Carly Kloack grew up in Colorado, traveling to many of the U.S. states throughout her childhood. As she grew up, she developed a deep love for travel, adventure, and change.
Her first time out of the country was to Masvingo, Zimbabwe to work with orphans and schools in a small village. Later, during her undergraduate education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, she got the chance to be an exchange student for six months at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. She has also traveled to Peru, Haiti, Scotland, England, and Switzerland, falling in love with the people, cultures, and native foods in each place.
She currently attends graduate school in Texas for Speech and Language Pathology. When she is not traveling or in school, she loves to be outside, either hiking, camping, rock climbing, running, catching up with friends, or eating ice cream.
What is your favorite travel memory?
Getting to see high schoolers experience a new culture outside of the U.S. for the first time. Being an Experiment Group Leader taught me the unique influence the youth of this world have. They are able to create change in a way no one else can.
This unique perspective, combined with the beauty of South Africans themselves, combined to create my favorite travel memory.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I now have a deeper appreciation for high school students and the great value of exposing them to the world. While in South Africa with The Experiment in International Living, our students were able to gain confidence and expand their perspectives.
Since returning home, I have been able to internalize their growth into new ways I view the world around me.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The majority of my students still communicate with me on a weekly basis, telling me when they think of something from our trip or miss something specific about the trip or their host siblings. I have been so thankful to have phones in order to process these things with them, and hope we will always remain close.
One student has told me how she has been able to educate her classmates at her high school about South African’s complex history.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would choose another sub-Saharan African program, like Tanzania, because I am familiar with this region of the world but have never been to Tanzania. I love the African culture, and so the theme of “Language & Cultural Discovery” is also very appealing to me.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
The Experiment does an in-depth training week before we all head abroad. They have many classes for us to take, and all the group leaders get the chance to meet one another. Some of the other group leaders are now good friends of mine, as it has been incredible to have those friendships to lean on when we return home from program.
I am extremely proud of the way The Experiment handles these relationships in a professional, yet approachable way. I also love that The Experiment does a home-stay component for every program, as I believe this is a necessity to engage in the host culture best.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I believe that a successful company must have a buy-in by the staff. If the staff members do not truly love their jobs, it is evident. The Experiment Staff enjoys their jobs, and it really reflects in the way they treat everyone else and the great organization of the program.