Putney Student Travel


Hiring: International Trip Leader Summer 2019

Extraordinary Leadership:

Much of Putney Student Travel’s success over the last 67 summers of creating and running high school and middle school summer abroad programs stems from hiring an incredibly engaging, enthusiastic, responsible, and dedicated group of leaders and instructors. Putney staff are fun, energetic, creative, safety-conscious, experienced, and knowledgeable. They enjoy working with teenagers in dynamic environments and seek opportunities to get to know each participant as a mentor and a friend. We strive to hire people whose positive impact on our students extends well beyond the length of the program.

General Information:

To join our team of Putney Student Travel high school, middle school, and Pre-College staff, you must be able to motivate and engage students in a wide range of situations and settings. Leadership on all programs requires extensive interaction with and mentoring of students. Leaders are granted a high degree of independence and responsibility. Excellent personal leadership skills and the ability to handle multiple ongoing tasks are crucial. Successful candidates have the ability to inspire, lead, mentor, educate, set limits, and enforce rules. In most scenarios programs are led by a leadership team comprised of one male and one female identifying leader, however larger programs may have a leadership trio, and our Pre-College programs are led by larger teams of instructors with an on-site program director.

Putney has a clear code of conduct that our students read and sign in order to participate. We expect our leaders to enforce these rules throughout the program, and live by them as well.

Our veteran leaders agree that some of the most important skills necessary to lead a successful program include endless energy, good judgment, flexibility, in-country knowledge, passion for and knowledge about the program themes, patience, and a deep desire to work with youth.

Specific Leadership Requirements:

Cultural Exploration, Community Service, Language Learning, Middle School, and Discover Putney:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher obtained by the beginning of leader orientation.

  • Working proficiency in the target language of the destination country; fluency is required for Language Learning programs. Preference for Language Learning programs is given to candidates with experience teaching the target language.

  • Significant experience living or traveling in the target country or region.

  • Significant experience working with students.

  • Certification in Basic CPR/First Aid at your own expense before the start of the program. Many of our leaders hold more advanced certifications such as WFA, WFR, or EMT.

  • Ability to drive stick-shift, or ability to learn if necessary (relevant for some programs, but not all).

  • Ability to attend a mandatory leader training from June 6 to June 9, 2019 in Putney, Vermont. Putney pays for travel to and from training and covers room and board for the duration of training as well.

Pre-College Instructors and Program Assistants:

  • Instructors should hold a bachelor’s degree or preferably a higher degree by the beginning of leader orientation. Applicants for the Program Assistant positions must have completed their second year of college.

  • Significant experience working with high school students.

  • Significant experience teaching or working within the seminar field and enthusiasm for creating their own hands-on, project-based curriculum.

  • Program assistants must be flexible and resourceful, willing to take ownership of tasks as well as be able to follow instructions and work independently without a lot of direct supervision.

  • Certification in Basic CPR/First Aid at your own expense before the start of the program.

  • Ability to attend a mandatory orientation in the program destination a week prior to the start of the program. Pre-College staff are not required to join the general orientation in Putney, VT.

  • Applicants for the Pre-College at Amherst College or Pre-College at UCLA programs must have a valid driver’s license.

Ideal Candidates:

It is impossible for all candidates to embody everything on this list, which is why we hire holistic leadership teams. Our most successful candidates meet some combination of the following criteria:

  • A deep desire to work with, educate, and lead youth from a wide range of backgrounds.

  • Specific in-country experience in the destinations we visit.

  • High proficiency or fluency in the language specific to the destination.

  • Significant experience working with students both in and out of the classroom.

  • Patience, flexibility, and adaptability in a highly dynamic work environment.

  • An ability to assess risk and make smart decisions regarding the health, safety, and overall well-being of their group.

  • A passion for travel, exploration, and the program theme.

  • For seminar and workshop instructors, ideal candidates are enthusiastic about creating their own hands-on and field-based curriculum.

  • For Discover Putney leaders, prior experience leading in a camp setting.

  • Most Pre-College instructors hold advanced degrees and have professional experience with the topic in addition to teaching experience.

  • The ability to be ‘on’ 24 hours a day for the duration of the program.

Background Checks:

All applicants offered a position are required to complete a background check. Returning leaders must submit a background check every year of employment. For programs where you will be responsible for driving students, this includes a driving report.

Leader Orientation:

All leaders are required to attend an intensive orientation (dates and locations below). During orientation, leaders participate in active and engaging discussions, seminars, activities, and workshops that cover topics such as the Putney philosophy, leadership skills, managing group dynamics, and health and safety protocols. Attendance at Leader Orientation is mandatory.

Putney Student Travel: June 6 to June 9, 2019

Early Leaders:

Most programs require that one or more leaders travel to the destination country up to one week in advance for preparation. These pre-trip days are under contract and are compensated. Specific dates for these specific orientations are available upon request.


Putney covers all domestic and international travel from your home to the program and back. All other program-related expenses, such as accommodations and food, are also covered by Putney for the duration of your contract as well as for leader training. Leaders receive a stipend that is commensurate with experience.

Putney does not provide health insurance. Our stipends are competitive within our industry.

Application Timeline:

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis from December through May. When possible, candidates who are offered an interview should arrange to meet our Hiring Directors in person at our offices in southern Vermont or at one of our scheduled interviewing events. Candidates who are not able to meet in person may be offered interviews via video call. 

We appreciate your patience during the hiring process as we take care to put together holistic leadership teams for each program. We are proud to have a high percentage of returning leaders each year and we give preference to those leaders for positions in January and February. First-time leaders can expect decisions about leadership opportunities beginning in mid-March until all positions are filled.

A more exact decision-making timeline may be clarified during your interview.

Due to the length and timing of our programs, the majority of leaders are hired to lead a single program. However, when possible, a leader may be hired to lead two trips consecutively.

In-Person Interview Dates and Locations:

Putney Hiring Directors will be on the road in January and February to offer interviews. Information on where we will be traveling will be continually updated below.

New York City: January 25-27, 2019
Boston: January and February TBD, 2019

If you are contacted for an interview, you can expect part of the interview to be conducted in the target language (if applicable) of the program for which you are applying.


Before submitting your application below, please carefully browse our website and familiarize yourself with the program categories, destinations, and itineraries for which you are most qualified. Read through the Leadership Requirements page, and if you meet our eligibility requirements follow the links below to apply.

In your resume and cover letter, be sure to highlight your language abilities as well as time spent in countries outside of the U.S., specifically the countries where you are interested in leading programs. Please also elaborate on your experience working with students in a teaching or leadership capacity. For Pre-College teaching positions, please highlight any experience that would make you an effective instructor of your chosen seminars.