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Press Release

Rustic Pathways Announces First Global Critical Issues Summit in Southeast Asia, Will Provide 25 Full Scholarships

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio, Nov. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Rustic Pathways, the 2018 WYSETC Best Youth Travel Operator, will host its first Critical Issues Summit from July 16 to Aug. 2, 2019, in Southeast Asia.

This unprecedented two-week conference will bring together 100 student changemakers from more than 20 countries around the world. The Summit will allow students to explore five critical issues: globalization, access to education, refugee crisis, gender equality, and access to water.

Students will spend the first week in Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, or Cambodia delving into one of those issues in a local community and learning directly from the people it affects. All students will come together in Udon Thani, Thailand, for the Summit’s second week. They will participate in an Innovation Curriculum designed by our partner GiveBackHack to foster the skills needed to create change, and hear from issue experts as part of an engaging speaker series.

The Summit will conclude with a Design Challenge where groups of students will create projects to address a critical issue and compete for the chance to win $10,000 in seed funding.

“This opportunity is a perfect fit for students who are passionate about making change, especially students who have a track record of advocating for change in their own communities,” said Brent Watkins, Rustic’s Vice President of Program Operations. “It’s also a perfect fit for any student who’s curious about the skills required to solve big problems and interested in creating a better global community.”

To enable any student to participate, Rustic will provide 25 full scholarships that cover the program cost and airfare to Southeast Asia. For more information, visit

About Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways has been the leader in global teen adventure and community service travel programs since 1983. Through purposeful design, we create culturally-immersive travel programs for students ages 12 to 22, customizable teacher-led trips for school groups, and gap year semesters for recent high school grads in 21 countries. Rustic was named the Best Youth Travel Operator in 2018 by the World Youth and Student Educational Travel Confederation for the third time in four years. Outside Magazine named Rustic one of its Best Places to Work in 2018 for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit


Rustic Pathways