• Canada
    • Quebec
2 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Hotel
Primary Language
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
Room and board included.
Jul 03, 2018
Apr 26, 2016
24 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

You want a Gap Session that increases your environmental literacy; greater understanding of the Planet. You dream of working in the outdoors with animals in the natural world. You don't envision an office or desk job. You want to develop your confidence through building communication and leadership skills. You want to feel empowered. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

You are interested in learning about environmental sciences, physical geography, fitness and wellness. You want to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.  Ultimately, you want to strengthen skill sets which help you become a steward of the environment regardless of your future career.

You're not intimidated to step outside your comfort zone to accomplish tasks. You want to listen, seek out answers and be a positive influence. You want to have fun and contribute to summer activities and events. 

Video and Photos

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Big Connection

I've now spent somewhere over 4 months with the incredible Cushing family, and I've loved every minute of it. I went in the fall of 2013 as a gap year student, in January-February 2014 as an intern, and back again for last summer. I've learned so many things from my time at Earth Studies - about the environment, communication, natural horsemanship, work ethic, kennel management, primitive survival skills, trail management, animal rehab, and so much more. My time at Earth Studies has shown me the importance of a human connection to Mother Earth and given me opportunities for a deep connection with animals that's impossible to find anywhere else. It has allowed me the tools and the time for some serious introspection, and gifted me with a true second family. Earth Studies is an incredible and unique place that will teach you things you've never imagined that you'd be able to learn, it will challenge you to develop, give you wonderful memories, and inspire you to grow.

31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


We were on our way up to the top of a 10,000 foot summit in Waterton, Alberta and we came across a glacier lake surrounded by massive snowbanks. We were walking alongside the base of a snowbank when we saw a small hole large enough for us to crawl into. Once inside it opened up to a vast snow cave with icy walls, shimmering with the small amount of light that was glowing through the snow. It had a small river fed by a waterfall from all the ice melt and was something out of a fairytale. I felt like an explorer hired by National Geographic. It's Amazing what mother nature can hide from you. All it takes to find it is a little curiosity.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe an anonymous suggestion box for students who are too shy to take part in the program meetings. Other than that the program is perfect!
33 people found this review helpful.
Haley Brumberger
Yes, I recommend this program

Second home, second family

On August 24, 2015, I embarked upon a journey that has not ended, and hopefully never will. After much anticipation and complaining (I hate being away from home), I boarded a plane that flew me out of Philadelphia and arrived in Ottawa approximately one hour later. Once through customs, I came across a sign with a symbol that looked familiar. I whipped out my phone and quickly looked up the International School for Earth Studies logo, and there it was: an oak leaf with the head of an eagle embedded in the grooves. I tentatively walked over, and soon exited with three other young ladies. An older, but young-looking lady (Jo Ellen) drove a massive truck to where we were standing, and we all piled in. My adventure had just begun.

After a few minutes in the truck, it was apparent that Jo Ellen was one of the coolest women I had ever met. When we arrived on site, the other student greeted us, along with the rest of the Cushing family: Goeffrey, Derek, Kirk, Corie Jo (CJ), and Janna Lee. For the next week, we hiked, or did something outdoorsy, every day. It was awesome. I learned how to make a fire, and tips to survive should I ever be stranded in the wilderness. I spent more time "in the bush" than I had in my entire life. When that first week-ish was over, the other four students left with Geoffrey and CJ for their cross-country Canadian road trip. I stayed behind with Kirk, Janna Lee, and Jo Ellen. (Derek was in university in Ottawa and came home on weekends). By the time they left, I was enjoying the budding friendships I had with both the other students and our hosts, but I was excited to see what the last two-ish weeks had in store for me. I was not to be disappointed.

Kirk and I were already best buds, but Jo Ellen became my second mom, Janna Lee my sister, and Derek my brother in less than a week. From working with the twenty huskies (plus three house dogs and three house cats), to riding the horses Parelli-style (only a back pad and a rope halter), to playing with the rescued raccoons, to feeding the fawns, to taking out the rowboat on the lake, to simply hanging out at the house and the lodge, I could not get enough. I photographed almost every moment and almost every animal. We worked with the huskies pretty much every day, and that soon became my favorite activity. It was so rewarding; it was easy to identify how much progress I was making with these twenty incredible dogs because I was able to tell all twenty of them apart, and they started responding to my cues and body language. I quickly bonded with the shyest dog in the pack, to everyone's surprise. No matter whether I was cleaning kennels or mucking the stables, I had a purpose. Everything I did was valued, and everything I did was fun. Friends of the family came for a few days at a time, and I soon became very well acquainted with them as well. From swimming in the water to swimming in the mud, these people, in addition to the Cushings, became my favorite people in the world.

After a whirlwind two weeks filled with love and sweat, the tears came when I departed. I never wanted to leave this place, this pseudo-farm that had become my second home. Prior to this experience, I had never had a place at which I felt I could stay forever. I had always not been able to wait to go home, but this was different: this time I could not wait to go back.

31 people found this review helpful.
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