Introducing New Rustic Pathways Programs for 2018
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Introducing New Rustic Pathways Programs for 2018

While some of you have only just returned from your 2017 programs and others are still traveling, it’s never too early to start thinking about your next adventure!

Rustic Pathways’ 2018 summer programs are open for alumni. If you’ve traveled with us this summer or in years past, check your inbox for more information and the date your special rate expires.

If you’re new to Rustic, our 2018 early enrollment period begins in mid-August. Click the link at the bottom of the page, fill out the form, and we’ll send you a 2018 Rustic Pathways catalog hot off the presses to help you compare and evaluate programs. Until enrollment opens in August, we wanted to introduce our new programs for next summer.

Critical Issues

Rustic will offer four new program experiences in 2018. Of those, three are Critical Issues programs. We introduced our Critical Issues programs last year to give students the opportunity to explore some of the most pressing challenges facing our world—issues like climate change, wildlife conservation, religious persecution, and marginalized societies.

“We designed Critical Issues programs expose students to some of the world’s most serious challenges and develop the core habits and mindsets necessary to make change in these areas,” said Brent Watkins, Rustic’s Vice President of Program Operations,

(Read more about how Brent’s believes in developing students’ skills, habits, and mindsets here.)

While many school curriculums expose students to what’s going on in the world, there’s no better way to develop passion for change than to be immersed in the issues themselves—seeing the challenges play out on the group, and in local communities.

“We know that this generation of students care deeply about tackling the issues of their generation—we see it play out in their passion for our programs,” Brent said. “We see our Critical Issues programs as the next step in pursuing our vision as an organization. For us, making travel an essential part of every education is all about the transformative impact we believe happens when students experience a new culture or are immersed in a completely foreign way of living. The transformational impact we seek with our critical issues programs is to ignite our students’ passion for making real change in some of the world’s most complicated global critical issues.

Brent said Rustic will continue to add Critical Issues programs, including a deeper look at climate change and human trafficking.

New Programs

Critical Issues Programs

Peace, Wonder, and Understanding Islam | Morocco: Dive into the belief system surrounding Islamic faith in Morocco. Islam is often misunderstood in media and politics, leading to polarization and fear surrounding this belief system. Explore the roots of stereotypes in an effort to promote peace and build empathy by engaging with Muslims in Morocco. Engage in high-level conversations and leave ready to stand against hate and misinformation and carry your newly recognized change-making skills into your community. Credit: Rustic Pathways Copyright: © 2016 Rustic Pathways Usage with express permission Credit: Rustic Pathways Copyright: © 2016 Rustic Pathways Usage with express permission only.

Tanzania Clean Water Project | Tanzania: Explore the global water crisis through efforts of local NGOs, including different, location-specific approaches to tackling water, sanitation, and hygiene issues—commonly referred to as WASH. Droughts and a changing climate have only increased the burden on communities with limited access to clean water. Our NGO partners will explain the challenges of scaling community-centered solutions for use across Tanzania. Get your hands dirty as you serve alongside experts and local experts on various water projects.

Vanishing Cultures of the Rainforest | Costa Rica: Compare the experiences and learn about the challenges facing two of Costa Rica’s eight remaining indigenous groups—the Bribri and Maleku. These societies have a traditional way of life that the rest of the world is leaving behind. Observe their farming, food preparation, and weaving methods and explore the importance and significance of preserving these lifestyles.

Alumni-Only Program

Ultimate Asia | Thailand: Explore world-renowned cultural sites and experience a variety of cultures and landscapes in this program exclusively for Rustic alumni. Walk along the Great Wall of China, assist animal handlers care for pandas and elephants, explore the 12th-century ruins of Angkor Wat, stroll through the bustling markets of Bangkok and the quaint side streets in Luang Prabang, and so so much more.

Updated for 2018

Mystery Trip | ???: This isn’t our typical program. There is no itinerary—each day you’ll awake to clues and it will be up to your group to decipher them and unravel that day’s adventure. You’ll explore iconic sites, discover the remote villages of some of our most beloved staff members, and blaze a trail for future students by exploring destinations Rustic hasn’t visited.

Returning in 2018 

Ramp Up Your Spanish | Costa Rica: Hone your Spanish during this weeklong introduction to Rustic’s Latin American programs. Spend your days mixing classroom instruction with action-packed adventure activities in and around Turrialba. You’ll also spend time putting your new Spanish skills to use during an immersive homestay with a local family and getting an inside look at tico life.

Golden Sands and Helping Hands | Australia: Visit Australia Zoo, hike through the Glass House Mountains, jet boat through the surf, and learn ocean safety skills. When not participating in adventure activities, assist teachers with their lessons at a local elementary school. A trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without learning to throw a boomerang, play the didgeridoo, cook over a campfire, and experience Outback life camping on a cattle and horse ranch.


For more information about how Rustic makes operational decisions, check out Brent’s most recent blog post.

Excited about traveling this spring break or summer with Rustic Pathways? Click below to request a copy of our free catalog.

About the Author

Jack Weinstein

Content Production Manager

Jack has spent his professional career as a writer and editor. Before joining Rustic, he worked as a journalist in Kansas and Colorado, taught English in Swaziland, and transitioned to marketing roles in the Boston and New York startup worlds. Jack is excited to channel his love of storytelling and his appreciation for education as Rustic’s Content Production Manager. When not working, Jack is either watching baseball or planning his next adventure. Jack and his wife, Blythe, live in Brooklyn.