Safety and Security Questions
Who will be supervising the trip?
We chose Trip Facilitators who not only believe with a strong passion in the project that we are embarking on but who also love working with young people, and who genuinely want to make a difference in the work. All our guides will have a criminal record check in their respective country of origin (must have clean record to travel internationally) and will have at minimum emergency medical training.
We also have a series of strict policies and procedures in place to ensure proper conduct while on the trip. Staff are never to be alone with students, and students are given the ability to report any inappropriate conduct anonymously to us. Students and Parents will be introduced to their guide and their background well in advance of the trip so that any concerns can be addressed well in advance of the trip.
Is Canada/New Zealand Safe?
Very. Both Canada and New Zealand are extremely safe countries. That is not to say that from time to time incidents of violent crime or political instability will occur, however both countries have a reputation for being extremely safe. Toronto is the safest city in North America for it's size, with significantly less crime per capita than American cities. New Zealand has similarly good safety statistics.
That said we will also follow numerous common sense safety and security policies on the trip. These will include rules about travelling in groups. Curfews, rules about being in communication with trip facilitators, and careful monitoring of local situations. Please check your countries Travel Advisory page for more information about safety or security factors involved with travelling to Canada/New Zealand.
What is the emergency procedure?
We have a number of policies in place to ensure the safety and security of program participants. Part of the contract and consent forms that are signed prior to the trip allow for us to make reasonable, and responsible medical decision for trip participants in the event of an emergency where their parents cannot be reached (we will always contact you before treatment except in urgent circumstances or where participants can make their own medical decision under the law). We highly recommend you take out travel medical insurance to help mitigate any costs associated with treatment.
In the event of an emergency between program participants we will contact parents and guardians and discuss next steps for the situation. In the event of a violation of a code of conduct or where a participant threatens the safety of the trip they will be sent home at their parents expense.
In the event you need to bring your child home due to an emergency, please get in contact with us right away. We will make every effort to have them returned to you as quickly as possible. Please note that we are not able to offer supervision on emergency flights back home, we will however escort them to and from the airport, and work with you to make sure there are cared for.
How can I contact you in an emergency?
In both countries we the program facilitator will have a phone number you can use to contact them. We will also have our email address which you can contact, and we will have a domestic number you can call if your request is non-urgent and you'd like to talk to someone.
We also recommend program participants either purchase roaming plans or change sim cards on arrival to allow them to maintain connectivity back home. We will provide wifi at the accommodation so that participants can stay in touch.
Do you have a code of conduct?
We do, our code includes important sections which prohibit things like drug and alcohol use, violence, weapons, harassment, bullying and other inappropriate conduct. Participants who violate this code and make the trip uncomfortable or worse unsafe for others will be return home at their parents expense. No refunds can be issued in the circumstance and the participant will be barred from future trips and access to our alumni network.
Trip Programming & Financial Questions
What is included in the trip?
We strive to offer a trip that includes everything you will need to have an enjoyable experience. The program cost covers the cost of flights (round trip Toronto to Auckland and Vice Versa), the cost of accommodation (for the entire four week program, accommodation both Toronto and Auckland is included).
The fee also covers the cost of a dedicated chaperone for the entire trip, including supervision at all times. (Which includes the: accommodation, during flights, activates) All activities, transportation and attractions are also included for the program. We also cover food costs for the trip, and all students are given $20CAD and $20NZD for discretionary spending. In essence everything that you will need to have a fun, life changing and safe trip is included.
What is not included?
We highly recommend you purchase at minimum travel medical insurance for the trip to cover the costs of any medical incident that occurs overseas. We also recommend you purchase trip cancellation and/or disruption insurance. This policy may cover costs associated with last minute cancellations you have to make or costs to bring a participant home in the event of an emergency.
Everything students need is provided as part of the experience. If students want to bring money to buy personal items, souvenirs, gifts, clothing, extra food or other discretionary items they may chose to do so. Students will be given a small allowance ($20 CAD/NZD per country) for spending on discretionary items, but any additional spending they will have to cover.
Where will the students be staying?
Students will also be living together in a rented house. Male and Female identified students will be housed on separate floors, with common areas for dining, hanging out, exercising or doing work. We will ensure these rules and boundaries are adhered to in order to keep the trip safe and enjoyable for all students. Male chaperones will not enter female areas and vice versa, unless there is a pressing safety related reason.
Students will not be spending most of their time in accommodation. There will be there mainly for sleeping, eating and some occasional rest or work periods. For the most part students will either be travelling or in a rented/donation venue. Our venues may include business offices, universities, government offices, conference or events spaces or public areas. Most time will be spent in conference of meeting room type spaces when working on the Grand Challenge or Mini Challenges.
What will the students be doing?
Students will be involved in numerous activities. Students will not be sitting idle for the trip, except for the long plane trip. Students will spend time working on their hackathons, they'll be travelling around their cities visiting companies and organizations. They will also be travelling around visiting local landmarks and tourist sites. We will also send daily updates about the activities the participants are getting involved in.
How will they be getting there?
We will be flying. We will try to arrange flights so that they operate directly form New Zealand to Canada via Vancouver, thereby elminating the need for additional travel related paperwork, however in order to keep the trip cost effective travel that goes via the United States, Australia or Fiji may be possible. In that situation students will need to beligible to transit through those countries.
I really want to participate but I’m not sure if I can afford it.
Trust us, you can. We will find ways to work with you in order to ensure that you can participate in this unique and once in a lifetime experience. If you are worried about paying for it please visit our finance page to learn more about all the options we have to help mitigate costs, or send us an email if your situation is unique.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
If the trip is cancelled because of our decision you will receive a refund of 100%. If you cancel with 60 days notice than you will just lose your deposit amount. If you cancel after the 90 days notice we will not be able to guarantee any refund, unless we can recuperate some of the costs, in which case we will offer a refund for the amount we can recover.
If you are sent home during the trip or barred from entering any country we will not be responsible for the cost and no refund will be issued. If you have to return home due to a medical or family emergency we will attempt to offer a credit if possible but this will on be done on a case by case basis and be base don our ability to recuperate costs.
As the application process matures and more questions and inquires are received we will add additional questions to our page in order to help you make your decision about our program. If you have a question that is not answered on the page above, or would like more specific information please reach out to us. Our number one priority is to ensure you are 100% comfortable with the trip and all of its details.