National Geographic Student Expeditions, together 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 familiarize yourself with the different program types on this website, review the Eligibility & Requirements and Application Details sections on this page, then submit a full application using the form below.

Trip leaders are employed by National Geographic Student Expeditions during the summer travel season.  Preference is given to applicants who are available to lead multiple programs.  We begin reviewing applications on December 1st, and hold interviews through April until all positions are filled.

Eligibility and Requirements

To join our team of National Geographic Student Expeditions leaders, you must be able to motivate and engage students in a wide range of situations and settings. Ideal candidates will have significant experience working with middle school and/or high school students; a passion for travel, exploration, and the program theme; and the ability to assess risk and make smart decisions regarding the health, safety, and overall well-being of the group.

Trip Leader Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher obtained by the beginning of leader orientation. Preference is given to applicants with an advanced degree.
  • Proficiency in the language(s) spoken in country.
  • Extensive experience traveling/studying/living in the program destination(s).
  • Significant experience working with middle school and/or high school students.
  • Certified in Basic First Aid and CPR (at your own expense) before leader training.
  • Availability to attend leader training in Putney, Vermont June 7-10, 2018.

Program Assistant Applicants (hired for University Workshops and Photo Workshops) must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have completed their second year of college or university.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Experience working with young people as a teacher, camp counselor, trip leader for another organization, mentor, tutor, or other related experience.
  • Program assistants must be flexible and resourceful, willing to take ownership of tasks as well as be able to follow instructions and work independently without a lot of direct supervision.
  • Experience in the destination country and proficiency in the local language, if applicable.
  • Certified in Basic First Aid and CPR (at your own expense) before leader training in June 2018.
  • Availability to attend leader training in Putney, Vermont June 7-10, 2018.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants should demonstrate applicable skills in the following areas, consistent with the category of program(s) for which you wish to be considered:

For Expedition, Middle School, and University Workshop Leader Positions:

  • Extensive academic and/or work experience with one of the On Assignment specialties or seminars on which the program focuses and enthusiasm for creating your own hands-on curriculum.

For Community Service Program Leader Positions:

  • Experience with community organizing or leading volunteer service programs.
  • A valid driver’s license.

For Photography Workshop Leader Positions:

  • Extensive academic and/or work experience in photography or photojournalism.
  • For domestic programs, a valid driver’s license is required.

Background checks

All applicants offered a position are required to complete a background check. For programs where you will be responsible for driving students, this includes a driving report.  All leaders must submit a background check every year.

Leader Orientation

All leaders are required to attend an intensive orientation from June 7-10, 2018. During orientation, leaders participate in active and engaging discussions, seminars, activities, and workshops. If your schedule conflicts with these dates please reconsider applying for a position.


Leaders receive a stipend, the rate of which is calculated to reflect their level of education, length of program, in-country experience, teaching and professional experience, language ability, and level of First Aid/CPR certification. On top of the stipend, National Geographic Student Expeditions covers all reasonable travel expenses, including room and board during the leader orientation and through the duration of the program. National Geographic does not provide health insurance.  Our stipends are competitive within our industry.

Application Details

All positions for the 2018 season have been filled. Thank you for your interest in working with us. We will begin accepting applications again in December for openings in 2019. We look forward to hearing from you then.