Rustic Pathways is the leader in providing international service-learning programs for high school groups. Rustic Journeys introduce students to a variety of service experiences that benefit the communities we visit, while showing students the impact they can have in their world. We teach those who travel with us about their role in the global community, the power they have to affect change, and the benefits of diversity and cultural awareness. Rustic Journeys challenge students to take leadership roles in creating change.
Responding to Need. Service projects are established in close consultation with community leaders. We work with partners to develop projects that address important needs while enabling our students to take a hands-on role in creating change. Rustic Pathways service projects focus on five dimensions that are essential to the well-being of the communities, including education, infrastructure, environment, health, and economic development. Our project partners include community leaders in rural villages, local government agencies and NGOs.
Achievable, Meaningful Goals. Our service initiatives engage participants in hands-on projects that utilise their skills. They are designed to be achievable by students within the available time frame so that students leave with a sense of achievement. Equally as important are the outcomes for the community, and all projects are part of the broader long-term support that we provide. All journeys include orientation and discussion on the rationale underlying each project as well as the focusing on the larger cultural, social, and political considerations.
Sustainable. Our projects are designed to be sustainable for the community, your school and Rustic Pathways. We empower local leaders to manage ongoing projects themselves, while also facilitating their long-term relationship with your school. Students can continue their service work after the Journey by travelling on a Rustic Trip or Gap Year program, and they can also become involved with the Rustic Pathways Foundation. We also encourage and support students to become involved with their communities at home.
Measurable Impact. All of our service projects are carefully managed to measure Rustic’s impact on the community, environment, students and staff. Our impact spans from students’ service projects during a program and projects provided by the Rustic Pathways Foundation, right through to job creation, capacity building of local staff and joint enterprises. There are also many non-financial impacts that are part of the reason Rustic Pathways has strong, long-standing relationships with communities around the globe.
Defined Learning Outcomes. Academic learning is achieved when your journey is integrated into the classroom curriculum. During the journey, students learn about critical thinking, problem solving and communication, and further their inter- and intra-personal learning through working as a team and learning about other cultures. Our leaders facilitate discussion and reflection, which often results in extended exploration of values, social justice issues, and politics. Your program manager will work with you to define student learning goals.
Our framework for your journey provides flexibility for your school’s specific requirements. We understand that schools have different objectives and parameters for travelling, with differing considerations for lead-in times, budgets, teacher resources and curriculums. Rather than offering a fixed travel package, we take the time to listen carefully to what you need then design a program built around our framework. The process is designed to be easy, efficient and fun for you as a teacher.
Contact us to set-up a meeting with one of our Australian Directors, Evan Wells or Sam Murray. We’ll meet you at school to start planning your program. Once we’ve identified your needs, our team will prepare some programs for you to review, then we’ll work with you to refine your ideal journey.
Once the journey is defined, your Rustic coordinator will help promote the program to students at an assembly, and to parents at an information evening. We provide you with resources to make it as easy as possible to generate interest from students and gain the confidence of parents.
We help prepare students for international travel and cross-cultural learning. Depending on your goals, preparation may include team building initiatives, fundraising, role-playing scenarios, pre-departure meetings, and inquiry-based projects to learn about cultural and social issues in your destination.
Teachers accompany students overseas and your Rustic leaders meet you upon arrival. The phases of your journey may include orientation, service projects, adventure, touring, and reflection. Our expert guides will facilitate a powerful, life-shaping experience for you and your students.
Reflection enables us to build stronger cultural bridges and enrich the lives of our students beyond their overseas experience. Upon return to school, we review the entire journey with you, and reunite to help students apply their learning to continue making positive changes in their world.