Semester on the Borders

Semester on the Borders


  • One of the most geographically diverse semesters at NOLS
  • Elevations from sea level to 10,000 feet
  • Sections include backpacking, rock climbing, sea kayaking, and keelboat sailing
  • Become a well-rounded outdoorsperson on both land and sea
  • Wilderness First Aid and CPR Certification included
This is one of the most geographically diverse semesters at NOLS.

Your adventure will begin in the desert Southwest, a land of cactus and javelina, and as winter subsides you will move north, to the lush Pacific Northwest with its snow-covered peaks and forested islands.

During the only spring semester that combines both desert travel and maritime skills, you'll experience a wide variety of adventures that will allow you to be a well-rounded wilderness traveler on land and sea.

You'll begin at NOLS Southwest in Tucson, Arizona, for wilderness first aid, backpacking, and climbing, and then transition to NOLS Pacific Northwest outside Seattle, Washington, for sailing and sea kayaking. From scaling a rock wall in Arizona to slicing through the waters of British Columbia, you'll have the time of your life and see just how versatile the NOLS curriculum is.


Locations NOLS Pacific Northwest, NOLS Southwest
Tuition $15,450 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $800
Minimum Age 17
Duration 86 Days
Type Semester & Year
Start/End Tucson, Arizona/Conway, Washington
Fly in/out Tucson, Arizona/Conway, Washington
College Credit
  • 16 Credit Hours
  • 3 Hours Environmental Studies
  • 4 Hours Leadership Techniques
  • 6 Hours Skills Practicum
  • 3 Hours Risk Assessment
Learn about College Credit
High School Credit
  • 2 Carnegie Units
  • 1 CU Physical Education
  • 1 CU Leadership
Learn about High School Credit

“I found the most rewarding aspect of this course to be the risk management and also the physically challenging aspects of the climbing section.”

-Zachary P.

Semester on the Borders Grad