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. In most scenarios programs are led by a two-person leadership team, however larger programs may have a leadership trio, and our University Workshop and Photo Workshops are led by larger teams of instructors, often with an on-site Program Director.

Expedition Leader Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher or considerable professional work in a field related to the program theme.
  • 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 the start of the program.
  • Ability to attend a mandatory leader training in late May or early June. More details on training will be outlined during the interview process.

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 (for domestic programs).
  • 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.
  • Ability to attend a mandatory leader training in late May or early June. More details on training will be outlined during the interview process.

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.
  • Some programs require a valid driver’s license.

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 every year. 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. We expect to have more definitive information about leader training by mid-February.

Compensation

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, all reasonable travel expenses, including room and board during the leader orientation and through the duration of the contract are covered. Health insurance is not provided. Stipends are competitive within the student travel industry.

Application Details

Please follow this link to the 2021 National Geographic Leadership Application.