Students ages 13 and older who are completing 7th and 8th grades are eligible to participate in our middle school expeditions. Students who are completing 9th through 12th grades are eligible to participate in our high school programs.
We expect student participants to maintain high standards of personal behavior. Because they are encouraged, within the context of our programs, to take leadership roles and to make some of their own discoveries, students whose parents require them to be under constant surveillance; who are likely to act irresponsibly; who use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco; or who may behave in an otherwise disruptive manner should not apply. Students who violate our few rules are subject to dismissal at our sole discretion. Parents are responsible for making arrangements for, bearing the cost of, and providing supervision for dismissed students’ immediate travel home, even in situations that require extended international travel. No refund of the tuition is given. Students dismissed from our programs will not receive credit for community service hours completed prior to their dismissal.
Group Size and Composition
Group sizes generally range between 14 and 28 participants. Our community service programs are limited to 18 participants; the size of photography workshops is generally 25–30 students; and our university workshops each accommodate up to 75 students. The student-to-trip-leader ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one. In addition to trip leaders, a National Geographic expert joins a portion of each expedition, generally for a period of four to eight days. On our photography workshops, the National Geographic expert joins the entire program. On our university workshops, two National Geographic experts join a portion of the program.
Applications are carefully reviewed by our Admissions Committee, and students are selected on the basis of their maturity, enthusiasm, motivation, and willingness to live and participate constructively in a supportive team environment. We will temporarily reserve a space for an applicant in a particular program upon receipt of the Application Form, a $700 payment, and the Agreement Form.
For applications received after March 15, final payment is due within five business days after the initial payment is made.
An applicant’s file is not complete and cannot be considered for admission until we have received a completed application, which consists of the Application Form, $700 payment, Applicant Statement, two completed Teacher Reference Forms, and signed Agreement Form.
Tuition and Supplemental Fees
Tuition for National Geographic Student Expeditions programs includes all meals, lodging, activities, excursions, ground transportation, taxes, gratuities and pre-trip materials. Tuition excludes the $200 Application Fee, airfare, costs of obtaining passports or visas, baggage charges, trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance, and personal expenses. National Geographic arranges escorted round-trip group flights for each of our international (and Alaska and Hawaii) programs at additional cost, and will provide applicants with information about these flights.
High school students who choose the Photography On Assignment project on an expedition must bring their own digital camera, and there is a supplemental fee of $150 to cover additional supplies and on-site computing facilities for this On Assignment project. High school students who choose the Film & Video On Assignment project must bring their own camera, and there is a $250 supplemental fee to cover additional equipment and facilities necessary for on-site editing for this On Assignment project. Students on photography workshops must bring their own digital SLR camera, external hard drive, and laptop computer. More information about what equipment to bring on each program will be provided in the pre-trip materials.
International and domestic airfare and any in-country internal flights are not included in the cost of tuition. We have arranged for an escorted round-trip group flight for each of our international (and Alaska and Hawaii) programs, and will provide applicants with information about these flights. Group flights for each program begin and end at a meeting point at a major U.S. airport. For our U.S. programs (except Alaska and Hawaii), students arriving and departing by plane are met by a trip leader at the arrival/departure airport. On all programs, parents are responsible for making arrangements for students to get to and from the U.S. departure/return meeting points.
Terms of Payment
APPLICATION FEE & TUITION DEPOSIT: A $700 payment (made up of a $200 Application Fee and a $500 Tuition Deposit) is required with all applications. The Tuition Deposit is credited to the tuition for accepted students. Payment may be made by check or credit card.
FINAL PAYMENT: Final payment of the full tuition, and group flight airline tickets (if applicable), is due on March 15, 2017. For applications submitted after March 15, final payment is due within five (5) business days after the initial $700 payment is made. Final payment may be made by check, wire transfer, or credit card. Checks must be in U.S. dollars and must be drawn on a U.S. bank. Please make checks payable to “Putney Student Travel” and write the Student’s name clearly on the check. For payment by wire transfer, please consult the NGSE office for wiring information. For final payment made by credit card, a 2.75% fee is added to your payment.
If an application is not accepted or if space is not available on the trip listed as first choice, the full $700 payment amount will be refunded, or if payment of the full tuition, and (if applicable) payment of group flight airline tickets, has been made, the amount of the full payment will be refunded.
WAIT-LIST: Wait-listed applications must include the $700 payment, which will be fully refunded if space does not become available or if the application is withdrawn prior to acceptance. A wait-listed application must be completed to be considered for acceptance.
WITHDRAWAL: If the Student withdraws from a Program for any reason, either before or after his or her application is accepted, the following terms will govern any refunds. For a withdrawal on or before March 15, all payments, and (if applicable) group flight airline tickets payments, will be refunded, less the Application Fee. For a withdrawal after March 15, no refunds of the $700 payment, tuition, or (if applicable) group flight airline tickets will be made.
CANCELLATION: NGSE and PST reserve the right to cancel applications that are not completed in a timely manner; however, NGSE and PST will communicate with applicants to facilitate the admissions process prior to cancelling applications. NGSE and PST further reserve the right to revoke an acceptance when payment is past due. No refund of the payments made to date is provided in this circumstance.
If NGSE or PST cancel an application on or before March 15, all payments will be refunded, less the Application Fee. If NGSE or PST cancel an application or revoke an acceptance after March 15, the $700 payment and, if applicable, any non-refundable airline tickets, will be forfeited.
If NGSE or PST cancel an application or revoke an acceptance, written notification will be sent to the address provided on the application form.
Leaving a Program in progress, for any reason, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portion of a Program. NGSE and PST reserve the right to cancel any Program because of inadequate enrollment that makes the Program economically unfeasible to operate or because of good faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the students. If NGSE or PST cancels a trip prior to departure, PST will provide a full refund of monies paid, except in the event the cancellation is due to a significant event that makes it infeasible to operate the trip as planned, in which case PST will provide a refund and/or trip credit equivalent to monies paid. If NGSE and PST cancel the trip in progress, PST will provide a prorated refund based on the number of days not completed on the trip. NGSE and PST will not be responsible for any refund for any expenses related to nonrefundable airline tickets.