Gap Year with NOLS

Gap year with NOLS

A gap year is the perfect way to empower yourself, gain focus, and seek exciting and valuable experiences.


A NOLS gap year is a unique experience where you’ll get hands-on leadership practice through a wilderness expedition. You’ll finish your gap year well-prepared to take on whatever challenges life throws your way in college, your career, and beyond.


On a NOLS gap year, you can:


  • Gain Leadership Skills: Communication, conflict resolution, and judgment and decision-making are a sampling of the skills that will serve you as you head off to campus.
  • Learn Wilderness Medicine Skills: Learn wilderness medicine skills that are essential in the backcountry and invaluable in the frontcountry. Gain the confidence of being prepared to assess and manage an emergency.
  • Develop Risk Management Skills: Develop your risk management skills by learning to identify and mitigate risk, a skill transferable to the rest of your life.
  • Master Outdoor Skills: No experience necessary—learn extensive outdoors skills and excel on all your future adventures.
  • See the World: Develop all these skills for success in some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world.
  • Earn Academic Credit: Earn academic credit in biology, environmental studies, leadership, risk assessment, cultural studies and more. Many students attest to discovering direction for their future while on their NOLS course.
  • Financial Aid: NOLS offers $1.7 million in scholarships each year to help defray the commitment of tuition.


Whether you take a NOLS course as all or part of your gap year, you’ll have a valuable and unique experience that will give you the skills and focus to succeed wherever your next steps take you.


Connect with NOLS Gap Year Advisor

“My NOLS Semester in the Rockies was a highly valuable aspect of my gap year because it gave me strength and skills that I need to excel in college and life.”

-Lyda Langford

Spring Semester in the Rockies 2013 Grad