College Semester Abroad Program
Leave the traditional classroom behind for a semester and join us on a four month adventure exploring Yosemite, Ecuador and Patagonia all while earning 16-18 academic credits.Summit Adventure’s College Semester Abroad is a Christ-centered semester abroad designed for college students and gap year participants. Our semester program includes academic courses in Leadership, Communication, Spiritual Formation, Cross-Cultural Ministry, and Outdoor Physical Education. Students can obtain between 16-18 academic credits that can be transferred to other colleges and universities.
During our semester program, students will spend time in Yosemite (Summit’s home base), Ecuador, and Patagonia. Adventure elements of our semester program include mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snow camping (if conditions allow).
Students will learn technical skills including navigation, rope skills and glacier travel. During the international portion of our semester, students will immerse themselves in cross-cultural settings through home-stays and urban exploration. Students will also get an opportunity to partner with local organizations to work on service projects in Ecuador and mission work in Patagonia.
This is college semester abroad program is the opportunity of a lifetime. Serve in developing nations, climb to 19,000’ in the Andes, backpack and ski in Yosemite National Park, trek and rock climb in Patagonia, all while learning about each experience from a Christian academic perspective. You’ll gain 16-18 transferrable credits while experiencing a life-transforming semester.
When you’re not taking classes in Ecuador, living with an Ecuadorian family, or exploring Patagonia, you’ll get to live in Summit Adventure’s base camp, a beautiful cabin in the Sierra mountains heated by a wood-burning stove.
This semester is rigorous in its demands–academically, physically, and spiritually. But the effort makes it all the more rewarding. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Semester Abroad Itinerary
6 weeks at basecamp in Bass Lake, California
Orientation, syllabi, and academic explanation, classes 4 days a week, weekend mini-expeditions, community service with Boys & Girls Club Oakhurst and local churches, living in community at basecamp, and 15-day backpacking expedition in the High Sierra.
4 weeks in Ecuador
This college semester program will take you abroad. First to Ecuador! Experience a 10-day homestay with an Ecuadorian Family, serve at Remanso de Amor and the Happiness Foundation, exploring Quito and surrounding cities, high-altitude hiking, backpacking and mountaineering, periodic concentrated class times
2 weeks in Argentine Patagonia
3-4 days of trekking, 1-2 days of mission work, and a 2-day overnight hike to a spectacular crag called the Frey, opportunities to explore in the beautiful town of Bariloche, Argentina
3 weeks Expedition-Style
1 week expedition planning, 14-18 days Sierra expedition–backpacking, rock climbing, backcountry navigation, outdoor living skills.
1 week of Transition and Semester Culmination before Re-entering “Home”
Ecuador Mountaineering and Service
Immersion programs, service learning, and outdoor adventure are state-of-the-art pedagogical tools that attract and develop today’s college student. In the hands of skilled experiential educators, these approaches to interpersonal and academic growth are unparalleled, and are what make Summit’s college semester abroad program unique.
Since the fall of 2007, Summit Adventure has woven service learning and outdoor adventure into an off-campus college program designed to develop relationship-building Christian young adults. We call this innovative Christ-centered program our College Semester Program.
The semester will be based in California’s High Sierra, the cities and mountains surrounding Quito, Ecuador, and Patagonia. Thousands of students over the years have come to Summit Adventure demonstrating a lack of proficiency in leadership, interpersonal communication, cross-cultural awareness, spiritual growth, and physical fitness.
As a result, we are focusing our semester program on these five competencies through the courses listed below. We call these 3-credit courses “pillars” because they are foundational to a student’s ability to build relationships in ministry and life.
Semester Program Academic Pillars
In this course, you will study small group behavior and interpersonal communication within the contexts of current theory, praxis, and Christian community. Course content includes the study of group dynamics, small group leadership, conflict resolution, non-violent communication, and the application of interpersonal interaction theories. Learning occurs in small group travel in mountains, rural settings, and international venues via class discussion, practical experiences, and communal living.
Patagonia Trekking and Service
Frequently Asked Questions
High Sierra Expedition