International School for Earth Studies
100% Rating
(4 Reviews)

International School for Earth Studies

The International School for Earth Studies is a facility dedicated to environmental conservation and animal behavior in Ladysmith, Québec. Award winning sustainability and good environmental practices, Earth Studies offers programs that immerse youth in the outdoors, promote a simple lifestyle and care for and learn about a diverse group of animals.

The 500-acre campus is home to both our resident pack of Siberian Huskies and our herd of Canadian Horses. Earth Studies is one of the only wildlife rehabilitation facilities in Western Québec who rescues and releases wildlife.

Our gap year students work directly with the sled dogs, horses and rescued wildlife and learn to manage them. These students are passionate about environmental issues and are solutions seekers. Students deepen their understanding of previous academic studies to influence and shape their future careers.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Nora
Female
22 years old
Colorado
Colorado College

The Big Connection

10/10

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.

Jack
Male
22 years old
St. Louis, MO
Other

Spend Your Winter in Ladysmith with the Cushings and their Dogs

10/10

Two experiences and one distinct feeling stand out from my five amazing weeks at Earth Studies.

The first one may sound terrifying to those unexperienced: Kirk, the Cushing progeny whom I spent most days working with, and I spent the night in a snow quincy that we built but we just happened to pick a night where the temperature outside dipped to around -30 degrees Celsius. The lesson was an important one though: I slept soundly and warmly all night in the shelter and now know how to survive a night like that on my own.

A more anecdotal experience came from one of my rides with Geoffrey, the father. We accidentally led the dogs onto a new trail that Kirk and I had not finished clearing and ended up dumped in the snow with the dogs gleefully taking a lap of the trail before coming back.

The feeling I most remember is the crisp air on my face, whether on my walk from the lodge to the main house every morning, looking out at the frozen lake, or on the back of the sled, whipping around corners and up and down hills.

My time there was truly an incomparable experience. The Cushings are wonderful and welcoming, their dogs are amazing, their are animals everywhere, you won't eat better food anywhere, and you will never sleep better or feel overall healthier than at Earth Studies. Back in the grind of studying, I often think about the nights at the Hotel Ladysmith or at town hockey night (where I learned how to skate) or the mornings spent with the dogs. I can't wait to go back and visit soon and drink mass quantities of Bodum coffee with the Cushings again.

Samuel
Male
24 years old
La Crosse, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Incredible

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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!

Program Listings

Canada

International School for Earth Studies
You want a Gap Session that increases your environmental literacy; greater understanding of the Planet. You dream of working...

Canada

International School for Earth Studies
Have you ever experienced the thrill of dog sledding? This program is based on love, respect and handwork. Come learn all abo...

Canada

Default Program Teaser Image
International School for Earth Studies
You are about to embark on a journey of a life time with an unlikely team of people and animals. You will step into a world d...

Canada

International School for Earth Studies
Autumn is the season of hard work, organization and winter preparations. The legendary bird migrations of thousands of Canada...