About Rustic Pathways

Student travel and positive energy since 1983

We want your kids to return home, full of curiosity and inspired as the aperture of their own worldview widens a bit. Travel allows you to see yourself in a much larger world, to see yourself in relation to something else. We invite you to enjoy those moments for personal transformation with Rustic Pathways.

Quote by: Scott Ingram | Director, Admissions

Rustic Pathways leads iconic teen travel tours.

We design each teen travel itinerary with precision, purpose, passion and adventure. We want to transform your ordinary teen travel moments into extraordinary memories.

Education. Travel. Philanthropy.


Rustic Pathways empowers students to positively impact lives and communities around the world.


Rustic Pathways is committed to creating a world where:

  • Travel is accepted as an essential part of every education.
  • Travel is a model of sustainable development.
  • All people are connected by a shared humanity and all decisions are made with a global perspective.

The Early Years

Rustic Pathways was founded in 1983 as an overland touring company in Australia. Back in those early days, the only trip we ran was an eight-week adventure through the Australian Outback.

Our organization has changed a lot since then, but our programs still embody a pioneering rustic spirit.

Cultural Connection and Community Service

We expanded our programming to New Zealand and the Fiji Islands in 1996 and started working with communities in Fiji’s Nausori highlands.

We then realized a clear need — the need for programs specifically designed around community service projects. We realized these were incredibly powerful experiences for the communities, our students, and for our staff.

Growing Rustic Pathways

Over the years, more and more people joined Rustic from different parts of the world who wanted us to expand to their home countries and communities. That’s how we grew our operations across Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and the United States in the late 1990s and 2000s.

Without them and their relationships there’s no way we could have grown to operate in 20 countries, offering 103 programs.

Rustic Pathways Foundation

We created the Rustic Pathways Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, in 2006 to enhance and sustain the positive impact of Rustic Pathways. Students returned from programs inspired and wanted to stay involved with the communities they visited with Rustic.

Through the Rustic Pathways Foundation, Rustic Pathways and its students have raised more than $800,000 to provide ongoing support to our community partners.

Gap Year Program and School Group Travel

We wanted to give more students the opportunity to have life-changing experiences with Rustic Pathways. We introduced Gap Year programs in 2007, which allowed us to expose high school graduates to three month travel experiences, which provide important learning and growth opportunities before they head to college.

In 2012, Rustic Pathways expanded on its Gap Year leadership and created School Group Travel to partner with teachers who wanted to provide immersive educational experiences to their students as a supplement to traditional classroom learning.

Intentional Program Design

By 2016, we understood how much our travel experiences influence student development and impact their overall education. But we wanted that development to be more intentional so we created our Student Learning Outcomes.

These 10 learning outcomes shape the development of all programs, including our Critical Issues series, which involve deep cultural immersion experiences and encourage participants to take action. We also measure the impact our programs had on students.

Making Travel Accessible

Our vision is to create a world where travel is accepted as an essential part of every education. We are committed to expanding financial accessibility and inclusion on Rustic Pathways programs.

Travel provides students with hands-on learning experiences which lead to personal growth, an increase in life skills and an expanded worldview. Each summer, we award students financial aid and scholarships to travel on Rustic Pathways service programs.

Get in Touch

To learn more about student travel and study abroad, call our Admissions Counselors at +1 440-975-9691 or Schedule a Call.

Students enrolled on programs please visit My Rustic Portal.

You may also email us at rustic@rusticpathways.com.

Our address is:

Rustic Pathways
6082 Pinecone Drive
Mentor, OH 44060