Outward Bound
99% Rating
(7 Reviews)

Outward Bound

This Expedition Called Life
It’s not about the 30 to 85 days you spend on an expedition. Outward Bound gives you a whole new perspective and approach to every challenge you face thereafter.

Here at Outward Bound, our motto is "learn by doing." Founded in 1962, Outward Bound has helped over 1 million students achieve their goals. Today, we equip students looking to pursue a gap year with self-confidence, tenacity and compassion. Outward Bound offers programs of all lengths in some of the most spectacular and inspiring settings in the United States, Asia and Central and South America.

Our semester programs range anywhere from 30 to 85 days and can be as adventurous as mountaineering, dog sledding or even swimming with dolphins. Our students have opportunities to complete service projects in remote villages, national parks, schools and more. Our goal is to have students leave our program with a new sense of awareness and the motivation to change the world.

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.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Default avatar
William
Male
22 years old
United States
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Outward Bound: Oregon to India | Rafting & Trekking |

10/10

Rafting nearly 100 miles on the Deschutes river, North into the confluence with the Columbia is where our adventure began! Although Mother Nature decided to challenge us as we headed into Three Sisters Wilderness, the skills & camaraderie we gained from the Instructors fully prepared us for what was to come next. While making our way through the backcountry of Oregon we received the opportunity to see who we truly were, while being tested by the conditions that were thrown our way. Some days were more difficult than others, but you could always rely on a teammate to assist every step of the way.
I have been on countless backpacking adventures through Western North Carolina as well as throughout Colorado, many which have been breathtaking. Never did I believe I would see a beauty as pure & raw as the Himalayan mountain range. Outward Bound gave me the chance to travel abroad and leave the States for the first time in my life! I would've never even thought to travel to India on my own & Outward Bound aided in giving me to confidence to become a more worldly individual.
We met as a group of strangers on day 1 in Redmond Oregon, and before we knew it we were an unstoppable team atop the Kuari Pass in India, above 12,000 ft. in elevation. The memories we created on this course will be with me for the rest of my life, as well as the great people who were involved.
I have continued to use the technical skills needed for this course in my everyday life & even passed them on to others. Now it has almost been a year since I left for this 45 day excursion and not a day goes by where I don't think about the beautiful ride this course took me on. Learning to be mindful and using my own ability to remain present has truly impacted my life in a way I could not have imagined & I owe it all to Outward Bound.

How can this program be improved?

The only area I could critique this course would be applying more advanced, technical skills that could further develop my future outdoor adventures!

Default avatar
Andrew
Male
21 years old
Estes Park, CO
College of the Atlantic

Outward Bound California 65-Day Instructor Development Course (High Sierras, Joshua Tree, Bay Area)

10/10

I came into this semester course with some previous outdoor experiences and was unsure about how much more I could learn from a semester course. To answer that question, I learned much more than I ever thought I would. One of the main takeaways from my trip has been to keep the "beginner's mind", or in my case, learning to accept that I didn't know as much as I thought I did and that it's okay.

Having had previous experience with the technical skills of backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and sea kayaking, this course provided for a much needed refresher into these different skills. However, the most influential learning for me was the interpersonal skills. At its core, Outward Bound allows students to put into practice the transferable skills of leadership, communication, and conflict resolution. In this microcosm of a learning environment, it's allowed me to put the skills I've learned and practiced in the backcountry into my everyday life. That's what makes Outward Bound so special. It's not just an outdoor education. The outdoors is simply a vehicle that Outward Bound uses to teach a life education.

It is a program that I highly recommend for either the beginner of the experienced. And while the program is targeted towards aspiring outdoor educators, I think this program would be fit for just about anyone.

Default avatar
Chloe
Female
27 years old
Winnetka, IL
College of William and Mary

Life-Changing

10/10

Doing this course will truly change your life! The memories you will take away from this course and the places you'll see are amazing, and I know I for one would never have done/seen them if it wasn't for this trip. It was challenging every single day but I am so much better for it--I feel so much more independent ever since doing this course, which makes sense because Outward Bound (at least in this program) focuses on having you figure things out yourself.

And though I didn't end up pursuing outdoor education as a career, it has still benefited me so much just in life in general, living in a city.

I still talk about my experience at Outward Bound to this day (and it was over 2 years ago) because of all the things I've done in my life, I am perhaps most proud of doing and completing this course.

Default avatar
Eric
Male
25 years old
East Northport
University of New Hampshire

Outward Bound Instructor Development Course Washington

10/10

My passion for outdoor education and recreation led to my enrollment in a 50-day Outward Bound Instructor Development course. This extraordinary expedition in the Pacific Northwest combined challenging environments with an intensive educational curriculum advancing my educational, technical and medical skills. Upon reflection, my favorite part was the education practicum because the opportunities to teach the skills I learned as a student and see my campers comprehend and practice those skills. This fully immersive course I am incredibly thankful for because it has furthered my passion to teach in the outdoors and taught me to pursue what I love.

I am proud to say this experience led to employment this past summer with Northwest Outward Bound base as an intern. One of the many learnings from my employment included understanding the value of open communication between co-instructors to maintain a supportive and safe environment for the students. Lastly, I would recommend the Instructor Development Course for any inspiring outdoor educators!

Default avatar
Henry
Male
22 years old
Petaluma
Saint Mary's College of California

50 day Intructor's Training (Three Sisters Wilderness)

9/10

It isn't a specific story, but rather a whole experience. On my trip we started with backpacking a section of the Three Sisters Wilderness, Rocking Climbing at Smith Rock, Rafting the Deschutes (i think), and then we finished with less guided backpacking. And while the less guided backpacking was the most difficult due to weather and overall independence, the trip that stays with me the most was Rafting the Deschutes. It was roughly 2 weeks of the most beautiful, and sometimes frightening, place I have ever been. It was challenging everyday, but it was all so rewarding. Each day we had to rig and take down the row-boats, possibly raft through some rapids, and receive some wilderness medical training. It was a daily struggle, but I was never more happy. I had a smile on my face the moment we touched the water. I kind of felt like a super responsible kid because I had jobs I had to do to help my team, but I was laughing and excited the entire time. Outward Bound and this specific part of the trip in general helped me to realize that challenging myself feels good and it never hurts to be positive.

Program Listings

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