NOLS Semester in the Southwest

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A semester in the Southwest will give you a unique glimpse into the American Southwest's living desert.

You will discover the desert to be alive with plants and animals like coyote, javelina, mountain lions, peregrine falcons, mesquite, and cactus.

The different sections on this semester will take you from the rushing waters of the Rio Grande to the ponderosa pine forests of the Gila Range. You will find yourself jamming your fingers and feet into granite cracks and using a compass to find your way in the vast wilderness.

Questions & Answers


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Yes, I recommend this program

Still to this day I speak of my NOLS experience...

I was a student in 2003 Fall Semester in the Southwest and still to this day 12 years later it comes up in my mind, my stories, and my experiences daily. I was challenged on a level that was so different than anything I had ever experienced. Many of the things I could have never had accomplished without the support of not only my instructors, but my course mates as well who I still consider great friends. NOLS takes adversity and diversity to a whole new positive level.
I have so many memories that stick out in my mind but one I think of so often was sitting on the river bank of the Rio Grande after canoeing over 150 miles and watching a pack of wild horses cross the river. I still get chills today when I think of it. I would never call my NOLS experience easy or comfortable but I would call it unforgettable, and life changing. I would recommend the semester course to anyone with any experience level. I so hope to take another course soon.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the type of credit system the courses get you in college. I feel they could actually go toward core curriculum and not just elective. They are that extensive.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A defining moment in my life

I did a NOLS Semester in the Southwest in 1998 when I was 20 years old. I cannot say enough about the positive and lasting impact it had in my life. I always enjoyed the outdoors, but NOLS made me a competent outdoorsman. Gaining the confidence to traverse through wilderness also had a spillover into my overall confidence and self-reliance. I recommend a NOLS course to ANYONE and to ANY AGE... it was one of the best experiences of my life.