Blog

Riely McCullough, of Seattle, Washington, traveled with Rustic in 2015 and used her experience as the topic for her college application essays. Read about how…
We’re very excited to announce that Rustic Pathways was named 2017 Best Youth Tour Operator during the Global Youth Travel Awards Sept. 28 in…
64-80 hours. That’s how long the average Rustic Pathways Program Leader spends training for their role leading service trips for high school students after…
Rustic Pathways was featured in USA Today. Rustic CEO Chris Stakich said having a global perspective is now more important than ever for high school and college students…
If you have questions about an upcoming Rustic trip, check out these answers from one of our travel experts.
You know that feeling when you’re excited and kind of terrified at the same time? That was me before my first Rustic Pathways program. When I was 15, I got on a plane by myself for the first time and flew to LAX from Ft. Myers, Florida, to meet up with a group of Rustic…
Depending on where you travel with Rustic Pathways, you may be required to get a visa ahead of time. If you haven’t done that, the time to start is NOW! For students leaving from the USA ONLY Contact G3 Visas and Passports, our partner who can help you through the process of getting your visa. Or visit…
Added together, Rustic staff members have visited thousands of countries and spent years traveling and living abroad. I asked these travel aficionados and packing ninjas to share their secrets. Keep reading for some of the most ingenious travel and packing hacks you’ll ever hear! (Pssst Make packing for your trip e-a-s-y with our exclusive, branded…
It’s OK if there’s something you don’t know as you prepare for your Rustic Pathways trip, or even if you’re nervous about traveling abroad. Everyone is thinking about something, and probably the same things you are. We asked members of the Rustic Squad, a group of dedicated Rustic alums, what they wished they had known before…
Gaining a global perspective should be something you do when you're 18, not 67. Seriously. Think about it. Why wait until you're retired to explore the world? If you travel after graduating from high school, you'll not only be able to apply what you experience to the rest of your life, it will shape who…
With the latest news this week in Washington, we want to reassure families that Rustic Pathways programs are open to all students — including those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. As an organization, we have been committed to these principles of inclusivity for decades. In 2014, we established a formal policy that outlines…
Ten years after traveling with Rustic Pathways, we caught up with Rustic alum Heather Lyon to find out how traveling as a teenager forever changed the trajectory of her life. In 2006, Heather traveled to India and participated in two programs with Rustic Pathways. She enrolled in two more programs the next summer in Peru, including Sacred Valley…
How do you know you're a Rustic parent? You know when...   Have you heard the news!? Star Alumni is back now through February 14! Check your inbox for more details on how to use your exclusive discount—don't miss out. Or email hello@rusticpathways.com for more information. 
Sharif Campbell was the first member of his family to go to college. But he didn’t rush off to Tufts University, where he’s currently a sophomore studying international relations. Instead, Sharif took a gap year. Many universities allow students to defer their first year of college as the practice of taking a gap year becomes…
Resources: Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things Hill Tribes of the Golden Triangle Intro to Photography in Cuba The Refugee Youth Project Spanish Language Immersion Pacific Adrenaline To give the gift on an experience, start with Rustic's 2017 catalog.
Alex Biddle, a Rustic Pathways program manager in the Dominican Republic, uses her Spanish on a daily basis. While she manages service projects and oversees adventure programs, she frequently has to think on her feet and switch between two languages. Alex hasn’t always spoken Spanish, though. She began to learn the language during a ten-month…
Creating a crowdfunding page isn't the only way to fundraise for a service-learning trip (but it can be a great one). We chatted with a handful of alumni who have successfully fundraised for their Rustic Pathways programs. They wanted to share the keys to their success. For more ideas, read our fundraising tips and tricks and get started! Make…
Last Spring, Malia Obama announced that she would defer her Harvard acceptance to take a gap year. We’re on pins and needles to learn how she plans to spend her time away from the classroom and excited for her to join the thousands of other young adults annually who elect to take a gap year.…
We are proud to announce our recently approved status as an accredited member organization of the American Gap Association!  As gap years become more widely accepted by students and universities in the United States, Rustic Pathways Gap Year is especially excited to be one of the organizations at the forefront of helping students create purposeful…
Hannah Repke graduated from high school outside of Washington DC. She was accepted to the University of Virginia, but something about going straight to college didn’t feel right. Hannah recognized she was burned out, and decided to look into other options—which is the moment she fell in love with the idea of taking a gap year.…