Summer High School Programs in Vietnam with Rustic Pathways

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Since 2010, Rustic Pathways has partnered with local communities and development organizations across Vietnam to help our students gain a profound understanding and appreciation for the astonishing story of this charming Southeast Asian country. Students often leave Vietnam after having profound experiences, returning home with changed perspectives and want to contribute in positive and impactful ways to their own communities.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Hanoi to Ha Long

I was very excited to be the test group for this program! Vietnam was one the most beautiful places I have ever been. People living in the USA have this misconception that it is this dangerous place. When the word Vietnam comes to mind, people can not get past war however, there is so much more to this magical country than what is seen from the blind eye. One thing that I loved about this trip was that we got to experience city life, village life, jungle life and boat life! I was able to learn a lot about the history and rich culture that Nam has to offer through various museums and pagodas that we got to visit. It was really cool for me to take what I learned from AP World History and see it in real life.
Our first stop in Hanoi was super cool. Walking through the capital city, I was overwhelmed with the different cultures that are all so incorporated into one place. The smell of the Vietnamese cuisine consisting of pho, different meats and fruit smoothies. Seeing and smelling these things while adventuring through the tiny, extremely crowded streets with moped drivers that do not obey traffic laws in the slightest, is what made me so excite for what else there was to come.
Next, we got to spend a week in a village which was my favorite. Our week consisted of mixing and making concrete by hand to pave a road along with working in the corn fields. This was the time where we really got to make connections with the people and eat amazing food!
Our third stop was Ninh Binh. We stayed at a beautiful Eco Lodge and got to visit pagodas, see beautiful scenery and take a hike as well as a bike tour! This was for sure one of the highlights of the trip because of the beautiful scenery. Also, we got to drive to a local village and plant rice in the rice fields! It was incredible.
Ha Long Bay was where we got to stay on a junk boat. It was the best way to close out the trip, making great memories with friends and swimming in the blue water surrounded by mountains. We got to go out and kayak as well!
Finally, we went back to Hanoi. We went to a ceramics village and got to make our own pottery which was amazing. We also got to see a water puppet show and shop in the night markets!
Overall, this trip was phenomenal. I would 10/10 recommend it to anyone who is ready to jump a little bit outside their comfort zone.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate was a snail! In the village at our homestay, the families make us meals and one night they had snails. I would have never gone into this trip thinking that I would ever consume that, but guess what, I did!