Fall Semester in Patagonia

Credit: Hailey Arnold

Fall Semester in Patagonia

Find your leadership style in the Andes

Leave the ordinary behind on the Semester in Patagonia. Climb the mountains and paddle the fjords. Taste the cold wind of the Andes on your face. Breathe in the smell of mate while passing by a poblador’s ranch. 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. As you travel through these remote places, you’ll learn about the area’s natural history and meet members of the ranching communities that make Patagonia home. Your course may culminate with a multi-day independent expedition—an amazing way to put all you've learned into practice.

During this semester, leadership will be a key focus every day. You’ll meet new challenges with your group and practice teamwork and decision making. Navigating mountain terrain is an opportunity to practice tolerance for uncertainty. Living in a small community is your chance to learn about communication and group dynamics. Spending time learning about a culture different than your own is a chance to grow in self-awareness and cultural competence. These experiences are your way of developing leadership and awareness of the world, things you’ll remember for the rest of your life. You’ll finish this course as someone ready to be a thoughtful international traveler, wilderness explorer, and leader in your community.



2019 Dates

Sept. 24 – Dec. 12, 2019

Tuition: $17,775
Details: Wilderness First Aid, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking
1 space remains Apply now

Oct. 2 – Dec. 20, 2019

Tuition: $17,775
Details: Wilderness First Aid, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking
Full, Waitlist Available Apply now

2020 Dates

Sept. 24 – Dec. 12, 2020

Tuition: $17,775
Details: Wilderness First Aid, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking

Oct. 2 – Dec. 20, 2020

Tuition: $17,775
Details: Wilderness First Aid, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking


All course information at a glance


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Equipment Deposit



80 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.

Academic Credit

16 College Credits
  • 3 Environmental Studies
  • 6 Skills Practicum
  • 3 Risk Assessment
  • 4 Leadership Techniques

2 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 1.00 Physical Education
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Leave No Trace - Trainer

Wilderness First Aid


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Coyhaique, Chile

Fly in/out

Balmaceda, Chile

Skills learned


Sea Kayaking

Wilderness Medicine

Additional Details

Semester Scholarship Form

Essential Eligibility Criteria


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What Our Grads Say

“NOLS has prepared me for [my] job in so many ways, from Wilderness First Aid to a much greater degree of comfort leading a large group. I’m sure my NOLS trip was key in my landing this exciting job, and I’m sure that I will benefit in countless other ways and continue to share my passion for nature and the outdoors with others in the future.”

— Eric N., NOLS Fall Semester in Patagonia grad

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