Emily Westhoff's Employee Profile

School Partnerships – Group Travel

Prior to joining Rustic Pathways, you could find me in the international classrooms of Colombia, South Korea, Ecuador, and Chile! My firsthand experiences as an ESL teacher have made me an even more valuable addition to the Rustic Pathways team. Our programs are developed by educators for educators and students! I can relate to so many educators who are driven to provide quality and life changing experiences for their students.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

The most fulfilling aspect of my job is connecting with educators, learning about their dreams and goals for their students and being apart of making that dream become a reality. I absolutely love to stay connected to student experiences through our social media coordinator, Janette’s LinkedIn posts and Instagram stories. To be able to provide that type of joy that you see on the students faces is unsurpassable.

What makes you proud to work at Rustic Pathways?

Everything that we do! I am so proud to be working with a team of people with the same goal and those that stand behind our inspiring mission to empower students to positively impact lives and communities around the world. I am so proud of the programs Rustic Pathways has built, the experiences we provide, and the hope and inspiration we have created to better our world.

What makes Rustic Pathways different from other international program providers?

At Rustic Pathways, we provide more than programs. Our programs gift students and teachers life-changing experiences, everlasting memories, and sustainable support to communities all over the world. Rustic Pathways stands out from the crowd because of our dedication to sustainable and service learning travel. We support educators from day one of planning their programs to executing them with perfection.

Why do you view travel as an essential part of every education?

It’s one thing to learn about a different culture and country from a textbook than it is to learn about it first hand. There’s a huge world out there to see and I have learned that when you experience it, you see life from a different perspective and when you gain that perspective you can use it to make a positive impact in the world.

What have your own international travels entailed?

My fiancé and I have a saying that we’ve been using since the day we met, “And we’re just getting started.” Back when I graduated university, I had the goal of living in one place for no more than two years so that I could truly live and learn about the culture I was immersed in.

Since 2014, I have lived in Ibague and Santa Marta Colombia to reconnect with my mother’s roots, met my fiancé who is also originally from Iowa in Seoul, South Korea, backpacked through Ecuador and Peru, adopted our dog Ziggy in Chile, came eye to eye with a beautiful spider monkey in the jungles of Brazil, and have since expanded my goal past two years of staying in one place since arriving in Lisbon, Portugal. And to be honest, I feel like I’m just getting started.

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