Experiment in International Living
|Type||High school summer abroad programs|
|Executive Director||Aaron Morehouse|
|Location||Brattleboro, VT, USA|
The Experiment in International Living, EIL, or The Experiment, is a worldwide program offering homestays, language, arts, community service, ecological adventure, culinary, and regional and cultural exploration programs of international cross-cultural education for high school students. It is administered by World Learning, a non-profit, international development and education organization based in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA.
The Experiment in International Living (EIL) began in 1932. “Experimenters” were placed in the homes of host families to enhance the intercultural and/or language study aspects of each program.
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."
In a single three- to five-week international program, US students spend time with a host family and participate in activities with their group of "Experimenters". Each Experiment program focuses on one of the following five themes: the arts; cultural discovery; the environment; peace, politics, and human rights; sustainability and food systems.
Currently, the Experiment hosts more than 30 programs in more than 20 countries including Argentina, Botswana, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, and Thailand.
Knowledge of a foreign language is expected on certain trips, thus experience in Spanish for at least a year is required for trips to Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Spain. Similarly students are expected to study French for at least a year prior to the program in some programs in France.
As part of the application process, students must submit a letter (in either English, Spanish, or French, depending on the location of the program) to a prospective host family. The letter and a profile filled out by the applicant are used by the local homestay representative to match students with a family. Students may apply either online or through the mail.
The Experiment is administered as part of a 501(c)3 charity and provides financial aid to applicants based on family need. In 2011, 53.7 per cent (450) of its 838 participants received scholarships.
- Stephen Breyer, former Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
- Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post
- Sargent Shriver, Founder, US Peace Corps
- Julie Taymor, Director of theater, opera, and film
- World Learning Facts and Figures, November 2011. Accessed: May 17, 2012.
- "2002 A History of The Council on International Educational Exchange: 1947-1994" (PDF). http://www.ciee.org/. 2002.
- "1955 Student Council on Travel" (PDF). http://www.ciee.org/. 1955.
- EIL Program Overview - The Experiment in International Living
- The Experiment in International Living
- Stebbins, Susal. 2009. "The Rev. Chloe Breyer Bridges Cultures Through Interfaith Work", World Learning Blog, April 8. Accessed: May 17, 2012.
- 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.
- experimentinternational.org, US Official Website
- experiment.org, Federation EIL
- worldlearning.org, World Learning
- eilireland.org, EIL Intercultural Learning
- rehrig.net/eil Alumni site for EIL/CBIV (Experiment in Living, Congress-Bundestag IV), 1987-1988, administered by alumnus Paul Rehrig
- Volunteer Abroad