The Experiment recognizes risk as inherent in all travel, and we continually work to identify, mitigate, and manage risks within our program contexts. After completing a comprehensive risk assessment with our international partners, The Experiment is offering a full selection of our traditional, international exchanges in summer 2022. Visit our Destinations page to view all available summer 2022 programs.
How does The Experiment decide when it is safe for a program to take place where there might be heightened risk of COVID-19?
The Experiment and World Learning use a variety of monitoring sources and rely on a risk committee, chaired by the director of security, to comprehensively evaluate risk. Key resources for monitoring risk include daily Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) news summaries, International SOS risk alerts, global and local news sources, local health ministries and other government agencies, and the U.S. Department of State travel warnings.
During a public health emergency such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, The Experiment also relies on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition, during periods of heightened health risks, The Experiment closely monitors actions taken by the governments in the countries where our programs operate, such as movement restrictions or quarantine requirements that would potentially impact the program.
Finally, The Experiment leverages the expertise and knowledge of our international partners, who provide us with updates about issues of concern and potential impact to our participants and program locations. Our international partners have extensive networks that include local authorities, U.S. embassy services, and informal sources—all of which help to inform our decisions about programs.
Yes, The Experiment requires participants to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and asks enrolled participants to submit a copy of their proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a part of their confirmation materials.
Given the increase of COVID variants resulting in changes to entry requirements from countries around the world, and varying definitions of how countries define “fully vaccinated,” The Experiment is strongly recommending that all eligible participants receive a COVID-19 booster shot prior to the start of the program. Data from clinical trials has shown that a booster shot can increase the immune response and help prevent COVID-19 symptoms. Additional information about booster shots can be found on the Center for Disease Control’s website.
The Experiment understands that there are legitimate reasons why participants may not be vaccinated against COVID-19. We provide the opportunity to petition for an exemption to our vaccination requirement on the grounds of medical reasons, sincerely held religious beliefs, or vaccine unavailability. Petitions will be reviewed by The Experiment’s Risk Assessment Committee as long as they do not present undue hardship and/or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of the requesting participant or to other members of our programs.
Please note that with regards to exemptions, The Experiment cannot guarantee that unvaccinated travelers will be granted entry to all program countries.
If we do make the difficult decision to modify or suspend any Experiment program prior to departure, we will work with you to find another program that fits your interests. If we suspend a program prior to departure and you don’t enroll in another program for that term, we will refund all direct payment to The Experiment, less your non-refundable $50 application fee.
I’m an international student. Should I be worried about not being allowed into my program country or out of my country of residence?
If a student who resides outside of the U.S. is unable to participate in one of our programs, because their government prohibits them from leaving their home country or because the program host country government prohibits them from entering, The Experiment will give a 100% refund up to May 29, 2022. If there is still a perceived threat 30 days prior to departure, please call our Admissions Office at 1-800-345-2929 inside the U.S. or 1-802-258-3481 outside the U.S. and we can work together to decide how best to proceed.
The Experiment follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for social distancing during our programs. Experimenters will be required to follow current public health guidelines as well as any additional protocols established by The Experiment, for keeping themselves and others safe during the program. Protocols for programs will be set in the spring and be based upon current guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and local governments.
The Experiment team will be in close contact with enrolled families as we plan for your program, and prior to your departure, we will share the most current COVID-19 considerations, information, and expectations pertaining to your destination. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-345-2929 inside the U.S. or 1-802-258-3481 outside the U.S.—we are happy to answer your questions!