Our in-country partners work to match participants with the best possible families, many of whom have worked with us for decades. The Experiment staff and our international partners facilitate an extensive recruitment and vetting process that includes home visits and, where permissible, background checks. The interests of both the student and the local host families are considered when identifying homestay placements. Host families attend orientation and pre-arrival sessions prior to meeting their homestay Experimenter.
Experimenters are placed with families in the same region or town, which allows for group get-togethers, meetings, and cultural activities and for participants to be able to reach their group leaders at all times. The homestay experience lasts between one and three weeks, depending on the program.
At the beginning of my homestay, I referred to my host family as my ‘host family’ and my real family as my ‘real family.’ By the end of the trip, there was no ‘host,’ and there was no ‘real’. Family is family, familia es familia.
— Lindsay, Experiment alumna, Argentina
When not living with a homestay family, participants stay in appropriate accommodations with their group and group leaders, including hotels, dormitories, temples, guest houses, hostels, and campgrounds. See individual program pages for program-specific details. Read more about program structure.
By being in a smaller town and living with a family, I learned how differently people can live. That’s how you learn about a culture and a people. It made my trip a lot better. I didn’t feel like a tourist; I felt Peruvian.
— Elizabeth, Experiment alumna, Peru