and breathtaking landscapes they inhabit. Dragons' students will come away with a deep understanding of indigenous political trends, important challenges in conservation and development, and a first-hand understanding of day-to-day life in some of the earth's most dramatic locales.

Course Descriptions

Naropa students may choose to do the program for 12-16 credits

ANT 250A Regional Seminar: Tradition, Change and Cultural Resistance (4 credits)
This course is designed to immerse students in the myriad cultures of the Andes and Amazon and their relationship to the land, both as manifest in their understanding of the natural world and agricultural practices. Through a combination of hands-on experiences, workshops, inspiring guest speakers, collaborative lessons, reading and writing assignments as well as independent work, students come to know this material well and the importance of it in the Andes and Amazon. This course moves briefly and broadly through a variety of important ancient civilizations, with a focus on their present-day impact. South America's colonial history is also examined and the role the region played in the Spanish empire and then the liberation of the region from Spanish rule. Moving thematically, we look at the effect of colonialism on the constantly-changing indigenous cultures. Finally, we study present day Andean culture, analyzing the effects of a variety of political forces while looking at racial and social conflicts that Bolivia and Peru have experienced. A special focus is placed on resource extraction and modern themes of sustainable development, human rights, and globalization. Students are required to complete various writing assignments throughout the course and will prepare a final research paper on a social issue of their choice.
ANT 211A Contemplative Intercultural Development and Leadership (4 credits)

The process of understanding self in relation to others in our globalized world is essential in the 21st century.  The purpose of this course is to carefully examine who we are through the experience of living, learning and engaging in the Andes and Amazon region.  Through both guided and organic processes, students examine global citizenship, develop effective intercultural and interpersonal communication skills and explore the depths of their internal landscape in relationship to the outside world.  From this wellspring of inner knowing, students discover their own authentic leadership capabilities and strengths as a responsible and curious citizen of the globe.

ISP 325A Independent Study Project (4 credits)

The Independent Study Project (ISP) offers each student the opportunity to conduct in-depth study on a subject of their choice. Students will be matched with two ISP Advisors; a program instructor who has experience and knowledge relevant to the student's ISP topic as well as a member of the local community with whom the student will study or apprentice. An ISP may involve either an academic focus of inquiry, or learning a skill which would require an apprenticeship.

Spanish Language I, II or III (4 credits) - SPAN 150, 250, 350

Language proficiency is an essential aspect of the program and daily language classes with an experienced Spanish instructor ensure that students are provided with the language skills needed to engage more deeply with the communities in which they are living and learning. With emphasis placed on conversational Spanish and practical language skills, the language lessons also include reading and writing skills, grammar and vocabulary development as well as market visits and other experiential activities. Besides formal instruction, students will develop practical skills and first-hand experience through participation in multiple extended home-stays totaling six weeks. Students enrolled in this course take an initial oral and written exam for placement into Levels 1, 2, or 3. Students are tested regularly and a written and oral exam is required at mid-course and at the conclusion of the course.


Dates for Fall Semester: Sept 15 – Dec 6 (Coursework begins a month before departure and is done at home.)

Dates for Spring Semester: Feb 12 – May 1 (Coursework begins a month before departure and is done at home.)

Cost for 2017-2018

Naropa tuition*:   $15,810
Room & Board: $3,545
TOTAL: $19,355

*Tuition includes 12-16 credit hours plus in-country travel and excursions.

Additionally, you will be responsible for:

Airfare:  Approximately $1,100
Travel insurance: Approximately $465
Visa: $135
Books & supplies: Approximately $125
Immunizations: Varies
Personal expenses:   Varies


Study Abroad Scholarships

If a student chooses a Naropa Sponsored (Dragons) or Affiliated (SIT) programs, he/she may apply for one of Dragons', or SIT scholarships. In addition to those funds, students may apply for one or more of the other general/regional scholarships for Study Abroad.

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