HOW WILL THEY BALANCE THIS WITH THEIR SCHOOL WORK?
We’re not saying this is easy however 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 trips. Organisation is key, starting early on earning your fee and getting fit is important.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
The price covers all flights, main meals, accommodation, transport, trek permits, guide fees, and project contributions. It also covers having a fully qualified and experienced Leader or local guide accompanying the team, 24/7 support from our Operations Centre, access to a support team and dedicated portal, as well as comprehensive insurance cover whilst the students are travelling. It’s a pretty inclusive price, however there are a handful of exclusions to be aware of below.
OK, WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
On top of the fee you will need to make sure you have a personal kit (rucksack, boots etc), obtain visas if applicable and visit your local medical clinic for any 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. Don’t forget to ask family and friends to borrow a backpack, sleeping bag etc. 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 or departure point. Then all you’ll need in addition to that is some personal spending money which we recommend for souvenirs, snacks, tips and any optional rest and relaxation activities.
WHY DOES IT COST MORE THAN SOME OTHER SCHOOL TRIPS?
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 the communities the teams visit and a support team who are here for you and 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.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD IS ILL ON THE TRIP?
That’s what we are here for. Our experienced 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 at home as we want them to plug into the experience and not their phones. We also recommend that they don’t bring any valuables along with them, we would hate to see them broken, lost or stolen. 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 travelling. Rest assured, if there are any itinerary changes or medical issues that you need to be made aware of, we’ll be in touch.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DON'T 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. Otherwise, it’s really important that you have a really good read of our refund policy in our UK Terms and Conditions or AUS/NZ Terms and Conditions before you sign up. If you are at a school in the UK, it may be possible for you to transfer onto one of our trips for individuals – please check our website for details.
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 will split the teams and have you travelling with your friends.
I'd love to go, but can’t pay my first instalment in time, what do I do?
To secure your place on the trip 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 our support team a call on 01494 427600 (UK), 1300 728 568 (AUS) or 0800 456 134 (NZ) to let us know when you will be making the payment.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
You don’t need to be an Olympian to do this however you do need to feel robust and healthy to take on the challenges of trip life; a different climate, maybe some physical trekking, carrying your backpack etc. 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 to see if a trip would work for them.
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 trip, payment of the full balance is required by the final balance deadline. If you are have challenges with your payment plan, please make sure you chat to us early and we can work out a suitable plan for you to meet the deadline.
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 trip after this 14-day period, your cancellation would be handled in line with our Terms and Conditions. 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 a trip 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 trip 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.
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 build up to departure, so cannot be changed. However, you’re able to change between monthly and instalment payment plans at any time. Please contact the support team and we can work out the plan best for your personal situation.
How can I pay my instalments to World Challenge if I choose not to pay by Direct debit?
Once you’ve paid your first instalment, further payments should be made by direct debit, which you can set up when you apply. If you need to discuss a different payment method, please call our support team on 01494 427600 (UK), 1300 728 568 (AUS) or 0800 456 134 (NZ).
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. To help students get prepared for their trip (and life beyond!), we have a range of Global Citizenship, Personal Growth, and Wellbeing sessions for you to run prior to departure. These have been designed so that there’s no work for you to do before each session other than arranging an appropriate space and time to meet. You just need to bring the session you want to run up on a screen and away you go! The slides do the work for you and have all the instructions for activities on – you might want to oversee clicking through the slides at the right time and pace. There are some activities where you’ll need to facilitate the discussion by encouraging students to follow the guidance on the screen and share their thoughts with the wider group, but that’s it.
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 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 Leader or local 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?
If the school has chosen to have a Leader on your trip, we work to partner you with one of our Expedition Leaders who is on the same wavelength. We choose the best and we’ll put you in touch before departure so you can start to get to know each other.