Our approach to COVID-19 and The Experiment summer abroad programs in 2021

The health, safety and security of our participants are The Experiment’s highest priorities. After completing a comprehensive risk assessment with our international partners, The Experiment is offering selective portfolio of our traditional, international exchanges in summer 2021. Visit our Destinations page to view all available Summer 2021 programs.

View our full COVID-19 risk management protocols here.

COVID-19 FAQs

  • The Experiment follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for social distancing during our programs this summer. Participants will be required to wear a mask when they are not alone in their rooms. Participants will also be expected to follow social distancing guidelines for keeping a safe space between themselves and others during the program. To practice social or physical distancing, participants will be asked to stay at least 6 feet from other people in both indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the program this summer.

  • The Experiment is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. We are considering our longstanding history and experience within new global and local COVID-19 contexts. The Experiment’s/World Learning’s executive and risk management teams continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry. We consult International SOS – a leading expert in the field of international risk management, as well as closely monitor U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of State advisories and alerts.

  • Your $400 non-refundable enrollment deposit and $50 application fee are required to hold space on one of our programs this summer. Your $400 enrollment deposit and program tuition (fees) are 100% refundable for any reason before the program start date. Withdrawals must be in writing and signed by the Participant and the Participant’s parent/guardian, if the Participant is under 18 years of age. You may also change your enrollment to a different program with The Experiment (where space allows) with no penalty. Program changes must also be in writing and signed by the Participant and the Participant’s parent/guardian, if the Participant is under 18 years of age.

    The Experiment will offer refunds for programs cancelled by The Experiment if enrolled participants do not enroll in another summer abroad program before the program start date. Participants may also defer their tuition to summer 2022 if programs are cancelled by The Experiment. Additionally, if a participant is unable to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to May 15, 2021 and their second dose by June 5, 2021 and is unable to travel this summer, we will provide a refund of the $400 deposit and any tuition (fees) paid.

  • Experiment programs will not have homestays this summer due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Your Experiment program will continue to be intimately connected to host communities through service projects and other home hospitality focused program activities with student peers and local families.

    The Experiment follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for social distancing during our programs this summer. Participants will be required to wear a mask when they are not alone in their rooms. Participants will also be expected to follow social distancing guidelines for keeping a safe space between themselves and others during the program. To practice social or physical distancing, participants will be asked to stay at least 6 feet from other people in both indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the program this summer

  • The Experiment will not offer group flights for summer 2021 programs due to changes in airline booking policies during the pandemic. We will provide an arrival date and time window to support your flight selection. We will have in country staff and group leaders present to meet your arriving international flight. We recommend that you book your flight before May 20, 2021 and send a copy of your international flight information to your admissions counselor before May 20, 2021. We recommend that you research Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) trip insurance and discuss with your airline or travel agency.

  • Yes, The Experiment asks enrolled participants to submit a copy of your first dose of COVID-19 vaccination by May 15, 2021, and your second vaccine dose by June 5, 2021. The Experiment also requires participants and parents/guardians to sign our Assumption of Risk form before travel. Your admissions counselor will provide more information.

  • The Experiment and World Learning do not determine who has access to the COVID-19 vaccine. You should follow your state and local government officials and guidelines to determine if and when you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that currently administered vaccines are only available to those 16 years and older.

  • Experiment program tuition covers all scheduled program activities published on your program itinerary, lodging, and three meals per day. Program tuition does not include international airfare and you will need to book and purchase your international flight to/from the program location. You should anticipate personal spending money of between $300-600 depending on your program destination and program length. Additionally, you will need to secure a passport that is valid through February 2022. Non-US citizens may be required to purchase a tourist visa before travel, as well.

    Additionally, Costa Rica program participants will need to purchase COVID-19 Insurance prior to arrival in country. This will need to be an individual process for each participant and cannot be completed until you have your passport number. The estimated cost per person is about $225-300 but will vary until the program starts.

    Please note: if you are a U.S. citizen and you do not yet have a U.S. passport, please submit your passport application as soon as possible. The U.S. Department of State is currently not offering rush passport services due to limited capacity during the pandemic. After submitting your passport application, you should receive your passport in the mail in about 12 weeks. You must submit your passport copy to The Experiment as soon as possible before travel.

  • 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, 2021. 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 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—we are happy to answer your questions!

  • 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.

  • For summer 2022, The Experiment will relaunch students into the world in a robust way as we have for 88 years with even more innovative and impactful programs across the globe. And thanks to a broad coalition of partners and funders, we are able to recruit the most promising young leaders representing diverse socioeconomic, gender, racial, and ethnic identities.

    The Experiment in International Living is a program of World Learning. The Experiment also plans to seek accreditation for the language courses included on its exchanges through the new SIT World Languages Center, which offers high-quality, innovative language-learning opportunities through online and in-person experiential courses for college credit. The SIT World Languages Center is part of the School for International Training, another program of World Learning, which offers undergraduate study abroad programs through SIT Study Abroad and interculturally focused master’s degrees through SIT Graduate Institute.

    Additionally, The Experiment plans to continue offering The Experiment Digital virtual exchange programs in 2022.