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Welcome to our new member – World Unite
WYSE News | July 5, 2024

World Unite! has been active as an inbound and outbound provider of educational travel and work experience programmes, promoting intercultural exchange and global learning since 2006. We aim to bring together people from different cultures so that they can learn from each other, understand one another, and work together to improve the living conditions on this planet.

The programmes include internships abroad, volunteer work, working holiday support, language courses, and active trips, targeting individuals and groups. In the countries where we are active, we are a full-service provider, running our own programme content, language programmes, support offices, accommodation, transportation, and activities.

We are currently operating with our own teams, offices and programmes in Japan, Korea, China, India, Israel, Morocco, Germany, Tanzania, Zanzibar, South Africa, Nicaragua and Bolivia. For several years, we have also been actively involved in environmental conservation and education with our qualified team members. We actively work towards biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, ocean conservation, sustainable/regenerative living, and climate protection.

1. Can you elaborate a little more on who you are and how World Unite! started?

Chris Engler, at that time still an MA student of Tourism Management, started World Unite! in 2006 in Zanzibar as a project of sustainable tourism development, together with a local tourism initiative. The idea back then was to enable different travel experiences through volunteering, internships, and learning programmes, away from mainstream sun and beach tourism, that are closer to the people and from which both people and nature benefit. Over the years, World Unite! has expanded to other destinations and currently has around 70 team members spread across these locations.

2. What sets your business apart from its competitors?

We cover various niches where we recognised the potential early on and in which we are the market leader today. This particularly includes the location of Japan, where we have been offering work experience and travel programmes for 11 years now. In South Korea, we have been replicating this successful model for 3 years. But also Zanzibar, where everything started, has become one of Africa’s top travel destinations in recent years, and our programmes are booming there. During COVID, we quickly developed attractive virtual programmes. Our focus on innovation, integration of local stakeholders and lifelong learning sets us apart. We are also a leader of sustainability. We have integrated over 100 of our own initiatives into our services and operations. For example, we plant 10 trees on our own land at Kilimanjaro per traveller to compensate for the CO2 emissions of long-haul flights, operate rooftop greening in Tokyo, provide pollinator support in several locations, and replace plastic with bamboo products.

3. Do you offer any pre-departure training or resources to prepare students for cultural differences and social etiquette in their host countries?

Yes, we have produced intercultural training videos using the Hofstede 6-D Model for almost all our destinations, accessible to confirmed participants. These videos include real examples of past challenges. Additionally, we offer monthly live preparation sessions on Zoom for each location, ensuring participants are well-prepared before departure.

4. Does your company provide support and guidance to students who may experience culture shock or challenges adapting to a new environment?

Yes, we regularly train our on-site coordinators in intercultural skills using the Hofstede 6-D Model. This training equips them to support participants in handling cultural differences and overcoming challenges, ensuring a smoother adaptation to new environments.

5. What excites you the most about sending students to participate in summer work and travel programmes abroad?

Seeing the life-changing impact on young people excites us. Without these programmes, many wouldn’t experience new perspectives that influence their career and life choices. Some even choose to stay abroad, altering their life paths significantly. It is our hope that this contributes to the understanding between peoples and thus “unites the world”.

Member snapshot

World Unite! has been active as an inbound and outbound provider of educational travel and work experience programmes, promoting intercultural exchange and global learning since 2006.Find out more.

Membership type: Full member
Country: Japan

World Unite | WYSE Travel Confederation | Member 2024 |