Experiment Logo

The Experiment in International Living

Why choose The Experiment in International Living?

The Experiment is the most respected provider of international exchanges for high school students. For 90 years, we have empowered young people to step off the beaten path, experience the world as a classroom, and develop the skills they need to solve the challenges of tomorrow.

Gain a deeper understanding of the world as you launch your unforgettable educational experiment. Through our abroad and virtual programs, you’ll experience homestays with trusted families, immerse yourself in new cultures, and learn alongside diverse groups of people, all while fueling your purpose-driven passions along the way.

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


The Experiment in International Living Scholarships

The Experiment in International Living offers a variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships to worthy high school students looking to participate in their program. The eligibility requirements vary depending on where you live and other demographics -- and your GPA is taken into account for some scholarships too.

$250 - $5,000

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

Diverse identities and experiences are essential to intercultural exchange. We are committed to recruiting and supporting participants of the broadest socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of any high school exchange program in the world.

LGBTQIA+ Support

Diverse identities and experiences are essential to intercultural exchange. We are committed to recruiting and supporting participants of the broadest socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of any high school exchange program in the world.



Environmental sustainability is a key component of all programs. Participants minimize their environmental footprint by using public transit, eating local food, and participating in community service projects in collaboration with, and according to, the needs of local communities.

Ethical Impact

Social and environmental responsibility is more critical now than ever. We are committed to delivering programs that support and are respectful of the diverse communities and ecosystems that host our programs.

Our programs are developed in close consultation with local and international partners and with a critical understanding of the communities and regions we visit.


Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Peaceful, Immersive, Relaxing and Welcoming Experience

This experience was really fun, beyond my expectations. There was so much I got to do in the country within a short period of time. The reason I would pick this program again is because there is still more to explore within the country and other opportunities that I didn't get to be a part of/do because of the short time.

I made a lot of friends and also got to explore a whole different place I never knew I would have gone to if it wasn't for the program. It was definitely worthwhile. My favorite part is the amazing people I met and the impact they have had on me and this experience.

The leaders and teachers were also a great part of the experience they were very kind and understanding people. They also did not feel like authority and were relaxed, friendly and open minded people. They also made sure were were doing fine mentally and physically.

  • The Animation and Japanese Language teacher were helpful and friendly and also open to feedback and new ideas.
  • Feeling safe in the country and being able to walk around with friends during the evenings and spending time together.
  • Meeting the host family and spending my time with them, they felt like the perfect match for me.
  • There wasnt much free time only one day with the host family. Free days would have been nice for example having a whole day to relax and reflect. All the days there was something to do because the program was short.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Time!

Though I am more on the shy side, this program made me very comfortable and made me feel like I could be myself and not have to worry about anything. My group felt like family and I really don't have any cons from this trip. My host family was very kind, helpful and generous. My internship was quite informative and helped me learn different things and how they are run in different countries. The food was amazing and the program leaders were very kind and protective. If I were to rate this trip, it would be a 9/10.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Experiment Program Review-South Korea

This past July I had the opportunity to take part in the 2023 South Korea immersion program by the experiment and it was a blast. We went to a variety of places ranging from Seoul shopping centers to museums and temples and traditional markets in Gwangju. Each day was jam packed with new activities and new international friends. The group dynamic was really comforting and the staff always supported us. This program also focuses on the growth of an individual and for me i’ve grown immensely. This trip really gave its students a sense of independence like going to the laundry mat to do our own laundry or hanging out with friends in an area of the city for a few hours. All of this independence led up to our free day where I met up with international friends I had met throughout the month. I learned about Korea’s dark history, their gorgeous scenery, and immersed myself into the language and trying to speak it. Although this trip was only a month, the memories I made will last a lifetime <3

  • Amazing Friends and Staff
  • Great Food
  • A balance of learning and free time
  • Often only staying at a place for 1 night
  • Lots of mosquitoes in the country side
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

It was good but could've been better

I liked the experience and the opportunity to go to France and see all the famous things I've always wanted to see. Like the Mona Lisa, Eiffel Tower, arc de Triomphe, and more! I even had my sweet 16 there and had a great time. Except I feel it could have been better if I was more informed by the leaders on the downsides like all the pickpocketing going on in Paris. Because of that, I became a victim of it and I got my phone stolen by a random person during the first few days of the trip while I went out to eat for lunch and I wasn't with the leaders. After that, the leaders and some of the kids tried their best to help but all they could do was report it to the police, they didn't do anything about it and I never got my phone back. The leaders helped me buy a temporary phone but still, It was a traumatizing experience and it spoiled my trip to the point, that I just wanted to go home but I couldn't. After that, I went to my homestay family with a lady I lived with for 10 days. She was alright but the whole time I felt like she didn't like me. After the 10 days ended I went to Switzerland it was beautiful and I loved the country but during that people started being weird. I was with a group of girls and a random guy came up to us and tried to take us to go out with him. Another kid got slapped in the face by a random guy while the leaders were there and everyone witnessed it and got scared. I started to have problems with the other students and they would just either ignore me or just be straight rude to me even though I was nice to everyone. So I didn't want to be in any group and just wanted to explore on my own but I got in trouble for that because when we are out in the country we have to be in a group of at least 3 because the leaders aren't always with us. On the last day, we were back in Paris and It was time to go to the fair and go souvenir shopping but the kids and leaders didn't want me in their group and a girl even yelled at me because I tried to go with her group. so I missed out on the fair and just stayed in the hotel room and cried because my experience was so bad. But then I texted the group chat we had and one of the leaders took me from the hotel and took me to go to a restaurant everyone was in and eat dinner and go souvenir shopping so I felt better. That was the trip for me and I loved the opportunity to see those countries and have by sweet 16 in Paris. but the experience itself could have been better.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

K-Culture and Peacebuilding

I was interested in all the activities provided and I genuinely did enjoy my time in Korea. The adults supervising us were extremely respectful and helpful and the children in my group were also likeable and I am glad I got to share this experience with them. If I had to add anything, I would have to say the day we got to truly experience the culture and wear hanboks was my absolute favorite. The food was amazing and the demographic was even better. My entire experience was positive. I would say this changed me in a way where I would actually like to spend my future doing things revolving around peacebuilding internationally.

  • The diversity in the group
  • Experiencing the culture
  • The photos honestly
  • Sickness
  • Getting up in the morning
  • A bit of a language barrier with younger children


Displaying 1 - 9 of 15

Alumni Interviews

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

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.

Professional Associations

USA Gap Year Fairs Logo