Mission & History
Our mission is to inspire students to become global citizens by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Smithsonian Student Adventures designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global communities.
Smithsonian Student Adventures offers a curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining long term relationships with our partner communities.
When students travel with SSA, they become members of a global community dedicated to exploring and engaging with the world. Long after an SSA program returns home, we continue to support our travelers serving as a valuable resource for students as they select a university, seek advice on college essays, consider further studies abroad, or search for employment.
Our team of travel experts, based both in the U.S. and in our host countries, works together to ensure SSA programs are safe, authentic, engaging, and affordable. Participants build true relationships with our experienced Program Leaders, esteemed researchers, expert guides, and welcoming community partners, all who help to ensure a high caliber of experience that can only be found on a Smithsonian Student Adventures program.
Our programs bring students into communities where we have long-standing, deep-rooted connections. Our in-country staff facilitate safe and impactful projects that fulfill needs identified by our partner communities.
When you travel with SSA, you become a member of a worldwide network of students, educators, families, and community leaders. The SSA Alumni Network can be a valuable resource as you choose a university, seek advice on college essays, consider further studies abroad, or search for employment. Many of our alumni make lifelong friendships and stay involved with our community long after their return home, either by becoming a Program Leader or completing internships in marketing, outreach, and social media. Let us know how you would like to stay connected!
Global Leadership Curriculum
Walking Tree Travel has developed tools that will help SSA travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging preparation is meant to spark discussion, frame the group’s experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively on SSA programs now and into the future.
Tuition & Funding
We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from being able to travel on an SSA program. We are proud to offer opportunities for fundraising, financial aid, payment plans, and referral discounts to help make travel abroad a reality for everyone.