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Trip Leader Opportunities

About Our Trips

National Geographic Student Expeditions, in conjunction with our partner Putney Student Travel, seeks extraordinary people to work as trip leaders, instructors and program assistants on our student travel programs. If you are interested in working with us, please acquaint yourself with the programs on this website, take a look at the Eligibility Requirements and How to Apply sections on this page, then submit your resume and cover letter via email. We begin reviewing applications on December 1st, and hold interviews through April until all positions are filled.

In addition to the programs listed on this website, Putney Student Travel may have other leadership opportunities available. If you are interested in other destinations or areas of focus, please email us for more information.


To join our team National Geographic Student Expeditions leaders, you must be able to motivate and engage students in a wide range of situations and settings. Due to the high degree of independence and responsibility granted, excellent personal leadership skills and the ability to handle multiple ongoing tasks are crucial. The trips require extensive close-up interaction with students; the ability to inspire, lead, mentor, counsel, and set limits are all very important.

Requirements for National Geographic Student Expeditions Trip Leaders

a. College graduate (Bachelor’s degree or higher. Preference is given to applicants with an advanced degree.)
b. Proficient in the language(s) spoken in country
c. Experience traveling/studying/living in the program destination(s)
d. Extensive academic and/or work experience with one of the On Assignment specialties or themes on which the program focuses.
e. Certified in Basic First Aid and CPR by the start of the program
f. Availability to attend leader training in late May 2015.
g. If you are applying to be an Instructor for our on campus program, you should have the ability to work independently to create a hands-on curriculum that brings your subject matter to life.

Applying for More Than One Position

You may apply for more than one position, and we may also consider you for positions you haven’t applied for depending on your specific skills. When applying to be a leader for one of our programs, you are considered for all positions for which you are qualified.

Whether you are applying for one or more than one position, you only need to send one copy of your resume and cover letter (credit joann here). If we invite you to interview with us, we will discuss all leadership possibilities during that time.

Please indicate in your cover letter the specific programs for which you feel MOST qualified and in which you are MOST interested. You may also use your cover letter to elaborate on the skills you have that would make you a good candidate for each specific position.

How to Apply

1. Learn about who we are by reading about the programs on this website.
2. Read through the eligibility requirements listed on this page.
3. Email us your resume and cover letter. (Please include an updated resume and a cover letter highlighting the applicable experience that makes you a great candidate.)

If your skills fit the positions we have available, we will be in touch with you to schedule an interview. The interview is a time for us to learn about you and for you to learn about us, so please come prepared with any questions you might have.

Proceeds from our student expeditions help fund the National Geographic Society's core mission programs. By traveling with us, you are helping support our grantees and explorers in their efforts to preserve species and habitats, protect cultures, and advance understanding of our incredible planet.
Our Other Travel Programs