World Challenge

World Challenge

World Challenge is a 15-20 month team building and skills development programme which is offered to students in the Sixth Form. It offers a unique opportunity for students to develop new skills and cope with unfamiliar situations and challenges.

Following the initial stages of fundraising, planning and practice expeditions, it culminates in a challenging four-week expedition to a worldwide destination that includes rewarding project work, trekking and cultural adventure.

Through links already established with the Starfish Malawi Programme,  the 2016 expedition visited Salima in the central part of Malawi, working with children from the Chitali Primary School and the Kaphirintiwa Secondary School.

The Main Phases of the Programme

The World Challenge programme is split into five distinct phases:

  1. Planning and Preparation: this involves student-led fundraising activities – students are expected to raise their own funds to cover all expenses on the trip,  itinerary planning and fitness training. Pupils take part in a planning weekend where they learn the skills required for their expedition which include;  teamwork, camp craft and survival skills, map reading and navigation.
  2. Acclimatisation: on arrival in Malawi, pupils complete a short trek to ease into the physical exertion and teamwork required later in the expedition.
  3. Trekking: pupils experience the thrill of trekking through some of the world’s most incredible environments. In Malawi, pupils undertake the challenge of a 5-day trek to the summit of Mount Mulanje, the tallest mountain range in central and eastern Africa, which scales over 3000 metres.
  4. Community Projects: pupils visited two local schools to work on various school and community projects to enrich the local area.
  5. Cultural Enjoyment: The final part offers downtime and the time to relax. This phase is designed to let the team unwind and enjoy cultural and adventure activities. The 2016 group enjoyed relaxing on the beach, fishing, boat trips and visiting a safari park.

The Benefits

The World Challenge expedition is designed to develop important life skills, helping students to:

  • Develop leadership skills, decision making and teamwork
  • Broaden horizons through new experiences
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem
  • Become more globally aware
  • Enhance university applications and employability

 Completing the programme demonstrates that students can not only show a commitment to an extended project, from the initial planning through the fundraising and preparation to the final execution but that they are willing to extend their horizons and challenge themselves.

Participants have to raise the bar in terms of physical fitness, communication, teamwork and organisation, all highly valuable skills they can draw on in their post-expedition lives. Engaging with another culture brings global awareness that cannot be gleaned from books.

Students return from their expedition with increased energy and enthusiasm and a sense that if they really apply themselves, there’s no limit to what they can do.


It is widely understood that activities such as volunteering, work experience and overseas expeditions provide people with a toolkit of transferable skills that are in demand in the workplace.

Matt Eastlake:  Group Managing Director, World Challenge

“Universities most value evidence of extra-curricular activities when deciding between applicants with similar grades and for courses that have an interview stage.”

2015 World Challenge Report