NOLS grad Natalie Beittel reflects on why she chose to study abroad with NOLS on a semester in New Zealand and what she learned from her experience.
Dive into a study abroad experience like no other. Travel to one of our campuses around the world, then head into the wilderness. On a NOLS course, you’ll embrace experiential learning, earning academic credit as you get to know a new place and culture firsthand. In the beginning, you’ll work on building key outdoor and leadership skills under the guidance of experienced instructors. At the same time, you’ll engage with local communities through daily interactions and structured homestays. You’ll return to your home university with the confidence to lead in class, outdoors, and beyond.
On a NOLS course, you’ll find unique opportunities to engage with local communities as you explore beautiful and remote wilderness areas. Far from the tourist centers, you’ll immerse yourself in local culture. That might include helping your host family herd livestock in Patagonia, chatting with local fishermen in Baja, or practicing your conversational Hindi over a cup of chai in the Himalayas.
Service on a NOLS course is an opportunity to engage with a local community and contribute to a meaningful project. You might volunteer to help renovate a school building, restore backcountry trails, or teach English at a local school. All projects are a way of giving back to the communities you’ve had the privilege of visiting.
NOLS offers nearly $1.9 million in scholarships each year. You can also use 529 savings plans, consortium agreements for federal financial aid, veterans’ benefits, and AmeriCorps awards to help fund your gap year.
Financial Aid OptionsEarn up to 27 credit hours in a variety of fields, including Cultural Studies, Leadership Techniques, Environmental Studies, and Risk Management.
Academic Credit OptionsNOLS grad Natalie Beittel reflects on why she chose to study abroad with NOLS on a semester in New Zealand and what she learned from her experience.
Chilean NOLS grad Ignacio Martínez shares stories and advice from his Semester in Patagonia.
A NOLS diploma represents your cumulative course accomplishments to universities, employers, and others. Some expeditions offer additional industry-recognized certifications and certificates of completion:
NOLS Certificates of Completion