Program Leader, Rustic Pathways

Multiple Countries

Job Title: Program Leader (2019)

Organization: Rustic Pathways is a student travel organization that offers the world’s finest experiential education, community service, foreign language, and adventure programs. Our destinations stretch from the white-sand beaches of Fiji to the rainforest canopies of Costa Rica, the high Atlas mountains to the Great Barrier Reef, and many places in between. We provide superior quality travel and service in some of the most welcoming countries for students around the world. Rustic Pathways demands professionalism and integrity across all of our operations, insists on quality in all aspects of our programs, and places strong emphasis on the protection, safety and well-being of our students and staff. We empower students through innovative and responsible travel experiences to positively impact lives and communities around the world.

Position Duties: As a Program Leader, your primary responsibility is the protection of our students while they travel. You’ll work directly with students, community partners, activity operators, and Rustic Pathways staff to lead our programs for high school students. Expect to work long days in some of the most welcoming communities on the planet. Community service professionals, globally conscious travelers, logistics lovers, and youth development facilitators are encouraged to apply. Rustic Pathways is committed to increasing diversity in our staff and recognizes the benefit of having a diverse, inclusive work environment. We want our students to see diverse perspectives represented in our leaders.​

Must have stamina and be safety oriented, with a passion for experiential education.

This is a seasonal exempt position.


  • Embody Rustic Pathways’ mission, vision, and values
  • Protect the safety of students and abide by our zero tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior
  • Act as a role model and mentor to students
  • Follow Rustic Pathways’ safety protocols during program activities
  • Facilitate discussions drawing from your own personal experience and Rustic Pathways’ discussion guides
  • Deliver specialized program-specific curriculum
  • Manage day-to-day program logistics, financial responsibilities, and administrative tasks
  • Create positive and inclusive group dynamics
  • Monitor and manage student well-being and respond calmly to issues as they arise
  • Act as a liaison between Rustic Pathways and our community partners
  • Demonstrate responsible leadership and judgment

Job Qualifications:

  • Experience:
    • At least 2 years of relevant experience in service learning, tourism, outdoor leadership, youth mentorship, or experiential education.
    • At least 2 years of experience working with young adults and/or adolescents.
    • At least 6 months of experience living and/or working in an international, multicultural, or cross-cultural environment.
  • Education:
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university OR equivalent work experience
  • Requirements:
    • Must be 22 years of age or older by May 30, 2019.
    • Demonstrated maturity and leadership skills.
    • Professional working proficiency in English.
    • Basic CPR and First Aid certification from a licensed provider.
      • NOTE: Certifications must be obtained through classroom or in-person training only. Online certifications are not acceptable. Certificates must be submitted to Rustic Pathways at least three weeks prior to start of Program Leader training.
    • Fluency in Spanish required for working in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Peru.
    • Professional working proficiency in Arabic, Burmese, Fijian, French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Karen, Khmer, Lao, Mandarin Chinese, Mongolian, Quechua, Shan, Swahili, Thai, or Vietnamese is a plus.
    • A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record are required for leading programs in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Working knowledge in the following areas and/or roles:
    • Outdoor Education
    • Leadership Instruction
    • Teaching and/or instruction, specifically middle school or high school, in a multicultural environment
    • Teaching (any subject) to non-native English speakers
    • Volunteering with AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and/or national service, or comparable positions
    • Sociology or Anthropology
    • Social Justice, Immigration, or Migration
    • Marine Biology, Environmental Studies, Conservation, or Wildlife Biology
    • Public Health, Global Health, or WASH
    • Mountaineering or Technical Climbing
    • Community Service Coordinator
    • Surf Instructor
    • Soccer Coach
    • Camp Counselor
    • Adventure Guide
  • Preferred Certifications (including but not limited to):
    • Wilderness First Responder
    • Wilderness EMT
    • Ocean Lifeguard
    • Teaching Certifications (ex. TEFL/TESL)
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
    • Appreciation for diversity in cultures and experiences
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Patient, enthusiastic, analytical, flexible, and solution-oriented
    • Passion for discussion-based learning and helping students make meaning of their experiences
    • Understands the value of experiential education and travel for high school students
    • Eager to learn from colleagues and enjoys open collaboration and teamwork
    • Able to maintain excellence under pressure and ever-changing conditions

Location: Ability to work in one of our 16 country destinations for at least 4-10 consecutive weeks at a time (schedule requirements apply for program leader training in country).

A Note About Equal Employment Opportunity Questions

Though you are not required to answer them, we do encourage applicants to answer the Equal Employment Opportunity questions on our application. In order to most effectively work to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion at Rustic Pathways, we need the data to know where we stand. Numbers are powerful. Please help us to improve as an organization by answering these questions.

Equal Opportunity

Rustic Pathways is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

At-Will Notice

Each employee of Rustic Pathways is employed “at will,” which means either the Company or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any or no reason, with or without advanced notice. No individual or representative of the Rustic Pathways can change this at-will relationship absent a specific, written contract signed by the Company’s Chief Executive Officer or designee.

If an applicant needs reasonable accommodation when applying for an open position, please email

Application Deadline: February 11, 2019. This position is hiring on a rolling basis.