NOLS Expeditions Semester and Year Video

Take Time for Your Future

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.

Accredited Gap Year Association Program Seal

Why Choose NOLS for a Gap Year

Develop Leadership Skills

Leadership is taught every day through real-life experience: Navigating a glacier becomes a lesson in communication; canoeing a rapid teaches teamwork; and rock climbing reveals a strength you didn’t know you had. Finish with leadership skills valuable for college, careers, and beyond.
A Scandinavian wearing traditional clothing.

Gain Global Perspective

A NOLS gap year can take you from the Himalaya to Kilimanjaro, from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the waterways of the Adirondacks. Many locations include options for homestays, cultural engagement, and service learning that will broaden and deepen your perspective.

Explore the Wilderness

Outdoor skills, ranging from backpacking to sea kayaking to mountaineering, form the foundation of every expedition. You will have the opportunity to progress, master, and test a variety of newfound skills with experienced and supportive instructors. While you explore, form a connection to nature and learn to appreciate living simply.

Learn from the Best

NOLS sets the standard for instructor excellence. Our instructors are wilderness experts and compassionate mentors committed to student well-being and success.

Worldwide Locations

Explore our worldwide campuses

Wilderness Skills

Skills to travel in the backcountry

Featured Gap Year Expeditions

Blog: Stories from the Wild

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