Latest Updates

Update: | Excellent feedback from another EdNet conference in Mostar. The educators were absorbed in the activities for the whole 2 days. The meaningful playground service activity certainly was a highlight .... even though it was raining. Photos will be posted below | Reminder: Rustic Pathways can now run Duke of Edinburgh's International Awards. We offer schools currently running DoE Awards and those wanting to introduce the awards, programmes to satisfy the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of award | Talk with your RP contact about contacting schools who have travelled on particular trips that you might be interested in. They can refer you on to these educators so that you can make informed decisions

EdNet News



Updated 13 May, 2019


Check out the feedback comments -


This was by and large the best in-servicing I've been to for Service Learning..Click here

EdNet Mostar May 2019 participants together with the Rustic team.
Thanks to Lydia, Lauren, Andrea and Dave for their inspiring workshops.
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EdNet Mostar May 2019 participants together with the Rustic team.
Thanks to Lydia, Lauren, Andrea and Dave for their inspiring workshops.



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EdNet Conference, Mostar 3 - 5 May Theme: Learning through Service

We are in the final weeks before the first EdNet conference in Europe!! Educators are attending from India, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Presenting will be Lauren Fine (Hong Kong IS), Lydia Eckstein (Inter-Community School Zurich), Andrea Bouch (RP) and Dave Dennis (RP). See more about this conference .... click here
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Debate: Problem Based Learning v Project Based Learning
Is there a place for it in our school trips programmes?

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Rustic Pathways at Conferences


ECIS conference in Lisbon April 26-27
Les will be at the ECIS conference in Lisbon as a delegate, therefore RP won't have a table as an exhibitor. He has already set up meetings with educators and would love to catch up with you or any other educators who are working with us or interested in a student experiential travel company who puts learning first. Les will be wearing his blue Rustic Pathways shirt and should be quite easy to spot. He can be contacted through the event app as well. If you will be at the conference, or are recommending RP to colleagues, get in touch with Les to catch up.


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We met with over 70 educators who came to learn more about how Rustic Pathways can partner with schools for their experiential learning programmes in their schools. A big point of difference was how Rustic Pathways partner to link the curriculum with trips. There was definitely a recognition that this was a fantastic initiative to accompany great itineraries. Want to know more.....?? Contact Les (les@rusticpathways.com) or Matija (matija@rusticpathwways.com)





Rustic Pathways will have tables at the following upcoming conferences

  • EARCOS, Bangkok 21-23 March - Les had great discussions with teachers at this conference. Lots of creative ideas for trips particularly in the arts. We are looking forward to having further conversations with these educators in partnering with their schools. 
  • IB Conference, Hong Kong 24-26 March
If you are there come along to have a chat with Les, he would love to see you


Excellent EdNet Conference Endorsement

Rustic Pathways have made an authentic effort and investment to continuously improve the quality of their service learning trips. I was fortunate enough to join Educators Network Conference 2018, at the beautiful Udon Thani Base House in Thailand. During this workshop a large group of educators were able to meet and discuss our expectations and understanding of experiential learning. Moreover, we had the opportunity to experiences local service learning projects initiatives. Les Millard and his team at Rustic Pathways organized a meaningful and worthwhile conference where the outcomes from this conference are certainly going to support the continuous improvement of their service learning trips. (Dan Powell, CAS Coordinator, I-Shou International School, Taiwan)


New Hong Kong requirements for student travel

We are aware of and have made provision to address the new liability and coverage requirements in Hong Kong.
The regulations have new stipulations for:

  • Insurances
  • Health and Safety
  • Child Protection
  • Company registrations

We, at Rustic Pathways, have put together a package that to share with schools as it seems this is becoming more and more important and consistent across all schools in Hong Kong.  If there is anything further that you think would be helpful or should be included, please get in touch with your Rustic Pathways contact!

Conference News

We will be present at the following conferences:
  • EARCOS Teachers Conference, Bangkok 21-23 March
    • We will have an exhibitors table at the conference. Call by to speak with Les. Looking forward to catching up with you
  • IB Global Conference, Hong Kong 24-26 March
    • We will have an exhibitors table at the conference. Call by to speak with Les. Will be great to see you!!
  • IB European Education Festival, Zagreb 4-5 April. 
    • Catch up with Matija there. Get in touch to catch up with her
  • ECIS Leadership Conference, Lisbon 24-28 April
    • Les will be attending. Look for him there. Get in touch so we can meet up. He loves to chat with fellow educators
  • RP EdNet Conference, Mostar 3-5 May
    • This is a Rustic Pathways sponsored event designed to bring educators from around Europe, Middle Eat and India together in discussions surrounding experiential learning



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Great news!!! Rustic Pathways now registered to offer the Duke of Edinburgh's International  Award (DoE). We can offer the DoE in all locations in which we operate. 

There are 2 sections to choose from under the Adventurous Journey section of of the International Award. 

  • Exploration (can be urban based, and focused on a theme or an issue in an area, with less rigorous physical requirements) 
  • Expedition (Similar to the more traditional backpacking and camping type of trip, more physically demanding and based in nature).  
For the Adventurous journey there are Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels.

Unsure about what it is?

.... click here to find out more 

"The aim of education is to impel people into value forming experiences... to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit... and above all, compassion... It is culpable neglect not to impel young people into experiences." Kurt Hahn

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Reaching your students to talk about development and service


Development is complicated. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to describe what you’ve learned (or what you’re preparing to learn) during a culturally-immersive travel experience to friends and family back home. It’s easy to exaggerate the differences between your hometown and the communities your classes visited. And it’s important to remember that you’re getting as much back as you’re giving—what you contribute in labor and materials is returned many times over in the new perspectives and cultural experiences you take away from those travel experiences.
Rustic Pathways’ community partners aren’t just people who happen to live in the communities where classes travel. They’ve become friends and family in the years we’ve worked together. Be intentional about framing the people you meet in a positive light and not defining them by their current circumstances.
Below are some ways to make sure you’re sharing your experiences in a productive and accurate way. After reviewing these suggestions, use this exercise with your class to help them articulate the type of service they’ll be completing during their Rustic trip. .... click here

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Rustic Pathways Educators Conference, 

Mostar, 3 - 5 May, 2019


Great news for those in Europe, Middle East and India. We are offering an experiential learning professional development opportunity in Europe. Mostar is the venue. This follows up from the highly successful conferences held in the Asia region during 2018. It is a great opportunity to engage with other educators and experts in their fields for 2 days of both intense and informal discussions. You also get a taste of what we as educators ask the students to do when taking part on these trips.

This is a Rustic Pathways sponsored conference. For more information ......  click here  

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Rustic Pathways Educators Conference, 

Luang Prabang , 7-9 December


Impressions of Luang Prabang and the conference authored by Andrew Field, Duke Kunshan University, Shanghai and Board member Shanghai American School, participant at the conference .... click here

Great news!! We have participants from schools from the Middle East through to Korea. This is a fantastic geographical spread.
Participating schools include:
Chinese IS Hong Kong, German Swiss IS Hong Kong, St Josephs Institute International, Singapore, Delia School of Canada, Hong Kong, Korea International School, Seoul, Harrow International School, Hong Kong, American School of Dubai, Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong, International School Singapore, Singapore, King George V School. Hong Kong, Duke Kunshan University, Shanghai, Riffa Views International School, Bahrain, Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong

An exciting fact is that a number of participants who were part of the first conference in Udonthani, Thailand are returning for this conference. This is testimony to how much value that the conferences have for schools and individual educators in the area of experiential learning.

Participants feedback
  • 'I wanted an idea of how to structure a programme, and got this and more.' (Nord Anglia Hong Kong)
  • 'I had high expectations after the last conference and I was not disappointed!' (Harrow IS, Hong Kong)
  • 'As during the first one, I learned a lot of great stuff that was applicable right away upon my lengthy return.' (Korea IS)
  • 'Even better than the first!' (American School of Dubai)
The educator led sessions included learning through service, profile of a successful experiential programme, service learning and student agency.
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14 October, 2018


EARCOS Leadership Conference, Kuala Lumpur 

25 - 27 October 2018


Les will be attending the EARCOS conference in Kuala Lumpur 25-27 October. He recently attended the IB Conference in Vienna and got lots of interest in the experiences that Rustic Pathways provides. Have a chat with Les at the exhibitors table at the conference. Call by to see him, he would be really interested in talking with you.


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2 October, 2018

IB Conference, Vienna 3 - 6 October 2018





Rustic Pathways will be at the IB Conference in Vienna. Les will be there at the exhibitors table. If you are attending go along to have a chat with him, he would really enjoy connecting with you. If you have any questions about programmes offered by Rustic Pathways, curriculum links, CAS ideas or just a general chat call by.

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14 September, 2018

2nd EdNet Conference 7-9 December 2018


Theme ' Growing Students Through Experiential Learning'

Following on from the success of the 1st EdNet conference in Udonthani we are offering the 2nd conference this coming December. It will be hosted by the Laos Base staff in Luang Prabang. 

It will take the form of presentations, discussion groups, hands on service activity and of course, very importantly, social interaction! The conference is designed to bring together EdNet educators to discuss experiential learning issues relating to your schools, have expert educators lead presentations. The goal is by sharing knowledge we can as a network provide the best possible learning experiences. 

It is a 2 day programme that is packed with fun and enjoyment. If you haven't experienced the wonders of Laos and what it has to offer this is a great chance. If you have been before then you will know what I mean! See the feedback from the 1st EdNet Conference below.

The conference is sponsored by Rustic Pathways so costs to you and the school for flights and accommodation are taken care of. 


We can accommodate 20 confirmed educators who register first. Be in quick to register your interest in attending by going to the following link Registration of interest for the Rustic Pathways Educators Conference  



1st EdNet Conference May 2018


In May 2018 we ran a highly successful conference at our Base in Udon Thani, Thailand. 
20 EdNet educators travelled to Udon Thani for a Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime conference. The programme included gave participants a blend of experiential theory, practice and implementation. They also had hands on experiences building a garden for an elderly village couple, working towards completion of a building project, and creating Thai cooking masterpieces.





  • Surpassed expectations in terms of what I learned over the weekend
  • It far exceeded my expectations. I was worried about how much I would get from a weekend conference that involved so much time spent traveling. I was also expecting much more of a sales pitch. All of this meant I was reluctant to go at first.
  • It was great learning experience and a platform to discuss ideas for service learning.
  • I did not have expectations besides the schedule of conference, enjoyed the discussion generated from the room full of experts. Malcom added a lot to the conference, wonderful introductory speaker.
  • Thanks for all of the organisation and hospitality
  • Thanks for inviting me. I was sceptical and ended up loving 
    • the weekend and came back to Hong Kong with a lot of good ideas and feeling inspired!
    • Would like to think about how students can be better prepared for service learning trips, are there activities or discussions that can support students’ leaning before departing on these trips. What are ways that leadership opportunities can be further developed?
    • I appreciated that the weekend didn't feel like a sales pitch but at the same time it could have been useful as some point to have heard about some of the programmes offered by RP and maybe to have heard from teachers that had been on them - they could even have presented about a recent trip their school had taken. On the other hand this risks turning the weekend into a sales pitch and diluting the content - it's a tough balance...
    • Great to better understand what RP is about and the people involved with RP are educators who understand the context of these service learning trips on offer.
    • It was useful to have face time with some of the organizers and better understand philosophy. Also good to speak to other educators and learn how they tweak programmes, what their students' experiences of RP expeditions has been.
    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to our continued partnership





    Are you a smaller school....

    who is having trouble getting enough students to move forward with traveling with us?
    • By using this network connect with other small schools to "pair off"; if you have less than 10 students, or seeking overlapping times in the same destination, EdNet could provide a forum for you to connect to build the same vision, and we could encourage "matchmaking"... Get two or three small schools who are unable to travel due to cost, to travel as one larger group! 


    Conferences where we will be present





    • EARCOS, Kuala Lumpur October - we will have a table there exhibiting so feel free to call by for a chat with Evan
    • IB Conference, Vienna - October - Matija will be present as a participant. Look out for her and connect with her
    • IB Conference Hong Kong - March - Les will be there as a participant but he could also be presenting a workshop. More on this later

    New Programmes for 2019

    • At Rustic Pathways we are always finding ways to improve what we can offer to open new experiences for students and educators. Find out more about our new programmes for 2019 <<read here>>




    Programmes in the Pipeline


    • We are opening up a number of new programmes in Aotearoa (New Zealand). While these are still in the pipeline we are happy to take inquiries about them now.
      • Maori Culture and Service
        • This is a trip packed with service and Maori culture rich experiences. Students will learn the Maori culture from local kaumatua (elders) and students while experiencing village life. You will work with the local tribes people on projects in the community.  A feature of this trip is that students will have hands on experience of traditional hangi cooking (cooking in the ground) and mahi harakeke (flax weaving)
      • Environment Restoration Challenge
        • Partnering with a government supported environment and conservation organisation. They have a number of projects that they are running. A great service opportunity. Based around the sunny Bay of Plenty. Bay of Plenty is just that, plenty of opportunities for students!
      • The Domain of Ruaumoko (Maori God of all in the underworld e.g. volcanoes, thermal activity etc)
        • Explore the world of the underworld activities and the cultural impact to the Maori. Find out the science in real life experiences. Students will enjoy the opportunity to engage with the environment 
      • Journey to Middle Earth
        • Visit Mount Doom, Trollshaw Forest and various other sites of Middle Earth as seen and written about in the trilogies. You will go to Wellington to the famous Weta Workshops where the props and costumes were created. Experience in real life what you have seen or read.
      • West Coast Greenstone Adventure
        • Pounamu is the Maori translation for greenstone. You will be taken on a journey through the rugged West Coast of the South Island where you will be interacting with the local Maori tribe. You will have access to the protected source of the finest greenstone that is protected by the local Maori tribe. From here you will experience the process from source to the final adornment. Along the journey you will hear the traditional stories and visit the incredible environment that the West Coast offers. 
      • Northern Adventure
        • A great service opportunity in the north of New Zealand. See the path of the Maori descendants as they depart to their ancestral homeland. Take in the amazing beaches and subtropical forests, including Taane, the giant kauri tree. Known as the winterless north there are ample opportunities for students to enjoy a range of activities.

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