Leave the ordinary behind with a semester in Patagonia. 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.
This course is a unique opportunity to learn and to expand your horizons. Throughout the course, you'll learn about different ways of life—both Chilean culture and living on a wilderness expedition—and, in the process, learn a lot about yourself and your own culture.
Throughout the course, you will learn through a combination of formal classes, interactive learning, and experiential education. Leadership will be taught by example and experience. Once you have developed a good base of leadership, decision-making, and technical skills, you will practice leading your peers during daily travel and facilitating risk management decisions within your group. The skills you learn will vary depending on route, weather conditions, and the evolution of your expedition team.
The first several days of your course will be spent at the NOLS base, or campo, preparing for the expedition and building the foundation of your first aid training with a Wilderness First Aid certification. After leaving the NOLS base, you may not return until the very end of your course. This provides a unique experience—almost 75 days traveling in the wilderness with the same group of people. Your group will become a tight-knit team, with strong bonds forged by facing challenges together. After experiencing expedition-style travel in Patagonia, you'll be prepared to live and travel in a wide variety of conditions—environmental and social.