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Teach and mentor refugee youth in Baltimore and explore historic Washington D.C.! Learn about the history and legislation surrounding refugee resettlement in Baltimore and aid in the development of literacy skills of refugee students. Engage in the local community by connecting with neighbors and non-profits. Before heading home, explore the national monuments and museums in Washington D.C. and catch a major league baseball game at Camden Yards.

Components of a Critical Issues Program

  1. Deliberate Focus: Students explore specific global issues as they exist in communities around the world.
  2. Pre-Travel Engagement: Prior to their arrival in the program’s base country, students build an understanding of the issue their program focuses on through readings and film screenings.
  3. Program Content and Discussion: Students progress through a curriculum comprised of activities, discussions, and debriefs designed to expand their understanding and exploration of key topics.
  4. Program Staff: Program Leaders on Critical Issues programs have intimate local knowledge and an academic or professional background in the focus area.
Dates listed reflect travel time departing from and returning to the USA. International clients click here.

You must enroll in a program at least 8 days prior to the scheduled departure date. For help choosing an alternate date or location, please contact us to speak with a program expert.

With our No-Stress Travel Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.

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Program Profile

United States
Community Service Component
Community Service Focus
Get to Know
The People, The Sights,
Settle in at the Base
Travel Component
Stationary Program

  • Day 1

    Arrive at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Baltimore where your Rustic Pathways staff members await your arrival at the airport.

    Have dinner with the rest of the group and receive an orientation to Baltimore and and the work that you will be doing over the next two weeks. Get some sleep before your first day at the school tomorrow!

  • Day 2

    Start the day with a healthy breakfast to get you ready for your first day of service.  Meet with the staff from the Refugee Youth Project for an orientation about the organization and discuss the types of work you will be doing with the refugee students. Head to the school where you will meet the students and start planning for that days’ lesson. Begin forming relationships with the students by working with them to improve their English language skills. After service, head back for dinner and a debrief discussion about the days events. Did one day with the students change any of your preconceived notions or ideas?

  • Day 3

    After breakfast, strengthen your bonds with the group navigating an obstacle course together. After the activity, head to the school for day two of service with the students.

  • Day 4

    Spend the morning creating new ideas for lessons and games for the students. These new ideas will be implemented in the classroom this afternoon. After service, head to a Baltimore Orioles game at beautiful Camden Yards where you will enjoy America’s favorite pastime.

  • Day 5

    Finish up your first week of service at the school working with the students and seeing how they have progressed since Monday.

  • Day 6

    Wake up and drive south to Washington D.C for a day in the nation’s capital! Tour the National Museum of American History. You’ll have lunch in DC and explore different museums, memorials, and historical sites. Head back to the house after a long day in the capital and relax; begin preparing for the weekend!

  • Day 7

    Start the day by exploring all that Baltimore has to offer. Have lunch at a classic Baltimore restaurant and head down to Baltimore’s historic Inner Harbor. Explore Fort McHenry, the American Visionary Arts museum and other fun locations along the waterfront.

  • Day 8

    Enjoy a 2nd day in D.C. exploring different historic sites throughout the city. See the impressive Capitol building and walk to the Washington Monument! You will visit different museums and walk to see different monuments and memorials. Spending time at some of our Nation’s most pride-inducing landmarks definitely adds a new perspective on the evolving conversation you’ll be having on what it means to be a citizen of the U.S.

  • Day 9

    Get excited for your second week teaching at the school! Brainstorm with the group about lesson plans for the day and head over to start service. Start to reflect on how your work is impacting the school, students, and community. Wind down at the end of the day with a movie or game night. Over the next few days, you will continue to discuss the global refugee crisis and how it plays out in different contexts across the world, though your perspectives may have changed a little now that you’ve begun your second week of work with refugee students.

  • Day 10

    Meet back at the school for another fun day of working with refugee students. Have a hearty dinner and prepare yourself for a unique Maryland Tradition: Duck Pin Bowling!

  • Day 11

    Begin the day by reflecting as a group on your experience thus far. Find a creative way to start wrapping up your work with the students at the school and set goals for the final days of service.  After service, have dinner out in the city, followed by grabbing dessert at a local hot spot.

  • Day 12

    Prepare for your last day of service at the school. Spend some final moments with the students you have gotten to know and wrap up your incredible experience with some fun last day activities.

  • Day 13

    Celebrate new friends and an amazing two weeks at the school with a field trip with the students you have been teaching! Interact and play with the kids all day in a fun educational setting. Say reluctant goodbyes to the students and end the trip with a nice dinner out on the town. Reflect on the past two weeks in a final discussion with the group and share what it has meant to you.

  • Day 14

    Have breakfast as a group and pack your bags before heading back home.  After your experience in Baltimore, you will be bringing home more than just a suitcase.

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.

The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.

“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.

For more information, email usa@rusticpathways.com

Program-Specific FAQs

  • Snacks, souvenirs, and other shopping excursions are not included.

  • Students will be eating most meals at Towson University. Students will pack their own sandwiches and snacks for lunch on mornings of service work. Dinner consists of a variety of different foods and American favorites. Groups occasionally go out to restaurants to experience local cuisine, which is covered in the trip cost. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated for; there will be a vegetarian/vegan/seafood-free option if required.

  • Students will be able to drink water from the tap during this program, but they will have the option to buy bottled water if they prefer. As Baltimore is in a hot climate, we require that every student has a refillable water bottle on hand at all times to stay hydrated. Water coolers will be provided at the worksite to keep students hydrated, and drinking water is encouraged and required by staff.

  • Students will be staying at Towson University in the residence halls with separate rooms for boys and girls. Staff will be on site at all times and stay overnight with the students. Students are not allowed to leave the property unaccompanied, and will be “in for the night” at designated times each night.

  • There are laundry facilities on-site, and detergent is supplied. Summer students typically bring two weeks’ worth of clothes and do a load of laundry when necessary.

  • Although we keep pretty busy during the trip, we do have down time. Feel free to bring your instrument if it is small and easy to carry. Rustic Pathways is not responsible for lost or stolen instruments.


Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Below is your packing list, and for those of you looking for some extra guidance on what to bring, check out the packing guide.
Rustic Gear. Want to get all your shopping done for your program in one place? We’ve got you covered. Check out Rustic Gear and get all the essentials sent right to your door.


A school backpack is ideal.

  • Passport/Photo ID
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Change of clothes
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Medication
  • Visa documentation (if applicable)
  • Additional community service forms
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways Emergency contacts
  • The students will travel to Washington D.C and areas outside of Baltimore for sightseeing trips.

Checked Luggage

A 60-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.


  • Socks (8-10)
  • Underwear (8-10)
  • Pants/Capris/Jeans (2)
  • Shorts (3-5)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1-2)
  • Hoodie/sweatshirt (1-2)
  • T-shirt (7-9)
  • Tank tops (3-5)
  • Nice outfit for a night out (1-2)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Rain Jacket
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers
  • Hat
  • Headlamp/flashlight


(travel sized containers packed in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash/Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Deodorant
  • Razor/shaving cream

Important Reminders

Please bring appropriate attire for service days. Shorts should have a 3″ or longer inseam. Tank tops are not appropriate for service in the schools, please bring t-shirts.

  1. a
    Baltimore, Maryland

    Arrival city for program and where you will spend the majority of your trip.

  2. b
    Washington D.C

    The capital of the USA! Spend a few days touring the different national monuments and museums.