Frequently Asked Questions
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Find all the answers to your questions here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You are partnered with just one main point of contact who is there to support you all the way through. Your School Account Manager (SAM) 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. Our model is designed to take the pressure off you so you can choose how involved you want to be.
Parents are encouraged to talk directly to our dedicated support team. They can get in touch by phone, email or live chat, 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.
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.
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.
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.
The students will get the chance to meet and train with their expedition leader at their training weekend well before departure, so bonding starts early. We will also give you a profile of the leader so you learn more about their qualifications, experience and motivations. We would encourage you to get together with other parents and host an informal meeting before the team depart to meet your leader. Failing that, you can look your leader in the eye as you drop them off at build up day, where they will be running final preparations with the team.
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 with in your group, so you don’t start solo.
Thousands of challengers have been in your shoes so get in touch and we'll help you setup your fundraising plan. There are dozens of how to guides, templates and case studies for you to check out and use to get going. It's also worth a bit of online research, sometimes there are local businesses and trusts who can support you with grants and sponsorship. Where there's a will there's a way.
You don't need to be Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis 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
Oh no! Put us in touch with a teacher you think might be interested and we can get working on your school. Alternatively, we run a programme for individual students who want to sign up and join a ready-made team. Check out Project independence.