"This course has given me an idea of who I want to become in life. At the beginning of the expedition I was struggling with pushing myself to do challenging things when I did not believe I had the ability. Now I am confident in my ability to push myself to do great things and reach my potential." – Robert, Outward Bound alumnus
Summit peaks in Patagonia; journey by river through the canopied forests and barrier islands of Florida; and complete the expedition by climbing rock faces and paddling whitewater in the lush, rolling, mountains and valleys of Western North Carolina. This semester course offers the chance to challenge yourself, practice leadership skills and foster a strong sense of personal development. While living and traveling in the classroom of the great outdoors, gain a clear sense of your abilities, build strong bonds with your group and walk away with a greater understanding of the wilderness, the world and yourself. This course is comprised of three phases: Patagonia, Everglades National/Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Blue Ridge Mountains. Although semester programs are not traditional academic programs, many colleges recognize the value of gap year courses and grant college credit for them. This course also offers Wilderness First Aid certification and a service project component.
|NPGL-981||1.20.19 - 4.1.19||72||18 and up||$11,520||ENROLL|
|NPGL-081||1.20.20 - 3.31.20||72||18 and up||$11,520||ENROLL|
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.
Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.
During Phase I of this semester expedition, students get the opportunity to visit one of the least populated and pristine regions in the world. In Nahuel Huapi National Park, participants learn the techniques of alpine trekking and perfect their technical skills as they prepare to summit an Andean peak (weather permitting). Patagonia's unique flora and fauna, snow-covered volcanic peaks, ice slopes and unique terrain have attracted many scientific expeditions, including those of Charles Darwin. After extended backcountry living in this unique environment, students will realize and appreciate the connection between teamwork and individual success.
While in Patagonia, students are encouraged to live in the moment and immerse themselves in the culture. Outside of trying new foods and meeting locals, students will practice giving back by completing a service project. This project could include fence building, painting homes, harvesting fruit and building structures with local farmers. Participants can receive service project hours for going on this course and simply need to alert their instructors prior to the course start.
After spending the first part of the journey traveling with heavy packs, students welcome the chance to carry their gear for Phase II in their canoe. Students can expect to spend a good deal of time each day in canoes as they go from campsite to campsite, moving through the unique ecosystem of the Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands off the Gulf Coast. These canoes are tandem, which means the crew works together in teams of two. Depending on the weather, the level of difficulty varies day to day, but crews learn marine expedition risk assessment and management, marine route planning and navigation, paddle strokes, canoe-based rescues, equipment use and how to work with a paddling partner.
During Phase III participants travel the plunging valleys and ancient 6,000 foot summits of the Appalachian Range in Western North Carolina. Working together backpacking through temperate rainforests, climbing in and around the Linville Gorge and paddling some of the best whitewater in the southeast, students step outside their comfort zones and learn to communicate with and trust their new crewmates. Rock climbing activities focus on safety, as students begin with the basics; tying knots, safety systems, belaying and climbing techniques. Depending on group dynamics and weather, the goal is to achieve top-rope climbs and progress to a multi-pitch route led by an NCOBS climbing specialist. There is also the chance to experience a rappel and the high ropes course.
Participants will also spend up to four days paddling Class I-Class III whitewater through sculpted rock channels in tandem (two person) canoes. Crews learn how to identify and use paddling equipment, basic water safety and rescue techniques, paddling strokes and how to work with their partner to successfully paddle flatwater and negotiate numerus rapids and drops.
Participants will have the opportunity to prepare for the unexpected by earning a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification during the mountains phase of the course. This fast-paced, hands-on training is designed to teach skills to care for those who become ill or injured far from definitive medical care. Offered through a partnership with Landmark Learning, an accredited organization, this certification will include classroom lectures and demonstrations, combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will challenge participants to use what they've learned. After successfully completing the WFA and CPR components, students are eligible to apply for academic credit for this certification.
Patagonia, South America
One of the least populated regions in the world, Patagonia is a semi-arid plateau that covers over 250,000 square miles in South America located mainly in Argentina but extending partially into southern Chile. Patagonia’s unusual wildlife has attracted many scientific expeditions over hundreds of years, including those of Charles Darwin. The terrain is incredibly diverse with snow-covered volcanic peaks flanked by glaciers, ice slopes and permanent snowfields. The Patagonian steppe is one of the windiest and driest climates in South America, a sharp contrast to the western slopes of the Andes that receive some of the highest rainfall of anywhere in the world.
This course begins in San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche. The city of Bariloche (population 108,205) is situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The park was established in 1934, and is the oldest in Argentina, and the largest in the region with an area of nearly 2 million acres. Its landscapes represent the north Patagonian Andean Zone which is dominated by the high mountain chain of the Andes, many lakes and rivers, waterfalls, snow-clad peaks, glaciers and extensive forests.
The Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands
The Everglades are the largest sub-tropical wilderness in the United States and third-largest national park in the lower 48 states. The aquatic preserve is home to an array of wild creatures and exotic plant life. More than 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals and 50 reptile species live within it. Because of this it is one of only three locations in the world to show-up on the following lists, an International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance and World Heritage Site.
This course area is in a subtropical region, with a 12-month growing season. The Florida peninsula is believed to be the last part of the continental United States to rise from the ocean, making it the youngest region geologically and only Alaska can claim a longer shoreline. The Everglades are mild and pleasant from December through April, with low humidity and clear skies. Temperatures reach average highs of 88 degrees and lows of 54 degrees. Strong cold fronts may occasionally create near freezing conditions, but such events are rare in this subtropical climate.
Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
The Southern Appalachians, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, are some of the oldest mountains in the world. While the mountains themselves formed over 250 million years ago, some of the rocks that underlie the region are over a billion years old.
The long geologic and evolutionary history of the Southern Appalachians has created one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world. It is home to beautiful rushing rivers, hundreds of waterfalls and some of the highest peaks in the Eastern United States—including Mt. Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Outward Bound students can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and over 50 species of amphibians.
This course area is situated within a million acres of national forests, federally-protected wilderness areas, and other public lands. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.
Temperatures in this area range from 50 - 85 degrees in the summer, 30 - 65 degrees in the spring and fall, and 10 - 50 degrees in the winter.
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.