Year in Patagonia

Credit: Rainbow Weinstock

Year in Patagonia

Outdoor skills and cultural exchange in the Andes

This is it—your opportunity for a life-changing experience. This yearlong expedition packs in outdoor skills, wilderness medicine certifications, and cultural exchange for an unparalleled adventure.

From mountain travel on remote peaks to kayaking along Patagonia’s archipelagos to rock climbing in the Andes, this course will completely immerse you in the outdoors while you spend time deepening your understanding of the culture and history of Chile. You’ll start with the basics of outdoor living, like map reading and minimum-impact camping in various environments. Then, you’ll progress to more advance skills specific to each section of the course, like self-rescue for sea kayaking, climbing technique for rock climbing, and glacier travel for mountaineering. Certifications like Leave No Trace Master Educator and Wilderness First Responder will also be part of your course—these are industry-recognized and can prepare you for a career in the outdoors, or simply a lifetime of exploring. To learn about living in Patagonia from local ranching communities, you’ll spend one of your course sections living and working with a poblador family.

Leadership will also be a key focus throughout your course. You’ll build on the lessons learned from the previous sections to develop your own leadership style. Most of your learning will come directly from your experiences—living outdoors in the Andes’ challenging weather, for example, is an opportunity to develop resilience. Working on a small team while paddling a sea kayak is a lesson in group dynamics and communication. Cross-cultural exchange is your opportunity to grow in self-awareness and cultural competence. From these experiences, you’ll find and strengthen your own leadership style. After an academic year of immersing yourself in the land and life of the Andes, you’ll be prepared to be a leader no matter where you choose to go.



2018 Dates

Oct. 18, 2018 – March 16, 2019

Tuition: $29,250
Details: Sea Kayaking, Wilderness First Responder, Cultural, BREAK 12/22/18-01/05/19, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Backpacking
Full, Waitlist Available Apply now

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,


All course information at a glance


$29,250 to $29,995
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 PY-1-10/18/2018


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



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.”

— Isadora L., NOLS Year in Patagonia grad

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