World Challenge Expeditions
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World Challenge is a for-profit UK provider of school expeditions. The company is over 29 years old. World Challenge is a multinational organisation with businesses in North America, Australia, Middle East, South East Asia and Europe and is part of the TUI Travel Specialist and Activity Sector.
Overseas expeditions 1 to 4 weeks
Standard expeditions on offer last 1 to 4 weeks in developing countries in over 50 destinations- targeted at students aged between 15 and 18. The programme involves 15 to 20 months of preparation, to train team members in the necessary skills that will be required during their fully immersive and intense expedition in the developing world. As well as offering support to enable them to raise money to fund the costs of the trip of a lifetime. This build-up phase includes several meetings with the team facilitiated by World Challenge - these include; the 'Launch Meeting' where they learn about money management, fundraising, their destination, and get to know each other in team building exercises. This is followed by the 'Itinerary Planning Meeting' where the team design and plan their expedition- this allows for each expedition to be tailored to the goals of the team as the time spent in each phase is decided by the team- Would they like to focus on overcoming personal goals whilst on a longer more physically challenging trek or have a bigger impact on a local developing community during a project phase. The session ends with a parents update evening- delivered by the students.
Challengers then complete a two-day, one-night training expedition in the UK which is designed to give participants an insight to life on expedition whilst learning about the responsibilities that the team will hold on expedition and an introduction to the good decision-making skills of which are crucially important on expedition- as to gain the most from the trip teams are in many cases (and under safe supervision) 'Thrown in at the deep end'.
Most expeditions are split into 4 phases:
- This is designed to ease challengers into their destination country and involves an 'acclimatisation trek' which is to ensure challengers are used to the rigours of trekking within that country. Which may include hot or cold temperatures and/or high altitudes.
- Main Trek:
- The challengers trek for an extended period (up to 2 weeks) in more remote areas. This pushes challengers to their limits as some of the areas are highly demanding both physically and mentally, but in most cases this is rewarded by exploring areas that few people have ever seen.
- Community Project (where applicable this could also replace the trekking phase in some expeditions that focus mainly on the project):
- Challengers spend time working in a local community, taking part in conservation, construction and other charitable projects. This is thought to be one of the most rewarding parts of the expeditions as challengers may make a real difference.
- Rest and Relaxation:
- The challengers experience some of the adventure sports and activities the country has to offer, relax after the rigours of their exhibition. Activities include white water rafting, diving and visiting famous attractions.
Each team travels with at least one Teacher (School Leader) and an Expedition Leader. Depending on the number of students an Expedition Assistant might be required to ensure the ratios of adults to minors is met. All Expedition Leaders and Assistants have to meet strict criteria on the experience and qualifications they hold. These are also set out as part of the British Standard 8848 and the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, both of which World Challenge hold.
Costs depend on the country teams travel to and the length of time they spend there as well as the activities they want to take part in.
Overseas Compact expeditions
World Challenge runs a number of courses for Expedition Leaders, potential Leaders, School Leaders and people interested in outdoor education training. They offer courses for qualifications in leadership, first aid and outdoor activities.
- World Challenge UK Official Website
- World Challenge Australia Official Website
- World Challenge United States Official Website
- World Challenge Middle East Official Website
- World Challenge independent expeditions Official Website
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZV-BZWiln4&t=122s A Challenger-made video summing up a month long expedition to North India