STUDENTS ON ICE is an award-winning organization offering unique educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic. Our mandate is to provide students, educators and scientists from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the Earth and, in doing so, help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet.

| Monday May 11, 2015 | Contact Us  

Your donation helps to provide youth from around the world with life-changing expeditions as well as post expedition leadership support, education and career opportunities. Thanks to the generous support of donors and partners, more than 2,600 students from 52 countries have benefitted from the Students on Ice program.


Thanks for your interest in Students on Ice expeditions. Before you submit an application, make sure you read this section carefully and also visit our FAQ page as there is a lot of information to know.














The selection process for our expeditions is competitive so applicants should be able to demonstrate qualities such as a record of academic achievement, interest in the Polar Regions, leadership potential, community involvement, and/or a strong desire to make a difference in their community, and become a youth ambassador for change.


Successful applicants must agree to a mandatory education program prior to and during the expedition.



Eligibility Criteria

  • Student must be enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary institution (or be home-schooled) at the time of application. We accept youth from any country in the World.
    • High school students must be between 14-18 years old at the time of application.
    • There are a limited number of spaces available to post-secondary students.
  • Student must submit a completed application form with 2 letters of reference.
  • Student must demonstrate an interest in issues relating to the Polar Regions and must understand that this is an educational expedition, not a vacation. All students must be committed to participate fully in all aspects of the mandatory education program and any research activities prior to and during the expedition.
    • University/college students may also have the option to enroll in an accredited field course offered during the expedition by one of our partner institutions. More details will be provided closer to expedition dates.
    • Successful applicants enrolled in expedition field courses must agree to participate in and complete any pre-expedition preparations and/or post-expedition assignments as directed by their respective instructors.
  • Student must demonstrate some or all of the following qualities: strong academic ability and/or passion for learning; leadership qualities and/or potential to develop these qualities; active involvement in the community; a desire to make a difference.
  • Successful applicants must accept the responsibility to act as an ambassador for their communities and educational institutions.
  • Applicants must possess a passport or have started the process of obtaining a passport.

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Application Process

There is no firm deadline for the submission of general applications for our expeditions. While we accept applications on a rolling basis, we encourage applicants to submit their forms as early as possible to ensure your participation as there are a limited number of spots on board. Applying with ample time also allows participants to gather the funds necessary for the expedition fee.


Interested applicants must submit a completed an online application form that is available on the Applications page of our website. Please see the Contact Info section for our contact details if you have any questions!


Please follow the following steps to ensure that your application is complete and received in good order:

1. Please ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria and read all instructions carefully.

2. Complete the online application form; you can complete the form in several steps and can save and return to your form at any time.

3. Be sure to complete all essay questions and upload two reference letters.

4. Submit the form.

5. Be patient while Students on Ice processes your application. Processing your application can take several weeks. We will contact you to confirm your participation status within three weeks. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to provide feedback on your application.

6. You will be notified by the Participant Coordinator upon acceptance to the expedition.

7. A deposit of $1000 will need to be processed within 10 business days of your acceptance in order to reserve your place on expedition. Please send your deposit via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to We do not accept payment by credit card. Cheques are accepted (made payable to Students on Ice Inc.), but email transfers are preferred to keep within the 10 day timeline.


*Please note that a deposit is not required for scholarship applicants, and your participation is dependent on the scholarship selection process. However, you may submit the $1000 deposit to secure your place if you intend to fund your participation in the event your scholarship application is not successful.

Please also ensure that you have read the section on expedition fees, payments, and cancellations below.


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Interested in being Expedition Staff?


  • Candidate must understand that this is an educational expedition, not a vacation and be committed to participate fully in all aspects of the program and assist when needed.
  • Candidate is not required to be a certified teacher/educator. We are looking for adults who enjoy working with youth and are passionate about the goals of the SOI program.
  • Candidate must be dynamic, enthusiastic, engaging, and comfortable interacting with a large and diverse group of youth.
  • Candidate must be capable of providing guidance to youth who are far from home in a foreign environment.
  • Candidate is not expected to be an expert on the Polar Regions, or qualified in Zodiac operation.
  • Candidate must demonstrate an interest in the Polar Regions
  • Candidate must demonstrate some or all of the following qualities: passion for learning; leadership qualities and/or potential to develop these qualities; active involvement in the community.
  • Candidate must submit a clear Police Records Check, including clearance for service with the Vulnerable Sector, from their local police authority.
  • Candidates must possess a valid passport or be able to complete the process of obtaining a passport.

Our Expedition Staff application form can be found here!


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Participation Fees



Expedition Fees for Students & Staff


Arctic Expedition

July 27-August 10, 2015



$11,500 from Ottawa

+ applicable taxes




NB: Fuel surcharges may apply. Expedition fees do not include travel to and from the gateway city.


*Please note that if applicable, university course fees are not included. Information will be provided to students upon registration regarding the availability of credit courses.


Your expedition fee includes:

  • Online Education Program
  • Electronic Orientation Package and Expedition Resources
  • One-on-one support for expedition preparations and inquiries
  • All accommodations (hotels, cabins on expedition ship)
  • Group flights (from gateway city to our ship and return)
  • Local transportation (buses and shuttles within gateway cities)
  • Activities, excursions and all associated programming materials
  • Education Program (presentations, workshops, seminars, discussion groups, hands-on activities and field work, etc.)
  • All meals
  • Accommodation (hotels, cabins on the expedition ship)
  • SOI expedition gear: one or two warm outdoor clothing item(s), SOI t-shirt, expedition journal, nametag and luggage tags

Your expedition fees do not include:

  • Your independent travel to and from the gateway city
  • The cost of your travel visa or other travel documentation
  • Airport taxes and reciprocity fees (varies depending on expedition, gateway cities and group flight routes)
  • Personal medical and travel insurance, which is mandatory for participation
  • Personal expedition clothing and gear


Upon your acceptance, and submitting your deposit, you will receive notice from our Finance Manager and an updated invoice and payment schedule for the balance of your expedition fee.


Payments towards your expedition fee can be made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) sent to finance 'at' or by cheque. Please make cheques payable to Students on Ice. Unfortunately, we do not accept payments by credit card.


Contact our office regarding tax receipt opportunities and payment plan options. Generally, 50% of the expedition fee is due at least 120 days prior to departure and final balances are due at least 60 days prior to departure. Expedition fee payment schedules may be customized to meet participant needs and financial capabilities.


All payments received within 120 days or more prior to the departure date are refundable, with the exception of a $250 administrative fee. When cancellations are received within 119 days of the departure date, payments are not refundable. We recommend that students purchase cancellation insurance.

For the 2015 Arctic Expedition, payments are due March 27, 2015 and May 27, 2015.





An administrative fee of $250 is charged on all cancellations. Although not mandatory to participate, purchasing cancellation insurance is advised.


All payments received 120 days or more prior to the departure date are refundable, less the $250 administration fee. When cancellations are received after these dates, payments are not refundable.

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Scholarships and Fundraising


Students on Ice offers many different scholarships to participate on our expeditions. The majority of these scholarships support high school students travelling on our Arctic expeditions, though there are several scholarships for high school students wishing to participate on our Antarctic expeditions as well. All of our scholarships are offered in partnership with specific organizations; these partners fund scholarships with specific criteria and many also have supplementary questions that applicants need to answer. Please read the selection criteria for each scholarship to determine if you are eligible and note the deadlines for applications; this information can be found on our Applications page.


Scholarship applicants must demonstrate that they want to participate for the right reasons. This is not a vacation experience. It is a learning journey that requires time, energy, passion and interest, before, during and after the expedition. The group of selected scholarship recipients must achieve a gender balance and must represent the diversity of Canada - geographic, ethnic, socio-economic, new Canadians (first generation Canadians and Canadians born outside of Canada), First Nations and multi-generational Canadians.


Thanks to our many generous sponsors and partners, scholarships are available for students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in an experience like this. These scholarships cover all of the expedition costs for students to participate.


Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have scholarships available for post-secondary students or support staff applicants.





Scholarship Applications


When available, scholarship information will be available on the Applications page of our website. If you are eligible for a scholarship, you need to fill out and submit our online Application Form, also available on our Applications page.

Please note that if you are not selected to receive a scholarship, you are not guaranteed a spot on the expedition. Your participation will be dependent on the scholarship selection process.


Students who are interested in applying for a scholarship find additional information and the application form here.


We provide a toolkit to help our participants raise funds in their local communities to cover some or all of the participation fees. This toolkit contains sample letters, and tips to fundraise your way on board! You can download the toolkit here.


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General Travel & Medical Information

Travel Documents

All participants must have a current passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the expedition.


Participants must also ensure they have the necessary visas to participate on the expedition. For the Arctic expeditions, if you are not Canadian you may need a visa to visit Canada. For the Antarctic expeditions, we fly through the United States and several countries in South America, which may require visas as well. We encourage participants to confirm with the appropriate Embassy or consular missions and ensure that you are familiar with your own entry and exit requirements.If you are unsure, you can get in touch with us and we will provide some guidance.



Personal travel medical insurance (including Emergency Medical Evacuation) is mandatory for all participants. The minimum coverage required is $100,000 USD for medical emergencies and $50,000 USD for medical evacuation, which must include "air ambulance." Basic travel insurance (including coverage for cancellation and lost luggage, etc.) is optional.


Travel insurance can be purchased for approximately $75 from a variety of providers. We recommend speaking with a travel professional regarding your insurance options.



Participants must be capable of moderate physical activity, such as hiking. During days at sea, the possibility of rough sea conditions may lead to seasickness. Although we conduct our expeditions during the summer season, daily temperatures may be below freezing, and participants will be expected to participate in all daily excursions. These excursions, such as Zodiac boat cruises and shore landings, generally range from two to three hours in length.   


An expedition physician is part of every SOI expedition staff team. General medical forms will be provided with the Expedition Orientation Package once applicants are accepted. These forms must be completed and returned to the Students on Ice office.


Liability Release

A standard liability release form will be provided with the Expedition Orientation Package once applicants are accepted. We will also provide medical and media release forms as well. These forms must be signed by both the student participant and parent/guardian (in the event a student is under 18 years of age) and all expedition support staff.


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Application Forms

All of our applications forms can be found here.

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Contact the Participant Coordinator

Do you have questions that we haven’t answered yet (have you also checked our FAQ section)?

Get in touch with our Participant Coordinator!


Students on Ice

Natural Heritage Campus

1740 chemin Pink Rd

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada J9J 3N7


Email: apply 'at'

Toll free: 1-866-336-6423

Tel: 819-827-3300

Fax: 819-827-9951

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