University Mission Trips: How to Organize & Manage University Mission Trips

University Mission Trips: How to organize, coordinate and manage your university mission trips.


Mission trips are an incredible way to grow your faith, build relationships with other people, and do good in the world. They can be a great way to learn more about yourself, meet new friends and positively impact the communities that you visit. But they're also a lot of work! And if you're not prepared for the challenges that go along with organizing a mission trip overseas, it can be difficult to actually accomplish anything at all. The key to making any kind of mission trip successful is organization and preparation—and this article will give you everything you need to start planning your own international trip today!

Get a designated leader

  • A designated leader is critical to any organization. The leader should be someone who is organized, motivated and knowledgeable in regard to the trip.

  • In order to choose a leader, start by considering what skills they bring to the table. Are they good with people? Do they have experience managing groups? Do they have organizational acumen? Once you've identified what skills your group needs most, then assess whom in your group has those strengths and assign them as head honcho!

  • After choosing your leader, make sure that person understands how important their role on this trip is going to be. Make sure that person knows just how much work goes into putting together an event like this one (this will help them appreciate all the hard work being done by everyone else) and also let them know that it's okay if things don't go according to plan—no one expects perfection from the get-go; just do your best! If there's ever any doubt about whether or not someone would make a suitable coordinator for this mission trip adventure (or any other type of large-scale endeavor), don't hesitate: ask yourself "Can I trust my friend/colleague/partner?" If yes then go ahead and give them permission; if no then keep searching until finding someone who'll be willing."

Choose what your mission is

Before you can organize a university mission trip, it's important to decide what the goal of your trip will be. You will want to choose a mission that is meaningful to you and your team, as well as important for the community you are visiting and for the people who live there.

You may also want to think about other aspects of your trip such as:

  • Who would benefit from this type of project?

  • What are some possible ways in which we could help these people?

Determine where you're going to go on this trip

Before you decide to go on a university mission trip, it is important to consider the following:

  • Where are you going? The location of your trip should be one that interests and excites you. You should also pick a location that is in need of help at this time. There are many locations all over the world that need help and your church or organization can bring hope by sending people to those places.

  • Is it safe? Whenever possible, try to choose an area where there won't be any dangers to deal with during your trip. An example would be if someone had previously been robbed at gunpoint when visiting another place for their university mission trips.

  • How much does it cost? This can affect what kind of experience people will have on this type of trip because some locations may not be as affordable as others but offer more options for activities such as hiking through mountains instead just staying inside all day long reading books about Christianity while eating snacks from home (which wouldn't necessarily make up for travel costs either).

The last thing we'd want would be for anyone not knowing what they're getting into beforehand because then they might feel differently after finding out later!

Sort out housing logistics

It's important to sort out your housing logistics before you arrive at your destination. If you're staying in a hotel, make sure to get a room with a kitchenette. This will allow participants to cook their own meals and save money on food costs, which are often the most expensive part of the trip for students.

If you're staying at a hostel or with a host family, ask if there is space for everyone in one house or apartment. You may be able to save money by sharing accommodations rather than booking individual rooms.

Figure out what kind of resources you have available

Once you've figured out what kind of resources you'll need and where they can be found, it's time to think about how much those resources will cost. If the budget is tight, don't worry: there are lots of ways to save money when organizing your university mission trips.

  • Make sure that all participants understand they are expected to pay their own way. This may mean not charging them anything at all or asking them for a donation rather than an official fee—but no matter what, make sure nothing is mandatory!

  • Talk with other students who have organized similar projects; see if they can share tips or offer advice on how best to get what you need without breaking the bank.

There are other things that can help make organizing university mission trips easier too: having a good relationship with local businesses and organizations in the area where your trip will take place is beneficial because these people may be able to offer discounts on some supplies or services if one knows them well enough beforehand (such as discounts on bus tickets).

Work on creating a schedule for your trip

Once you have a clear idea of what needs to happen and when, the next step is to create a schedule. The schedule will help you stay organized and on top of things. It will also help you anticipate any problems and figure out how to keep moving forward.

Your mission trip may begin with some basic logistical details: the times for check-in, bus departure, meals and so on. If possible, try to plan for those events in advance so that everyone arrives at their destination at roughly the same time. This will allow groups from different universities or regions who are traveling together an opportunity to become acquainted before beginning their activities together as a team. You might also want to reserve one or two nights of lodging in case unanticipated delays arise during travel time between airports or bus depots—this way your group does not lose valuable time waiting around for transportation without an opportunity for rest along the way!

Follow up with your team members

  • Follow up with your team members about the schedule and whether or not they're able to make it to each event, or if they'll need to stay back at the hotel during some of the events.

  • Meet with your team members and their parents. The parents will want to know what their responsibilities are while on the trip, so be sure you have a full understanding of what you need from them before setting out on this adventure.

Make sure that everyone has gotten their passport and visa sorted

Passport: The first thing you should do is make sure everyone on your team has a passport. If you don't have one, it's easy to get one—the U.S. Department of State website tells you exactly how to go about it. Just follow the instructions!

Visa: A visa can be tricky, but luckily there are people out there who specialize in helping with visas for mission trips and other programs like yours (like us!), so if this is something that concerns you, talk to them about how they can help! Getting a visa can take time depending on where your team member is from and what type of visa they're applying for (e.g., tourist vs student), but if at all possible try not rush this! It's better safe than sorry when it comes to travel documents.

Communication is the key

Establish a communication plan among team members. You will need to have a way for everyone to contact each other, the leader, and the organization that is sponsoring your mission trip.

  • Make sure everyone has a phone number with their area code in case they lose cell service while traveling.

  • Make sure that they all have a way of contacting each other as well as the leader and sponsor if necessary.

It’s time to get onboard

The success of your university mission trip will largely depend on how well you're able to organize everything beforehand. Make sure that you have a designated leader and that they know what they're doing; don't let them take over everything! Also, make sure all of your team members are on the same page with each other and understand what their role will be during this trip. If possible, get everyone together ahead of time so that things run smoothly once it's time for everyone to leave their homes and head off towards their destination together as one big family unit.