11/19/2023 by CS&A Guest |

Looking for a Summer Adventure? Check Out Putney Student Travel

When summer rolls around and the academic year has concluded, many educators often decide to seek unique and fulfilling summer employment experiences that align with their passion for teaching.

If you're an educator with a yearning for adventure over the summer months, becoming a trip leader with Putney Student Travel might be the adventure you're looking for. We recently sat down with Avery from Putney Student Travel to learn more about their program.

What is the mission of Putney Student Travel?

Originally founded 73 years ago in a post-war world, Putney Student Travel’s fledgling mission was to help eradicate global conflict through shared cultural experiences and global stewardship. Seven decades later we are still crafting transformative summer programs that carry out the original mission of this family-led organization: To develop thoughtful, well-rounded young leaders through experiential, intellectual, emotional, and cultural engagement. Because we believe in the power of collaboration, we also work with reputable educational institutions such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Columbia, and Harvard.

What types of summer leaders are you looking for?

We are looking for educators with a variety of skills to lead a range of program types. For our small group travel programs, our best leaders are those with in-country experience, a sense of adventure, a deep desire to work with middle and high school students in dynamic environments, and location-dependent language proficiency.

For our Language programs we are looking for French and Spanish speakers and educators excited to engage in language immersion while navigating both major international cities and supporting home-stay relationships.

For our Pre-College and Academia programs, our ideal instructors are those who love to design their own curriculum and build enthusiasm for hands-on, project-based learning while living alongside intellectually curious students.

We have more field-specific trips as well that focus on themes such as climate change, wild-life photography, marine biology, technology and AI, anthropology, automotive innovation, and lots more!

Regardless of branch or program theme, we are looking for experiential learning experts who thrive taking on multiple roles and leaning into a rewarding and exhilarating 24/7 job.

Describe what a leader might do and experience during a summer.

It’s fairly trip dependent, so we’ll break it down for each type of trip.

For small group travel programs, a leader can expect to fully engage in all of the activities the students do while managing logistics and group cohesion. This might look like hiking up the French Alps while encouraging hesitant participants to overcome their fears to reach the summit. Leaders may have stopped at the market that morning for fresh local cheese and breads to enjoy as a group in the mountains.

On a service trip, they might aid students with homesickness as they adjust to the cultural customs in a Fijian or Peruvian community and work alongside local contacts as they repair a local school building or rehabilitate a communal garden.

For Pre-College or Oxford Academia Programs programs, a leader may finish up a morning of classes on the history of Italian fashion to organize an afternoon scavenger hunt or facilitate traditional “punting” along the Oxford River.

No matter the trip, leaders support the social, emotional, and physical well-being of the group while facilitating learning and reflection and participating in all the fantastic adventures along the way.

What have past leaders said about Putney Student Travel?

Most of our leaders return for multiple summers which speaks to how powerful these experiences are. Some are even program alums. (For context, our office here in Putney, VT is a converted barn, so those comments refer to our administrative team.) A few of our favorite quotes from long-time leaders include:

“Leading for Putney Student Travel has been the most rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life.”

“These leaders are the best in the field, the most passionate, caring, fantastic individuals that you’ll ever meet.”

“I love the sense of family and community among leaders. I felt both empowered and trusted and confident that Putney had my back in the field.”

“What I enjoyed most were THE PEOPLE. Golly gee. Time, and time again I was (and continue to be) blown away by the extensive and exceptional PST community. 1) PST attracts cool people with wild stories and big hearts. 2) It is full of really upstanding individuals who are experts at what they do, from those in the field with the kids to those in the Barn making all the magic happen. All of my needs were met before I knew I had them. The Putney Team made the nuts and bolts a breeze so I was really able to settle in and enjoy the time with my students and be present.”

“I was a student on Nat Geo travel programs nearly 15 years ago, and it was because of that experience that I went on to become a photojournalist and travel guide. I wholeheartedly believe in the magic of these trips and the power they can have in shaping young lives, and it's always been my goal to come back and to lead for them one day!”

How can educators get involved or apply?

We accept applications on a rolling basis from November through April or until all positions are filled. There is an abundance of resources and information on our website as well as the direct link to apply. We are also always happy to answer any questions applicants may have by email or phone (1-802-387-5000). All of the hiring directors can be reached at Jobs@goputney.com.

Avery Stern

Temple University, M.Ed., Secondary English Education; Tufts University, B.A., English and Creative Writing

A Philly native, Avery started traveling internationally before her first birthday. From the beaches of Mexico to Egyptian deserts and New Zealand’s Southern Alps, she built a deep connection to the natural world. After a solo trip around Europe and North Africa, she went on to study French language and literature in Talloires, making time to hike the French Alps during her free time. Post college, she led backpacking trips throughout the White Mountains, reinforcing her love of environmental preservation and experiential learning. Avery joined the hiring team this fall after eight years of teaching high school literature and environmental studies. She speaks French and Spanish and has led student trips throughout Europe, Central, and South America. In her free time you’ll find her hiking with her dogs and slogging through triathlons.

Back to Blog

Leave a Comment


There are no comments on this blog entry.