Welcome to the Kroka Semester Programs!
A Kroka semester is a uniquely transformative experience: we embrace risk, we welcome discomfort, and we experience the vulnerability that arises with challenge and interdependency. In doing so, we have the opportunity to shed the layers between ourselves and the world, and to wake up to what it is to be fully human.
We offer two semester programs for high school and gap-year students: Ecuador in the fall, and our new Arctic to Manhattan program in the winter. Students may enroll in one or both semesters. Both journeys are based on extended wilderness travel, participation in vibrant community life and an accredited academic curriculum. Students will receive FULL high school or college credit for participation in a Kroka Semester. Federal loans and grants are available.
The Gifts of Semester
The call to leave the ordinary world and venture into the unknown is an ancient one for peoples of all cultures. Kroka semester programs are an answer to that call.
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 come home to the wild one. We begin to know ourselves as belonging to nature, as nature belongs to us.
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.
- Kroka Expeditions is an accredited semester program for high school and gap year students ages 17-19.
- We encourage participation by everyone regardless of income through sliding scale and scholarship.
- Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The program is limited to thirteen students per semester.
- Ecuador Semester takes place late August through mid-December; Winter Semester, mid-January through mid-June.
- Students are encouraged to enroll in both semesters but are welcome to enroll in just one.
- College credits are offered through Wheelock College.