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Global Partnerships and Global Trips

For over 20 years, St Philip’s Christian College has facilitated partnerships with communities around the world. During this time, around 70 global trips have taken place, and thousands of students have taken part in traveling to countries including India, Papua New Guinea, Malawi, Vanuatu, Cambodia, and the USA, as well as Indigenous communities in Australia. 

Global Partnerships Purpose Statement

In alignment with the St Philip’s Strategic Plan, we will create mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships that allow for relationship building between St Philip’s and selected communities in order to facilitate faith development, cultural learning, capacity building and empowerment.

How do students benefit from global trips? 

It is undeniable that there are extensive benefits for taking SPCC students on extended trips which are focused on awareness, insight and learning, exposure to new experiences and cultures, and building relationships with others. Furthermore, allowing students to be pushed out of their comfort zone and giving them a bigger perspective of the world and life has flow-on effects for mental health, wellbeing, and a healthy sense of identity. In considering the impact on SPCC students, below is an outline of many of the key benefits of student trips:

Experiential learning

Taking students on trips is an investment in their ‘whole of life’ learning experience, as they partake in immeasurable learning. Whether it is subconscious learning such as practicing patience and flexibility through unplanned obstacles that arise, or consciously learning about a new culture and language, the learning is endless and undoubtedly benefits the students.  

Broadening perspectives

True perspective can only be given through real-life experiences, and pulling teenagers away from their typical context allows them to understand and witness the big wide world, diverse cultures and lifestyles, other religions, varying living standards, but most importantly to connect with people who are different yet the same. Through experiencing and understanding another setting, their own context often comes into truer focus as they have now been given greater insight into the lives of others. 

 Challenging comfort zones

Most students are pushed out of their comfort zone on these trips as they are taken away from the comfort of family, friends and familiarity. Participation in activities that are outside their usual routine, being asked to try new foods, and sometimes ‘roughing it’ in living conditions that are not what they experience in their daily lives – whether it be staying in basic accommodation, using bucket showers or a ‘squat toilet’ - provides character-building opportunities, and also allows students to open their mind to how the majority of the world live each day. When coupled with daily debriefing and support, this gives a unique opportunity to challenge students’ comfortable perspective of life, God and the world. 

Building confidence and independence

For many students this is their first extended period away from their parents, and therefore they are challenged to become more independent and recognise what they are capable of accomplishing by themselves. Overcoming challenges on the trip helps students to grow in their confidence and prepare them for life’s obstacles. Without the usual influences of home, students often discover themselves in a new way. 

Opportunity to develop and use God-given gifts

Prior to school trips, students are encouraged to identify their natural talent and abilities, whether it be musical, sporting, creative, artistic, relational, or practical, and think through how these may be applied whilst on the trip. As this report suggests below, this can be done during trips in a healthy way by preparing students that they are not going to ‘teach’ or ‘demonstrate’ or ‘take over’, but rather to do activities in collaboration and partnership with those they are visiting. 

Developing compassion

Through many of the school trips, students are exposed to people living in material poverty and desperate need, and naturally the response is to feel compassion towards these people. Fostering this feeling can then lead to healthy conversations around practical ways to enact change in our world in a beneficial way. 

Empowering and giving new vision for the future

After experiencing a compassionate response, students often feel empowered to use their skills and abilities in the future to help people. Done well, trips can empower teenagers to take ownership and initiative in their own lives and make decisions that will determine their future, and this can transform the future trajectory of their studies and career paths (see survey responses below). Students can have a new revelation of their God-given purpose in this world. 

Creating significant moments

Many students have significant moments on these trips that they later reflect as being pivotal in their lives, when God opened their eyes or transformed their heart and this forevermore shaped who they are as a person. In the survey responses, students shared how they often reflect on these crucial moments and think about the impact it has had on their journey through life. 

Build relationships

Through shared experiences, students are brought together in a unique and powerful way that can build a strong bond. Students often unknowingly help each other process their experiences through sharing and offering support. In addition, students are given the opportunity to build cross-cultural relationships with those they encounter on their trip, whether with Indigenous children in Boggabilla or overseas in places such as Malawi. Breaking down language barriers and cultural differences allows students to see that all are created equal and have the same value as created by God. 


Experiencing other places and the realities of the world almost always gives students a greater appreciation for what they have in their daily life, allowing them to realise things they may have taken for granted. 


In many ways, trips provide an opportunity for students to have their faith in God expanded and stretched, and for some students they have an experience of faith for the first time as a result of their experiences on trips. Whether it’s faith being stretched to believe for the provision of finances, or through times of prayer and worship, or witnessing the way God is moving in communities right across the world, students are supported by the staff and trip leaders through ongoing debriefing to help them understand how to process this as it unfolds. 

Teachers can also benefit

For many teachers, the experience of a trip is refreshing and rejuvenating, watching students come to life and taking part in nurturing and encouraging students through these significant changes that are occurring. Furthermore, teachers have their own experiences that can shape their teaching techniques and enrich teaching content for the rest of their lives. 

It doesn’t end when the trip is over

Students return brimming with passion and stories and can be encouraged to focus on continuing to love and serve others and seek justice in their own neighbourhoods. Students are able to take what they’ve learned and apply it in their day-to-day lives. 

Guiding principles for partnerships:

  1. Christ-centred
  2. Partnerships that are mutually beneficial and where the balance of power lays with the local community, rather than the visiting teams
  3. Financial transparency and accountability
  4. Good governance structures on both sides of the partnership
  5. Valuing local knowledge and expertise
  6. Community-driven and not donor-driven, seeking to empower and build capacity, working in collaboration with local organisations and local government (ie. resource mapping, network analysis, engaging key stakeholders)
  7. Focused on capacity-building and empowerment of communities
  8. Financial and non-financial aspects of partnerships
  9. Risk management strategies
  10. Long-term sustainability plan
  11. Investing in giving SPCC trip members a greater cultural and contextual understanding prior to visits