National Geographic offers new Student Expeditions for 2012

National Geographic Student Expeditions for 2012High 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]

Students to travel the world in search of tea

students travel in search of tea

College students across the United States will spend the Summer in a variety of ways. Some will work, some will play and others will continue their education on campus or in a variety of summer options that involve travel. At Harding University in Arkansas, some will discover that the things we drink play important roles in our culture as students travel the world in search of tea.

“It’s a way of approaching history by studying a drink and its role in culture, society, politics and economics ” Jeff Hopper, a professor of humanities at Harding told

Earning 9 credit hours, students will trace history over the summer through the movement and changes of tea, studying how each culture incorporated the drink into their lives. The six-student group will stop in China, Indonesia, Russia among other countries where tea played a critical cultural role. Four of the students were on a similar journey last year with a coffee theme.
“Many more people in the world drink tea than coffee,” Hopper added. “Tea is thousands of years old. Coffee is not. It takes us back further, it’s embedded much more into religious ceremonies and cultures.”

They will even stop in Boston where the group will commemorate the original Tea Party and its backlash on the East India Tea Company.

“The East India Tea Company was the largest in the world,” Hopper said. “That would be today like spilling a tanker load of Exxon oil on purpose. Tea was a symbolic commodity in the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain.”

The trip will end in London, where they will visit the Twinings Tea Museum and enjoy high tea at Fortner Mansion.

“High tea is a British term for a celebratory, ceremonial drinking of tea with special food and treats,” Hopper said. “They have sandwiches, biscuits and cookies and it’s traditionally held in the late afternoon. If I were a British gentleman, and I wanted to entertain you, the most elegant way short of a dress-up dinner would be to invite you to tea at 4 p.m. The amount of amenities, jellies and currants determines the formality.”

There are no plans for a third beverage-oriented trip next summer although another coffee-themed trip may be organized.

Flickr photo by Maks Karochkin

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Amazon Kindle book deal: “Let’s Go Europe 2011” for $0

amazon kindle free student travel bookIf you have an Amazon Kindle, or access to a device with the Kindle reader app, then you’ll want to head on over to Amazon to purchase this free student travel guide for Europe. The book usually retails for $22, but is currently down to $0.00.

From the book description:

From Portugal to the Ukraine, from Norway down to Greece, Europe is a lot to take on. Luckily, the student adventurers behind Let’s Go Europe 2011 know that any traveler can handle it – with a little help.

Whether whipping through London, Barcelona, and Prague in five days or spending a leisurely year abroad, travelers get all the info they need from Let’s Go. Their wit and irreverence can brighten even the drabbest Renaissance museum – if travelers didn’t take their advice to skip it. From German beer halls to Roman ruins, Let’s Go Europe 2011 is the ticket to adventure.

You’ll find the product page here, along with purchase links. And remember, you do not need a physical Amazon Kindle to read Kindle books – readers are available for almost any desktop and mobile platform.

National Geographic Student Expeditions expands offerings for 2011

National Geographic's Student Expeditions combin education and adventureThe National Geographic Student Expeditions program has announced a number of great new excursions for 2011, giving young travelers even more choices for what to do with their summer break. New destinations added this year include Barcelona, Spain, New Zealand, and Yellowstone National Park, amongst others. There is even an option to travel to Costa Rica to work on a new community service project this year as well.

Nat Geo’s Student Expeditions program is designed to give high school students an educational and immersive travel experience that they probably wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else. The program sends them off to some amazing places around the world, while packing a healthy dose of adventure and education into the itinearary. They’ll also have the opportunity to interact with some of National Geographic’s experts and team leaders to further enhance the journey.

The trips range in length from about 10 to 21 days in length and are offered in more than 60 destinations across the globe. While on location, they’ll stay in two unique and interesting base camps and explore the surrounding landcapes with their guides and NG experts, while taking part in any number of hands-on activities.

One of the most unique elements to these expeditons is that the students are given “On Assingment” projects that allows them to learn more about a particular subject with which they might have an interest. Those areas of study include photography, culture, arachaeology, conservation, filmmaking and more. These project turn an already amazing travel adventure into a learning opportunity unlike any other.

To find out more about the program go to where you’ll find a complete list of destinations available, bios on some of the National Geographic experts that conduct these trips, and blog entries and video from previous expeditions. There is also ore information on the On Assignment projects and a form for requesting the 2011 catalog. There is also an online application for those who already know where they would like to go, which can be found by clicking here.

If you would like to find out more information on the program, Nat Geo is conducting a free webinar tomorrow evening, January 18th, from 8-9PM EST. You can register to attend that virtual event by filling out the form located here.

National Geographic has partnered with Putney Student Travel, a company that as more than 60 years experience in the field, to help design the Student Expeditions program. Between these two great organizations, you can bet that students will have an unforgettable travel experience.

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?!?