Here at Rustic Pathways we specialise in providing Australian schools with educational travel experiences much more impactful than your average school group tours. We extend students’ learning far beyond their classroom walls. With exciting destinations around the world there are endless possibilities.
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Here at Rustic Pathways, we know that student success depends on much more than fact recall and content knowledge. To that end, we design experiences that actively develop positive character traits. These include:
We believe that purposefully designed travel experiences develop students who better understand complex issues. These students are also better prepared to take on modern global challenges. We strive to provide immersive travel experiences that shape students’ perspective of the world and foster a sense of shared humanity. It’s important to us to ensure that students go into the world making globally minded decisions.We believe that travel experiences have a profound impact on who students become and how they view the world. This belief sits at the core of our program design. Believing that travel provides a unique opportunity for student learning, we intentionally design our programs to promote student growth. If you’re interested in setting up a school group tour for your students, contact us today and we’ll help you design the perfect program. Alternatively, read on to learn what sets our school group tours apart and how we will work with you to create an unforgettable learning experience.
We design innovative programs that help schools achieve their mission and live their values.
We admire the passion and vision of teachers. Allow us to partner with you and help create your legacy!
Our school group tours can integrate with your school curriculum and become part of the school culture. We go into our alignment with the Australian curriculum further down on this page.
We help teachers to choose or design programs that meet their specific objectives. We also provide teachers with resources to help deepen their students’ engagement before, during, and after travel. We customise the activities and discussions and staff each program with the most capable Program Leaders to achieve teachers’ goals.
There are numerous ways we can work with educators to link their program to in-class goals. For example, we can suggest projects that complement our program experiences. We can also work with educators to integrate an existing project into the program experience.
Our staff are trained to facilitate thoughtful inquiry around the key questions and themes at the heart of our programs. By doing this work outside of students’ home cultures and communities, we have seen incredible learning outcomes. These include:
Our country teams work hand-in-hand with our partner communities to set up service projects. (Find out more about our community impact here.) These projects are based on a combination of community needs and students’ skill sets. We can connect your group to a program that best supports your school’s philosophy and goals. Many of our students obtain service hours through our programs. We will work with you to ensure any community service on our school group tours meets your school’s requirements. Community service often becomes a catalyst for students to reflect on larger issues. It is an opportunity to help them understand the responsibility they have as members of global and local communities.
With a shared vision for developing enthusiastic, compassionate, and empowered lifelong learners, Rustic Pathways experiences are fundamentally aligned to IB education. We believe deeply in IB’s framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical, and reactive thinkers.
We also believe in the power of students making connections between their classroom experiences and the global community. Rustic Pathways experiences extend students’ learning far beyond the context of their own school, community, or country.
Global education is central to what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century. The Australian Curriculum recognises the importance of developing Australians into active and informed citizens. This involves being able to relate to and communicate across cultures, especially the cultures and countries of Asia. Many schools have discovered one of the most powerful catalysts for effective international education is learning while living in another country.
Rustic Pathways works with educators and supports schools by providing creative solutions to reach enduring understandings. Our school group tours support students to develop in ways vital for living and working successfully in the twenty-first century. These general competencies are recognised by the Australian Curriculum as being essential for young Australians:
Within the Australian Curriculum, Humanities and Social Sciences focuses on Civics & Citizenship. Students from Years 7-10 explore citizenship, diversity and identity. Travel helps students understand how ideas of Australian identity are influenced by global connectedness. Rustic Pathways programs create greater awareness of political, legal, national and international issues. They also allow students to consider their roles and responsibilities as global citizens.
The Australian curriculum has defined three cross curriculum priorities that provide students with the tools and language to engage with, and better understand, their world at a range of levels:
We have programs that specifically address each of these priorities, giving students real-world experience to ground their intellectual understanding.
Rustic Pathways is proud to offer customisable group programs to suit a wide range of needs.
Putting together your ideal Rustic Pathways trip is simple. Just follow the steps lined out below and you’ll be well on your way!
Peruse our destinations. With 19 countries to choose from, there’s sure to be at least one that sparks your interest! We also offer an incredible range of programs in Australia for school groups looking for an adventure closer to home
All our programs involve elements of:
Consider why you want to travel and what the main focus of your trip should be.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a destination:
While one week is certainly long enough for a visit within the Asia-Pacific region, you may want to consider a two or three week program if you plan on travelling further afield.
Each destination offers different service opportunities. Have a think about whether you want your efforts to benefit people, animals or nature? Do you see your group getting their hands dirty with an infrastructure construction project or is running a holiday program or tutoring students more their vibe? Our programs are centred around specific types of service projects, so take some time to think about what you would enjoy working on, where your skill sets lie, and how much service you want to do.
Get in contact with us! Share your interests with one of our Group Travel Managers who will design your ideal program. Think of your Group Travel Manager as a personal travel concierge who will help you identify the right type of program, connect you with our country teams, work to your budget, and provide all your pre-travel support. They will be with you every step of the way!
The pre-departure phase is the time between your commitment to running the program and getting on that plane! We will support teachers, parents and students throughout the journey.
For the teachers, we will be with you every step of the way. You will have one main contact at Rustic Pathways. We’ll provide you with an Educator’s Guide to Learning Through Travel and other helpful materials. The school will have the option to have full administration support to book flights, organise travel insurance, collect payments, medical forms, passports and visas. A Rustic Pathways representative will be available for presentations at the school. We will also provide a comprehensive risk management plan.
For the parents, we are available every day of the working week over phone and email to help answer questions and provide support.
For the students, we provide a series of interesting, informative emails, called The Rustic Globe. These teach students about their destination so they are well informed by the time they get there. Students will also receive a t-shirt, luggage tag and sticker.
Our outstanding program leaders will meet you at the airport in-country and will have all logistics taken care of. That means all you and your group have to focus on is immersing yourselves in local culture, participating in meaningful service, making new friends and creating lasting memories!
Once students return from the trip of their lifetime, we want them to feel supported and part of a community. Rustic Life offers ongoing education and opportunities in Australia after students return from their travels with Rustic. The objectives of Rustic Life are to:
Ways in which students can be involved:
Travelling with Rustic Pathways opens students’ eyes to the world. Our hope is that Rustic Life will continue to serve as a resource for our students as they journey through life.
Travelling with your students is one of the most important things you can do as an educator. An educational travel experience enables students to put into practice the concepts they’ve learned in the classroom. It also challenges them to step outside their comfort zones and helps them develop skills, habits, and mindsets closely associated with future success.
Students who travel with their teachers and peers report feeling happier and more engaged at school. They also perform better academically and interpersonally than their peers. According to a recent study students who travel:
Are more engaged – 80% thought educational travel sparked greater interest in what they were learning in school.
Are more successful in school – More than half of students who traveled achieved better grades.
Are more likely than their peers to pursue higher education opportunities – 57% of people who travelled as children went to university.
Are more likely to earn higher wages – Adults who took domestic education trips during their youth earned 12% more than those who didn’t.
In addition to the positive changes you’ll see in your students after taking a group trip together, travelling with them will benefit you as an educator in many ways as well.
You’ll get to see your teaching outcomes in action. This can help you improve the way you present specific lessons and concepts in the classroom.
A group trip will also strengthen the rapport between you and your students. You’ll find that a shared travel experience builds trust among your students, as well as between you and them. This will lead to a more cohesive – and productive – classroom environment when you return home.
We proudly offer programs that meet every educational need. We love customising programs to meet your class’ goals! Click individually on each program type to learn more about it and see example programs. These are some of the more specialised program types we offer:
Our Service Learning programs intersect critical global citizenship education with international development. Community impact is a pillar of most Rustic Pathways programs. However, our Service Learning programs take it to the next level. They combine meaningful community service projects with rigorous pre-trip academic content and post-trip critical reflection. Students investigate issues prior to departure. Then they participate in structured discussions while travelling. Finally, they demonstrate their learning through reflective projects upon return. Our framework is guided by the research of Dr Kearrin Sims into best practices in international service learning.
Rustic’s expeditions focus on student leadership, physical challenge and personal development. Expeditions are 3-4 week programs that include multi-day treks. These can take students through the Himalayas or across the Andes, to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, along mountain trails in Fiji, or from village to village in the hilltribes of Thailand. These programs include extensive pre-departure training. This is led by our incredible Aussie program leaders. Combine treks with service, cultural immersion and adventure travel!
Our critical issues programs each take a deep dive into an issue of global importance such as social justice, climate change, access to education and environmental conservation. The programs are designed around exploring the topic in-depth. Hear from affected communities. Learn from the organisations making a difference in that area. Brainstorm how to create change. Participate in design-thinking workshops to develop an idea into a solution.
These programs are some of our most immersive and impactful experiences. Students come with minimal personal belongings that they can fit into a small carry-on bag. They pick up a few essentials at the local markets before heading out to rural villages. There, they live in homestays with locals, and spend their days contributing to community service projects.
Ocean lovers, these programs are for you! You can help a marine biologist with biodiversity surveys in Fiji, work on reef restoration in the Dominican Republic or learn from a world-renowned marine biologist here in Australia while living on a deserted island in the Great Barrier Reef!
These programs are great for groups focusing on wildlife biology or environmental conservation. From dancing bears in India, elephants in Thailand and pandas in China to native Australian wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and koalas, we have wildlife conservation programs near and far to suit your needs.
For groups wanting to develop aptitude in Spanish, Frech, Arabic, or Chinese, we’ve got you covered! There’s nothing better for gaining fluency in a language than deeply immersing in a country where it is spoken natively. Thousands of small every-day exchanges cement vocab and verb tenses. Students can gain competency in a matter of weeks, especially with the added help of formal language lessons.
We are proud to be a Registered Activity Provider for The Duke Of Edinburgh International Award! We can provide Adventurous Journeys, Residential Projects and service opportunities on school group tours for students working on their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.
For avid sports lovers, these programs allow you to experience a foreign country through the lens of your favourite sport. What better way to connect with locals than through a shared love of the game? Whether you’re playing soccer in Costa Rica or baseball in the Dominican Republic, you’ll have the chance to develop your skills and practice with locals. Then give back to the communities you visit through community service.
Calling all aspiring photographers and photojournalists! Develop your skills under the guidance of a professional photographer. Build a portfolio of beautiful travel photography. Learn how to use photography as a means to respectfully get to know locals and preserve their stories.
Future medical professionals, unite! These programs give you the opportunity to get out into the field and gain some real world medical experience! These programs generally incorporate attainment of your Wilderness First Aid certification. Support ongoing community health projects in various ways, and practice your medical skills within your scope of training.
The name says it all – practice your surf skills and give back to local communities! These programs are suitable for everyone from first-time surfers to experienced wave-shredders. Whether you’re in Costa Rica, Fiji, or Australia, local surf instructors will assist you to up your surf game. Between catching waves, you’ll experience local culture and lend a hand with ongoing service projects we have in that area.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning a school group tour for your students. There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.
We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the education of your students.