Outdoor Leadership Schools

Field Experience for Outdoor Adventure Education

Through a partnership between SUNY Plattsburgh's expeditionary studies program and two leading outdoor leadership program providers, you can earn up to a full semester of credit while completing a field experience. The International Wilderness Leadership School and National Outdoor Leadership School offer destinations across the world focused on outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental studies.

Where and When Can I Go?

There are hundreds of locations to choose from, and travel dates are available during regular semesters and throughout the year. One of your first steps you must take is to meet with the chair of the expeditionary studies department. Together you will choose an IWLS or NOLS program that meets your needs.

Eligibility Requirements 

  • SUNY Plattsburgh student, EXP major
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Permission of Professor Isaak, chair of expeditionary studies.
  • Credit: EXP 304, 3-15 credits (as determined between Professor Isaak and you).

How to Apply

Step 1: Meet with the chair of expeditionary studies.

Due to the individual nature of each students program, it is important to meet with Professor Isaak at least 6 months prior to your expected date of departure. You will work together to plan which program(s) to participate in, how long you will be abroad, how much credit you can earn from your program, and the academic work you must submit to him to receive graded credit. Completing these arrangements with enough advance notice to reserve your spot in a program is your responsibility. In order to receive credit you will enroll in EXP304. You can earn between 3 and 15 credits. EXP 304 is a SUNY Plattsburgh course, so your letter grade will appear on your transcript and factor into your GPA.

Step 2: Complete the initial SUNY Study Abroad Application.

Please check back with us shortly as we prepare to roll out our brand new website and online application!

Important note: If you want to receive credit through SUNY for your expeditionary studies experience you must apply through our office first. It is possible to apply directly to NOLS or IWLS but you will not receive academic credit if you do not follow these instructions correctly.

Step 3: Accept your placement offer and submit your program deposit.

You are required to pay a deposit to accept your place at NOLS or IWLS. The NOLS deposit is currently $500 for semester programs and $250 for part-time programs. SUNY Plattsburgh will bill you for your NOLS program, however NOLS sets the prices. SUNY Plattsburgh will add a $1,00 semester abroad fee for semester long programs and a $500 fee for summer and winter programs to the total cost of your NOLS program. You will be billed according to SUNY Plattsburgh's normal semester billing cycles, and your total fees will appear split between SUNY tuition and a semester abroad fee. For example, if NOLS's price is $10,000 and SUNY NYS resident tuition is $2,935, your SUNY Plattsburgh will read SUNY tuition $2,935 and Semester Abroad Fee $8,065 for a total of $11,000.

Please note: All fees are subject to change without notice.

More Information


Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about study abroad and exchange opportunities at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact us at:

Global Education Office
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Phone: (518) 564-3287
Toll-Free Phone: (800) 388-6784
Fax: (518) 564-3292
Email: geo@plattsburgh.edu

Location: We are on the second floor of the Kehoe Administration Building on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.