“At the end of the trip, I felt that I was part of an impressive band of brothers. To experience such unique challenges with my group led to a level of trust and companionship that isn’t found easily. I remember lying under the stars of the southern hemisphere and wondering at the world out loud, contemplating our lives and their uncertainties without reserve. No one else had gone through the challenges that we had, and going through it with the same five people created a strong bond. When we finally headed home, we all felt more confident in ourselves and our decisions, ready to reenter the world and make the most of it. It’s impossible to anticipate exactly how Outward Bound will change a person, but the unique scenario that it creates makes positive change a near certainty.” Shawn A.-age 19
A series of distinctive expeditions traverse some of the Americas’ most beautiful and unique wilderness areas – and offer breathtaking learning opportunities every step of the way. Learn skills for sailing, wilderness medicine, mountain trekking, river canoeing, whitewater rescue, lifeguarding, service projects, rural village stay and canyoneering. Through careful instruction, hands-on trainings and intensive skills clinics, you’ll master the craft of wilderness leadership and travel. Earn Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Swiftwater Rescue Technician and American Red Cross Lifeguarding certifications along the way.
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This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
Break away from traditional education and make the world your classroom on an Outward Bound Semester expedition. Experience life adventures and expand your skills as you interact with new environments and diverse cultures. Form lasting relationships with outdoor experts and crewmates who are sharing the same successes, failures and discoveries. Strengthen your commitment to community as you participate in service projects that support local needs.
Exploring new environments and building new connections will put your tenacity to the test. You’ll return with broader understanding of the natural world around you, deeper appreciation for small kindnesses and greater confidence in yourself and others that will serve you well long after you return.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, the group will live closely together using only wind and oars to power their way. As they rotate responsibilities during the expedition, students learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns at anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
On this course, students:
Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification is recognized as the standard level of expertise in backcountry first aid. This nationally recognized program trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings. The 80-hour curriculum includes standards for extended care situations. Half of students’ time is spent completing practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge their decision-making abilities in pressured situations.
After planning and packing at base, students begin a multiday backpacking expedition travelling both on and off trail through the Mantiqueira wilderness, navigating their way towards the village of Campina. Travelling with all the food and gear the group will need, students are able to reach remote mountains and valleys several days’ travel from the nearest town or road. During this phase students focus on learning navigation skills and exploring the South American flora and fauna.
The expedition begins with a river trip canoeing the Rio Paraña. Canoes offer students the chance to travel to pristine campsites and easily carry all the gear they need for a remote expedition. The group learns to navigate the river and paddle increasingly difficult rapids. Along the way, students will learn the necessary skills to receive Rescue III International's Swiftwater Rescue certification.This is the industry standard among whitewater river guides and fire departments. In this hands-on training, students practice the skills necessary to manage whitewater emergencies. During drills and scenarios, students work as a team to execute increasingly difficult rescues.
Rock climbing sessions take place at the many granite crags and cliffs in Itatiaia Naional Park. Students learn how to properly use harnesses, helmets, ropes and belay devices. The group starts with the basics of tying in to the rope and safely belaying each other, then practices efficient movement over rock using friction techniques, edging and crack climbing. As students build experience and skills, they develop more advanced climbing techniques and get a chance to explore the many rock faces of Itatiaia Naional Park.
The semester wraps up with a three-week expedition designed to test the group and their mastery of outdoor and leadership skills. Beyond the canoeing experiences, the group will trek across the plateaus, jungles, and grasslands of the Chapada. Along the hiking route the group will have the chance to descend canyons, working together to rappel down waterfalls and swim through the clear pools cut deep into the steep sides of Chapada’s plateaus.
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service agencies. On this course, students will have the opportunity to work with members of the remote Kalunga community. While volunteering in this village, students will learn about the environmental and economic struggles of rural Brazil. The service project may include work on eco building projects using locally sourced materials, or rebuilding houses and farms for village families.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. On courses longer than three weeks, Solo is up to 72 hours long.
This course focuses on developing the leadership and technical skills necessary to begin a career as an Instructor or expedition leader in wilderness environments, or to take on challenging and versatile roles in a variety of other fields. Outward Bound’s leadership curriculum is based on over 50 years of leading expeditions. Students will refine the way they meet challenges and opportunities, relate to others and view their world. Technical skill development is a robust and challenging component of this semester program. Whether students want to pursue a career as a guide or outdoor educator, or strive to become more proficient and safe when traveling alone or with friends and family, or aspire to develop the capacity to lead in an adventurous setting, this course will expand their skill base through the instruction of experienced specialists in these skill sets.
Home to numerous birds and abundant marine life, the region owes its productivity to the confluence of water flowing out of the Everglades into inner Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The backcountry of Florida Bay offers challenging shoal draft navigation and the opportunity to explore mangrove keys, tidal flats and coral patch reefs. These warm, shallow waters provide an exciting cruising area for Outward Bound’s sailing boats and some of the best training ground for developing advanced sailing skills. The Atlantic side offers excellent open water sailing and snorkeling at the outer reefs. The course area extends to the Everglades, with beautiful sand beaches and a maze of rivers and bays to explore.
As the fifth largest country in the world, and the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil is well known as the home of the coastal megacities Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. The real Brazil is much, much more. Spanning the equator, and with a land area comparable to the continental United States, the ecosystems of Brazil range from equatorial rainforests in the north to tropical savannas in the central regions and temperate forests and grass lands in the south. Beyond its diverse landscapes, Brazil is also believed to be home to the highest variety of animal species in the world.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.