Welcome to the Kroka Semester!

The call to leave the ordinary world and venture into the unknown is an ancient one for people of all cultures. Kroka semester is an answer to that call...

We offer semester programs for high school and gap-year students: Rio Grande Semester in the fall, and the Arctic to Manhattan program in the winter. Students may enroll in one or two semesters. Both journeys are based on extended wilderness travel, participation in vibrant community life and an accredited academic curriculum. Students receive high school and/or college credit for participation in a Kroka Semester.

On semester, we spend long periods of time on self-sufficient expedition, discovering the world and ourselves in ways that we may not have experienced until now. We learn to become at home with our own inner landscape as we come home to the wild one. We begin to know ourselves as belonging to nature, as nature belongs to us.

“I could never have imagined the immense impact the semester would have on the path that my life is taking. Mostly it gave me the gift of a deep connection, love, and respect for the natural environment and all of the complex and simple relationships that occur within it. Because of this, I am standing up for environmental stewardship and advocacy, acting as a leader and an organizer amongst my peers. ” – STUDENT

The Gifts of Semester

We experience the beauty of what the Norwegians call friluftsliv, roughly translated as free life in nature, moving with sureness and ease over the land, learning the old skills not to “survive” but to celebrate our ability to find home outdoors.

A sense of intimacy with a friendly wilderness becomes natural. One semester student said, “when the pressure drops, I can taste it in my mouth, and I know it will rain.”

Many of the layers we carry, built up by the pace of modern life, fall away. Our true selves are given a chance to emerge. If we can meet this opportunity with the courage it calls out in us, we step more fully into the light of who we are and can become. Worlds open to us.

We work with our hands to make many of the things we need. This is what we were made to do, tapping into the ancient knowing of how to make, do, and care for ourselves.

We sing, at meals, at work, on the trail. Singing is health, celebration, giving thanks, and literally harmonizing with one another and all that is around us.

We hold serious responsibility for the group. The extent of our commitment is made immediately clear: if firewood isn’t gathered, the dinner goes uncooked. If the navigator is sloppy with her map, the destination will be unreached. Our ideas about personal contribution begin to shift.

These experiences are an essential aspect of the ability to serve not only ourselves, but the common good and a just and peaceful world. This is something that we can’t unlearn, and it can be taken forward into whatever kind of adult life a young person may choose.

“I approach life with the question of what will benefit the most people and the health of the planet, rather than simply my own needs and desires. The seed of this approach was planted by my experience on the semester. It taught me that I am the master of my own life and that I possess the ability and privilege to make decisions that will either benefit or harm the Earth. I choose to do the former.” – STUDENT

• Kroka Expeditions is an accredited semester program for high school and gap year students ages 17-19
• We encourage participation by everyone through sliding scale and scholarship
• Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The program is limited to thirteen students per semester
• Activities are accredited by the Association for Experiential Education
• Curriculum is accredited through Sterling College (VT) and college credit is available
• Students can enroll in one or both semesters which can be completed as a yearlong program
• 75% of students come from New England. 25% come from other US states and international
• Our student body is 54% male and 46% female, but it varies year to year
• 100% of students come to Kroka because they dared to leave daily life behind and discover who they are and what they’re capable of!