World Challenge works in partnership with your school to deliver a student-led expedition to the developing world.

The program

A World Challenge Expedition is student-led, meaning it’s much more than just a ‘trip overseas’. Students take on responsibilities such as itinerary planning, management of the budget and group leadership; creating a journey of challenge, discovery and friendship. Students will get the opportunity to experience life in the developing world by engaging in sustainable community projects, tackling trekking in rural areas and immersing themselves in local culture.

When students are stretched beyond their comfort zones, learning outcomes are more powerful. As they overcome adversity, adapt to new environments and begin to understand their strengths and weaknesses, students will develop the ability to successfully manage problems

Here’s how the program works from start to finish:

How to launch:

Pick a destination

A World Challenge Program Development Manager (PDM) will come and visit your school to discuss the program and work with the School Leader to select a destination for the expedition.


World Challenge will create a proposal highlighting the learning outcomes specified by your school and are able to re-visit your school to discuss the proposal with your senior leadership team.


Once approved by leadership, our PDM will present the concept to the relevant student year groups and follow up with a presentation to interested parents.

The Pre-departure program

The World Challenge journey begins long before students set foot on a plane as we guide schools through training, fundraising, equipment and team-building.

Pre-departure meetings and support

When students have applied and paid an initial deposit they become Challengers. All schools have a World Challenge Program Coordinator appointed to work with the School Leaders. Their role is to answer all queries and share important information – they will be your main point of contact pre-departure.

Your program coordinator will also  facilitate a series of in-school meetings discussing topics from fundraising to expedition kit requirements and destination information. Challengers will plan all elements of their expedition depending on the outcomes they, and the school, would like to achieve. View a timeline of these meetings here.

In the background, World Challenge Expedition Planning Managers will be working with our In-Country Agents to ensure that all the treks, projects and transport the teams would like to include are viable and risk-assessed.

Training Expedition

One of the key elements in the build up to your overseas expedition is a two-day training expedition in Australia. Here Challengers will learn all the basic skills to keep them fit, healthy and engaged for their overseas experience. These will include packing a backpack, cooking on a trangia, setting up camp, safety on treks and personal hygiene. The team will also learn about the World Challenge ethos and begin to understand the importance of developing world travel experience and cultural interactions.

The Expedition

Our student-led expeditions are split into four phases.

Acclimatisation Phase

Students may kick start their expedition by immersing themselves in the local culture or by taking on a light trek to prepare them for their main challenge.

Project Phase

The students will choose the type of project that interests them, likely to entail work in a local community or school. The exact location and activities will be organised by World Challenge, for whom the quality control of community projects is a key focus.

Trekking Phase

How strenuous would your students like their trek to be? It’s up to them! Treks vary from high altitude to jungle and certain treks are compatible with the Duke of Edinburgh Award program.

Rest & Relaxation Phase

An opportunity to relax with some cultural sight-seeing and World Challenge approved activities. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on their experiences to augment self-discovery.


Return from your life-changing World Challenge

A member of our team meets you at the airport to welcome you home and collect your kit.

Expedition Review Visit

Your Program Development Manager will come to your school to meet with the School Leader and conduct a review of the expedition.



  • Over 25 years’ experience of creating school expeditions
  • Dedicated regional support for teachers throughout planning and build up
  • Unparalleled safety and support throughout the expedition
  • Knowledgeable, experienced and highly trained Expedition Leaders
Why choose World Challenge?

Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!

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