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How an Outdoor Enthusiast Managed Two Decades in the City [Interview with Curtis Bartosik, Part 1]

By Alex Phillips on 11/9/15 7:10 AM

One of the most powerful statements on my NOLS course came from Morgan Hite’s essay “Briefing for Entry into a More Harsh Environment.” The last sentence reads: “You don’t need the mountains to do that.” Hite wrote the beloved piece in 1989, just weeks before Curtis Bartosik began his fall semester in the Rockies. In the years since, Bartosik, an American, has gone on to live in Japan, Hong Kong and now France, where he is an established entrepreneur, member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in France, general secretary of the American Legion in Paris and President of the Cornell Club of France. Bartosik’s life choices demonstrate that yes, it is possible to live in some of the most populated regions of the globe, and still connect with the natural world and maintain the values a NOLS course cultivates.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, Gap Year, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

I Belong in the Woods: Spring Semester in New Zealand

By Natalie Beittel on 8/19/15 8:00 AM

I spent the summer before my junior year of college working for a trail crew. That summer was the most wonderful, the most physically, and the most mentally challenging three months of my life.

We hiked 20 miles a day cutting out fallen trees. We carried loaded pack boards up mountains to work sites where we quarried rock to build staircases on the trail. The constant challenge was exhausting but liberating.

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Topics: Alumni, Semester, NOLS New Zealand, Live the Dream, Gap Year, education

What I Learned from My Child’s Gap Year [Interview]

By Molly Herber on 7/7/15 8:00 AM

"Just listen to your child."

A little while back we shared Molly Hunt’s story of her gap year, which included a NOLS Semester in New Zealand. We caught up with her mother to hear about what the gap year experience is like from a parent’s perspective, and she offered some great advice on why a gap year is a powerful learning tool and how to build a meaningful gap year.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, Semester, NOLS New Zealand, Gap Year

NOLS Gap Year: College Prep Course

By Lyda Langford on 3/16/15 7:02 AM

My NOLS Semester in the Rockies was a highly valuable aspect of my gap year because it gave me strength and skills that I need to excel in college and life.

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Topics: Semester in the Rockies, Expedition Prep, Gap Year, outdoor semester

A Gap Year at NOLS and The Wall Street Journal

By Katy Anderson on 1/11/11 8:04 AM

On December 29, 2010, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled "Delaying College to Fill in the Gaps," quoting NOLS grad Ben Parker. Ben was accepted by the University of Iowa but deferred his admission to spend a fall Semester in the Rockies. Ben is part of a larger wave of high school graduates who are choosing to take a "gap year."

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Topics: NOLS, Expedition Prep, National Outdoor Leadership School, Interim Education, outdoor education, Sandwich Year, Gap Year

Choose Chai Every Time

By Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin on 10/14/10 8:45 AM

NOLS Semester in India students on a chai break

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Topics: NOLS, study abroad, college drinking, National Outdoor Leadership School, drinking while studying abroad, Educators Notebook, chai, Semester in India, NOLS India, Gap Year - Students participate in gap year more frequently

By Bruce Palmer on 9/21/07 2:39 AM

Link: - Students participate in gap year more frequently.

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Topics: Virginia Tech, NOLS, Harvard, Expedition Prep, Gap Year