National Geographic Student Expeditions expand for 2010

The popular and successful National Geographic Student Expeditions program is gearing up for another outstanding year, adding new options for high school students looking for an adventurous and educational escape this summer. The lucky travelers have their journeys enhanced further by the inclusion of National Geographic experts and trip leaders designed to deliver travel experiences unlike any other.

Of course, many students spend their summer traveling, but the Student Expeditions program offers some unique options that aren’t available elsewhere. While on their journey, each student will select an “On Assignment” project in the area of interest that includes photography, travel writing, filmmaking, exploration, archaeology and ancient culture, climate and geology, marine biology and conservation, Earth science, and wildlife and conservation. Those projects can take such forms as a photo portfolio, a travel film, or a short story, with a focus on capturing the culture and natural wonders of the locations visited.

The students are guided in their assignments by handpicked experts, such as National Geographic photographers, writers, or researchers who join their expeditions for anywhere from three to seven days. These experts are generally well known in their field and offer years of experience and expertise to the next generation of explorers on the trip. For example, when traveling through Tanzania, the students will be joined by Anna Estes, a wildlife ecologist who has conducted research in the Ngorongoro Crater, while those selecting Australia as their destination of choice, will see the country with photojournalist and filmmaker Ulla Lohmann.As if that wasn’t enough all of National Geographic’s trip leaders are college graduates who are working in journalism, photography, science, and similar fields. Each has insightful and extensive knowledge of the destination the students will be visiting, and in order to ensure the best experience possible, the ratio of trip leaders to students is roughly six or eight to one.

The 2010 schedule offers 15 exciting trips, lasting three weeks in length, to such destinations as Costa Rica, Iceland, Peru, China, India, and more. New to the schedule this year are expeditions to Alaska, Hawaii, and Tuscany. You can check out the entire list by clicking here, and high school students interested in joining one of these trips can fill out an online application here.

For a great look at what one of these trips is like, check out this wonderful video from a student expedition to Peru. Why couldn’t this have been an option when I was in high school?!?