faq - World Challenge

FAQs

Parents

HOW WILL THEY BALANCE THIS WITH THEIR SCHOOL WORK?

We’re not saying this is easy but students who sign up are generally very committed to getting organised and they learn how to manage their time, balancing important school work and preparation for expeditions. Organisation is key and starting fundraising and fitness early is important. We’ll help students start thinking about all this during their after-school meetings and back them up with plenty of resources. We’ve got plenty of Challengers who have been there and done this waiting and ready to speak with you and your children, offering advice and practical tips.

WHAT IS INCLUDED?
All international flights and costs in-country are covered, for example, accommodation, trek and guide fees, food, transport and project contributions. Pre-departure meetings, the domestic training expedition and access to the support team and a dedicated online portal are part of the cost. Your Expedition Leader, 24hour support from our Operations Centre and full and comprehensive insurance cover when the students are overseas are all included. It’s a pretty inclusive price, there are a handful of exclusions to be aware of below.
OK, WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
On top of the expedition fee you will need to get personal kit (rucksack, boots etc), obtain visas where applicable and visit your local clinic for appropriate vaccinations. We’ll provide you with a kit list, signpost you to the right people to talk to and places to go to get the best deals. You may wish to consider taking out pre-departure insurance, so if there is a medical reason for withdrawal before you go, you are covered. Teams are also responsible for their transport to and from the airport. Then all you’ll need in addition to that is some spending money which we recommend for souvenirs, snacks and any optional rest and relaxation activities.
WHY DOES IT COST MORE THAN SOME OTHER SCHOOL TRIPS?
We get asked this a lot. Schools choose to work with us because we won’t compromise on quality, safety, community projects or our leaders. We’re proud to invest in the best leaders, the most comprehensive safety and back up in the industry, meaningful partnerships with communities overseas and a support team who are here for you as well as your child. We care about delivering the most meaningful and safest possible experience we can and that is what makes us more than an average trip.
HOW DO WE START FUNDRAISING AND WHAT IF WE CAN'T MAKE A PAYMENT?

Every family’s’ situation is different and if you have made the decision to earn your expedition fee we are here to support with plenty of personal advice, motivation and access to resources. There are a host of case studies, guides and templates to get students going.

If you start to struggle, get in touch earlier rather than later so we can help get you back on track. We have multiple payment plan options so if you need to change, or need some flexibility, just give us a call. It’s really important that before signing up you have a really good read of our refund policy in our Terms and Conditions.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD IS ILL ON THE TRIP?
That’s what we are here for. Our experienced Expedition Leaders are first aid trained and are backed by the support of our Operations Centre meaning they can speak immediately to one of or international doctors via a conference call for the best professional advice. Leaders carry comprehensive medical kits, including prescription medicine so our doctors can authorise them to use medication in the field. We have access to networks of screened medical facilities should it become necessary to visit one and in that case, we’ll proactively get in touch with you to keep you fully informed. Declare any pre-existing medical conditions and all the costs are covered. We won’t compromise on the quality of medical care for our teams overseas.
CAN I SPEAK TO THEM WHEN THEY'RE AWAY?
We strongly recommend that students leave their phones behind not only because they can be a magnet for petty theft whilst overseas but also because we want them to plug into the experience, not their phones. This may be their only opportunity to truly disconnect from social media, so we’d love students and parents to embrace the challenge. Our Leaders carry communications equipment so they are well connected to our Operations Centre whilst overseas. Rest assured, if there are any itinerary changes or medical issues that develop in country we will proactively get in touch with you.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DON'T GET THE GRADES TO STAY ON AT SCHOOL?

You’d need to chat to the school first, some schools are happy for Challengers to travel with them when they are no longer a student at the school. If you still want to go on an amazing adventure then we can chat to you about transferring your place over to our Project Independence programme. Otherwise, it’s really important that you have a really good read of our refund policy in our Terms and Conditions before you sign up.

STUDENTS

CAN I TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS?
We would love every student to take up an opportunity like this so bring your mates. Even if you don’t, you’ll have a team of new friends by the end of this. If there is more than one team travelling from your school, teachers normally let you choose at least one pal to stick within your group, so you don’t start solo.
WHAT IF MY FAMILY ARE RELOCATED FOR WORK?
Firstly, let’s see if they run World Challenge at your new school – we will aim to transfer you so you don’t miss out. If they don’t then we’ll discuss the situation with your guardians work out a lenient part refund – we understand it happens sometimes.
I'VE CHOSEN TO EARN MY EXPEDITION FEE. HELP!
Once on the team, you’ll have access to a wide-range of resources such as sponsorship forms and posters to promote your trip. Need ideas? We’ve got you covered with A-Z guides, tips on planning specific events and stories from previous challengers on how they were able to earn their expedition fee.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
You don’t need to be Usain Bolt or Bismarck du Plessis to do this but you do need to feel robust and healthy to take on the challenges of expedition life; a new climate, maybe physical trekking, carrying your backpack. Some regular fitness activity is encouraged but a lot of this is also about your attitude and willingness to take on the challenge
THEY DON'T RUN WORLD CHALLENGE AT MY SCHOOL?
Oh no! Put us in touch with a teacher you think might be interested and we can get working on your school.
As a student, am I able to set up a direct debit from my bank account?

Direct debits can be set up from a current account of anyone that is aged 16 and over. If you’re younger than 16, your parent or guardian will need to set up a direct debit from their own bank account.

What if I can't pay the entire expedition fee before the departure date?

To travel on the expedition, payment of the full balance is required by the final balance deadline.

Are other people able to donate to my expedition?

Yes, once you’re on the team you’ll be given your own contribution link which you can then give out to friends and family.

What is the cancellation policy if I change my mind or need to withdraw for medical reasons?

From the date of your application, you have a 14-day cooling-off period to change your mind and receive a full refund. If you withdraw from the expedition after this 14-day period, your cancellation would be handled in line with our Terms and Conditions which are outlined in section 6. Just as you would with a normal holiday, World Challenge recommends purchasing your own pre-departure cancellation insurance to cover you should you to decide to withdraw prior to departure. Signing up to an expedition is an exciting decision but please make sure you are familiar with our terms before agreeing to them.

What if I can’t make the decision to sign up by the deadline?

If you would like to join the expedition after the application deadline has passed, this may still be a possibility, but we ask you double-check that the school are happy for us to accept your application first. If they are, then great! Get in touch and we can investigate whether we are able to put the necessary arrangements in place to add you to the team.

I'd love to go, but can’t pay my first instalment in time, what do I do?

To secure your place on the expedition we ask you pay the first instalment by the application deadline. If your personal situation means this is not possible, then please apply anyway and give us a call on 01494 427600 to let us know when you will be making the payment.

Am I able to make bigger payments than the payment plan I sign up to?

Absolutely! If you would like to make additional payments outside of your payment plan, then this is fine. This can either be allocated against your next scheduled payment/s or alternatively we can deduct the amount from your final balance – just let us know and we will do the rest.

Can I change my payment plan at any time?

The dates are set up for each plan to match the costs incurred during the programme so cannot be changed. However, you’re able to change between monthly and instalment payment plans at any time.

How can I pay my instalments to World Challenge if I choose not to pay by Direct debit?

You can pay via bank transfer, calling our customer support team on 01494 427600, via cheque or making an online payment. You can find details of these methods on the payment tab of your online portal once you have applied.

TEACHERS

WHAT IF THERE IS A MAJOR INCIDENT IN OUR DESTINATION BEFORE WE TRAVEL?
Rest assured we are proactively monitoring your destination closely in the build-up to your departure. If there was to be an incident and government advice deemed travel unsafe, we would work in partnership with you and the school to arrange an alternative destination at no extra cost to the school or families. We’ve got 30 years of experience dealing with diversions and nothing has stopped us yet.
HOW MUCH WORK IS INVOLVED FOR TEACHERS?
You are partnered with one main point of contact and are joining a programme designed to take the pressure off you so you can choose how involved you want to be. Your School Account Manager will take you through from launch to departure and is there to get to know you, your school and how best to get things done.
WHO ANSWERS PARENT QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS?
Parents are encouraged to talk directly to our dedicated support team. They can get in touch by phone or email and we’re here to help them every step of the way. We handle all queries, concerns and are responsible for keeping them updated as the programme develops. Please don’t be shy about directing them to us.
DO I HAVE TO HANDLE MONEY?
Not if you don’t want to. We can handle all the payment plans and are responsible for communication with guardians and students about the expedition fee. We’re there to support families, whatever their circumstances, in the build up to departure. We have transparent booking conditions and understand the need for flexibility. However, if the school would prefer to handle this administration, they of course can.
DO I NEED TO GET IT SIGNED OFF BY SENIOR LEADERS?
It is important that senior leaders in the school are aware of what’s involved and we’d love to support you through this bit. We are here to make sure everyone is comfortable with what is involved and would love the opportunity to come in and speak to Principals, Coordinators and Boards. It’s important we’re all on the same page.
HOW MANY ADULTS TRAVEL WITH EACH GROUP?
We aim to take away between 12-18 students in a team, working on a minimum ratio of 1:8 adults to students. There will always be a qualified Expedition Leader matched with your group and we will fully fund one School Leader place for every 8 students who travel. We believe teachers are such an integral part of the leadership team we’ll often fund two places.
WHEN DO I GET TO MEET OUR LEADER?
We work to partner you with one of our Expedition Leaders who is on the same wave length. We choose the best and we’ll put you in touch before departure so you can start to get to know each other