Student health, safety, and risk management are our top priorities. The Experiment staff and international partners are expertly trained to manage risk, health, and safety throughout the entire program cycle. We recognize risk as an inherent component of all travel, so we place the highest priorities on health, safety, and security. The Experiment has created a comprehensive 360-degree approach to providing safe learning environments abroad.


Our 360-degree approach includes:

Pre-Departure Preparation

The Experiment helps students prepare for their program by providing in-depth participant and parent handbooks, health guidelines that include recommendations on immunizations and medications, as well as packing lists and comprehensive travel logistics.

Medical & Mental Health

All students are screened by a medical and mental health review team; where indicated, wellness plans are created collaboratively prior to travel to support any participants with specific needs while on program. The Experiment’s Disability Services are available to students, and special accommodation arrangements can be provided as needed.

Medical Insurance

All students are covered by the World Learning medical insurance policy, which provides full coverage for accidents, illness, and emergency evacuation. Please note that this insurance is intended to serve as a secondary policy for participants who are already insured in the U.S.

24-Hour On-Call Support

The Experiment provides a 24-hour hotline during the program, supported by professional staff at our Brattleboro, Vermont, and Washington, DC headquarters. Our staff also maintains a 24-hour on-call safety and emer­gency response system for any health, safety, or security concerns that might arise during the program. This on-call system serves parents, group leaders, and in-country partners.

In-Country Local Support

Each Experiment group is supported by an extensive professional network of in-country resources such as partner offices, international educators, homestay coordinators, program guides, and translators. Our country partner offices help us design each program and support our groups throughout the program period. All third-party program providers have been vetted for safety standards. In addition, students are registered with the local U.S. embassy through the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Experiment Group Leaders

The Experiment groups are accompanied by two trained adult leaders. Group leaders maintain ongoing contact with all participants throughout the program and work collaboratively with in-country partners and The Experiment offices in the U.S. All Experiment group leaders are certified in CPR and first aid, and are trained as on-the-ground risk managers.

Comprehensive In-Country Orientation

Each program begins with an in-country orientation that includes health and safety information. The orientation focuses on local health and safety guidelines, increasing cultural knowledge (such as language survival skills and in-country norms), and developing participants’ cross-cultural communication skills and self-awareness, specifically within the context of the program country. Beginning with the in-country orientation, and continuing throughout the program, participants are familiarized with location-specific emergency response plans.

Ongoing Monitoring

Continuous monitoring of events abroad and access to up-to-the-minute travel advisories are part of The Experiment’s risk management protocol. The Experiment monitors U.S. government advisories issued by in-country embassies and consulates as well as the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. The Experiment also consults with academic and nongovernmental orga­nizations through World Learning’s global network, with World Learning’s institutional global risk management committee, as well as with International SOS, the world’s largest medical and travel security services firm.

Participant Risk Management Services and Operations Staff

Christina Thomas
Director of Programming and Operations
(202) 464-8542

Kirstin French
Operations Manager, HS Exchange Programs
(802) 258-3418