Student Programs in Thailand

Whether you are looking to care for elephants, spike your adrenaline with adventure travel, sightsee, connect with elders in rural villages, or do it all, our student programs in Thailand are for you. Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand will welcome and captivate you.

The Thai people are friendly and enjoy sharing their Buddhist culture, spicy food, and love for laughter. Thailand is the hub of Rustic’s Southeast Asia operations with programs on offer since 1999. Rustic Pathways offers student programs in Thailand that center on community service, animal conservation, outdoor adventure and immersive culture.

Student Programs in the United States

Our student programs in the United States feature the third most visited country in the world. Key highlights on our student programs in the United States include: the capital, Washington, D.C.; one of the country’s most incredible natural wonders, The Grand Canyon; the home of Jazz, New Orleans; home to the last frontier, Alaska; and home to volcanic beaches, Hawaii.

If you’re an international student on our student programs in the United States, we hope you gain perspective on the country. If you are an American student on our student programs in the United States, we hope you can see your home with new eyes.

Student Travel Programs in the Americas

Student travel programs in the Americas highlight the range of the continent. The following are some, but not all, of the countries where Rustic Pathways travels today: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

In Costa Rica, get to know the Tico people as you work on ecoservice initiatives, save turtles at conservation projects or volunteer in the nearby community. After service, you’ll find out why Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise and you’ll be riding the Pacific waves in no time.

Or, on other student travel programs in the Americas, you can spend your time helping communities in the Dominican Republic, assisting local volunteers with mangrove restoration, beach cleanups, and other community service initiatives. You can learn from experts about efforts to maintain the extensive biodiversity of the region. After service, you will horseback ride, discover ancient Taino paintings in hidden caves, and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Santo Domingo.

Or in Peru, you can spend your time on student travel programs in the Americas leading meaningful service in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Play fútbol with new friends, learn traditional dances from local children, and practice Spanish with members of the community where you’ll stay. Contribute to projects in rural Peru, as you do on all our student travel programs in the Americas as you immerse yourself into Andean daily life. Conclude with an unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu.

Student Travel Programs in Europe

Student travel programs in Europe center around Italy and Greece. Travelers around the world know the countries for their food, art, history and culture, so expect pasta, pizza, souvlaki, stifado, museums and mezze. Not only do the rich history, stunning landscapes, and delicious food make Italy and Greece top destinations, but our student travel programs in Europe include the deep cultural immersion, local partnerships and animal service experience that Rustic Pathways is known for.

With so many student travel programs in Europe to choose from, it can be quite difficult to decide what to choose. At the core, it is up to each student to know their goals (make more friends, engage in meaningful service, have fun, connect with local people, etc.) and the budget that they are willing to allocate towards various student travel programs in Europe.

Student Travel Programs in the South Pacific 

Discover magnificent beaches, countryside, and rainforest through our student travel programs in the South Pacific. The South Pacific is the perfect destination for budding young explorers and seasoned travelers alike.

Spend time participating in meaningful community service projects at a wildlife rehabilitation center and local elementary school where you’ll interact with Aussie students. Enjoy the laidback pace of Fiji; relaxing island life and lounging in the sun will help you share laughs with your fellow Rustic Pathways travelers. Each of these student travel programs in the South Pacific have something for everyone.

Student Travel Programs in Asia

Student Travel Programs in Asia travel to Japan and Korea in 2024. From kimchi and k-pop and sushi to Roppongi and Kanazawa and Seoul, our students, travelers and aspiring linguists will have many cultural and culinary options. Our programs in Japan and Korea line up so you can do both student travel programs in Asia this summer.


How to Choose A Summer Travel Program For High School Students

The task of selecting a Rustic Pathways experience is not an easy one but, fear not! The secret to choosing a program is understanding what you’re looking for and finding the programs that best fit your interests.


Where do I want to travel?

Is there a specific country or region that calls your name? Do you want to travel to a Spanish-speaking country? Would you rather be at the beach, in the rainforest, or on the mountains?

Think about whether or not you want to travel far away from home or go somewhere closer for this summer. Then, search through the country section to see what programs are offered in the region of your interest.

What do I want to experience?

What do you want to see, learn, or do on your trip abroad? Do you want to complete a service project, make new friends, learn a new skill, or go on a wild adventure?

Most of our programs offer a variety of learning activities, but some programs are more specific than others, and may be a better fit for you. Find the trips, tours and programs that best fit your personality.

What interests me?

What kind of service will I enjoy? Consider whether you want to work with other people, with animals, or with nature. Would you rather run a summer camp for youth, help build a home for a deserving local, or get your hands dirty on a reforestation project?

Our courses and programs are centered around specific types of service projects, so spend some time to think about what you would enjoy working on and where your skill sets lie!


Letter from our Director of Admissions

Dear Prospective Rustic Pathways Parent,

The first thing you should know about Rustic Pathways is that we are not a teen tour company. We do not believe in seeing sights through a bus window.

When we travel on our own, with friends, or with family, we toss aside our guidebooks. We ditch the tourist track and find experiences that immerse us in local life. We don’t see the world, we experience it. And that’s what happens when you travel with us.

Rustic Pathways pushes boundaries. We engage and connect deeply with new people and cultures across the world. We break the norms of student travel. We create experiences that give our students a greater understanding of the world. We seek to build a more unified global community.

On our programs, students engage with the people and places they visit. They form genuine relationships with host families, community members. They make deep friendships with our program leaders and their fellow student travelers.

They return home with more than photos and souvenirs. Our students will be the first to tell you that the people they met made their traveling experience memorable.

When you join Rustic Pathways, we welcome you into our global family Our team is full of genuine people, all working to ensure you and your family thrive.

Our program managers will meet with you in your living room to help you choose a program. Our personal travel advisors will guide you through the preparation process. We can even help decide if you need to pack that extra shirt.

Our country directors notify you when your child arrives. We will send mid-trip updates on how your group is doing.

Our program leaders come from cities, towns, and villages across the globe. We train them to create a diverse perspective and a safe space for our students to explore, engage, and grow. Every step of the Rustic Pathways experience has someone who cares about our mission.

One of my greatest sources of pride is that no two Rustic Pathways programs are the same. Each has its own unique character, charm and story. They are an earnest reflection of the locale and the people who bring it to life.

Our newest programs added this year are in Japan and Greece. These programs are stories and moments crafted by the locale and the team who designed it. Which program will be your story?

We are not a travel for teens tour company because our goal is bigger than that. Our vision for education stretches far beyond checking destinations off a list.

We know that travel can transform students and transform the world for the better. Welcome to Rustic Pathways. We can’t wait for your journey with us to begin.

Yours in travel,

Scott Ingram
Director, Admissions



The Best International Staff

Rustic Pathways spans the globe! Most of our staff members are based outside the United States. While the cultural traditions of our team vary from country to country, the shared values that define Rustic Pathways and make them exceptional extend across all borders.

Country Operations teams include international and local staff who work together to ensure Rustic students have fun, empowering, and safe experiences with us.

Program Leaders

Our Program Leaders have backgrounds in teaching, experiential education, service learning, wilderness training, international development, and other outdoor and educational fields. Each year, we hold in-country training sessions for both new and returning program leaders to ensure we maintain our standards in safety, student learning, community service, and the overall Rustic Pathways student experience.

Program Leaders are incredible role models for students and, most importantly, they are all dedicated to creating the best possible programs for students.