What have your own international travels entailed?
I have visited 13 countries, along with 26 states in the U.S. So far, my favorite places have been Santorini in Greece and Jungfraujoch in Switzerland because they were breathtakingly beautiful. There are many regions of the world though I still hope to visit!
How has your international experience evolved to make you an even more valuable addition to the Rustic Pathways team?
I started learning more about the international community when I studied in England while in college.
From there, I expanded my horizons while working on an international media program that focused on training journalists. This position enabled me to interact with people from many different countries, cultures, and backgrounds.
This experience has helped me appreciate Rustic Pathways’ efforts to assist local communities and give students a global perspective.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
The best part of my job is sharing stories about students who are doing great things after their travels with Rustic Pathways. It’s inspiring to see their desire to make the world a better place, and their enthusiasm for learning and growth.
What makes Rustic Pathways different from other international program providers?
The immersive aspect of Rustic’s travel programs makes the student trips much more meaningful. Other international program providers focus on bringing students to tourist spots, while Rustic wants students to experience the real day-to-day life in the countries the students visit. This provides the students with unique opportunities they would not get elsewhere.
Why do you view travel as an essential part of every education?
Travel programs help students see how much they have in common with people from different parts of the globe, enabling stereotypes to melt away. At the same time, young people benefit from learning about different cultures and seeing traditions in other places. While our human traits may be similar, there still are differences among us that make life much more interesting.
Students often come to better appreciate the comforts at home when they see others who lack them, and in the process they often learn to appreciate what really matters.