Experiment in International Living

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The Experiment in International Living
The Experiment in International Living.png
TypeHigh school summer abroad programs
Executive DirectorAaron Morehouse
Students40,000+ alumni over 86 years
Location, ,

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


The Experiment in International Living is a provider of international education and experiential learning for high school students. Each year, hundreds of students come away from The Experiment with invaluable cultural, leadership, language, and interpersonal skills that help them thrive in diverse environments and prepare them to succeed in college and careers.

In the early 1960s, Sargent Shriver, founding director of the Peace Corps and an Experiment alumnus, tapped The Experiment to train the first class of Peace Corps volunteers.

The Experiment is the flagship program of World Learning, a thriving global nonprofit organization with education, sustainable, development, and exchange programs in more than 150 countries. World Learning is part of the World Learning Inc. family, which also includes the School for International Training (SIT), a global institution, offering accredited undergraduate study abroad programs through SIT Study Abroad, and globally focused master’s degrees through SIT Graduate Institute.

In 1932, former Syracuse University personnel director Dr. Donald Watt, dissatisfied with the state of international education, created a revolutionary new cultural immersion program called “The Experiment in International Living.”

Under his guidance, a group of 23 students sailed for eight days across the Atlantic with the mission of fostering peace through understanding, communication, and cooperation by living in close quarters with French and German boys and hiking in the Swiss Alps.

The following year, Watt conceived of the idea of having the American students live with French and German families. This never-before-tried concept came to be known as the homestay and allowed students to develop friendships and understand different cultures in a personal, meaningful way.

Since those early years, The Experiment has grown in size, scope, destination, and concept. After 85 years and more than 70,000 participants, The Experiment remains a leader in the field of international cross-cultural education for high school students.


The Experiment in International Living's mission remains "to foster peace through understanding, communication, and cooperation" and "to share experiences, languages, and customs with those from different traditions, with the goals of broadening horizons, gaining lifelong friends, and advancing peace."[1][2]

Current Programs[edit]

The Experiment in International Living has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers 30 high school summer abroad programs in 26 countries.

Participants are challenged to explore the host country through hands-on experiences in local communities and through the lens of a specific theme.


Currently, the Experiment hosts more than 30 programs in more than 26 countries including:


  • Jordan: Arabic Language & the Middle East
  • Morocco: From the Mediterranean to the Sahara
  • South Africa: Leadership & Social Change
  • Tanzania: African Cultures & Landscapes


  • China: Chinese Language & Culture
  • India: Indian Cultures & Traditions
  • Japan: Japanese Language & CultureJapan: Japanimation | Anime & MangaMongolia: Nomadic Culture & Outdoor Adventure
  • South Korea: Peacebuilding & Modern Culture
  • Thailand: From Ancient Temples to Bangkok
  • Vietnam: Ecology From Coast to Jungle


  • France: Fine Arts & Photography
  • France: French Language & Culinary
  • France: Cultural Discovery
  • Germany; International Relations & The E.U.
  • Italy: Italian Language & Culinary Training
  • The Netherlands: LGBTQ+ Rights & Advocacy
  • Spain: Cultural Discovery
  • Spain: Spanish Language & Culture
  • Spain: Technology & Innovation in Urban Culture
  • United Kingdom: Journalism & Media


  • Argentina: Community Service & The OutdoorsCosta Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology & Sustainability
  • Ecuador: The Galápagos Islands & the Andes
  • Mexico: Marine Biology in the Caribbean & Baja Peninsula


  • United States: Human Rights & College Discovery


The application process has two steps. The first is your application for admission to The Experiment, and the second is the submission of your confirmation materials.

In your online application for admission, you will be asked to complete an application form with personal information; short answers; an essay of between 300 and 500 words; and one letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, advisor, or coach.

Once you complete your application for admission, you will be asked to submit, via the online application portal, your confirmation materials, including all of the items on the tabs below.


In 2018, The Experiment and its partner organizations awarded nearly $2 million in scholarships. This support comes from The Experiment’s generous network of alumni, individual donors, foundations, and corporations. The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to our immersive international programs. Most of The Experiment’s scholarships are need-based, and range from $250 to $2,200.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EIL Program Overview - The Experiment in International Living". Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-09-06.
  2. ^ http://www.experiment.org/federation.htm
  3. ^ Stebbins, Susal. 2009. "The Rev. Chloe Breyer Bridges Cultures Through Interfaith Work", World Learning Blog, April 8. Accessed: May 17, 2012.
  4. ^ Huffington, Arianna (August 28, 2011). "Third World America: Why I Wrote the Book and What We Need to Do to Save America's Middle Class". Huffington Post.
  5. ^ http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/The-Kennedy-Family/R-Sargent-Shriver.aspx
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2011-04-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "INTERVIEW: "Interview with Rosalind Solomon" (2003) - ASX | AMERICAN SUBURB X | Photography & Culture". AMERICAN SUBURB X. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2016-06-08.

External links[edit]