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Since 1932, The Experiment in International Living has provided three, four and five-week summer abroad programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country. Students are challenged to explore the host country through hands-on experiences in local communities and through the lens of a specific theme. Programs are designed to equip students not only with essential cultural and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.
A. What makes your camp or program unique?
The Experiment has been running summer abroad programs for high school students for 85 years. The Experiment gave rise to the foundation of the Peace Corps, and awards millions of dollars in financial aid each year, providing unrivaled diversity within The Experiment groups.
B. Describe a typical day in your camp or program.
There are five main chapters of The Experiment: Orientation, Homestay, Excursions, Thematic Component, and Reflection. Orientations may include scavenger hunts and cultural activities. Homestays allow students to engage directly with the culture. Excursions allow students to view multiple areas within a country. Thematic Components introduce a particular focus area and organize the program content. Reflections pave the road home, and helps students prepare for their next adventure: college and beyond.
C. What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?
Those who are ready to step outside of their comfort zone and learn from their surroundings. The Experiment prides itself on culturally immersive programs, so adventurous, curious and open-minded individuals are recommended.
Experiment participants are looking to better understand the complexity of the issues shaping the world they will come to lead—such as public health, biodiversity, human rights, food systems, and social change. They are thinking ahead and recognize how The Experiment serves to meet their college and career goals; these students know it is not only critical to expand their knowledge base of global issues but to acquire core competencies in leadership, intercultural communication skills, cross-cultural empathy, and resilience. These skills are vital to meeting the contemporary challenges presented by a globalized economy and our highly interconnected social and natural environment
D. Where do your participants come from?
Typically, The Experiment has students from around 40 states and 12 countries participating in 35 programs in 25 countries.
E. What is the housing like and what can you tell us about the meals?
Students stay in either hotels/hostels, or with a vetted and trustworthy homestay family.
F. Please describe what teens have to say about your program.
Over 70,000 alumni have participated, and gone on to do amazing things with their newfound knowledge of self and surroundings.
G. Any other information you think teens should know about your program?
Over the decades, The Experiment has diversified its programs to reflect the contemporary issues shaping the globe. We are offer a portfolio of highly competitive programs where students learn by doing and exploring their new environments. The Experiment offers millions of dollars in financial aid, and a cohort of exceptional and fully-trained leaders who are experts in aiding students through their cultural adventure.