YWCA and Outward Bound offer an amazing opportunity for young women to attend this life-changing 21-day course at a greatly reduced cost.

The YWCA's purpose is to support individual and community change by empowering women, especially young women, to develop and exercise their individual and collective leadership through enhancing their spiritual, physical, mental, and cultural wellbeing. Our partnership with Outward Bound helps us achieve this mission.

"The course gives you the focus and perspective to decide on your future direction. A perfect balance of adventure and reflection, you’ll take time to consider your personal values and work out what’s important. You’ll find a sense of belonging, with new connections and with a better understanding of yourself and your relationship to the wider world."

Normal cost to attend the 21-day course: $4349
With YWCA Outward Bound Scholarship: $250

When is the course?

You will be asked in your application to tell us your preferred dates. (Please note that there is no guarantee your preferred course will be available.)

Upcoming course dates:


  • November 4th – 24th


  • February 3rd – 23rd

  • May 4th – 24th

  • June 3rd – 23rd

What are we looking for?

Young women from across Aotearoa New Zealand who meet the criteria (below) are invited to apply. The selection committee meets twice a year to award scholarships to young women who show great potential for personal, professional, and leadership development. We select young women who will make the most of the opportunity, and use what they learn to give back to their communities.

How is it funded?

A $3,431 scholarship is provided by Outward Bound through their Community Partner Programme, which supports charities nationwide. This is supplemented by YWCA scholarship funds of $499, thanks to a gift from the JR McKenzie Trust. This leaves a participant financial contribution of $250 to the course fee.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • Be identified as a young woman aged 18-26, who lives in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Be involved in the YWCA and/or be willing to give 10 hours of your time (volunteering, participating in programmes, mentoring young women, etc) to your nearest YWCA or other women's organisation, within one year of receiving scholarship.

  • Commit to pay the participant financial contribution of $250 within 10 working days of being awarded the scholarship.

  • Be able to cover your own costs for travel and gear.

  • Undergo a medical check (requires visiting your GP).

  • Meet the physical fitness requirements: able to run 3km in 25 minutes and be water-confident.

  • Allow us to publicly use your name and photo to celebrate your participation in the programme.

  • Be willing to share about your experiences after returning (in writing, video, and/or in person) internally and/or externally (YWCA blogs, events, newsletter social media, media/press releases).

  • Be willing to give at least 10 hours of time back to the YWCA and/or another women’s organisation within 6 months of attending Outward Bound.

More info about the course on the Outward Bound website.

Video by previous programme participants

Blog post from past participants:

My Outward Bound Adventure

By Lara Hawker

By Jahvaya Wheki

Ready to apply for the YWCA Outward Bound Scholarship?


Our thanks to the awesome team at Outward Bound!