The Experiment in International Living began in 1932 as an organization that challenged the status quo and sought to use cultural immersion as a bridge to create peace and understanding, one friendship at a time.
World Learning, the parent organization of The Experiment, has worked with local organizations on the ground in Jordan for more than a decade. As a result, The Experiment enjoys those close connections. and program staff experience the same cross-cultural understanding that we teach our students.
The original mission of The Experiment was to demonstrate to students the value of learning more about other cultures. One of the best ways to do that was by living with a family. Cooking meals, going to market, running errands – the little tasks of daily life – provides insights that can’t be learned from a book or in a classroom. This “experiment” that started eight decades ago has given more than 80,000 U.S. students an invaluable opportunity to discover what they have in common with people around the world.
Program at a glance:
Orientation: Amman, 2–3 days
Homestays: Amman,* 22 days; rural Bedouin community,* 2–3 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels and one night of camping at Wadi Rum
* Homestay locations can vary.
The Experiment program in Jordan focuses on History, Politics, and Arabic Language. Students take courses in Modern Standard Arabic and also learn to speak the local Jordanian dialect. After class each day they return to their homestay families to practice what they learned.
In previous years, Experiment students have visited Syrian refugees, an experience that has left an indelible impression. “Being so close, it opens your eyes up and makes you more empathetic,” one Experimenter said. “It makes the wars in Syria a lot more real.”
This kind of authentic, experiential learning remains a crucial component of Experiment programs, and gives students the skills and interest in becoming change-makers when they return home and global leaders of the future.