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World Challenge is a for-profit UK provider of overseas adventure travel programs targeted at schools. The company was founded when a young army captain took a team of soldiers on a training mission to the snow-capped Hindu Kush mountain range in Pakistan in 1985. He realised that the personal development and camaraderie learned there would shape the team for years to come. World Challenge was later born from this experience in 1988, which created the school expedition industry.

The company operates in North America, Australia, Middle East, South East Asia and Europe. As a brand within the Travelopia Holdings Limited group, World Challenge is owned by the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts[1].


Student-Led Expeditions of 1 to 4 weeksEdit

Depending on the experience selected, the students are in charge of picking the destination and activities from curated lists. They also take it in turns to lead the trip and manage the budget, to empower and develop them outside of the classroom.


World Challenge encourages the students to raise as much of their expedition fees as possible, giving guidance and ideas along the way. [2]

Community and Culture 1 to 2 weeksEdit

A newer offering from World Challenge is the Community and Culture programme focussing on global citizenship and cultural literacy. Aside from being shorter the focus is more on community engagement and some rest and relaxation activities. Students have an opportunity to live and work in a local community as well as take a look around the destination they are in.

Operations CentreEdit

The ops centre at World Challenge is available 24/7 365 days a year and they work hard to ensure the highest level of safety in the industry after investing £250k in that area of the business.


In August 2001, a 17 year old student of Wycombe High School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire died after falling from a mountain on a World Challenge Expeditions trip to Vietnam.[3] No enquiry was held following the student's death.[4]

In July 2012, a 17 year old student collapsed and died of heat stroke on a World Challenge trip to the Sahara Desert in Morocco. At the subsequent inquest in 2014, the coroner said that the student's physical fitness for the trip had not been properly assessed, and that the company had made no arrangements for an ambulance with medical equipment in case of an emergency on the trip.[5][6]

In July 2017 a student at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, died while white-water rafting on a World Challenge trip to Ecuador. The company then suspended all white water rafting activity while an investigation took place.[7][8]


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  3. ^ "Schoolgirl dies on Vietnam trip". August 2, 2001 – via
  4. ^ Branigan, Tania (August 2, 2001). "Inquiry into death on school trek ruled out" – via
  5. ^ "Trek boy's parents criticise firm". January 13, 2014 – via
  6. ^ Carter, Claire (January 6, 2014). "Teenager collapsed and died in desert trek as he waited with inexperienced guide" – via
  7. ^ "'Lessons drawn' from pupil's Ecuador death". August 14, 2017 – via
  8. ^ Karim, Fariha (August 11, 2017). "Matthew Hitchman death: Coroner had criticised adventure firm World Challenge before schoolboy died rafting" – via

External linksEdit