Semester Courses

IWLS semester courses cover a broad range of technical skills while building a solid experience base in decision making, judgment, and risk assessment. Whether you choose an IWLS semester to develop your professional goals, take time to get outside and break away from conventional classrooms or simply to have the adventure of a lifetime, there is an IWLS semester program that is right for you.

IWLS semester courses are among the most substantial and complete outdoor education and guide training programs available. Experientially, the multiple sections of an IWLS semester build upon each other and foster a high level of leadership development. The compounded effect of experience, leadership opportunities, decision making, and safety awareness that evolve within the 48+ days of an outdoor semester cultivates competent, confident, and professional outdoor leaders. Students can receive up to 20 college credits for an IWLS semester.


From glaciated summits  to rolling alpine tundra, mighty wilderness rivers to dramatic ocean fjords, the Alaska IWLS semester courses are a true wilderness experience. The skills learned in the rugged Alaskan backcountry carry forth to most corners of the globe.

Pacific Northwest

Whether rafting   on the Owyhee, paddling the San Juans, or climbing an alpine rock ridge in the North Cascades, these guide training semester courses explore some of the hidden gems of the Northwest.1-


Utah & Nevada

The canyons of the southwest continental US, famous powder snow, waterfall ice and legendary rock climbing complete this semester.




From the snowy heights of the third highest peak in North America to the warm, azure inlets of Baja, the international semester program in Mexico gives students opportunities to lead and excel in this geographically and culturally diverse country.


The high desert of the central Andes, immaculate alpine rock, and exciting rivers are set beneath Aconcagua, the tallest peak in the Western hemisphere. Semester students in Argentina develop solid rock climbing skills, high altitude experience, raft guiding skills on the Mendoza River, and comprehensive first aid and rescue techniques.



Patagonia.  The name itself conjures images of adventure and discovery. Equal parts Chile and Argentina, the southern backbone of the Andes hosts an untouched wilderness of incredible beauty. It is a land of legendary allure and mystique, home to lofty Andean peaks, massive glaciers, and deep fjords.



Trek to the top of the tallest peaks on the continent, volunteer and support local projects and learn comprehensive emergency response skills in this developing country.



Students on the Nepal semester trek and mountaineer among the highest peaks in the world, learn first aid and rescue skills in the Everest Region, raft guiding skills on the mighty Karnali River, and devote time toward community service with the Sherpa people.



With three distinct geographical regions, Ecuador offers its visitors a rare opportunity to learn a wide array of outdoor and leadership skills among a myriad natural wonders.