How do I request a catalog?
We no longer have a printed catalog – our website has the most up-to-date information about our course offerings. Please click the following link to find more information more about our wide variety of learning expeditions.
How do I enroll?
You can enroll for a course online or by calling one of our Admissions Advisors in the National Admissions Office at 1.866.467.7651.
What happens after I enroll?
After you enroll on a course, you will hear from a Course Advisor at the Outward Bound School offering your course. They will provide additional enrollment information.
How far in advance do I need to sign up for a course?
While there are no specific deadlines, there is limited space on our courses. We recommend submitting your enrollment form as early as possible.
What happens if my first choice course is full?
If you are enrolling by phone, one of our Admissions Advisors will help you to decide to either join the wait list for that course or find a different course. If you enroll online and your first choice is full, we will enroll you on your second choice.
What does the cost of the course cover?
The total cost includes all tuition and fees for the course. Tuition covers the cost of food, instructors, permits, technical gear, and equipment while on course.
What is not included in my tuition?
Not included in this total cost are personal expenses such as clothing, insurance (health and travel), airfare and baggage fees. If you are attending a course that requires travel to Alaska or to an international destination, you will be responsible for the additional cost of those flights.
Do you offer financial aid? How do I apply?
Outward Bound does offer financial aid, financial aid is based on need, motivation, and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis by the Outward Bound School where your course is offered. Financial aid typically averages between 10% and 30% of the course tuition. Individuals should not expect to receive assistance that exceeds more than 30% of course tuition. To apply, make sure to answer “yes” to the question on our enrollment form (under the payment section) that asks if you would like to be considered for financial aid. The Outward Bound School offering your course will send you a financial aid application, and we will notify you of the award offer after they have received and reviewed your completed paperwork. Please click the following link to find more information about financial aid and scholarships on our website.
Can I use an AmeriCorps award to pay for a course?
Thanks to Outward Bound’s partnership with Western State Colorado University, we can accept AmeriCorps Education Awards through their Extended Studies program and anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western State Colorado University student. Please click the following link for more information about accepting AmeriCorps Education Awards.
Can I use a college fund to pay for a course?
Thanks to Outward Bound’s partnership with Western State Colorado University, we can accept 529 College Savings Plan through their Extended Studies program and anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western State Colorado University student. Please click the following link for more information about accepting 529 College Savings Plans.
Can I receive academic credit from the course I attend?
Academic credit is available for Outward Bound courses by transferring credit through our partner colleges or by arranging your own independent study. Please click the following link for more information about receiving academic credit.
How can I be physically prepared to attend course?
Physical fitness is key component on course. Please click the following link for more information on how you can physically prepare for your course.
What gear will I need?
Upon enrollment, a regional Course Advisor (from the Outward Bound School offering your course) will be in touch with additional information. Your Course Advisor will provide you with a list of required clothing specific to your course, including items such as clothing, toiletries and footwear. Outward Bound will provide technical gear that includes, but is not limited to, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents/tarps, packs appropriate to your course type, and cooking gear.
I don’t have a lot of experience. Can I be successful?
Absolutely. Many of our students have never spent an extended period of time in the wilderness. From the moment you arrive, your instructors will work to teach you the skills necessary to be safe and successful.
Where does my course start? How do I get there?
Most Outward Bound courses start at a designated airport near the course location. It will be your responsibility to be at the airport by the designated course start time; Outward Bound staff will meet you at the airport and take care of transportation from there.
What if I need to change or cancel my enrollment on a course?
Please call the Course Advisor for the course that you had enrolled on; your application paperwork would have his/her contact information in it. He or she will be able to make any necessary changes to your enrollment.
Can you accommodate food allergies and other dietary needs?
Many of our regional schools can accommodate students with special dietary needs or food allergies. Each school considers these needs on a case-by-case basis, so we suggest speaking with an Admissions Advisor to discuss your needs. They can direct you to an appropriate course.
What happens with my prescription medications?
All prescription medications must be approved by through the Regional School prior to the course start. On courses for 12-18 year olds, instructors oversee medication use. Please bring your prescription medications in the original containers. Students who would suffer severe consequences if they were to miss a dose of medication due to damage or loss should bring back-up doses of that medication.
Can I wear contacts on course?
Either glasses or contact lenses are acceptable on course. Sterile lens care is difficult on the trail, and because of this, their use is not encouraged. In winter and in desert terrain contact use can be especially challenging. Whether you wear contacts or glasses, you must bring an extra pair. Daily disposable contacts can be a good option and avoids dirt and dust build up that can cause damage to the eye.
Am I allowed to bring technology on course?
You are more than welcome to travel to and from your course with items such as cell phones, iPods, tablets and laptops. Once you arrive we will ask you to leave it all in your luggage, as you are not allowed to take it on your course. We ask students not to bring emergency response technology.
Cameras are welcome on course as long as they are not part of a cellular phone. You might want to consider purchasing a waterproof bag or box for your camera, film, batteries and memory cards. A zip lock bag works well too. We also suggest disposable waterproof cameras.
What happens to my belongings while I am on course?
At the beginning of course, instructors conduct what we call 'Duffle Shuffle' where instructors work individually with students to help them decide what should go into their Outward Bound pack and what should stay in the luggage. Duffle Shuffle is the last chance to leave behind any inappropriate items before beginning the expedition. Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs are not permitted. Valuables like plane tickets, passports, iPods, cell phones, computers, wallets etc. should be left in luggage. Please leave jewelry at home. Any luggage that stays behind will be secured in a locked, dry and safe location. On longer courses that have re-supplies, there may often be an opportunity to pre pack dry clean clothes in a re-supply barrel that will make it out to the students at various stages of the course. Not all courses have re-supplies.
Are Outward Bound courses safe?
As part of an ongoing effort to monitor and improve safety, Outward Bound programs are regularly reviewed and audited by both internal and external teams in order to proactively identify and assess potential hazards as well as areas of commendation. Outward Bound has been a leader in wilderness safety and risk management for 50 years and is a co-sponsor of the annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC). This national conference brings together outdoor industry leaders to learn and collaborate with each other to advance safety and risk management in the outdoor education and wilderness adventure community.
Since 1962 over 650,000 students have participated in Outward Bound programs in cities, mountains, deserts, rivers, and oceans. Over the years, and throughout a wide variety of activities, Outward Bound has maintained an excellent safety record.
What sort of training will my instructors have?
Outward Bound instructors are experienced and qualified outdoor professionals committed to their students’ well being through their values, judgment, words and actions. They are certified as Wilderness First Responders, Wilderness Advanced First Aiders, or the equivalent, and meet all Outward Bound, local, state, and federal requirements for their positions. Outward Bound staff are trained to identify, assess, and approach risk as a learning tool, to be managed but not eliminated, with the goal of providing Outward Bound students with the opportunity to gain insights and perspectives into their own and their crew’s capabilities that are unavailable anywhere else.
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