Frequently Asked Questions

People have all kinds of questions about the World Race.  Here are a few commonly asked questions:

What qualities are you looking for in World Race participants?

We are looking for followers of Jesus who are adventurous, flexible in unpredictable situations, emotionally healthy and able to keep their focus on the purpose of the Race: to bring the Kingdom of God to the world. While ministry and travel experience are helpful, they're not a requirement for the World Race. Read expectations of a Racer for more details.

What is the application process for the World Race?

Click the apply button and start by filling out the online application. It takes an average of 40 minutes to fill out. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid your $39 app fee, you can then select your route preference and schedule your phone interview. We prayerfully review all applications, and we look forward to learning more about you through your telephone interview.

After the 30-45 minute phone interview, you’ll hear back within a week or two regarding your acceptance. By completing an application, you are not committing to go on the Race yet- although we hope you will! However, by completing these steps, you’ll gain better understanding along the way if the Race is for you.

After acceptance, you’ll gain access to an admissions advisor who will help you with planning, fundraising, and all the logistical information you need to prepare. At this point, we’ll confirm availability for your route preference, and will confirm your spot on that route as soon as your first $150 deposit is made toward your trip!

What happens if a route fills up? What does Waitlist mean?

Every World Race route has a limited capacity. Once a route has been filled we allow a waitlist, as some Racers will drop-out before training camp. Applicants can choose to be on the waitlist of their preferred route, or go ahead and confirm a spot on another route. If you go with the waitlist and a spot doesn’t open up, you will still be guaranteed a spot on a route during the same launch window. These types of changes all happen prior to training camp.

When is my spot reserved on the route I want?

Your route reservation is determined by the date you pay your initial trip deposit (not the same as your application fee).

When your application is completed, you've had your interview, and your acceptance has been confirmed by admissions, you will need to make your first deposit of $150 to reserve your spot on the route of your choice.

Applying for a route does not guarantee there are or will be available spots by the time you pay your deposit. Routes will be marked "Join Waitlist" when we reach capacity but are still accepting applications in lieu of anticipated drops. If you are accepted after the route is full, you will still have a spot reserved on a route leaving the same month.

Routes will be marked "Full" when we are no longer accepting applications.

How old do you have to be to go on the World Race?

  • World Race Gap Year: 18-20
  • World Race Semesters: 18-22
  • World Race: 21-35
    • World Race Expedition: 23-35
    • World Race Unscripted: 23-35

Age range is based on the launch window. For example, a Gap Year Racer launching in September 2019 must turn 18 by September 1st, 2019.

Do you accept married couples?

Absolutely! Each person will need to apply and interview separately, but the Race is an amazing way to experience God as a couple. Because new marriages are typically a time of great change and personal transformation, we do require couples to be married at least two years before launch. We will not accept individuals in a marriage without their spouse.

Can a Non-US citizen apply for the World Race?

We do accept international applicants. However, international applicants need to be aware that due to many obstacles including increased cost and complex, varying visa requirements, we are not able to include participants from certain countries. Non-US applicants must be prepared to coordinate additional logistics, including travel to and from training camp, and visas in each destination country. In addition, all trip fees and charges must be paid in US dollars, and tax deductions are only available for US residents. Non-US applicants must be fluent in English. Please contact us for details and to determine if you are eligible to apply.

How are Teams and Leaders organized and selected?

Our staff follow an intentional process to organize Racers into teams. Teams are not assigned based on friendships or popularity, but based on prayerful guidance to build teams with gifts and passions that work well together.

Squads are the larger group of about 40-55 Racers who travel together on the same Route. Squads are made up of smaller teams, who will sometimes go to different ministry sites within each country. For example, your squad will all travel to Thailand together, but teams will spread out to ministry hosts between the cities Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai. For each team, we will select one person as the team leader.

Team leaders are selected by staff at training camp. Team leaders are still peers — equals — but who we simply ask to have an extra level of responsibility. There are other team leadership roles you might be asked to fill to serve your team as well. These include finances, storytelling, logistics, and other specific ministry roles.

Squad Leaders are World Race alumni who have “been there and done that“ who serve as Squad Leaders for each race squad.

For 11-month World Race Squads, Squad Leaders will travel with your squad for the first few months on the field, training team leaders and helping your squad learn the ropes of world travel. Then, these alumni Squad Leaders raise up new squad leaders from among your team leaders about half way through the Race. While alumni Squad Leaders continue to lead remotely, the raised up Squad Leaders have a chance to grow as they provide field leadership.

For Gap Year, Alumni Squad Leaders are with you on the field the entire 9 months.

In addition to Squad Leaders, we have another group of staff leadership for each squad.

Admissions Advisors are based in our home office in Gainesville, GA. They help you get all the stuff together to actually get on the field! Passport and visa needs, flights, fundraising help, etc.

Squad Mentors lead your squad from a mentorship position. They are the primary liaison to the home office for your squad. They spend a lot of time on video and phone calls with the squad overseas, and visit Racers on the field during debriefs.

Squad Administrators handle the logistic components for your squad. They are also based out of our home office in Gainesville Georgia and take occasional trips to the field.

Squad Coaches offer spiritual guidance and prayer support for your squad. Coaches are usually a married couple with a lot of wisdom to offer and a desire to pour into the next generation (usually in their 50’s). Coaches meet you at Training Camp, follow and comment on your blogs to keep you encouraged, are available to chat as needed. They travel to the field multiple times to debrief with your teams in person.

In addition, each squad has a member of our senior leadership team who oversees the activity of that squad.

When and what is Training Camp?

Approximately six to eight weeks before your race begins, you will join your team, leaders and the World Race training staff for an eleven-day preparation camp to get you ready for your trip around the world. You get to see us, we get to see you, and you get to know each other. Evangelism and cross-cultural ministry training, learning how to share your stories, and learning to live in close community and adapt to the unknown are just a few of the topics covered.

There are a few Routes that do not have an early Training Camp, but instead have Training during the first weeks of their Race. Additionally, World Race Semesters has Training Camp and Launch together, right at the beginning of their trip. Check out Training Camp dates for each trip on the routes page to confirm what the route of your choice offers.

Click here for a deeper look at Training Camp.

What are the Fitness Requirements?

The World Race can be physically demanding. We have to ensure racers have an adequate level of fitness before they launch overseas.

9 and 11 Month Routes:
At training camp you will be required to hike 2.2 miles in 38 minutes with all of your gear in pack. Remember to pack light! Men going on the World Race will be asked to take part in our "Man Hike" at training camp. This hike is 18 miles in 2 days. This is in addition to the normal fitness requirement. Our man hike is focused on discipleship and bonding in the wilderness. Women will also have additional training during this time.

Expedition Routes: Training Camp will include a slightly more strenuous hike with all of your gear. You should be able to hike 4 miles within an hour with a modified pack and up to 18 miles in 2 days. Keep in mind, these routes are more physically demanding than traditional routes. For example, previous Expedition squads have hiked El Camino in Spain for a few weeks (15 miles/day walking) and hiked through mountains to minister in remote villages in Nepal.

Semesters: While your World Race experience can also be physically demanding, we do not have a fitness requirement you will have to meet at training camp.

What do we actually “do” on the Race?

Every day on the World Race looks a little different. Some days will be packed full with construction, VBS, evangelism outreach, building relationships with orphans, or praying for the sick at a hospital. Some days could be slower — shopping for groceries at the market, cooking for your team, and spending time praying for the community you walk through. Regardless of the pace or the activity, every day will be focused on being a part of God's kingdom work. Just Contact Us and we'd be happy to share our stories about life on the Race!

How much does it cost to participate in The World Race?

Each World Race is priced separately according to the route of that Race; you can find the price of each trip by visiting the Routes Tab. We encourage Racers to connect with a community of supporters for both prayer and financial support. We understand raising money can be intimidating, so we have staff members committed to help you through the support raising process. (For more information, Support Raising 101.)

We only require a portion of the money to be raised before you leave; the rest can be raised while you're on the field. If you're worried about finances, don't be. Over the years, we've learned time and time again when God calls, He provides.

What is covered in this cost?

The funds you raise cover all team costs once the trip begins. This includes food, lodging, air, travel medical insurance, land, and sea travel. It also covers administrative, set up, coaching, debrief, and training costs prior to and at the start of your Race. You can learn more about the travel insurance plan here.

It does not include personal spending money, travel to training camp, travel to the start point, return travel home from a major U.S. city at the conclusion of the Race, and vaccinations.

Money on the field
Your team will have someone who is assigned to handle the team finances. Your team will have a budget for each month, based on cost of living in that country, and will be expected to operate within that budget.

Personal money
The money you raise will cover all of your vital necessities on the Race. However, there will be multiple times that you want something that is not considered a necessity. Your own personal grooming items, extra internet time, souvenirs, and fun adventures will be things you might want along the way. To access personal money on the field, we suggest a checking account with a Visa Debit Card. You will NOT want traveler's cheques, much cash, or gift cards.

How much personal money you will want depends entirely on your personal spending habits and financial situation. A moderate amount would be approximately $100 - $200 per month. Keep in mind that you are choosing a lifestyle of abandonment. There are sometimes unwelcome dynamics associated with spending at what would be considered lavish levels in some of the places you'll be. We would encourage you to keep personal spending to a minimum.

When I fundraise, is the money actually mine?

The short answer is no. We ‘tag’ donations to your name, but it’s technically donated to Adventures in Missions.

The long, official answer is that Adventures in Missions is a 501(c)(3) and is bound by IRS regulations and ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) guidelines. These require donations to be non-refundable and non-transferrable. Tax deductible donations must be made to an organization, not to an individual, and funds must be under the full “control and discretion” of the organization. To see a copy of our Donation Policies, click here.

In addition, the length of time you are on the field does not necessarily line up directly to the funds expensed on your behalf. For example, training camp, launch, initial airfares, and payments to ministry partners often pull many of our expenses to the front end of the Race.

If you are not able to launch for some reason, we can offer you the opportunity to defer to a later launch or to a different trip. In those cases, funds raised - minus anything already expensed (e.g., for training camp) - will transfer to your new fundraising goal.

Can I defer my student loans while on The World Race?

Many participants have successfully deferred student loan repayment while participating in mission trips with Adventures in Missions. For specific information relating to your student loan, please contact your loan provider. If your loan provider requests a letter regarding your participation The World Race, please let your Admissions Representative know, and they can help facilitate that request.

Is the World Race affiliated with any particular denomination or organization?

The World Race is a program of the interdenominational missions organization Adventures in Missions (Adventures). Adventures was established in 1989, sending people from different churches and backgrounds all over the world on life-changing mission trips. For more about Adventures, visit

Our staff and leaders come from a wide range of Christian churches and denominations. Read our statement of beliefs for a deeper look at what we believe.

With the different backgrounds Staff, Racers, and our Ministry Partners bring into the experience of the World Race, you will most likely experience worship styles, Bible teachings, and Christian community different than you’ve previously experienced. We encourage you to dig into Scripture and have ongoing conversations about these things. We love this picture of the Body of Christ coming together, united in purpose to bring Jesus to the nations.

Racers often blog about “Listening Prayer” and “Ask The Lord”. What does this mean, exactly?

These are two phrases we often use in our ministry referencing listening to God. As with any group of people or subculture, phrases develop and catch on! These two definitely have. We believe God has spoken throughout time and continues to speak to His people today (Hebrews 13:8). We ask, listen, and obey: asking God for guidance, listening for His response, and obeying Him to the best of our ability.

Listening Prayer is the term we use when we listen to God, as opposed to prayer only being when we speak to God. Listening is a hard discipline, even with people! We believe prayer is a two-way conversation and that typically, people need more practice on the listening side.

Ask The Lord, often referenced in the acronym form “ATL” , is simply a time when we actively ask the Lord what He wants us to do. It’s a time to practice listening to God, and let ministry be a direct overflow of what He says! Jesus taught that if we belong to God we “hear what God says.” (John 8:47).

On the Race, sometimes Racers will spend an afternoon or entire day asking God what He wants them to do, then doing it. A day of “Ask the Lord” ministry might look like staying in a local village, eating breakfast with your team, then spending time in worship and prayer asking God for direction. Then, Racers will go out in teams, walking in obedience to what Jesus said to do for that day! While we believe God speaks in a variety of ways, we also believe in testing things against the authority of Scripture. We are deeply committed to both Scripture and the need for a personal relationship with Jesus.

Most Racers would tell you this is one of the most challenging and fulfilling times in their journey on the Race. World Race: Unscripted squads do this exclusively, meaning they don't have ministry projects planned out for them.

What if my parents have concerns?

This is your Race. You are an adult and we treat you that way. But we understand parents may have questions and can be an important part of your World Race experience!

We have a ministry to parents of World Racers – including a parent liaison. We are all about helping parents understand us as an organization and would love to answer any of their questions.

If your parents do have questions, suggest they start by checking out the Parent Guide. The contact information for Betty Means, who heads up our Parent Ministry, can be found in the Parent Guide and she is happy to talk with your parents about the Race.

How safe is the World Race?

We recognize travel brings risk. We have worked hard to put extensive safety protocols in place. That said, the World Race is not for everyone. In particular, all Racers need to consider things happen we can’t predict. People get sick and accidents happen. Because we minister to “the least of these” it is likely you will meet people suffering from a variety of diseases.

To address the issues we face, we have a top flight risk management team. They monitor political, health, weather and other risks in the regions that we minister. This information includes the U.S. State Department travel warnings. With our program, you are covered by a strong travel insurance policy and the insurance company works closely with us to ensure you will receive the care you need. For more information about the insurance policy, click here.

We have external consultants who assist us in designing and managing our training and field implementation for safety protocols. Our internal risk management team creates contingency plans as needed so we are ready to move teams quickly if the need arises. We also have an extensive network of ministry partners and ministry connections worldwide who provide us with “eyes on the ground” as we assess situations.

Gap Year operates with lower risk margins than regular World Race Routes. Expedition routes have a higher risk margin due to their work in closed countries and more remote locations. For more information, please see our Safety and Communication Protocols Video, prepared by our external risk management team for parents and loved ones.

I have kids, can I go on the World Race?

The World Race isn't designed for people with children. We highly value parent-child relationships, and 11 months is a very long time to be away from your child! If you're interested in a shorter mission opportunity, visit

Still have questions?  Just click here to Contact Us and World Race alumni will get back with you as quickly as possible to help get them answered!