Upcoming Programs

Winter in historical Japanese villageJoin UAF Summer Sessions & Lifelong Learning for an educational experience unlike any other! Our tours are tailored for a mature traveler, and the inclusions are special experiences that only we can offer! 

To learn more about what to expect during our trips, please visit our FAQ page.

Please note:

  • We require a minimum number of travelers to run a tour.  After registering for a tour, do not purchase trip insurance or plane tickets until you hear back from us that the minimum has been met and your travel plans can proceed, full steam ahead.
  • Payment deadlines for all travel programs are pending until we receive final approval for the trip from UAF.  
If you would like to be notified when our other travel programs become available please email Summer@alaska.edu

2024/25 Tours

June 2 - 6, 2024 (waitlist only)

Alaska map with Nome highlightedGolden Crowned Sparrow with grassBlue Throated Topaz Denoise

Are you a birding aficionado? If so, a trip to Nome during the spring bird migration may be on your bucket list. Summer Sessions is offering their annual four-day trip to Nome for a small group of eight to witness this amazing phenomenon. Participants stay at the Aurora Inn and travel out one of Nome's three roads each day. Often, birders have seen up to 99 different species!

Tree Sparrow

Program Tuition:  
Double Occupancy    $1,600 

Tuition includes a room at the Aurora Inn (double occupancy) and transportation within Nome. Participants are responsible for transportation to and from Nome as well as meals.

There is a non-refundable $500 deposit due at registration.

Important note: 

- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
- Guests must have the ability to walk comfortably.

If you have traveled with us in recent years, you may already have a CampDoc account. 
If this is your first tour with Summer Sessions, take a look at this "How-To" Document on how to register.

If you have any questions about registration, please reach out to us at summer@alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 474-7021. 

June 13 - 20, 2024(waitlist only)

Toolik Field Station Aerial View

Klara Maisch Art Example

For beginners and beyond- an art adventure at Toolik Field Station with instructor Klara Maisch

Description: With six full days at Toolik Field Station, we will spend most of our time painting outside, with time for interpretive walks and hikes to explore our surroundings. Art instruction will include oil painting demonstrations, discussion of materials, one-on-one feedback, and guided sketching/conceptual exercises. Given the beautiful location and potential for experiencing ‘green-up’ in the Arctic, there will be a special focus on connecting with the timing and tempo of a swiftly shifting landscape. There is a good chance we will see early wildflowers such as lousewort, saxifrage, oxytropes, potentilla, and dryas north of Atigun Pass. Bird migration will be ramping up, and we may see red foxes and caribou on the move. June is also a great time of year to see aufeis and permafrost patterns in the tundra.

Art + Adventure: This art-centric adventure aims to help participants develop an outdoor landscape painting practice using oil or alkyd paint. Acrylic and watercolor paint are also welcome if you have prior experience and are comfortable working more independently. However, please note that all painting demonstrations will be in oil or alkyd. This trip is open to beginners but is designed to strengthen an existing practice as well, with an emphasis on process and practice. Course participants will also have the opportunity to engage with the scientific community present at the station during meal times & off-class hours. A recommended supply list will be sent out by March, and we will discuss gear and weather considerations and answer questions at the orientation in Fairbanks. The date for orientation will be announced at a later time.

Weather: I will demonstrate how to set up a small tarp to protect a painting from precipitation, though umbrellas, traditional ‘plein air’ set-ups, and other solutions work equally well. We will paint outside whenever possible, though indoor spaces are available if the weather is too challenging.

Physical requirements: Movement is integral to my outdoor painting practice, so I am excited to share the Arctic landscape through short walks and longer hikes. However, all walks and hikes are entirely optional, and I will provide clear expectations for the length, duration, and relative difficulty before we leave.

 

The Toolik Field Station (TFS) is a research station operated and managed by the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) with cooperative agreement support from the Office of Polar Programs, Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). TFS provides housing, meals, laboratories and science support to researchers and students from across the world. Research support includes GIS and mapping services, technical and IT assistance, shared commonly used equipment, and a collection of standardized environmental data.TFS is located is located at mile 284.5 of the Dalton Highway, 370 miles north of Fairbanks. Driving to the station takes 9-12 hours and requires travel on a largely unpaved industrial artery that serves operations at Prudhoe Bay.

Program tuition: $2,400, includes roundtrip transportation with Northern Alaska Tour Company from Fairbanks to Toolik Field Station, ground transportation while at TFS, lodging, meals, and six days of instruction with the incredible Klara Maisch. Accommodations at the station are comfortable but rustic. Lodging is provided in hard-sided structures and WeatherPort tents. All are outfitted with bed frames and mattresses as well as simple furniture to store clothes. Depending on the camp population, you may share a room with a roommate. Outhouse facilities require walking and stair climbing. Showers are limited to two (very short showers) per person per week. A common shower house serves all of camp - though shower rooms are private. Please explore the TFS website for more information about meals, lodging, and camp life!

There is a non-refundable $500 deposit due at registration.

About your instructor:

Klara BioKlara Maisch documents landscape change in oil paintings created on location. Klara skis with paintbrushes, stores paint in bear barrels, and backpacks with stretcher bars. Scientific research and direct experiences with the physical forces that shape a landscape inform the visual dynamics in her work. She is currently focused on imagery depicting climate change in the context of specific landscapes, including areas affected by wildfires, permafrost thaw, glacier melt, and shifts in vegetation and treeline. Klara also works as a wilderness guide for Arctic Wild and has previously instructed for Inspiring Girls Expeditions.

In 2019, Klara was honored to receive the Connie Boochever Fellowship from the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. She has recently been awarded with grants from the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the Puffin Foundation. Klara lives and works in Fairbanks, Alaska.

See more of Klara's art work and unique process at her website.

 

Important Note:

- Participants will need to comply with the Toolik Field Station COVID-19 mitigation policy

If you have traveled with us in recent years, you may already have a CampDoc account. 
If this is your first tour with Summer Sessions, take a look at this "How-To" Document on how to register.

If you have any questions about registration, please reach out to us at summer@alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 474-7021.

October 14 - October 29, 2024 (waitlist only)

Join us on this special journey to the ancient land formerly known as Siam. Explore a Buddhist country filled with temples, spices, floating markets, amazing textiles, lush green countryside, flowing rivers, and warm, friendly people.
Our program begins in Bangkok, where you will experience famous Buddhist landmarks and authentic markets, and then moves on to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, it is north to Chiang Mai, where a wide variety of cultural and natural experiences await. Lastly, we visit Phuket, a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea. Along the way, we will learn about the natural, political, and cultural histories of this beautiful country.
For those wanting to expand the journey, there is a four-day extension to Cambodia to explore the area around Siem Reap, including the famous Angkor Wat, the exquisite remote villages of Banteay Srei and Mechrey, Tonle Sap Lake, and the historic Roluos Group Temples.

Thailand Grand Palace

Program Tuition:  
Double Occupancy    $4,000 
Single Supplement +$750
Cambodia Extension:  
Double Occupancy    $1,200 
Single Supplement +$250

There is a non-refundable $500 deposit due at registration. If you plan to buy an additional room night, only one person has to purchase it if the room is being shared.

Inclusions: 24/7 tour director/guide, accommodations, ground transportation, in-country air transfers, entry fees, three meals per day, transfer to and from the airport, and gratuities.

Important note: 

- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
- Guests must have the ability to walk comfortably for up to 3 miles a day.

If you have traveled with us in recent years, you may already have a CampDoc account. 
If this is your first tour with Summer Sessions, take a look at this "How-To" Document on how to register.

If you have any questions about registration, please reach out to us at summer@alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 474-7021. 

December 22, 2024 - January 8, 2025

The evolutionary story of the Galápagos Islands has been told many times, but only through immersing yourself in their splendor can you truly appreciate the impressive forces that shape nature here and around the globe. Embark on the Samba to explore this tropical, volcanic archipelago plentiful in charismatic wildlife, unafraid of you or your camera. Seals on the Galapagos beach with a boat in the backgroundThe captain and crew of the Samba are devoted to making your journey the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy the biodiversity of the “Enchanted Islands” and the richness of Ecuador’s culture, cuisine, and folklore.

Travel from mangroves in the basin of the Guayas River to the páramo of Cajas above 10,000 feet! Experience the colonial city of Cuenca, the markets and hot springs of the Andes, and the heart of the Amazon Basin. The Amazon Rainforest is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals. Explore the most diverse jungle in the world, home of the Achuar people, who maintain a remarkable and intimate relationship with nature and its processes.

Program Tuition:  
Double Occupancy    $11,900
Single Supplement Not available

 

There is a non-refundable $500 deposit due at registration.

Inclusions: 24/7 tour director/guide, accommodations, ground transportation, in-country air transfers, entry fees, three meals per day, transfer to and from the airport, and gratuities.

Important note:

- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
- Guests must have the ability to walk comfortably for up to 3 miles a day.

If you have traveled with us in recent years, you may already have a CampDoc account. 
If this is your first tour with Summer Sessions, take a look at this "How-To" Document on how to register.

If you have any questions about registration, please reach out to us at summer@alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 474-7021. 

January 5 - January 22, 2025

The evolutionary story of the Galápagos Islands has been told many times, but only through immersing yourself in their splendor can you truly appreciate the impressive forces that shape nature here and around the globe. Embark on the Samba to explore this tropical, volcanic archipelago plentiful in charismatic wildlife, unafraid of you or your camera. The captain and crew of the Samba are devoted to making your journey the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy the biodiversity of the “Enchanted Islands” and the richness of Ecuador’s culture, cuisine, and folklore.

Travel to the Andean Cloud Forests and climb to the highest active volcano of the world! You'll experience Old Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vivid reminder of the colonial times, as well as the markets, hot springs, and natural landscapes of the Andes before traveling to the heart of the Amazon Basin. The Amazon Rainforest is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants,and some 2,000 birds and mammals. Explore the most diverse jungle on earth, home of the Achuar people, who maintain a remarkable and intimate relationship with nature and its processes

Galapagos small inlet

Program Tuition:  
Double Occupancy    $11,900
Single Supplement Not available

There is a non-refundable $500 deposit due at registration.

Inclusions: 24/7 tour director/guide, accommodations, ground transportation, in-country air transfers, entry fees, three meals per day, transfer to and from the airport, and gratuities.

Important note:

- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
- Guests must have the ability to walk comfortably for up to 3 miles a day.

Please Note: Registration opens Nov 27 at 9am

If you have traveled with us in recent years, you may already have a CampDoc account. 
If this is your first tour with Summer Sessions, take a look at this "How-To" Document on how to register.

If you have any questions about registration, please reach out to us at summer@alaska.edu or by phone at (907) 474-7021. 

 

Traveling with Summer Sessions & Lifelong Learning is not just a vacation, but an educational experience in culture, art, and history. Our tours are personalized for our groups, and we strive to make meaningful connections with local guides to create memorable experiences. 

Here are just a few of the places we've visited over the years:

South Africa
Cuba
Netherlands
Greece
Panama
Tanzania
Peru
Costa Rica

Bali
Chile
Scotland
Portugal
Ecuador
Turkey
India 
Japan

Morocco
Vietnam
Spain
Ireland
China
Slovenia, Croatia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Grand Canyon, AZ