Rustic Pathways' programs are designed for positive, level-headed students with a keen interest in experiential learning and international travel. We offer summer and spring break programs for high school and college students, programs during the academic year for Gap Year students, and customized programs for individuals, families, and groups throughout most of the year. Our programs are not suitable for students with behavioral problems, chemical dependencies, or an inability to work constructively in a team environment. Also, students who are culturally insensitive or unable or unwilling to follow instructions and obey Rustic Pathways' rules should not apply for our programs.
Students join us from every corner of the globe, but the majority of our participants hail from the United States.
More than half of our students come on programs alone. Students who attend programs together share a great summer, but most of them come without knowing anyone and quickly form lifelong friendships.
Cooks take advantage of the abundance of fresh foods available in all of the countries we visit. Experiencing local cuisine is a major component of all of our culturally immersive programs, and should be seen as a key ingredient that makes these programs so unique.
We can cater for almost any dietary requirements, including vegetarianism. It is very important that you advise us of any allergies or special dietary needs at the time of your application.
Yes! Almost all programs are designed to connect, and many of our students combine two or more programs to create their own itinerary. The depth of our operations allows you to tailor your adventure to match your individual interests. There are some exceptions; please refer to program descriptions for more detailed information.
Students join us from a variety of backgrounds and bring a mix of skills and experiences. Previous exposure to most activities is not needed. We ask only that you bring a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.
There are an amazing variety of summer options available. Begin by browsing through this catalog and mark the programs that catch your eye. Then, move on to our website (rusticpathways.com) where you will find additional information for each program, such as detailed daily itineraries, FAQs, packing lists, photos, and videos. Most importantly, when you would like to speak with us, we are readily available to answer your questions, discuss our programs, and assist you in creating the perfect summer experience to best suits your preferences.
Safety is our top priority. Our staff includes Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Surf Lifeguards, Red Cross First Aid and CPR certified individuals to name a few. We run staff CPR courses, first aid training and refresher courses, and Wilderness First Responder courses to guarantee we have the most up-to-date training to ensure the safety of all of our students.
The cost of our high school programs include all touring, activities, and admission fees as specified in the trip itinerary. We also cover all internal ground transportation, accommodation, and meals. Some programs offer optional activities at an additional cost, like skydiving or helicopter skiing. Personal items such as souvenirs, laundry, Internet, snacks, and phone calls are not included. The cost of international and domestic airfare is also not included in the program price.
Each program's description lists the maximum number of service hours available for that program, which will be awarded based on actual participation. Students who fully participate in their program earn the total hours listed, and students who combine more than one service program will receive a separate certificate for each program. Certificates will be mailed in the fall. Those who do not fully participate in the community service or who are dismissed from their program for any reason may not be awarded service hours. If your school requires additional community service forms, please bring a copy with you to give to the program manager for completion at the end of your trip.
Students have limited access to phones during most programs. Internet access is usually available once or twice a week, and most students stay in touch through e-mail. Students should not expect to use cell phones during programmed activities or group time on their trip. Limited cell phone use is available during free time, as determined by the trip leaders. Many of our programs travel to remote areas with limited or no cell phone service, and the ability to make calls is not guaranteed.
Our student programs are reserved for students only, but Rustic Pathways offers group trips that allow parents and children to travel together. Each year, many parents organize personal trips through Rustic Pathways that allow them to enjoy independent travel and then join their child at the conclusion of his or her trip.
Yes. While Rustic Pathways' programs are quite comprehensive and include almost all necessities, students will need some allowance money for optional expenses, such as souvenirs, personal phone calls, internet access, laundry and optional activities. We do not like hidden extra charges, and we include all of the essentials that make our programs great. For a clear idea of additional spending money needed for specific programs, please refer to the Master Document found online.
Due to the fluctuations in airline fees, currency exchange rates, and global oil prices, Rustic Pathways reserves the right to pass along any increases in travel costs to the participants should this become necessary.
International Exchange Rates
Rustic Pathways operates most of its programs outside of the United States and pays for most of these programs in local currencies. Should the value of the U.S. dollar decrease and thereby increase our operating costs, we reserve the right to increase our program price in proportion with the change in the value of the U.S. dollar and invoice participants for this increase in costs.
Please view our financial information pages for more information on this topic.
A non-refundable application fee must accompany your completed application. Applications received prior to April 15, 2013 have a fee of $ 100, after April 15th the fee increases to $ 200. This is a one-time fee regardless of the number of programs you join. Returning students do not pay this application fee. Please apply for your summer programs as far in advance as possible, as dates fill up very quickly. If the departure dates or programs you request are not available, we will contact you to discuss alternative options.
Choose to pay the total amount of your invoice in one lump sum or a monthly payment option. With the monthly payment option, the total invoice is automatically spread into equal monthly installments with the first payment due fifteen days after the acceptance letter is issued. There is no additional cost for this extended payment program. However, any payment received after each due date will incur a $ 50 late fee. All trips must be paid in full at least 65 days prior to the scheduled departure date. Students who apply later than 65 days before the departure date will have an accelerated payment schedule.
The application fee is non-refundable unless Rustic Pathways is unable to accommodate the student on the programs selected. We reserve the right to cancel, alter, reschedule or amend all programs offered at any time. If a trip is cancelled by Rustic Pathways prior to the start of the program, we will refund all payments. If a trip is cancelled by Rustic Pathways once it has begun, a portion of the participant's total payments will be refunded. Once the application has been accepted, cancellation by the student results in a penalty. Below are the guidelines for cancellation refunds, and do not include the cost of airfare.
Once accepted into a program, cancellation by the student more than 90 days prior to the first scheduled departure date results in a loss of 40 percent of the total trip cost. Cancellation by the student between 89 and 45 days prior to the first scheduled departure date results in a loss of 70 percent of the total trip cost. Cancellation by the student fewer than 45 days prior to the first scheduled departure date results in the loss of 100 percent of the total trip cost. To cancel a trip at any time, we must receive a completed cancellation form, which can be found at http://www.rusticpathways.com/revisions The t.rip cancellation date is determined by the date we receive this form. Verbal notice will not serve as valid cancellation notification.
The Rustic Pathways No Anxiety Summer Policy allows you to postpone your son or daughter's program for a future year, provided we are notified in writing at least 21 days before the scheduled departure date. If this option is selected, there is no penalty charge against the program portion of the cost, but the cost of the airline tickets will be subject to any change or cancellation penalties charged by the airline. We then hold the program payments in escrow, and you can apply these funds to the Rustic Pathways high school summer or spring break program of your choice at any time in the next two years. If funds are not used within two years, they are forfeited.
After a student is accepted into a program, the family will be responsible for correctly completing all required waivers and medical forms prior to departure. The waivers and medical forms will be e-mailed to you. If you have any questions, contact us at email@example.com. Participants will not be allowed to travel on their program(s) without the completion of these forms. Rustic Pathways will not accept a school physical as a valid substitute for a licensed physician.
A detailed packing list for each program is available online. Please bring your passport, airline tickets, clothing, and any other personal items detailed on the packing list for your program.
Absolutely! Many international students participate on our programs each year. Students beginning their program from outside North America will receive guidelines for making their own international flight arrangements, and our staff will meet them at the airport when they arrive. International students can contact us at rustic@rusticpathways. com, or by phone at +1 (440) 975-9691, or by fax at +1 (440) 975-9694.
Rustic Pathways believes it is important to be clear and transparent about all additional costs and charges that may be assessed. Although most of our fees do not apply to every traveler, please find listed below fees associated with the application, allowance, late payments, special services, etc.
I had a blast on my first Rustic Pathways trip! On this trip, I met a lot of people who were enthusiastic about service and happy to make friends. This trip allowed me to gain self confidence whils participating in service work. Rustic Pathways created an environment in which I grew and developed as a better citizen of the world.Victoria Chen (Shanghai, China)