Year in Patagonia

Credit: Rainbow Weinstock

Year in Patagonia

Join world-class instructors and like-minded peers on the most profound 135 days of your life.

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.



2019 Dates

Oct. 18, 2019 – March 15, 2020

Tuition: $29,995
Details: Mountaineering, Wilderness First Responder, Rock Climbing, Cultural, Sea Kayaking, Holiday Break 12/22/19-01/05/20,
In Progress

Oct. 18, 2019 – March 15, 2020

Tuition: $29,995
Details: Sea Kayaking, Wilderness First Responder, Cultural, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Holiday Break 12/22/19-01/05/20
In Progress

2020 Dates

Oct. 18, 2020 – March 16, 2021

Tuition: $29,995
Details: Mountaineering, Wilderness First Responder, Rock Climbing, Cultural, Sea Kayaking, Holiday Break 12/22/20-01/05/21


All course information at a glance


Learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships

Equipment Deposit



135 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.

Academic Credit

27 College Credits
  • 2 Cultural Studies
  • 3 WFR
  • 2 Outdoor Educator
  • 2 Expedition Planning
  • 4 Risk Management
  • 6 Skills Practicum
  • 4 Leadership Techniques
  • 4 Environmental Studies

4 High School Credits

  • 2.00 Leadership
  • 2.00 Physical Education
Learn about Academic Credit


CPR (on some courses)

Leave No Trace - Master Educator

Wilderness First Responder


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics: 2019 Start Date


Call Admissions (800) 710-6657

Fly in/out

Call Admissions (800) 710-6657

Skills learned



Rock Climbing

Sea Kayaking

Wilderness Medicine

Additional Details

Semester Scholarship Form

Essential Eligibility Criteria



See Photos and Videos from Students and Instructors

What Our Grads Say

“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.”

Start Your Experience Today

More Courses