Wilderness First Aid Training Grant

The Global Safety Office (GSO) has made available a limited number of grants for undergraduate or graduate students to participate in wilderness first aid training. To qualify, a student’s international travel must support Penn State academic goals that require remote or rural international travel. 


Recipients of this grant may attend a training in any location, but reimbursement is capped at $300, which should cover the cost of enrollment in the wilderness first aid training along and a small portion of the cost of fuel/transportation. Most wilderness first aid training courses cost between $230 to $275.  Numerous training options exist including: National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), REI, and Wilderness Medical Associates. Upon completion of the wilderness first aid training course, awardees will have four weeks to submit proof of participation in the training to the Global Safety Office.


To be eligible for the wilderness first aid training, an applicant must be a current, full-time undergraduate or graduate student in good academic standing at Penn State University whose international travel is defined as University-Affiliated International Travel. Applicable international travel must be planned or booked within twelve months of participating in the wilderness first aid course. The international destination must be a remote/rural area in the foreign country that lacks easy access to medical care and limited cell phone coverage.

The applicant is required to submit a written justification (500 words or less) that describes their previous international travel experience, the proposed international travel for which the training would be applicable, how the wilderness first aid training course will contribute to their overall health and safety, and which course they plan to take (date/location/provider).

Preference will be given to travelers who will be traveling alone or who are leading a group of less-experienced travelers. Preference will also be given to those whose purpose of travel involves: direct or indirect exposure to wild animals; the collection of flora, fauna or other natural samples (including water); higher-risk activities including: building projects, snorkeling, caving, back-country hiking, etc.

Finally, after completion of the wilderness first aid training and international travel, the grant recipient must agree to write a 500-word reflection on their experience abroad and how the wilderness first aid training prepared them for their experience. At least three high quality photos are also required.

Selection/Review of Applications

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis by written submission to emergencyprep@psu.edu. Grants will be awarded to students who meet the eligibility criteria until all grant funds are exhausted (first come, first served). The Global Safety Office will determine eligibility and selection for grant awardees, in consultation with Risk Management, Student Activities, and the Graduate School (and any others as appropriate).