Since National Geographic’s earliest days, our explorers have gone to great lengths to discover the unknown, immerse themselves in extraordinary places, encounter new cultures, and investigate nature firsthand. The same philosophy applies to our unique student travel programs for high school and middle school students ages 13 and older. We strive to create authentic and meaningful travel experiences that bring students to wonders both hidden and celebrated around the globe. Our founders sought to understand "the world and all that’s in it." Our trips aim to do just that: to inspire a thirst for discovery and a passion for the wonders of our planet.
To make these unique trips possible, we have partnered with Putney Student Travel—an organization that has offered quality student expeditions for more than 60 years.
With our innovative itineraries, our top-notch experts, and a thriving network of resources all over the world, we have the privilege of offering you exceptional travel experiences. What is the National Geographic difference? Just take a look:
Travel Like an Explorer
There’s a certain spirit that has driven National Geographic adventurers to all corners of the Earth. You feel it when you travel with us. You’ll be out in the field with our experts, who are fueled by curiosity and a desire to understand our planet and its inhabitants. Much more than a tourist, you become a thoughtful explorer who is passionate about our world.
Explore Your Passion
Throughout your trip, you’ll delve deeper into your surroundings by exploring through the lens of an On Assignment project. No matter which trip you choose, you'll travel with a purpose. Hands-on projects—such as crafting a photography portfolio, creating a short film, teaching local children about conservation, or researching threats to wildlife with scientists—will deepen your understanding of the cultures and environments you visit, and give you a tangible accomplishment to share with friends and family back home. As you explore our website, find the destination and focus area that most captures your imagination. Our trip themes include Photography, Film & Video, Creative Writing, Wildlife Conservation, Marine & Tropical Biology, Climate & Geology, Anthropology & Local Cultures, Community Service, Engineering & Technology, and Pre-college.
Authentic and Sustainable Experiences
We’re committed to sustaining the natural and cultural heritage of each place we visit. We support local economies in our choice of accommodations and services, increase students’ appreciation for other cultures through meaningful exchange, and invest in offset projects for the carbon emissions associated with activities and travel in our destinations.
Build Lasting Relationships
One of the highlights of your trip is sure to be your traveling companions—students from across the globe who are also enthusiastic about exploring. And you’ll find role models in your National Geographic Experts and Expedition Leaders who are photographers, writers, scientists, and explorers pursuing fascinating careers that are helping to make the world a better place.
Heading up each program is a team of talented, dynamic Expedition Leaders who have extensive experience in the field—and love working with students. All of our leaders are college graduates, and many have advanced degrees. With no more than nine students to every leader, we have the freedom to break into small teams and explore students' interests.
In addition to trip leaders, National Geographic Experts join most of our programs. As you explore together, they’ll share their insights and experiences, and inspire you with their passion for the work they do and the places you’ll discover. As you read more about each of our trips, you can meet the experts who will be joining students in the field this summer.
Make a Difference
When you travel with us, you support the National Geographic Society’s mission to explore and protect the planet. We return 27% of our proceeds to the Society, which funds researchers and explorers around the globe who are working to preserve species and ecosystems, protect cultures, and advance understanding of our planet and its inhabitants.