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 and Requirements, Application Details, and How to Apply sections on this page, then submit your resume and cover letter via email (

Trip leaders are only employed by National Geographic Student Expeditions during the summer.  Depending on our hiring needs and trip dates, trip leaders are offered positions to lead one or two trips.  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.

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. 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.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • College graduate (Bachelor’s degree or higher. Preference is given to applicants with an advanced degree.)
  • Proficiency in the language(s) spoken in country
  • Experience traveling/studying/living in the program destination(s)
  • Experience working with young people as a teacher, camp counselor, trip leader for another organization, mentor, tutor, or other related experience
  • Certified in Basic First Aid and CPR (at your own expense) by the start of the program
  • Availability to attend leader training in Putney, Vermont June 1-4, 2017

In addition, 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 Leader Positions:

  • Extensive academic and/or work experience with one of the On Assignment specialties on which the program focuses.

For Community Service Program Leader Positions:

  • Experience with community organizing or leading volunteer service programs.

For Photography Workshop Leader Positions:

  • Extensive academic and/or work experience in photography or photojournalism.

For University Workshop Leader Positions :

  • Extensive academic and/or work experience with one of the seminars offered during the program.  Ability to work independently to create a hands-on curriculum that brings your subject matter to life.

Application Details

When applying to be a leader for one of our programs, you will be considered for all positions for which you are qualified.  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, keeping in mind that prior travel experience to a particular destination is strongly preferred. You may also use your cover letter to elaborate on the skills you have that would make you a good candidate for other destinations or programs.  Cover letters should be one page or less in length.

How to Apply

  1. Learn about who we are by reading about the programs on this website.
  2. Read through the Eligibility and Requirements listed on this page.
  3. Email us your 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.