/ World challenge
Some people have said to me that universities and employers look favourably at World challenge on applicants' CVs as it shows resourcefulness, self motivation and openness to other cultures. Some other people think it's an extended holiday payed for by mummy and daddy and does nothing to show the qualities above. What do the UKC collective think?
To my mind it depends on what they do over and above the trip.
For example, the missus was involved in getting school books to Tanzania. This involved her getting to go on an extended trip to Tanzania and she climbed Kilimanjaro etc etc.
However, along the way she and her team had to get around schools and coleges across the Northwest and get them to donate old school books. Then she had to source storage, shipping and at the other end was heavily involved in distribution. All of this was supported by various acts of fund raising.
So the trip alone is just, on the face of it, a holiday, but the real value is the organisation behind the scenes and the efforts she could demonstrate to running the project.
Was that as a student or as an adult organiser?
My problem with the fund raising side of it is that £3.5k is a lot of money for a 15 / 16 year old to raise and I can see it being heavily subsidised by parents. Does it being subsidised parents really show anything about the qualities of the student?
Additionally, apart from the kids' safety, is it ethically right to be using the resources of a less well off country to effectively support holidaying students?
Personally I think it's a very worthwhile activity for them. As to the value to Mummy and Daddy, only you can judge that.
Re pt 2.. yes.. these areas want tourism. Its money in. We went to Northern India, did school placements, toured, hiked..
I can't say it was a great experience but it certainly shaped my time then.
My sister did Raleigh International in South America, aged 21, earlier this year had to raise a similar amount, she was earning part time, but my Mum and stepdad still picked up most of the cost. My Mum and Stepdad are pretty wealthy by most people's standards and my sister has had a pretty priveledged upbringing, but she said she was very much the pauper of the group, everyone just ouzed money.
> Personally I think it's a very worthwhile activity for them. As to the value to Mummy and Daddy, only you can judge that.
It's not a question of the value to me as a parent, I've got no problem at all with contributing towards the funding if it's something my kids want to do. It's more a question of how potential employers and university selection boards see it.
great if the kids can earn it, but if mummy and daddy have extra cash i think a great way to spend it. better than a status car or prada hangbag.
i think kids seeing the world is the single best thing they can do, and tho its unlikely i will be rolling in it, i will happily give up somethings in order for my kid to travel.
maybe it will look good on the cv and embed the values of charity, but theres so much more to it than that.
I would actually disregard that aspect.
That said, I would hope that no potential employer or university selection board would take a DIM view of it, though. I can't see why they would. To be honest it seems the kind of thing that 16-19-year-old would put on a uni application form, and maybe on a CV, but beyond graduation (or after a few years' work if they don't go to uni), I'd quietly drop it from the CV. YMMV
My old place of work looked very unfavourably on it, so much so that by the end I'd just say I did nothing at the weekend.. as then they assumed I'd been in working.. if I said.. 'Well friday night I flew to Slovenia.. competed in the world championships, representing Wales, sunday flew back'.. I'd then get shit about 'how do you have the time and energy to do that, I don't, you obviously don't work hard enough'...
several times ive got jobs more because of my passport stamps than my cv.
Pete you seem to assume that these establishments will have a breakdown of how the trip was funded and will judge harshly if the parental contribution was above some arbitrary threshold! I would imagine that at most, if the World Challenge even comes up for discussion in interview, there MAY be a question about what sort of fund-raising activities were done. But far more likely, they will ask about the Challenge itself.
Couldn't agree more. My eldest works part time at a stables and is very well thought of by her boss. She's also the driving force behind her group's fund raising efforts at the school's fetes etc. I'm not sure that something like this would do much more to round her as a person than the things she does already and will carry on to do over the next couple of years.
> Pete you seem to assume that these establishments will have a breakdown of how the trip was funded and will judge harshly if the parental contribution was above some arbitrary threshold!
No, Blue, not so much a breakdown, more a general preconception of these types of activities. One person's character forming life milestone is a just a long holiday paid for by parents to someone else, depending on their preconception. I started the thread to try and gauge the support for either end of the spectrum. So far, most posters have been very positive about it being worthwhile and I'll keep that in mind.
The important part of the expedition is for the leader and link teacher to facilitate the students in reflecting upon their experiences. It will be these reflections that any future interviewer will be interested in, what problems that they had and how were they resolved (Hopefully without input from the leader and link teacher. Their job is to provide a safety net and facilitate development)
Of the students that I have been on expedition with I am pleased to report that they were a credit to themselves and should be proud of themselves for what they have achieved. We need to find a way to make it known, to a wider audience, that these teenagers have great committment and will learn a lot from the experience.
When I was a teenager I went to Kenya with BSES. Since then I've led for BSES and am in the process of applying to lead for World Challenge.
I would agree with the consensus on this thread that it's a very worthwhile thing to do. I wouldn't worry too much about whether universities or employers look favourably on it (though I suspect the former do as it something different and the latter aren't bothered) but I would argue that the whole process is a great learning experience. When I was a teenager the trip instilled in me a love of the outdoors and travel that I still have today. It was also the first time I had been away for a significant period on my own (i.e. without parents, schoolfriends, siblings etc) which was great for encouraging independence. As a leader I can honestly say that watching the youngsters at the end of the trip and comparing them to the kids that turned up is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Financially it's a big ask and it doesn't sit easy with me that the price tag essentially makes this a middle class endeavour (there are exceptions). I did a lot of fundraising for mine, my parents gave me £500 I think and I earnt / raised the rest. Others had the whole lot given to them. Although it would be great if it was more inclusive, I don't think those that can afford it should forego the opportunity out of a misplaced sense of guilt.
If nothing else, it may force your kid out of their comfort zone earlier than their peer group, they may learn something about themselves or about others, either good or bad. Even if they don't then a few weeks in the developing world, around those considerably less favourable than themselves, is infinitely more valuable than a car, a lads/girls holiday or an expensive 18th party in my opinion.
In summary: great experience, I would encourage my kids to attend if they showed an interest.
However, if it is all paid by parents and hand outs and they just come for the ride it has a much more limited benefit.
In my opinion world challenge are over priced, this is because they are a private company so not only pay for the trip but also make a profit.They are also designed for people with little experience so to a more experienced kid it might seem like they are playing at it a little- some are very much like an extended holiday (particularly the African ones) Yes I'm biased but have a look at british exploring. Firstly you get a lot more for your money,(i.e 4k gets you 5 weeks) but also during the expeditions they always include some fieldwork, this is fantastic for a university application.
I have major issues with the community project element. It often seems to be a token gesture to somehow validate what is a holiday but allow kids to try to raise funds on the back of it. I think lots of the projects benefit the kids CV's more than the locals. We were tasked with doing some DIY type work in an orphanage but lacking proper tools and indeed skills, the work would not have stood the test of time. We actually decided NOT to spend more money on tools but just go to the market and buy some sacks of flour as that would have more impact on the lives of the orphans. It would have been better to have donated money to employ skilled local tradesmen.
WC gave lots of advice about fundraising but now with CRB checks etc it is harder for teenagers to pick up casual jobs. £ 3500 is a hell of a lot to raise and you have to ask whether time spent on it will impact on gaining the grades which will probably ( maybe sadly)be universities/ employers' priorities.
I am sure Azerbaijan would be great but whether it is as character building/ value for money or effective at getting into Uni as WC would maintain, I personally doubt.
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