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Our Mission

is to inspire students to become curious and compassionate global citizens by taking an active interest in the world around them. Our travel programs are designed for a community of travelers who seek an authentic, safe, and engaging international experience while providing the opportunity to cultivate positive, sustainable change worldwide.

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SSA History

For 170 years, the Smithsonian Institution has inspired generations through its steadfast dedication to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” In a globalized world, it is more important than ever to promote the...

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SSA History

For 170 years, the Smithsonian Institution has inspired generations through its steadfast dedication to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” In a globalized world, it is more important than ever to promote the Smithsonian values of Discovery, Creativity, Excellence, Diversity, Integrity, and Service. This is why the Smithsonian, in collaboration with Walking Tree Travel, a premier service-focused student travel provider, is pleased to offer a new collection of dynamic programs for high school students - Smithsonian Student Adventures. These educational immersion programs highlight our shared mission of learning and discovery, and offer a unique opportunity for travelers to explore the world in a meaningful way. Smithsonian Student Adventures uncover the genuine culture of each destination and inspire students to take an active role in their local and global community. We partner with schools to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining long-term relationships with our partner communities. This focus allows us to meet the diverse needs and desires of our travelers with dynamic and flexible itineraries that inspire and delight.

Why Smithsonian Student Adventures?

For more than 170 years, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Smithsonian Student Adventures has created transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and that deliver vibrant access to the world. Unlike large, numbers-driven travel companies that move tens of thousands of people per year, we partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small group experiences, and invest our efforts in cultivating and maintaining long-term relationships with our destination communities. This focus allows us to meet the diverse needs and desires of our travelers with dynamic and flexible itineraries that will inspire and delight.

Destinations

Click on the countries below to learn more.

  • Italy

    Italy

    Italy is a traveler’s dream and an item on everyone’s bucket list. No other country in the world contains as many historical sites and artifacts that show us a glimpse at the very root of western civilization.

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  • Peru

    Peru

    Immense, rugged, colorful, vibrant and mystic. No one word or idea can embody a land so diverse in geography, culture and history. Peru is the destination for adventure.

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  • Canada

    Canada

    Don’t want to fly cross the ocean to experience Europe? Quebec is the answer! Canada’s largest province is also the most multicultural.

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  • U.S.A.

    U.S.A.

    From Facebook to Ford, Hollywood to hamburgers, Beyonce to baseball, no country has more influence on global culture than the United States.

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  • Ecuador

    Ecuador

    Dense Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped Andean peaks, and volcanic islands – Ecuador is a place of many wonders.

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  • Guatemala

    Guatemala

    Just imagine watching the sunset melt into the teeming jungle from atop the mighty ruins of Tikal, kayaking through the blue waters of Lake Atitlán, and examining the market in Chichicastenango.

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  • Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    From white sand beaches to misty cloud forests, towering volcanoes, beautiful rivers that cut through tropical canyons, and hospitable, friendly communities, Costa Rica has it all.

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  • Belize

    Belize

    Balanced on the geographical and cultural border between the Caribbean and Central American regions, Belize is a small and often overlooked country that nonetheless harbors its own unique mix of both worlds.

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  • France

    France

    From the City of Lights, to beautiful Mediterranean towns, to small villages tucked between picturesque vineyards to campgrounds in the rugged Pyrenees, France is a country with an enriching adventure for every kind of traveler.

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  • Spain

    Spain

    Spend your days hiking along the epic Camino de Santiago, learning to make olive oil at an old-world grove, enjoying tapas, exploring the colorful streets of Barcelona, and sketching our own versions of Dalí.

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  • Morocco

    Morocco

    Situated at the northern most extreme of Africa, Morocco has long attracted travelers who are lured by tales of its exotic markets, endless desserts, alluring coastline, and rugged mountains.

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  • Senegal

    Senegal

    Senegal is a wonderful option for those travelers eager to experience the best of Africa in the only country in the region with an uninterrupted history of peaceful democratic transition.

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  • Thailand

    Thailand

    Thailand’s impressive geography ranges from forested mountains and thick jungles, to white sand beaches with towering limestone cliffs, to bright green rice paddies that extend for miles.

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  • China

    China

    The world’s most populous nation – and dynamic economy – has as its backdrop 5000 years of history and is home to a wide variety of rich cultural traditions and exotic cuisines.

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  • Cuba

    Cuba

    Cuba is a mirage in the minds of most travelers, a mysterious yet romantic place where cigars, antique cars, baseball and a bearded dictator loom largest.

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  • Japan

    Japan

    This island nation, situated in the Pacific Ocean along the “Ring of Fire” tectonic hot-zone, offers everything from high-rise cities and imperial palaces to snow-capped mountains and bamboo forests.

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  • Panama

    Panama

    Panama is a land of contrast. Imagine one of man’s most impressive modern feats of engineering, in the middle of one of the most biodiverse countries on earth.

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  • United Kingdom

    United Kingdom

    You’ll ride the London Underground (the Tube), walk the River Thames, visit the ancient Tower of London, explore beautiful Covent Garden, learn at Parliament, and so much more.

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  • Ireland

    Ireland

    Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland. Despite it’s size, the city is easily navigable on foot: you’ll walk along O’Connell Street and Grafton Street, through Trinity College, and across the River Liffey, see the Dublin Spire, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and so much more.

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Map of the destinations Smithsonian Student Adventures goes to

Custom Group Travel

Smithsonian Student Adventures partners with schools and educators to create dynamic programs to destinations around the world. In order to provide our participants with a unique, adventurous, and safe experience the SSA team will work closely with the Group Organizer to tailor the itinerary to each group’s needs, interests, and classroom goals.

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Individual Open Enrollment Travel

Open Enrollment programs are open to individual high school students (ages 14-18) who are interested in traveling with other students. Candidates are accepted based on the strength of their application, which is reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Not In High School?

SSA focuses solely on programs for high school students. If you are interested in organizing a group of students who are not in high school, please contact Walking Tree Travel directly to take the next step towards an amazing adventure.

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