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Classrooms with a View

The 6 wildest college semesters


Every year, more than 250,000 American college students give up the familiarity of dorm life and all-you-can-eat pizza buffets to broaden their horizons abroad. But instead of the traditional stint in Europe, a growing number of them are opting to participate in extended outdoor adventures, both through their own universities and (lucky for the rest of you!) through third-party options like NOLS, SEA and the School for Field Studies. From living completely off the grid in an Adirondack yurt community to glacial mountaineering, we’ve rounded up six of the top outdoor semesters for college students.

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