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International Wilderness Guide

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Mr Timo Järvenpää
tel. +358 40 539 4750

Next available course starts 14th of August 2017. Application time ends 10th of April 2017.

16 students will be admitted. The final selection is made after an interview.

See FAQ for more detailed information.

The wilderness guide will plan and carry out safely different kinds of outdoor tours in all the seasons of the year. He will take notions of the sustainability of nature, and the physical abilities of his customers, as well as their social and cultural background. He will give a talk to his customers on the nature of his province, its people, livelihoods, and history.

The aim of the program is to train the students to take the Nature and Wilderness Guide's Proficiency test and to create an international co-operation network as early as possible during their studies. This will help the students to create their own businesses after they achieve their Diploma. In addition, the development of language skills in English is an essential aim of their studies. The work language on the program is English.

Content of the program

The essential topics of the program are, among other things, wilderness skills, nature and tourism, entrepreneurship and marketing skills, customer service and knowledge of human nature, knowledge of culture and a specialization topic.

For more detailed information see Program handbook [pdf, 1 MB]

Real expeditions - real survival

During their studies the students of the International Wilderness Guide course will have to plan and implement nature and wilderness expeditions. The backbone of our journeys is a solid safety plan. The standard of these expeditions will rise towards to the end of the course, and in the end they should get through of the given tasks independently, without the help from supervisors. Different survival methods and skills are thus thoroughly practiced.

The course will give a unique possibility to visit remote wilderness areas in Finland and Russia. Good example is the Paanajärvi National Park in Karelia, Russia. This vast and mostly untouched wilderness is a perfect place for challenging expeditions. On expeditions we move by foot, canoe and skis.

IWG expeditions

  • in October, two weeks’ hiking trip to Russia
  • in February, a two week ski trip in North-Eastern Finland
  • in April "The Bear ski". It´s a solo cross-country skiing trek for nine days in the forests of Lapland
  • in May, a two week canoe trip on a river and lake route in Central Finland
  • in June, one week trip to the Archipelago of Baltic Sea to explore plant and bird life

For expeditions, the students will be split balanced into groups or teams for planning and execution. Collaborative teamwork is the process by which any individual student's weaknesses will be strengthened. And, of course, individual strengths continue to grow at the same time.

IWG is widely known on Finnish labor market. Our former students are working as guides in sledge dog-, snowmobile- and farm tourism business. And of course many of them are working as all-round Wilderness Guides in Finland, Russia - well, the truth is that except for Antarctica there are IWG-members working in each continent.

Location and costs

Tampere Vocational College Tredu in Kuru, Ylöjärvi: Metsätie 1, FIN-34300 Kuru.

1.8.2016 Course fee is 750€ (The price includes professional examination fee is 58 €). Accommodation in the College's dormitory cost 100-150 €/month, deposit of the dormitory key 50 €.

Home pages of our former students