Melbourne’s winter hasn’t just been about winning the most livable city in the world award (for the 7th year in a row) or busy chairlifts with decent amounts of snow landing at Mt Buller and at Mt Hotham. The international arrival gates at Melbourne airport have also been marked with school-aged student footprints from China, exploring this incredible city we call home during the Chinese school holidays. OutBeyond has assisted more than 3,700 students and 220 teachers from 7 provinces in China since May 2017, in learning about the educational offering of Melbourne, and understanding how the reinvention of traditional student group travel and study tours is critical to sustaining a bright and competitive future of authentic Australian experiences.


Joel Thompson, founder of OutBeyond and strong advocate for youth development, (particularly through outdoor leadership and experiential learning programs) said, “we’re transporting niche Australian products to the classrooms and playgrounds of Chinese middle and secondary schools in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of soft skills and character development through outdoor education and experiential learning training workshops.”


“Since establishing our first office in Southern China in April this year, we have had long discussions and developed ongoing dialogue with more than 30 key school leaders and MOE representatives in the Guangdong, Shaanxi, Guangxi, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces” said Mr. Thompson.


The company has set out to become a super connector between China and Australian schools, providing end-to-end educational travel programs that help to close the gap between our world-class education systems.


There is much to learn from the uniqueness and cultural differences of our two education systems. Particularly in an era of perhaps global education reform, where 21st century soft-skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, problems solving, empathy, communication, resilience, grit and creativity are a vital cornerstone to the long term success of young people and the future of our evolving workforce.


As well as delivering our programs offshore, OutBeyond also flown 200 students and teachers to Australia during July and August 2017, with more than 500 students preparing to travel with the company during January and February 2018, just before the Chinese New Year celebrations.