Grow in Patagonia on an extended expedition packed with leadership mastery, outdoor skills, impressive wilderness certifications, local service, and cultural immersion. The Patagonia Year gives you the unparalleled opportunity to progress through a NOLS year—five months plus a break—of wilderness experiences and leadership curriculum.
On this course, you will spend one section (8-10 days) of total immersion with a Spanish-speaking Patagonian family in a remote campo (ranch) setting. As you live with and learn from them, you will develop an appreciation of Patagonian culture and a different way of living.
For the rest of your course, you’ll explore the remote mountains and coastlines of Patagonia. You’ll see more of this region’s breathtaking scenery than most visitors, and certainly more intimately. Climb high passes and learn to traverse glaciers while learning about the environment. Practice sea kayaking along Patagonia’s archipelagos while developing new leadership skills. Go rock climbing at the foot of the Andes while you grow your comfort zone. All of these components form a comprehensive backcountry immersion that will change your life, make you a confident world traveler, foster leadership, and strengthen your direction and passion. Your course may culminate with a multi-day independent expedition—an amazing way to put all you've learned into practice.
Your Patagonia Year will set you up for enormous success in the future. A 135-day expedition with NOLS will shine on your resume, as will the Leave No Trace Master Educator certification and Wilderness First Responder certification you’ll earn. The experience, life skills, global perspective, and outdoor skills will serve you for the rest of your life.
“Being in the wilderness, with very limited supplies, with only your course mates and instructors to rely on...really forces you to build a strong community...Otherwise, nothing will work in the field...For me, that was the biggest, and most important lesson from my Patagonia Year. How important it is to build a community, and take good care of those around you.”