Semester & Year Courses

TAKE TIME FOR YOUR FUTURE

NOLS created the original wilderness semester and we continue to lead the way. Focused on small group learning, NOLS shares the magic of wilderness education with students.

  • Examine academic and global topics in wild classrooms
  • Elevate leadership skills with lessons from an extended adventure
  • Connect with the earth
  • Understand new cultures

Build confidence and outdoor skills under the guidance of the best instructors in the industry. Wherever in the world you travel with NOLS, you will emerge with confidence, competence, direction, courage, and perspective.

Semester and year courses are ideal for: Gap year programs, study abroad, sabbaticals, college programs, and more. Ages 17 and older

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Spring 2020: It's not too late

NOLS Fall Semesters enrollment close soon. We have limited semester scholarship awards available.

Apply Today

Why Choose NOLS?

NOLS is the only organization that combines decades of wilderness experience with innovative leadership curriculum, top-tier instructors, and unparalleled risk management.

Lifelong Skills

Develop leadership and outdoor skills that you can apply to all facets of your life. Explore wild places in the U.S. and around the world while gaining cultural immersion and practicing Leave No Trace principles.

Financial Aid

NOLS welcomes all students and supports dreams by providing more financial aid than any organization in the industry—we award nearly $1.9 million in need-based scholarships each year. Additional financial aid opportunities include veterans benefits, 529 savings plans, and AmeriCorps education awards.

Apply for a Semester Scholarship

Academic Credit

More than 400 colleges and universities nationwide accept college and high school credit earned on a NOLS course—up to 27 hours for an academic year. Qualifying subject areas include: cultural studies, first aid, risk management, leadership techniques, and environmental studies.

Learn More about Earning Academic Credit

Blog: Stories from the Wild

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WAKING UP IN THE WILDERNESS

I woke in the middle of the night to cold on my nose and a black strip of sky smattered with stars in my vision. It was all I could see, my sleeping bag cinched up around my face... arrowRead More

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What I learned About Resilience From Swimming an Icy Canyon Pond

It was November, and the water was the coldest thing I’ve ever felt—it was the kind of cold that made it hurt to take a deep breath. This was the hardest moment of my trip, but also the time when I learned the....  arrowRead More

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What you learn on a NOLS Semester

The desert awakened another kind of thirst as well, a burning curiosity about the beautiful and harsh environment that surrounded her: “Escalante taught me a very special lesson: to stop. To stop doing and start listening..."arrowRead More

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3 MONTHS IN THE ROCKIES TO 30 COUNTRIES IN A YEAR: HOW A NOLS ALUM WENT WORLDWIDE

I had never been canyoneering, kayaking, rock climbing... arrowRead More

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WAKING UP IN THE WILDERNESS

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THANKING THE WILDERNESS FOR LETTING ME IN

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WHY YOU SHOULD GET OUTSIDE FOR YOUR GAP YEAR

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3 MONTHS IN THE ROCKIES TO 30 COUNTRIES IN A YEAR: HOW A NOLS ALUM WENT WORLDWIDE

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