NEW: Now Accepting Applications for 2017 – 2018!

Apply Online Today

Tuition:  $US13,900

Dates: Oct 29 and Jan 3
Arrival Airport, Oct 29: Temuco Airport (ZCO) between 11 am to 5 pm.
Departure Airport, Jan 3: Santiago International Airpor (SCL) after 7 pm.

Program Extensions: PSA students can extend program via work exchange with our affiliate Pucon Kayak Hostel. Most students choose to program extend by one to three months. Email admissions@patagoniastudyabroad.com to learn more.

Professional Development INDUSTRY JOB READY Certification Courses! + KAYAKING CHILE!!

Get the certifications that industry employers require. What will you do if…

The big question should be, “What are you going to do if there is an accident on the river? Are you prepared?” Every outdoor adventure professional knows that their original first aid course changed their decision making perspective when playing and guiding.

Students acquire outdoor industry standard certification courses and depart Chile job ready. More importantly, safety oriented courses teach the hard skills and make adventurists safety conscious decision making leaders. Certification courses have a tangible value that will readily pay for themselves over the course of a student’s university career.

+ World’s Best Whitewater Kayaking

Chile. The Ultimate Kayak Destination. We actually walk back up to lap the “Cali Slide.”

It’s no secret that Pucon Chile attracts the world’s best kayakers based on its abundance of clean rivers, waterfalls, and beautiful surroundings. Heck. We chose to base in Pucon for these exact reasons. The cool thing about this program is that you don’t have to skip classes to go kayaking. Instead, we embrace each student’s passion to kayak and use that as a lesson for personal motivation. After morning academics and lunch it’s time to gear up, throw your kayak on the trailer, and charge the stouts. The whitewater features are as great as our coaches. Even you’ll be amazed by how good you get. Want to learn more? Email admissions@patagoniastudyabroad.com to speak to one of our coaches.

Courses, Credits & Academic Hours

  • ACA Kayak Instructor Certification + Intensive Creek Camp                          3 / 48 hr.
  • Swift Water Rescue Tech 3 + Intensive Creek Camp                                      2 / 32 hr.
  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid + Intensive Creek Camp                                3 / 48 hr.
  • Leadership, Logistics, and Negotiation Skills +Teacups/Maipo/Nuble Trip    3 / 48 hr.
  • Principles of Video Production + Xmas Tour de Stouts                                   3 / 48 hr.
    * Video camera and laptop required

“Can I receive credits for PSA courses?” The answer depends on each university. Our Professional Development Industry Job Ready certification courses are recognized by many universities and follow mandated curriculum and hours. If you’d like to know if your university will pre-approve courses email admissions@patagoniastudyabroad.com to read and discuss our Credits Approval Guide, curriculum guide, and course syllabi.

Beginner or Intermediate Kayaker? Apply for our Spring Semester Here.

Course Module: ACA Kayak Instructor Cert Level IV + Intensive Creek Camp


Credits / Course Hours: ACA Kayak Instructor Certification (3 / 48 hr.)
Course is taught by Nantahala Outdoor Center Paddle sports industry leading instructor trainers.
Description: The first of our Professional Development Industry Job Ready series is the American Canoe Association Kayak Instructor Level IV Certification. Daily students will complete a half day of ACA mandated hours and curriculum. The exercises and paddling will teach students how to be leaders and teach kayak beginner to advanced instruction. As a bonus, the program combines the certification course with actual teaching of beginner kayak lessons with a Chilean high school. Yes. It can be cold in November for beginner instruction. That’s why we do our roll and strokes drills in the nearby hot springs. That’s right. Eskimo rolling in naturally warmed hot springs. “Is this real life?”
Jobs Requiring ACA Kayak Instructor Cert: university instruction, kayak school instruction, international kayak programs, outdoor camps, rafting companies with kayaking, whitewater kayak programs.

Course Module: SWRT-3 + Intensive Creek Camp 


Credits / Course Hours: Swift Water Rescue Tech 3 Certification (2 / 32 hr.)
Course is taught by Nantahala Outdoor Center Paddle Sports industry leading instructor trainers.
Description: The second course in our Professional Development INDUSTRY JOB READY certifications is the whitewater industry standard for rescue. SWRT-3 courses are most commonly required by whitewater rafting companies, and the rescue field such as firefighters. SWRT-3 is a must course for every whitewater kayaking enthusiast. And especially valuable for kayakers exploring the idea of expeditions. As matter of fact, the better you get, the more you’ll need the skills learned in this life saving course. Students will learn safety fundamentals of river features, how to move body and crafts through currents, how to rescue various crafts, rescue ropes and knot skills for extraction including multipoint Z-drags, vertical extractions, and team work.
Since PSA is focused on extreme kayaking, we take the SWRT-3 course to the extreme by adding our own touch we like to call, “Steep Water Rescue.” We want our students to have the knowledge to make wise decisions and to prevent mistakes. But if mistakes happen you’ll have the tools and knowledge to make the rescue.
Jobs Requiring SWRT-3 Cert: Emergency services, Whitewater Raft Guide, Kayak Instructor, Outdoor Adventure Industry.

Course Module: Leadership, International Logistics & Negotiation Skills / Maipo + Teacups + Nuble Road Trip


Credits / Course Hours: Leadership, International Logistics, and Negotiation Skills (3 / 48 hr.)
Description: This program represents our first big road trip to Chile’s best waterfall experience packed into a short and sweet package. After receiving courses in instruction, first aid and rescue and lots of creek training it’s time to put those skills to use. Rio Claro’s Seven Teacups National Park is a whitewater and geological anomaly. A crack in the arid central wine valley annually drains the snow peaks. The basalt chasm has been polished, milled, and carved for 57 million years. So, you might consider yourself amongst the first in history to experience the whitewater phenom. Each year we plan our road trip north to experience the crystal-clear waters and ride the banking boofs to our screams of adrenal filled joy. Adding to the Claro’s remarkable experience are the Rios Maipo and Nuble which are both endangered of being dammed.
Students will participate in a proactive leadership program navigating international logistics, planning menus and food shops, learning tangible negotiation skills, and research case studies of winning leadership traits. This is a reality application of leadership and maybe the most profound learning experience of your life.

Course Module:  AWFA + Intensive Creek Camp 

Credits / Course Hours: Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certification (3 / 48 hr.)
Course is taught by Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) Instructor Trainer Rick Bravo.
Description:  Accidents happen. People get hurt, sick, or lost. The temperature drops, wind picks up, and we’re most often wet on rivers. Would you know what to do? Many backcountry emergencies are preventable, and even when bad things happen, sometimes the wrong care can make things worse. By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one – and maybe even save a life. PSA has requested that this course be taught with an emphasis on whitewater canyon and expedition extremes. Advanced Wilderness First Aid course is designed to give outdoor industry professionals the knowledge and tools required to deal with first responder emergency care situations.
Jobs Requiring AWFA Certification: emergency services, whitewater rafting, kayak schools, outdoor adventure camps, university outdoor adventure programs.

Course Module:  Principles of Video Production + Christmas Tour de Stouts 

Credits / Course Hours: Principles of Video Production (3 / 48 hr.)
Course Description: It seems every kayaker has a camera on their helmet today. But do you know how to compose and edit that makes you employable? Or script and tell a compelling story? Time lapse? Shot composition? This course will focus on concept and skill development when producing digital video media. Students will learn how to produce their own edits. Final projects consist of partner biography productions. What will your story tell?
Tour de Stouts Description: Half of this program will be at our Pucon base charging the local stouts and honing skills for the road trip. The road trip leg is highlighted by Rios Nuble, Maipo and Claro AKA Teacups. While, there are many other rivers based on levels and pure awesome factor, these are the most likely spots we’ll hit. Imagine making your own edits from the world’s best waterfall destination.

Q: How Does it Work?

A: Daily after classes you’ll grab your gear and run to the school 4 wheel drive vehicle. Since its November your most popular runs maybe Nevados, Puesco or the Palguins. They range in skills and you’ll get on all of them by the time you complete the semester.

Weekends you’ll be free to do whatever your logistics class plans. This is your class that gives you ownership of your private trips. You may choose to stay local. Or how about a road trip? Plan. Budget. Execute.

Q: Tell Me More About the Coaches and Kayak Training Program.

A: Your coaches focus on helping you accomplish your personal kayak goals. Possibly you want to gain confidence-running rivers. Or master the boof to stomp. Or win the next Whitewater Grand Prix. Our programs have produced national champions, Olympians and world champs since 2001. Students are coached by the best with weekly mock competition events to improve personal psychology and physical ability.

Mock Competitions – Competitions like down river races, boater cross and giant slalom are designed to give students real competition experience. We’ll assess your performance as you improve. As you improve so will your friends. The value is your personal improvement and what you learn about your own competition game face. Ultimately, you’ll be learning how to compete as you master high-level river skills.

Q: What About Road Trips & Logistics?

A: As the semester progresses you’ll check off on logistics modules like planning, budgeting and executing trips. When you are ready you’ll plan weekend trips to nearby rivers. Weekends you’ll be free to do whatever your logistics class plans. This is your class that gives you ownership of your private trips. You may choose to stay local. Or how about a road trip? For your big logistics trip you’re team will plan a weeklong adventure. Plan. Budget. Execute.

Q: Can You Give Me an Example of the School Day Schedule? 

  • 7:30 am             Morning workout (alternating days on and off the water)
  • 8:00 am             Breakfast
  • 9:00 11:00 am   Academic Course Block
  • 11:05 1:00 pm   Academic Course Block
  • 1:00 pm             Lunch
  • Afternoon           WHITEWATER KAYAKING!!!
  • 7:30 pm             Dinner
  • Good Life.

Q: Will We Get to Run Big Drops?

A:  Wait. Before you take off to run 50 footers there are a few conditions. Your semester will begin with certification courses that will instill expedition safety protocol. We’ll also have a series of swift-water courses and discussions. The idea is that we all agree to a set of safety principles that you as a group establish. Safety principles set in meetings guide your decision making when you are in the heat of kayaking. Best to know what you are going to do before you get in over your head.