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world challenge. your opinions + experience

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
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    hi guys, my school is holding a month trip to Thailand and Cambodia through world challenge. my parents have said yes so now its up to me to decide whether I want to go and if itll be beneficial for me. I'll be 17, nearly 18 when I go and the trip will be during the summer before I go to uni, if I get in

    Basically, I want to hear your world challenge experience and opinions on the whole thing. Also, I would like to know if its safe and whether it juices up your UCAS and generally if its for me.

    Thanks x

    I did WC trip to Uganda in 2008.

    Was it fun? **** yes. So much so.

    Can you do exactly the same for, in some instances, 1/10th the price? Also yes. And its not like there's not ample opportunity in the long university holidays.

    Will your project be in any way actually useful to the locals? Probably not. Your presence certainly won't be - the notion of a 17y/o westerner flying to Africa to help solve their problems is pretty ridiculous I'm sure you'd agree. If you actually cared about charity you'd sell your plane ticket and donate that money too. This is a holiday where the locals tolerate you, nothing more.

    CV-wise, perhaps it will fill a gap on a particularly empty CV. Again, you can do something far better yourself once at uni.

    Probably the bigger benefit is growing your confidence in travelling making you more able to do interesting things in the future. It is however far from the only way to do this. For instance, walking the Camino de Santiago is an excellent entry-level travelling thing to do, as long as you like walking! Just backpacking around the tourist spots in Thailand is also very very easy to do with loads of other people to meet and travel with.

    Conclusion: its a very expensive but very fun holiday. Can do much better for much less at uni.

    For reference: I did the WC trip to Uganda in 2008. was 4 weeks, cost about £4,000 including gear etc. The following year I went to Thailand and did a similarly useless project followed by travel. Cost about £2,000 all told for 6 weeks. The following year I did a slightly useful project in Nepal followed by hiking in the himalayas. Cost about £1600 all told for 10 weeks. Then 3 years later, when I actually had a skill that the locals did not, I went to Tanzania and did a very good project with lots of impact funded by various charities lasting 7 weeks. The personal cost to me was approximately £0.
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