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The Experiment in International Living

About

The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs and virtual cultural exchanges for high school students. For more than 85 years, our immersive programs have allowed participants to explore the world in an authentic and impactful way, while developing enduring friendships through cultural experiences and homestays.

If you are interested in applying to become a group leader for The Experiment, please visit our site.

The Experiment Summer 2021 Programs

At The Experiment, we understand that intercultural connections between young people are now more important than ever. The world is ready to recover and rise to new challenges, and The Experiment is committed to working together across cultures. Check out our programs abroad for this summer 2021: Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology & Sustainability, Jordan: Arabic Language & The Middle East, and The Netherlands: LGBTQ + Rights & Advocacy.
Founded
1932

Reviews

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Farida
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a good time! Hands down my favourite program out of all the other different programs I took part in. I learnt a lot from the other participants and the facilitators. Fun was always part of the program and that was one of the things I liked the most. We had fun while discussing important topics and learned a lot about how to solve serious problems facing us. I also got to know the cultural differences between Egyptians and Americans. I made a lot of new friends from different nationalities. I am more than happy to have taken part in this program and I would most certainly give it another shot if possible.

What was your funniest moment?
One of the funniest moments was when we were wrapping up the program, we had an online meeting and we were all trying to hold our tears back and we ended up laughing because we didn't want to end it that way. 😂😂
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Nour
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I really had so much fun, it was an unforgettable experience and I learned a lot about different problems and issues in both countries and discussed how to solve them. I learned more about education in America and it’s totally different from Egypt. Everyone in this program was helpful and encouraging and the facilitator was really supportive and caring . The best part of the program is that I’ve meet a lot of amazing people and I made a lot of friends both Egyptian and Americans and I would be glad to repeat this experience again.

What was your funniest moment?
When we talked about food the facilitator mentioned a funny situation when she traveled to Morocco.
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Nour
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved the experience in this program beginning from the sessions to the interaction between American and Egyptian students. I learned more about STEAM subjects and how to use them to solve challenges to help my community and reduce the effects of SDGs. this program helped me to make lifelong friends with people from other cultures and It gained me a deeper understanding of myself and those around me. I recommend this program to those who want to make a change in the world and want to experience a different academic perspective and culture.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I will change myself to be more confident and social as I am a shy person.
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Bavley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was totally a different experiment that I will never forget, I made new friends and have fun with different people from different places, I learned a lot about STEAM subjects and learned how we can use them to take different problems and issues that we face worldwide and help make a positive change in the world and make it a better place to live in. I would totally recommend this program to anyone who is willing to experience something new and wants to help make a change in his community and meet new people.

What was your funniest moment?
When I was at the homestay with my partners we wanted to take a screenshot so we sat and smiled in front of the cameras then we realized that each one of us was waiting for the other to take a screenshot and we laughed so hard XD
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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was a totally new experience for me and I couldn't be happier I decided to apply. At first, I was worried because I am a generally shy person, but after meeting with my family, I felt so welcomed and appreciated. I learned so much, not only from the STEM activities but also just by talking with people from Egypt and learning about others' cultures. Coming out of this program, I feel so much more open-minded and confident in myself. The other applicants were all so accepting and loving. I feel I particularly benefitted from sharing my own thoughts on global issues as well as listening to others. Every person had a different perspective to share, and it opened my eyes to new possibilities. Overall, Experiment Digital was an amazing experience!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was during our last family dialogue when we were discussing whether we would keep our failures and wisdom from past experiences or get rid of either or both. Many people had funny relatable responses of what they would decide. I recall someone being perfectly authentic and saying they would throw away both because they don't like to think!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Claire Holmes

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I had been taking Spanish classes in school since my elementary years. I was most comfortable with Spanish language and felt more confident about speaking it rather than going to a country where I did not speak any of the languages. I also had been learning a little bit about Spanish culture in class and I found it so interesting and beautiful and I loved their lifestyle and their sense of community, as well as their music.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The Experiment of International Living pretty much helped me with everything. I was helped throughout the whole entire application process, which was thankfully not as complicated as I thought it was going to be.

I also got to do an in person interview with an EIL employee, as well as attend an in person pre-program orientation that really helped me prepare for my trip.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Don’t doubt yourself. Not even for a second. Embrace the new place, the new possibilities, and the new people. Branch out and form bonds with not just your leaders and your group (although that’s very important) but also with any one else you meet on this trip. Don’t be afraid to try out your language skills, but also don’t be afraid to truly be yourself. These people will accept you for you and it’s a really special opportunity.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day would consist of getting up, having breakfast at the hotel (unless you’re staying with a host family at that time), then getting ready to spend the day out and about doing activities, including visiting museums, churches, temples and gardens.

Meal times included local restaurants with your group and their leaders, or the opportunity to split up and venture out on your own to find food or just visit the local shops. Every day was filled with cultural immersion that opened ones mind and allowed them to learn in a much more personal way.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was how long I felt like I was going be gone and how I would have to stay there, even if I didn’t like it or didn’t get a long with my group. But that fear entirely went away after a couple days because of how incredibly beautiful the country was and especially because of how awesome and kind my group leaders and my group members were. Without each and every one of them, I know the trip wouldn’t have even come close to how amazing it was and how happy it made me.

Is there something you would have done differently?

If there was something I would’ve done differently, I would have practiced much more Spanish before going, and while I was there in Spain, I would have tried even harder to communicate with the locals and broaden my own understanding of the language. That definitely would have helped me become even more closer with the host siblings, who were very fun to be around.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Ron Eisenman

Job Title
Group Leader

Ron has been a high school social studies teacher in Vermont since 2001. Previously, he was a lawyer in Vermont (5 years) and teacher in Aizuwakamatsu, Japan (5 years). He graduated with a J.D. degree from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

What is your favorite travel memory?

As a leader, I was most proud when my students conducted a scavenger hunt in Tokyo on their second day in the country. The students had a list of sites to see and required interactions with native Japanese speakers. We agreed to meet up at one of the 10 exits in a crowded Tokyo station at a specific time.

I was so energized by the excitement that the students had sharing their experiences. They made incredible cultural observations and gained the confidence to navigate one of the largest cities in the world in a new language.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have renewed my faith in the goodness and compassion of young people. My group was the most amazing collection of empathetic and talented young people.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are so many stories. At the end of our month-long program, almost every student expressed that the trip was life-changing. In one month, they made better friendships than they have with people they have been going to school with for 12 years. They said that the people in the group know them better than anybody else in the world.

One student will be spending half of his senior year of high school in Ecuador as a result of his experiences. Since one of the students was from Puerto Rico, all members of the group have been following the events there following the Hurricanes this fall, because they now have personal connections to the events there.

The students are in constant contact and the Puerto Rican student said that her memories of talking with members of the group this summer now keep her from getting too depressed about her current situation.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

There are so many. I feel like a kid in a candy store choosing which type of candy to eat. I really enjoyed the Japan: Japanese Language & Culture program since I have the language skills and background knowledge to help students get the most out of their experiences.

I would also like to take students to Korea, China, Thailand, or Vietnam because of the opportunity to learn more about this fascinating part of the world. I really love the cultures and the physical beauty of the land. I would be honored to assist students in learning about places like Korea and China, which are vital places in the 21st Century.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

There are so many great people involved in the program. I met many leaders at the leader orientation. I would personally want to be part of a group led by any of them. They were really talented people.

Also, The Experiment allows participants to really learn about a place in an authentic manner and structures many activities which allows them to interact with local people. The homestay is a critical component of this. Students are not primarily tourists.

The participants are extremely diverse, from different racial, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds. They are united, however, by a common interest in the culture of the country they are visiting and the theme of the program.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

While being on program, I came to appreciate how important it was to have capable staff in the US to communicate with parents and medical staff. The Experiment had a robust, knowledgeable on-call staff that assisted with a variety of issues so that the program could run smoothly for the students.

The staff also ran a very effective orientation which created a common set of expectations, norms, processes, and culture for the programs. This was important for quality control and the creation of a company mission.