The Hilltop Scholars Expedition is a full immersion outdoor leadership experience. During a week of backpacking and camping, you will learn important leadership skills while meeting other Hilltop Scholars before you start school in August.
The Hilltop Scholars Expedition usually takes place in July and is scheduled between AARO sessions. Each trip is limited to a small number of incoming Hilltop Scholars. Trained outdoor educators and former Hilltop Scholars expedition participants lead the trips: it will be one of the most challenging and most enjoyable weeks of your life!
By the time you return to SMU following the expedition, you will have learned a lot about yourself, honed valuable leadership skills, and most importantly, have lots of new friends!
2013 Expedition Dates
- Trip 1: July 9 ( 6 pm) – July 17
- Trip 2: July 24 (5 pm) – August 1
How does the HSP Expedition fit in with SMU orientation activities?
The Hilltop Scholars Expedition is specifically designed for incoming first year Hilltop Scholars. The curriculum and structure are designed as leadership and community building experiences with the focus on a student’s future role as a Hilltop Scholar. It is not designed to be a University orientation.
All participants of the Hilltop Scholars Expedition must be pre-registered for AARO and Mustang CORRAL. Dates for Hilltop Scholars Expedition are chosen each year to correspond with AARO sessions before and prior to the Expedition. PLEASE NOTE: AARO sessions are first come, first serve and not reserved for Hilltop Scholars. Make sure you register for AARO early enough to secure your dates.
- APPLY HERE: HSP Expedition Online Application - Available beginning Monday May 6, 2013 at 12 pm CST.
- Each trip is limited to 16 Hilltop Scholars.
- Applicants will be accepted for the Expedition on a first come, first serve basis based on the date and time of the submitted online application form. (In the event a trip is full, applicants will be added to the wait list and provided opportunities to fill vacancies based on date and time of submitted application.)
- Cost for participation in the HSP Expedition is $385.
- If student is accepted on the Expedition, a $100 non-refundable deposit or payment in full reserves the applicant’s registration for the trip.
- Submission of the application form does not guarantee participation in an expedition. Participation in the HSP Expedition is not guaranteed until (1) applicant is notified that he or she has a space on an expedition and (2) payment of fees by the applicant. Upon payment of deposit or fees, applicant will receive an Acceptance Packet via Scholar’s email provided to us on the registration form with detailed information regarding their specific trip.
Register for HSP Expedition
- You will be contacted via email and provided with a link that will lead you to an online payment form.
- Applicants will be given 3 business days from the date of email contact to submit payment. Failure to submit payment within 3 business days from the date of contact will result in forfeiture of applicant’s space on the expedition. At this point, the space will be given to a student on the wait list.
- Payment is by Discover, Visa, Mastercard only.
- Full payment is due by TBA.
- Cancellations up to 2 weeks prior to the departure date will receive a refund of fees paid minus the deposit.
- Cancellations within 2 weeks from the departure date forfeits all paid fees.
Read what former expedition participants have to say:
- “I came out of the expedition with some great friends, and it showed me how much leadership we have here at SMU. It showed me that people from all walks of life can work WELL together.”
- “My favorite part of our trip was that in that short week I met who I think are going to be my best friends in college. But not just that I met them, but that we got to bond over extreme situations that make our friendship so strong.”
- “This trip is the best opportunity to meet great friends and bond through great learning experiences and extreme situations. However, while this will be the most fun trip you take be warned this trip is not for the weak at heart it will push you but is completely worth it!”
- “This trip has helped me realize that my first year in college is going to be an exciting time full of friendship and adversity, and that fighting through challenges with friends is so much better than being alone on the journey.”
- “I loved getting to know everyone. I went home with more confidence in myself than I had before because we really did have to be self-sufficient. I loved it.”
- “If you want to experience amazing views, become a leader at SMU before even stepping on campus, and make great new friends, this is the place to go. Be ready for a challenge, a challenge that I enjoyed every step of the way.”
- “This trip made me push myself outside of my comfort zone, emotionally and physically. But that made the reward all the greater, especially while getting to know and make friends with great students and faculty.”