WASHINGTON (Jan. 10, 2008) — Future explorers, photographers, writers, filmmakers and biologists can now head into the field and learn from the experts on a National Geographic Student Expedition. This new program offers immersive travel for high school students that combines education and adventure in some of the world’s most fascinating places. With National Geographic experts, dynamic trip leaders and a variety of “On Assignment” projects that allow students to focus on their specific interests, students will travel with their peers to discover new landscapes and cultures.
National Geographic Student Expeditions are typically three weeks long, and destinations include Belize, the Caribbean, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galápagos, India, Iceland, Ireland, Mali, Peru, Spain and Tanzania.
To make these trips possible, National Geographic has partnered with Putney Student Travel, a highly regarded organization that has offered quality summer travel for high school students for more than 50 years.
“We’re delighted to engage the next generation of explorers and bring them into the field on National Geographic Student Expeditions,” said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic’s senior vice president, Travel and Business Development. “After more than a century of exploration at National Geographic, we’ve developed an extensive network of resources that we use to help craft unique itineraries for fun, safe and innovative expeditions across the globe.”
On each student expedition a National Geographic expert — a photographer, writer, researcher or explorer — joins the group for three to seven days of the trip. These experts will enrich the trip with their stories, knowledge, enthusiasm and insider’s perspective on the region. In Peru, for example, students could explore Machu Picchu with writer and archaeologist Peter Frost and hear about his Inca and pre-Inca discoveries featured in National Geographic magazine. Or, students could examine the Caribbean’s marine life with biologist and inventor of National Geographic Crittercam, Greg Marshall.
Each expedition is also accompanied by a team of trip leaders who are enthusiastic college graduates pursuing careers in journalism, photography, filmmaking, science and other fields, with extensive knowledge of the destination and a desire to share their love of travel with students. The student-to-trip-leader ratio averages between six and eight to one.
Each student selects an “On Assignment” project, which shapes the way they experience the destination and allows for greater participation in their surroundings. Throughout the expedition, students break into smaller groups to pursue their project with the guidance of trip leaders and National Geographic experts. “On Assignment” projects offered on the trips include photography, writing, documentary film, culture and arts, Spanish language, archaeology and ancient culture, climate and geology, wildlife and conservation, music and dance, and spiritual traditions. Projects can range from a short story to a portfolio of photographs to a documentary film or a presentation of findings from an archaeological dig.
“In crafting these expeditions, our aim has been to build in opportunities for adventure, cultural immersion and community service throughout the trip,” Cutter said. On many trips, students will have an opportunity to give back to the communities they visit by participating in such service projects as helping to build a house, clearing forest trails or tutoring students in English. At the end of the trip, students will receive a community service certificate which can be applied towards their schools’ community service requirements.
National Geographic Student Expeditions offers a scholarship program providing support for students seeking educational summer experiences who could not otherwise afford them.
For more information or to receive a copy of the 2008 National Geographic Student Expeditions catalog, call (877) 877-8759 or visit www.ngstudentexpeditions.com.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 300 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; school publishing programs; interactive media; merchandise; and its travel programs.
In addition to National Geographic Student Expeditions, National Geographic Travel operates National Geographic Expeditions and National Geographic Private Journeys with expeditions to more than 60 destinations across all seven continents. These trips are accompanied by top National Geographic experts whose insider perspectives enrich each travel experience. All proceeds from National Geographic’s travel programs support the Society’s mission of increasing global understanding through exploration, geography, education and research. National Geographic has funded more than 8,700 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.