National Geographic offers new Student Expeditions for 2012

High school students looking for something to occupy their time next summer, just received a host of tantalizing new options courtesy of National Geographic. Earlier this week, the organization announced several new trips as part of their Student Expeditions program, which provide young people with the opportunity to experiencing some of the world’s top destinations, while learning about new cultures, building new skills, and making a difference in the community there.

Nat Geo’s student programs come in three different varieties: expeditions, field workshops, and community service trips. The expeditions are two to three weeks in length and focus on exploring the cultures and landscapes of the destination in a very in depth way. Field workshops, on the other hand, are shorter, usually 11-12 days, and offer students the opportunity to stay in a more central location, while taking part in daily active excursions into the surrounding area. The community service programs take place in a local community, with the participants spending roughly 30-40 hours, over a 14-15 day period, on a service project there.

Some of the new options that fall under the Student Expeditions umbrella for 2012 include community service projects in Tanzania, Peru, and Cambodia, as well as field workshops in Sicily, Buenos Aires and the Grand Canyon. Additionally, aspiring photographers will want to sign up for a new photography workshop to be held in London and led by one of National Geographic’s top photographers. These new options join a host of existing trips that can take aspiring explorers to Alaska, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, and beyond. To review all of the opportunities, click here.

The National Geographic Student Expeditions are a fantastic way for high school students to not only explore the world, but also get amazing insights into these destinations that you can’t find elsewhere. As you would expect, the trips are always led by very knowledgeable guides, and a Nat Geo expert joins the students for at least a portion of the trip as well. For example, on the Tanzania Expedition, the travelers are joined by wildlife photographer Pete McBride, while those on the Galapagos trip get to spend time with biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall. The other options all offer similar experiences, which are simply invaluable to impressionable young people who are eager to learn about our planet.

Interested students or parents can learn more about the expeditions and how to apply by clicking here.

[Photo Credit: Erika Skogg]

Solar-powered computer for $35 or less

Developers in India have announced an iPad clone that costs only $35. Capable of basic web surfing, video conferencing, and word processing and using a Linux operating system, the cut-rate computer is targeted at India’s student population.

India has been undergoing an information technology boom for more than a decade now, and the most popular degree for students is in computer science.

Since the computer is still a prototype, it’s not clear what the cost will be when it finally goes on the market. The target is $35, but that may go as low as $10 with a few tweaks and the help of mass production.

The Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science, who developed the device, announced that international investors are interested in producing it for commercial distribution.

This could make the perfect travel computer–cheap enough that it doesn’t matter if it gets broken or stolen, and no need for a power converter and voltage regulator. Could this be the essential travel tool of the future? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Photo of an iPad is courtesy Glenn Fleishman via Wikimedia Commons.

Traveling the globe with Nat Geo Student Expeditions

In the summer of 2008, National Geographic launched a fascinating and inspiring project called Student Expeditions, which aimed to send high school students to a variety of exotic locals around the globe, immersing them in that location through unique, special projects that give them the opportunity to experience the culture and landscapes of the place, while learning something special in the process. The program is now in its second year, and even more students are getting the opportunity to take part in this amazing travel experience.

The students can choose to travel to Australia, Belize, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galápagos, Iceland, India, Mexico’s Yucatan, Peru, Rome and Greece, Spain and Tanzania. Each of the trips is three weeks in length, and along the way, the students, and their trip leaders, are joined by National Geographic experts, who share their insights and unique perspectives on each of the countries. These experts are generally writers, photographers, explorers, and so on, and they typically spend between four to eight days traveling with the high schoolers.

While traveling in their selected country, each of the students adopts an On Assignment Project, which are specially designed to teach them something about the country, while offering an experience that only National Geographic can deliver. The projects focus on photography, filmmaking, wildlife and conservation, and more. The trip leaders and experts work closely with the young travelers to help complete the assignments, and create a lasting travel experience unlike any other.

Many of the studens have been blogging their travels all summer long, and you can read all about the Student Expedtioins experience by clicking here. You’ll find thoughts on trekking glaciers in Iceland, exploring Inca culture in Peru, and visiting the sites of ancient empires in Rome and Greece, amongst many others.

And if there are any students out there that are interested in joining future Student Expeditions, click here to begin the application process.

Young people focused on traveling, despite economy

For once, youth isn’t wasted on the young. Young adults who aren’t burdened by jobs, bills or the other trappings of adult life are realizing that they have a chance that will never arise again. They have the elbow room to go out and see the world … and they’re taking advantage of it.

Because younger travelers visit countries for an average 53 days – compared to 3 ½ for business travelers – the segment once believed to be lazy, broke and drunk is being seen differently. For Australia alone, this group is worth AU$11 billion (US$8.5 billion) this year.

Thanks to global economic developments, the definition of youth traveler has been stretched out a bit from late teens to 29 years old. Hey, people in their 30s are moving back in with their parents, so this is fair.

Score some $500 tickets to Australia with STA Travel

Jealous of all of those blokes who got in on the first round of tickets to Oz on V Australia? It’s true, some of us snagged sub $500 fares to Australia late last year when The Pacific’s newest airline started selling tickets, but it’s not too late to cash in your chips.

The latest installment in STA Travel’s “fast finger fares” give students one last chance to score that dream vacation down under. As a bonus, a welcome package with two nights of (dorm style) lodging, meals and extras is also included in the price. That’s a steal. So how do you get in?

  • Twenty packages will available at exactly 12PM on Monday, the 9th of March. That’s tomorrow.
  • You can only book the packages by going to your local STA travel or by calling (800) 360.9273, so you either need to get to your local office and sit on a travel agent or use four cellphones and call non stop starting at 11:58. Yes, you can wear your Kappa Kappa Gamma sweatpants to the STA office. No, they don’t make your butt look big.

In the worst case scenario, if you miss out on the twenty best deals, STA still has Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on sale from Los Angeles for about $650, which isn’t a bad deal.

You can read more about the sale at