Leadership Expedition to Patagonia | 1.5 Academic Credit

by Leadership Programs


Sat, Jan 6, 2024 8:00 AM –

Thu, Jan 18, 2024 11:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

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Patagonia, Aisen Region of Chile



Leadership Expedition to Patagonia

During the Johnson Leadership Expedition to Patagonia,  students will travel to the Aisen Region of Chilean Patagonia  where they’ll test and enhance their leadership skills in an unpredictable, challenging, and dynamic wilderness environment.

Students can expect to:

  • experience ambiguity and adversity;
  • be forced to make decisions with incomplete, inconclusive, and/or conflicting information;
  • take turns assuming full responsibility for the entire group; and,
  • receive real-time feedback and coaching on their leadership efforts.

In short, this is a chance to practice, rather than just talk about, real leadership.

Students will also be expected to support each other’s leadership development and will be guided, in real-time, on how to give effective feedback and coaching to the rest of the team.

PatagoniaLeadership Programs
Patagonia is a remote wilderness of isolated mountain valleys, ragged icy peaks, turbulent rivers, and island archipelagos. This is a land that demands exploration, and students will experience some of its dramatic landscape firsthand. The hallmarks of a NOLS Patagonia course are remoteness, fickle weather, and exploration.

The Johnson team will begin in the Aisen Region of Chile, where they’ll start and end the expedition at NOLS’ main base camp—a working farm of several hundred acres set in a beautiful landscape near the city of Coyhaique.

National Outdoor Leadership School
Johnson is partnering with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to plan and execute this expedition. NOLS is an internationally-renowned leadership training institute with 50 years of wilderness training experience. NOLS believes that "what [it] teaches cannot be learned in a traditional classroom or on a city street. It takes...time to develop leadership. The backcountry provides the ideal setting for this unique, experiential education—NOLS classrooms are some of the world’s wildest and most awe-inspiring locations."

 Leadership ProgramsLeadership Expeditions

Leadership Expeditions are a chance to leave Ithaca and dig in, full-time, to your leadership development. Expeditions are designed to give students the opportunity to go through the Johnson leadership learning cycle of instruction, experience, and review multiple time during an intsense, immersive experience.

Dates: January 6-18, 2024. 
 Students must arrive in Coyhaique, Chile, no later than the evening of January 6 and can plan to fly out the afternoon of January 18. Dates are not flexible. 

Eligibility: The expedition is open to all Johnson residential Ithaca-based MBAs who have not participated in another Leadership Expedition Course (Patagonia or Scuba). MBAs are only eligible to participate in one Leadership Expedition Course. This program is not open MBA Exchange students. 

Academic Credit: Participation in the Patagonia Leadership Expedition will count as 1.5 academic credits on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Please note: You must be available for our pre-departure retreat in December and the post-expedition session in January in order to participate. 

Program Fees: The cost of the expedition includes a program fee to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) of approximately $3,800, plus round-trip airfare to Balmaceda, Chile (the airport identifier for Balmaceda is BBA), lodging in Coyhaique (one night each at the start and end of the expedition), and a few miscellaneous meals and incidentals in Coyhaique. Students are also responsible for preparing personal gear for the expedition (such as good hiking boots, rain gear, etc.). The amount students will have to spend on gear will vary depending on what students already own; this will be discussed in detail at our information sessions. Please note that all meals during the expedition, as well as all group gear (such as tents, cooking stoves, etc.) are covered by the program fee. Leadership Programs recommends that students budget approximately $5,000-$5,500 in total to participate, as airfare can vary widely from year to year and is difficult to predict. Some students might qualify for student loans to help cover the costs of the expedition since this is an academic class, but you must make an appointment with the financial aid officer to find out if you qualify.

Important Note about Physical Conditioning: The Patagonia Leadership Expedition is an intense, 10-day physical experience that involves hiking all day, every day, with no trails. If you are considering participating, it is essential that you begin to prepare physically. Please carefully review the attached "NOLS-How to Prepare Physically" document so you can begin your planning.

How to Apply

The application will open here at 6pm on September 20 and close on October 2 at 11:59pm. Spaces are limited. Apply here.

Please reach out to Jackie Barrett

Leadership Programs













File Attachments: NOLSHow_to_Prepare_Physically

Dress Casual (jeans ok)

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Co-hosted with: MBAI, MBAII

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