Take Time for Your Future

Gap Year Expeditions

You're ready to take the lead and take time for your future. To connect to the outdoors and yourself. To stand out from your peers and make the most of your gap year. 

The extended and immersive lessons of a NOLS gap year are life-changing. Wherever in the world you travel with NOLS, you will emerge with confidence, competence, direction, courage, and perspective.

With the academic credit you’ll receive and opportunities for scholarships and other financial aid, there’s nothing stopping you from stepping forward and taking your education to the next level with NOLS.

Featured Gap Year Course

Summer Semester In Alaska

Leave the ordinary behind on the Semester in Patagonia. Climb the mountains and paddle the fjords. Taste the cold wind of the Andes on your face. Breathe in the smell of mate while passing by a poblador’s ranch.

On this course, you’ll go mountaineering and sea kayaking in the Andes and coastal regions of Chile and earn an industry-respected Wilderness First Aid certification. You’ll start with the basics and work towards more advanced skills so that you can work toward being totally self-sufficient in the backcountry. As you travel through these remote places, you’ll learn about the area’s natural history and meet members of the ranching communities that make Patagonia home.

You’ll finish this course as someone ready to be a thoughtful international traveler, wilderness explorer, and leader in your community.

More Semester Courses

Send me more gap year information

New Expeditions Catalog

Request Yours Today


Request a Catalog page

Go Beyond the Traditional Path

Tales from the Trail

In the last video in our Tales from the Trail series, Fatou talks about her first night in the woods. 

“NOLS taught me the secret to great teamwork is great leadership … I learned that leadership isn’t exclusive to those in charge; anybody can demonstrate leadership.”

-Theodore Davidson, NOLS grad