If you're having trouble accessing your child's online application or the parent portal, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800 345-2929 or at 802 257-7751.
The Experiment has a non-permissive alcohol and drug policy, meaning that, though we respect cultural differences, participants may not consume, buy, or possess alcohol or illegal drugs during the program. An alcohol infraction or suspected infraction while on an Experiment program will be subject to an administrative review process.
The Experiment recommends having between $400 and $800 accessible for spending money, depending on the destination; however, your child should only have a small amount of cash and a debit card on them at any time. Contact your bank and notify them of your child’s destination to ensure the card will work. Make sure your child knows his or her ATM PIN number.
The Experiment provides packing guidelines, tailored to each program, that include recommendations related to clothing, valuables and electronics, and medications. Please remember that participants are responsible for carrying their own luggage. The most important packing advice is to pack lightly.
The group leaders’ primary responsibility is to maximize the safety and health of all participants. Should your child have any concerns during the program, he or she should reach out to the group leaders as the first point of contact.
On most programs, students will meet up with the group and their two adult group leaders at a specific meeting location in the designated port of departure in the U.S. Group leaders will immediately engage students in conversations and ice-breaker activities and will typically share important logistical information. Right away, students start getting to know each other and the group leaders.
Our Student Affairs staff — based at our Vermont headquarters — maintains a 24-hour on-call safety and emergency response system for any health, safety, or security concerns that might arise during the program. The Experiment can be reached toll-free within the U.S. at 800 345-2929 or at 802 257-7751.
In our experience, the best and most reliable way to contact the U.S. while abroad is through web-based communication such as: email, Skype, WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook messenger, etc. We highly discourage the use of international cell phones. We have found they are expensive, unreliable, and likely to be lost or stolen. They also prevent Experimenters from disconnecting from home. This takes away from the immersive experience abroad and makes participants more homesick. Some host families have expressed disappointment when their participant use their phones regularly. If you feel it’s necessary to have service, you can contact your long-distance phone provider to see if they offer an international calling plan.
History and experience. The Experiment has been running high quality summer abroad programs every year since 1932. Within a year of our founding, we launched the never-before-tried concept that came to be known as the homestay. 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.
Our programs. Experiment programs are fun, thought-provoking, and active. Each program follows the same four-part structure: an in-depth, cross-cultural orientation in the capital or another major city of the country, a homestay with a local family, a thematic focus, and a thoughtful reflection and evaluation. Our program structure is designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage with the culture and host communities.
Maximizing health and safety. The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. We understand and deeply respect that socioeconomic, political, environmental, and medical conditions vary across the more than 28 countries in which we run programs. We work tirelessly to build and maintain relationships within each host country, and we tailor our health, safety, and security measures to each location and to current circumstances.
Scholarships and financial aid. The Experiment is committed to helping students from a diversity of backgrounds experience immersive cross-cultural programs through a variety of need-based scholarships. Importantly, The Experiment creates and maintains longstanding partnerships with mentoring organizations, after-school programs, home-school organizations, community groups, public and private schools, and foundations located across the country. Many of these collaborative partnerships enable students to receive partial or full scholarship funding.
Our in-country partnerships. The Experiment works closely with an international partner — often an educational nonprofit organization — in each country in which we offer programs. These local partners contribute enormously to the dynamic, educational, and immersive nature of every program, and they play an essential role in maximizing the health, safety, and security of all groups. Many of the Experiment’s in-country partnerships are decades-old.
Our small and diverse student groups. Experiment groups are small, typically 10–15 students who represent a range of backgrounds: small towns and large cities; urban and rural areas; and public, private, and home-school educational experiences. Experimenters are of different races, religions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The program fee includes a homestay and other lodging; all meals; orientation; in-country transportation and program activities; group-leader supervision throughout the program; health, accident, and medical evacuation insurance; and a 24-hour, on-call response line, administered by our professional Student Affairs team, during the program.
The program fee does not include preprogram medical examinations or immunizations, passport or visa fees for non-U.S. citizens, or personal spending money.
The Experiment helps participants prepare for their program throughout the pre-departure process. We provide sample itineraries, a student handbook, packing lists, and assistance with travel logistics. Students participating in programs in Africa, Latin America, and Asia receive specific health guidelines. These guidelines include recommendations about immunizations and medications that each family should consider before departure.
Parent FAQ Video
Experiment parent Ann Bailey shares insights and advice related to packing, meeting up with the group, and communication.
Summer 2021: We understand the need for young people to connect with their peers globally now, more than ever. In our 87-year history, 2020 was the first time The Experiment paused all operations abroad. It is our sincere intention to run programs abroad this year, no matter how small the selection. We hope the stars align in our favor as we do everything we can to make study abroad for high school students a reality once again. We hope to offer the following programs: Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology & Sustainability and Germany: International Relations & the E.U.
Please check back in early February for our final summer abroad program selections.
We are continuing to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our summer abroad programs and the travel industry. We encourage you to apply online for The Experiment Digital, our virtual international exchanges for spring and summer 2021.