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Take Time for Your Future

Gap Year Expeditions

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.

With the academic credit you’ll receive and opportunities for scholarships and other financial aid, there’s nothing stopping you from stepping forward and taking your education to the next level with NOLS.

Featured Gap Year Course

Fall Semester in New Zealand

Wake up and smell salt air as you check the wind for sailing and sea kayaking. As you hike, listen for the call of the kea mountain parrot, found only in New Zealand. Fall asleep savoring a delicious meal you cooked on a camp stove and wake up ready to explore the next turn in the river. During this semester, you’ll make your way through alpine grasslands, snowfields, rainforests, valleys, rugged mountains, and spectacular gorges as you learn to live and travel in the outdoors with minimum impact. The course combines a variety of outdoor skills that may include sailing, sea kayaking, backpacking, and canoeing. Your course will also spend time visiting a community of Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous people. Visiting the marae, the meeting house, you’ll exchange stories and learn about their ancient and modern ways of life.

A seated student gazes out at a turquoise lake ringed by rugged peaks in New Zealand's Nelson Lakes National Park.

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Go Beyond the Traditional Path

Tales from the Trail

In the last video in our Tales from the Trail series, Fatou talks about her first night in the woods. 

“NOLS taught me the secret to great teamwork is great leadership … I learned that leadership isn’t exclusive to those in charge; anybody can demonstrate leadership.”

-Theodore Davidson, NOLS grad