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. Your course may culminate with a multi-day independent expedition—an amazing way to put all you've learned into practice.
During this semester, leadership will be a key focus every day. You’ll meet new challenges with your group and practice teamwork and decision making. Navigating mountain terrain is an opportunity to practice tolerance for uncertainty. Living in a small community is your chance to learn about communication and group dynamics. Spending time learning about a culture different than your own is a chance to grow in self-awareness and cultural competence. These experiences are your way of developing leadership and awareness of the world, things you’ll remember for the rest of your life. You’ll finish this course as someone ready to be a thoughtful international traveler, wilderness explorer, and leader in your community.
“NOLS has prepared me for [my] job in so many ways, from Wilderness First Aid to a much greater degree of comfort leading a large group. I’m sure my NOLS trip was key in my landing this exciting job, and I’m sure that I will benefit in countless other ways and continue to share my passion for nature and the outdoors with others in the future.”