WASHINGTON (Jan. 5, 2011)—National Geographic Student Expeditions has expanded its lineup of unique student travel programs for summer 2011, adding new programs in Barcelona, Spain; New Zealand; and Yellowstone and Montana, as well as a new community service trip in Costa Rica.
National Geographic Student Expeditions offers immersive travel experiences for high school students, combining education and adventure in some of the world’s most fascinating places. Traveling with a National Geographic expert and a team of trip leaders, students discover new landscapes and cultures through “On Assignment” projects that allow them to focus on specific interests such as photography, conservation, filmmaking and archaeology. The trips are operated in partnership with Putney Student Travel, which has offered quality summer travel programs for high school students for nearly 60 years.
“This experience was incredible! I was able to improve my photography through workshops with a professional photographer, learn a bit of Chinese from locals and get a taste of Chinese culture firsthand through our travels,” said Virginia Mattingly, a student on the 2010 China expedition.
There are two types of National Geographic Student Expeditions programs: expeditions and field workshops. Expeditions range from two to three weeks and emphasize in-depth exploration of the sights, landscapes and cultures of the destination. In 2011, students can choose expeditions in Alaska; Australia; China; Ecuador and the Galápagos; Iceland; India; Italy and Greece; Peru; New Zealand; Tanzania; or the new community service expedition in Costa Rica.
During the 10- to 12-day field workshops, students set down roots in one or two compelling home bases and take part in hands-on activities, participate in workshops with National Geographic experts and explore the surrounding area on active excursions. This year’s roster of field workshops includes Barcelona; Bar Harbor, Maine; Costa Rica; Hawaii; Monterey Bay, Calif.; Tuscany, Italy; and Yellowstone and Montana.
On each program, a National Geographic expert — photographer, writer, researcher or explorer — joins the group for a portion of the trip. In Ecuador and the Galápagos, for example, students encounter unique wildlife with biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall, inventor of Crittercam, a device that can be attached to an animal to study its behavior. During the Tuscany field workshop, National Geographic photojournalist Massimo Bassano helps students capture the essence of Italy on hikes through the countryside or nighttime photography shoots in Florence.
Madeline Tank, a student on the 2010 Ecuador and Galápagos expedition, noted: “Greg Marshall was invaluable to my experience. His enthusiasm and knowledge about the Crittercam made me realize that there are endless possibilities combining science, technology and nature.”
The trip leaders accompanying each expedition are dynamic college graduates pursuing careers from photojournalism to environmental science and geology, with extensive knowledge of the destination and a desire to share their love of travel with high school students. The student-to-trip-leader ratio averages between six and eight to one and is never more than nine to one.
The signature of these programs is the “On Assignment” project, which shapes the way each student experiences the destination and allows for greater participation in their surroundings. Throughout the trip, students break into teams to pursue their project with the guidance of trip leaders and the National Geographic expert. “On Assignment” topics include photography, wildlife and conservation, archaeology and ancient culture, filmmaking, cultural exploration, creative writing, climate and geology, marine biology and community service. Projects can range from a short story to a portfolio of photographs to a documentary film or a wildlife study.
National Geographic Student Expeditions offers a scholarship program providing support for students seeking educational summer experiences who could not otherwise afford them. The program creates opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds and enhances the group dynamic and the learning opportunities for all students on the expeditions.
For more information or to receive a copy of the 2011 National Geographic Student Expeditions catalog, call (877) 877-8759 or visit www.ngstudentexpeditions.com. The website also features video from expeditions in Costa Rica and Peru and blogs from previous trips.
National Geographic Student Expeditions is a part of National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the National Geographic Society. Offering trips to more than 60 destinations across seven continents, National Geographic Expeditions features land programs, family programs, small-ship expeditions in conjunction with Lindblad Expeditions, and photography workshops and expeditions. The trips are accompanied by National Geographic experts whose insider perspectives enrich each travel experience. All proceeds support the Society’s aim of increasing global understanding through exploration, geography, education and research. For more information on National Geographic’s travel programs, visit www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.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 375 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and its other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,400 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.