There are many high quality organizations out there that provide great courses for outdoor leaders. However, SIET is truly unique in this industry. There are 'Ten Key Components' of every SIET course that set our school apart and allow us to be one of the most effective institutions in the country. Many organizations incorporate some of these components but none provide all of them in one course. To put it simply, we provide a training experience that is unlike any other....
1 *Our instructors are some of the most accomplished in the industry* SIET instructors have years of experience working for some of the most reputable organizations in the world. These organizations include: NOLS, Outward Bound, Exum Mountain Guides, American Alpine Institute and various Universities throughout North America. SIET instructors have earned their excellent reputations from their advanced technical skills, understanding of and ability to teach risk management, years of experience and success teaching, in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of industry standards and of course, a deep passion for international mountaineering.
Read more about our instructors' professional and personal expedition experience: Instructor Bios
2 *SIET's low overhead means low cost for students without compromising quality* Our courses generally cost about 30-50% less than those of other companies with similar offerings. SIET also allocates a number of scholarships to qualified applicants each season and is dedicated to keeping operational costs to a minimum. All tuition goes directly into the student experience: providing talented instructors, top of the line gear, quality food, in country transportation and housing, and all the local support needed to succeed on world class routes.
3 *College credit* SIET has a partnership with Green Mountain College in Vermont (part of the Eco-League). Most students can get pass/no pass credit for our international courses. Contact us for more information.
4 *An experiential approach to education* SIET emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning. Our international courses are designed so that instructors teach, model and coach students on various skills during the first week of the course. During the last two weeks of the course, students apply these skills and 'run the show' while leading their peers on 2 or 3 high altitude, technical peak ascents. Our Slide Show illustrates this process well.
a) More 1 on 1 coaching and feedback from instructors. More personal attention from instructors means that your learning curve will never plateau. Our curriculum progression is very comprehensive and you will be able to spend plenty of time practicing skills and honing techniques due to the fact that you will receive plenty of personal coaching.
b) Small expeditions are more intimate. An intimate expedition allows more time to get to know one another and bond. A well developed group dynamic is a key ingredient to creating a high performing expedition.
c) Small expeditions are more efficient and less cumbersome. Group decisions, logistical planning and travel are all aspects of an expedition that are more efficient in small groups. This allows more time for classes, demonstrations, skills sessions and other educational opportunities. Because there is more time for learning, we experience a high success rate on our climbing objectives. It also means that we are less likely to have medical or illness related evacs.
d) A rich and meaningful cultural experience. In a small group, students and instructors can gain a greater sense of place and glean more knowledge from locals. This occurs because groups have an inherently easier time building intimate relationships with porters, cooks and the cultures in which they are immersed.
6 *Our instructors have been trained and/or certified by the AMGA* AMGA guides have undergone rigorous trainings and examinations that meet and/or exceeds international standards. At SIET you know you will be working with highly competent and well trained professionals. If you want to learn more about this important certification, click here to read 'Ten Reasons to Hire an AMGA Guide' on the AMGA website.
7 *Risk management* SIET employs a number of risk management techniques to ensure that all courses meet or exceed the 'industry best practices.' Our instructors have Wilderness First Responder or EMT training. The school also has a partnership with Global Rescue and has access to their services if needed; we have satellite phone(s) in case medical advice or assistance with an evac is needed and most importantly, our instructors have years of experience handling complicated rescues and evacuations.
8 *SIET courses are designed to fill the 'Industry Gap'* Currently there is a gap in the training industry between being a student on instructional courses (such as intro or intermediate college level courses, NOLS courses, OB courses, etc.) and entering the field to work as a professional. SIET provides its students with the advanced skills needed to bridge that gap as well as an evaluation that will give potential employers an accurate description of technical ability as well as their leadership abilities in the mountains.
Now, to be magically transported to a SIET course, click your heels together 3 times and say, "There is no place like SIET, there is no place like SIET, there is no place...."