Hunter is a 2009 alumni of The Experiment to Morocco. After her travels, she studied Media Production & Spanish Linguistics at the University of North Carolina. Fast forward three years later, she is currently working in Marketing for The Experiment.
Why did you choose this program?
I chose The Experiment because I knew I wanted to go on an immersion program, not a tour. The Experiment also offered the educational component that continued my love of language and culture not only into my final year of high school but well into college and my adult life as well.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
The Experiment took care of every detail. They provided pre-departure information, vaccine lists, insurance, packing information, etc.
On the ground, each program begins with orientation to ensure students are comfortable and familiar with their new surroundings. I simply had to get a flight to New York to meet my group at the airport and begin the international journey.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Pack toilet paper! I was one of the few students who did this and I can say it was one of the best decisions. You will use it for so many different things. Beyond that, be open-minded to the new culture and the initial shock you may feel will pass.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Every day on The Experiment is unique. One day you may be spending all your time getting to know your host siblings in the local village, another you may be with your group mates seeing some of the world's most extraordinary sites.
There is plenty of down time to keep you from getting overwhelmed while still experiencing the sites, smells, foods, and intricacies of the new culture.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I had two fears going into The Experiment. My first was making friends because I was the only Southern girl on a trip of mostly students from New York and New Jersey. I was also nervous about the homestay.
These two things ended up being my most cherished facets of my time in Morocco. The group was incredible and helped me break down barriers and stereotypes I had in the United States, while my Moroccan family broke down stereotypes about people with different ways of living. No matter where these people were from, they were all there to share culture, knowledge, and love.
Did you feel safe on The Experiment?
I always felt safe and at home with my group and leaders on The Experiment. It can be intimidating and challenging, but all challenges were addressed head-on and you were never alone.
The group leaders are professional trained and vetted, so they know how to handle all kinds of issues that could potentially arise whether it be homesickness, a twisted ankle, etc.