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Patagonia Conservation Program
Ruby Mountain Data Collection Along the Ridgeline Ruby Mountain Data Collection Along the Ridgeline

Patagonia Conservation Program

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

The Best Decision I Have Made at College Yet

I absolutely loved this program! I got to spend three months hiking around the most beautiful places I have ever been to, learning about topics and subjects I am incredibly passionate about, surrounded by people who made me feel supported and happy. I learned more about who I am and how I see my career in conservation moving forward. I gained invaluable research experience and my instructors became mentors who I will look up to for a long time. My only regret is that I did not really improve my Spanish much or get an in depth understanding of Chilean culture because we spent so much time in the backcountry.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Community-based conservation!

I was so happy to be able to, as an undergraduate, work on real research that had measurable, direct impacts. The work that we did was community-based conservation which meant that we were invited to the region and told what to do. I liked serving a community, instead of telling the community what to do.
In addition to being able to live in a tent and backpack around Patagonia for three months, I learned a lot about the field skills necessary to work on a long-term and how to live with a group of people for three months. I was able to practice Spanish a lot and saw some incredible sights! Great experience - completely unique and left me feeling very lucky.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The best semester of your college career

My semester abroad with RRCS was absolutely fantastic. RRCS provides wonderful communication before the trip on the logistics of planning and the gear necessary, as well as assuring that safety will be the number one priority during the program (helps give your parents peace of mind). The Patagonia program was full of wonderful, like-minded people who challenged me daily. By the end of the semester I considered my classmates and instructors my family.
The program provides wonderful hands-on conservation work that is important for the future of conservation in Chile in a backcountry field environment that can't be beat. There is also opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture during week-long homestays and interactions with local gauchos throughout the program, though I wouldn't consider it full immersion. Most of the program is instead spent backpacking and doing cool research in this breathtakingly beautiful place.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Round River Patagonia

Studying abroad in Patagonia with Round River was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The opportunity to meet amazing people and see beautiful landscapes, all while working to further research to protect those areas was incredibly rewarding. The instructors were excellent, and I learned more about the different species of flora and fauna, as well as the Spanish language, than I ever thought I could in such a short amount of time. Round River is amazing and I can't recommend their program enough to anyone who has any interest in the outdoors, different cultures, or environmental studies.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Semester abroad in Patagonia

My decision to spend a semester in Patagonia with Round River was the single best decision I made during my college career. It challenged me, opened new avenues of thought, broadened my worldview, gave me hands-on experience in conservation, and sent me back home with life-long friends. The instructors care about your academic experience as much as your personal one, and they are truly invested in furthering the conservation mission of Round River. The Chilean people are incredibly welcoming, and are eager to share their knowledge and culture with students. Take a chance on Round River— you won't be disappointed.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Tent city - backpacking in valleys and on glaciers with some of my favorite people

Prior to my three months with Round River, I had never been backpacking. I knew I loved the outdoors and that Patagonia was beautiful, but never did I think that I would have the opportunity to live in the woods and conduct research alongside other students who became some of my closest friends while hiking in some of the most gorgeous natural areas I have ever seen. There were hard days in the field during which we never saw the sun and my feet never dried, but we were always able to find something beautiful in it - whether it be puma tracks, a rainbow, or an extra chocolate bar that no one knew we had. I made some of my favorite memories of college out in the middle of nowhere in Southern Patagonia, and I truly believe that studying abroad there was one of the best decisions for me.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

Backpacking & conservation work for school credit

This program was more than I could have imagined. The semester included a variety of trips to the most remote places in Patagonia from 4 days to 3 weeks where we slept in tents and worked with local farmers to answer questions and unknowns about their land. The entire semester was spend with 8 students and 2-4 staff (young, awesome, and knowledgeable) conducting field research on Patagonian plants and animals. We traveled to some places people had never been before, places that didn't exist until recent glacial melt, and places in danger due to human influence. I had considered traveling to Patagonia before, but this program was so much more than anything you could do as a tourist. Also, the work we were doing and data we collected went directly to benefit national park formation and land conservation (as compared to other college research which has little direct impact). The laughs, adventure, community engagement, and utter beauty of the classroom is unrivaled by any other program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Unique experience in Southern Chile

Round River provides a unique, outdoor study abroad experience. You'll learn an incredible amount of the natural history, environmental issues and culture of the region. I made great friends and was able to travel for three months afterward in South America. If you're considering a study-abroad program with an environmental focus this is the one for you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best decision ever

Going on this program was one of the best decisions I've ever made, both in college and in general. When I applied, I did not have a thorough idea of what I wanted to do with my future and I felt quite discontented by this.

After 4 amazing months of backpacking through the most beautiful landscape I've ever seen, participating in fascinating scientific research with some of the most interesting and wonderful people I've ever met, I found my outlook was fundamentally changed. I will never forget the friendships, beauty, and lessons of Patagonia.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

Rugged & Pristine

My time in Patagonia went by so quickly it's funny to look back on those three months of my college career. I had always dreamed of going there (it's a climbers' and mountaineers' paradise) and so I knew I was getting into something pretty amazing when I got accepted. Living alone in a tent for 90 days was surprisingly easy to adjust to, I actually craved it when I was assimilated back in the US. During my time there I felt less like an academic student and more of a world traveller, being immersed in the cultural flow and learning from the locals. If you're a hands on learner who is interested in wildlife biology, ecotourism or learning more about different conservation strategies, I'd like to say this program would be fitting.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Round River-Patagonia, spring 2015

Round River provides students with opportunities to bolster their life skills. Such opportunities include but are certainly not limited to:
-Hiking for several days in cold rain with a heavy pack while exchanging witty banter and information on the abundance of different plant species with new friends
-Eat absurd quantities of disc-shaped breads
-Learn the arcane details of bird identification in the Southern Hemisphere
-Embarrass yourself in front of locals with your less-than-passable Spanish language skills while attempting to buy wooden dowels
-Study the effects of hygiene negligence on the prevailing aromatic regimes of your Marmot brand sleeping bag
-Attempt to set up an orange tent in 70 mile-per-hour straight line winds
-Fix a tent pole broken by 70 mile-per-hour straight line winds

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The best semester I had at college

My study abroad experience through Round River Conservation Studies was the best semester I had at college. I learned more in those three months than any other three months in my life. It not only enhanced my academic understanding of critical concepts, but fundamentally changed my outlook on the world. The instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and fun, the other students were bright and engaged, the coursework was relevant and interesting, and Chile is packed with amazing sights, incredible wildlife, and wonderful people. If you love the outdoors, this program is for you!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

The best decision I ever made

Round River Conservation studies has done an absolutely phenomenal job setting up the Patagonia program. As someone who went into the program with little knowledge on backpacking and conducting field work, I feel that my expertise gained post program qualifies me as a true backpacker and scientist. During the three months you will push yourself further than you thought possible through both physical and mental excursion. You will climb cliffs, trek over snowy passes, climb down a muddy mountainside in pouring rain, make instant mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, laugh A LOT, and create life long friendships with both students and leaders. And you will learn more than you ever thought you could in just three months and you will have a blast while doing it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

A Patagonian Adventure

My experience in Patagonia with Round River Conservation Studies was hands down one of the greatest of my life. I had the ability to apply the conservation and restoration topics we learned about in courses in hands-on field study work. For the three months I spent abroad with Round River, we experienced a mix of car-camping, backpacking, etc. The program is academically rigorous in the best way, and I learned so much about myself, the country, and conservation as a whole. It is hard to put into words just how amazing the experience was, but the best way to describe it is an adventure.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best Way to Spend a Semester Abroad

Round River gave me one of the best semesters of my undergrad experience. Not only was it in a beautiful location, but the people and classes were more than I could have hoped for. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, but once the program started, classes and friends and all, I loved every second of it. Never did I think that my classes would be held in an outdoor setting, immersed in the mountains, in the middle of a backpacking trip.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Study Abroad in Patagonia; Where Conservation, Academics and Adventure meet

The Round River Patagonia program gave me an in depth understanding of on the ground conservation work. Doing hands on field research for 2 different local conservation programs and interacting with the local people affected by the conservation efforts gave me a deep understanding of the pros and cons of conservation. Round River challenged many of my previous views of conservation and gave me the chance to grow as both a scientist and a conversationalist. The instructors were engaging, knowledgeable, passionate and the group size was perfect - enough people that there was diversity, but not so many people that you couldn't connect with each person. Finally, Round River also gave me the experience to explore and form a really in depth relationship with the stunning surounds of Patagonia.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

The best field study program out there

Studying in Patagonia with Round River was the best part of my college experience. The program is unlike any other study abroad program I have heard of. While there, we were completely immersed in conservation the entire time, helping us achieve a more well-rounded sense all the different things meaningful conservation actually requires. My group was made up of students with a wide range of backgrounds, but everyone was both able to become engaged in the field work and find their own special "thing" to focus on and learn more about. While being constantly surrounded by the amazing Patagonian backdrop, even the most ordinary daily activities become unforgettable. This program is tough, and silly, and beautiful, and life-changing. I know I will continue to re-evaluate and learn from the situations I experienced and the people I met for the rest of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Unparalleled Conservation Experience in Patagonia

My semester in Patagonia with Round River Conservation Studies gave me unparalleled experience in the world of international conservation. Round River really gives it’s students real field experience that I don’t feel like I could’ve gotten anywhere else. The leaders on this program are extremely knowledgeable and experienced, and balance academic and field work with fun trips (backpacking, cultural events, etc). I strongly feel like I came away from the program with valuable, concrete skills pertaining data collection and report writing, and that the work we conducted was going to aid real conservation. Phenomenal program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

Unparalleled Conservation Experience in Patagonia

Going abroad to Chile with Round River Conservation Studies gave me unparalleled experience working in the field of international conservation. This program gave me extremely valuable and marketable skills pertaining to data collection and report writing that look great on resumes and for future employers. By being out in the field every day, I feel like I got a very good understanding of what conducting field work really entails. Additionally, the small group size allows you to get to know your fellow students extremely well and forge close friendships. The leaders are extremely knowledgeable, and balance academics and field work with fun trips backpacking and to cultural festivals which really made this program an adventure!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Round River - Patagonia, Chile

I came out of my Round River semester with a deepened understanding of Conservation Biology and of my own interests and limits. Round River challenged me to think critically about the field of conservation in ways I had not experienced in the classroom. I got a taste of what extensive fieldwork entails; what it's like to live your work. Beyond the academic/fieldwork component, I loved the social dynamic of the program and living in a small group. I greatly respected my instructors and the wisdom they brought to the group. Plus, it wasn't bad to explore the Patagonian wilderness for a semester!