COVID-19 Update

The Office of Admissions has suspended all prospective and admitted student campus visits through 5/1/20. Please find additional information regarding admissions events >

Program Locations and Academics

Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

Semester in the American West: Lander, WY and Taos, NM

Location Information and Schedule

Lander, Wyoming

The first five weeks of the semester will be spent in the Wind River Range of the Rocky Mountains, on the Wyss Campus of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). This time will include three weeks of classroom-based coursework, with excursions to nearby towns and wilderness areas, a two-day wilderness first aid course and a two-week backpacking expedition in the Wind River Range, led by best-in-class NOLS.

Green River, Utah

Students will transition to the second half of the semester with an eight-day canoe expedition in Utah on the Green River through Desolation Canyon.

Taos, New Mexico

The second half of the semester will consist of six weeks of classroom- and field-based learning, housed on the beautiful small campus of Southern Methodist University in Taos.

Lead Faculty: Barry Kroll, Professor of English

Barry Kroll teaches courses in American popular literature and film, as well as in writing, rhetoric, and stylistics. His research explores alternatives to traditional forms of arguing, especially when arguments involve intense disputes and serious disagreements. This work is informed by insights from the martial and meditative arts, particularly from Aikido. In his teaching, Kroll emphasizes active learning and integrative thinking.

Coursework Info

Lehigh Launch is led by Lehigh faculty and staff and is deeply connected to the Lehigh community. Students will earn 16 credit hours through classroom-based and experiential learning, while fulfilling distribution requirements in natural science, social science and the humanities, as well as the first-year seminar requirement.

  • English: Literature of the American West (counts toward humanities requirement)
  • Anthropology: The Taos Experience: Everyday Life and Rituals (counts toward social science requirement)
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences: Earth and Environmental Science of the American West (counts toward natural science requirement)
  • Integrative Seminar: Inquiry and Integrative Thinking (fulfills first-year seminar requirement)

Partner Information: National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)

NOLS is the world's leading wilderness school. A nonprofit based in Lander, WY, the school provides students the opportunity to step forward—whether on an expedition, wilderness medicine or custom course. Students of all ages graduate from their courses prepared to step forward and lead their communities in a changing world. Graduates have a lifelong desire for leadership, commitment to continued skills development, and ongoing education. Since 1965, NOLS has embraced and explored the unknown through outdoor and classroom-based experiences.

NOLS is a national leader in custom education, and Lehigh joins UPenn’s Wharton School of Business, UNC’s Morehead-Cain Foundation, Philips Exeter Academy, the C5 Foundation, and other leading educational institutions in partnering with NOLS. NOLS has also worked with businesses such as GE and Timbuk2 to help them improve their communication skills, practice decision-making techniques, and coalesce around community values. The same lessons NOLS uses to prep astronauts for the unpredictable rigors of space will help you learn to lead in today’s unpredictable world.

Learn more about the NOLS core curriculum and learning outcomes >

Students birdwatching at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon

Semester in Ecuador: Quito, the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands

At this time, we are evaluating all options with regard to Lehigh Launch: Semester in Ecuador in fall 2020. Lehigh University is actively monitoring the global outbreak of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, especially as it impacts study in Ecuador. You can read the latest updates on the university response on the COVID-19 Information webpage.

Location Information and Schedule

Quito, Ecuador

Students will spend 12 weeks with homestay families in Quito, Ecuador, studying at the IESAbroad Academic Center, based at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito. Located in an Andean valley, Quito is Ecuador’s capital and second largest city.

Amazon Rainforest

The group will take a four-day expedition to Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon region and hike in the rainforest.

Maquipucuna Cloud Forest

Students will embark on a two-day excursion to explore Quito’s closest rainforest.

Galápagos Islands

Students will live for three weeks on the island of San Cristóbal and spend four-days island hopping to visit other parts of the Galápagos, providing an opportunity to study in one of the most pristine natural laboratories in the world.

Lead Faculty: David Casagrande, Professor of Anthropology, Joint Appointment with the Environmental Initiative

David Casagrande is an ecological anthropologist who studies how culture shapes the way humans interact with natural environments. He has conducted research throughout Latin America and the United States on topics ranging from how indigenous people use medicinal plants to disaster risk reduction, adaptation to climate change, ecosystem restoration, and impacts of hydraulic fracturing. His research is designed to inform public policy and promote change. His teaching emphasizes critical and holistic thinking.

Coursework Info

Lehigh Launch is led by Lehigh faculty and staff and is deeply connected to the Lehigh community. Students will earn 16 credit hours through classroom-based and experiential learning, while fulfilling distribution requirements in natural science, social science and the humanities, as well as the first-year seminar requirement.

  • Biological Sciences: Evolution and Environmental Diversity of Ecuador (fulfills natural science requirement)
  • Anthropology: Indigenous Cultures of Latin America (fulfills social science requirement)
  • Spanish: Spanish language and culture course at the appropriate language level (fulfills humanities requirement)
  • Integrative Seminar: Inquiry and Integrative Thinking (fulfills first-year seminar requirement)

Partner Information: International Education of Students (IES)

Founded in 1950, IES Abroad is a not-for-profit provider with 140+ study abroad and internship programs around the world for college/university students. They educate students to become global leaders through premier study abroad and internship programs, which offer students worldwide experiential learning opportunities that meet the highest standards of academic quality.