The Experiment can tailor a custom study abroad program for any organization or school group. We take care of all of the details so that educators can focus on student learning.

The Experiment can tailor a custom study-abroad program for any organization or school group. We take care of all of the details so that educators can focus on student learning. We believe that planning a custom group program is much more than a choice of destinations and travel dates. A custom group program is an opportunity to design activities and adventures for students to engage meaningfully with another culture and stretch themselves in ways they never imagined.

In creating a custom group program, we leverage your existing educational philosophy to bridge educational activities with real world global experiences. Our team collaborates with you to learn your travel preferences and objectives for student learning, and then we work with our international network to design a program itinerary that’s right for you. We provide one trained leader as well as optional personalized intensive training workshops for your own group leaders prior to the program.

Our comprehensive approach means we make all travel arrangements; provide support to students and parents/guardians before, during, and after the program; monitor health, safety, and risk; and provide optional pre- and post-program orientation activities.

CASE STUDY: Custom Group Program Impact

Supported by JPMorgan Chase, The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) mentors 120 young African American and Hispanic men throughout high school to help them get into college and capitalize on their potential. TFI asked The Experiment to design a program in South Africa to teach these high school students from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles leadership skills using its signature experiential, cross-cultural learning model.

For many TFI participants, The Experiment opened the door to international travel for the first time: More than 46% of these young men had never traveled outside the country, and more than 56% did not have a valid passport. As a result of the program, students’ interest in international travel increased dramatically. Moreover, 89% of students say they plan to study abroad in college. This is important because research shows that African American students who study abroad are 13% more likely to graduate in four years, have higher GPAs than their peers, and enjoy better job prospects .

Students reported gains in key areas: 82% said that the trip made them better leaders, 85% said that the trip boosted their confidence, and 98% made new friends or deepened existing friendships.

“I am very fortunate to have had this opportunity … it has changed how I see the world and how I see my own problems.”

AdrianChicago, 2016

“I expected [this trip] to be life changing, but never did I think it would start reflecting such change in my actions. Not many people my age can say they’ve traveled to South Africa … this trip was and still is a privilege and a great honor.”

EdwinNew York City, 2016

Why partner with the Experiment?

With an 85-year history as catalyst in the field of international education, The Experiment is equipped with a team of experts and a network of resources to manage all aspects of international group travel.

We take your education and travel goals to the next level while providing extensive support and offering peace of mind.

The Experiment difference includes:

History & Experience

We have more than 85 years of experience in international education and experiential learning.

Health, Safety, & Risk Management

The Experiment programs follow a comprehensive structure and monitoring process designed to maximize the mental and physical well-being of participants at all times.

Detailed Personalization

We collaborate with your school or organization to innovate and advance your educational initiatives.

Full-Service Program Implementation

We offer full-service program implementation, logistics, and parent and student support; including extensive pre-departure information to prepare participants for traveling.


We have the flexibility to work with programs of various group size, length, time of year, destination, and themes, and we have deep experience with leading inclusive and diverse groups.

Highly Trained Leaders, Partners, & Staff

We offer outstanding support from experienced in-country partners and Experiment staff in Vermont and Washington, DC.

Student-Centered Experiential Learning Approach

We employ a unique approach to student learning in which knowledge is created not simply from experience (learning by doing), but also by reflecting on experiences and extracting lessons learned (learning by processing). Our method promotes student empowerment and leadership.

Custom Program Options

You can select the duration, term, country, and curriculum when you design a custom program. Custom program options can be combined and/or adjusted to create the optimal cultural learning experience for your students.

Duration Options:

  • Fall, winter, or spring break: 2–3 weeks
  • Summer break: 10 days to 6 weeks

Term Options:

  • Winter, spring, summer, or fall

Country Options:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Spain

Curriculum Options:

Themes (read full descriptions in box below)

  • Arts and Social Change
  • Global Health
  • Language and Cultural Discovery
  • Peace, Politics, and Human Rights
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability and the Environment
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Youth Leadership


  • Group discussions and reflective activities
  • Global and civic issue discussions
  • Homestay and/or local community visits
  • Language learning
  • Peacebuilding through dialogue
  • Sports, arts, and/or cultural activities
  • Teambuilding and leadership workshops


  • $2,500–$4,500 per student*
    *Fees depend on country and length of program; fees do not include international airfare.

Theme Descriptions

One option for designing custom programs is to choose a thematic focus—intended to equip your students with specific cultural skills and/or a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to a critical global issue shaping the diverse communities and regions they visit. Below are descriptions of theme options The Experiment offers—many of which are already a cornerstone of our traditional summer program offerings.

Arts and Social Change: This theme can explore the relationship between art, politics, and society in different historical periods.

Global Health: This theme can focus on modern and traditional medicine and health care practices, and explore the links between public health care delivery institutions and community—with an emphasis on marginalized communities.

Language and Cultural Discovery: This theme can examine the cultural complexities of a new country by exploring renowned historical sites, contemporary realities, and regional differences; formal language training is also an option.

Peace, Politics, and Human Rights: This theme can explore how community groups, individuals, and others worldwide have built bridges of peace, tolerance and understanding to foster more democratic and equitable societies.

Social Entrepreneurship: This theme can focus on how entrepreneurs become change agents and apply their business skills and innovative ideas and solutions alongside civil society organizations to solve local and global problems.

Sustainability and the Environment: This theme can explore local, regional, and global perspectives on critical environmental challenges, diverse ecological systems, and natural resource conservation.

Youth Leadership: This theme can focus on tools and models for youth who want to develop their intercultural leadership, advocacy, and civic engagement skills at home and abroad.

Technology and Innovation: This theme can explore how technology is helping to create new ideas and innovations to solve societies’ day-to-day problems in cities and rural communities.

What Your Students Will Gain

Our learning goals for students:

  • Connect and engage with another culture and society
  • Explore the host country through hands-on experiences in local communities and living with host families (if applicable)
  • Create a deeper awareness and sensitivity to global issues shaping diverse communities and regions visited
  • Develop teamwork, intercultural communication, leadership, and language skills while on the program
  • Foster understanding and build relationships across ethnic, religious, and national groups within their student groups and with their host country

Students come away from their Experiment programs not only with an educational experience abroad, but a new way of learning, seeing, and thinking about the world that includes lifelong learning and leadership skills such as:

  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • Budget management
  • Project management
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills

Educational Philosophy

The Experiment uses the experiential learning model—a rich process by which knowledge is created not simply from experience (learning by doing) but also by reflecting on experiences and extracting lessons learned (learning by processing). Learners are central to making that learning happen; they actively construct new understanding from their experiences through reflection and analysis. This process provides the foundation for our programs and is woven throughout all activities each Experimenter takes part in. Students are guided through reflection and making connections, empowering them to synthesize their experiential learning independently.

Commitment to Health and Safety

The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Security measures are specifically tailored to each location and to current circumstances. We have implemented specific risk management strategies and maintain long-standing partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs. Our health and safety support includes pre-departure orientation; in-country partners; medical insurance; comprehensive in-county orientation; and 24-hour on-call service.

Read more about our focus on health, safety, and support.

Program Partners

In designing a custom program that works best for your students, The Experiment is supported by an extensive professional network of in-country resources that can include partner offices, international educators, homestay coordinators, in-country co-leaders, and local guides. Our partner offices help us design each program and support our groups on the ground throughout the program period. These in-country professionals have access to communication, healthcare, transportation, and infrastructure to make sure that each student on your program receives the highest quality attention and support.

Professional Development for Educators

The Experiment is committed to education that develops global leaders. To achieve this goal, we also provide customized global education training in program management and facilitation for educators. Educators can then maximize learning for their students using the best practices from our training. The Experiment can build a Professional Development Training program based on your priorities.

The Experiment’s Professional Development Training program offers educators:

  • A thorough understanding of health and safety standards and policies, and tools to assess and manage situations
  • The ability to facilitate students’ personal and group development through the group experience
  • An understanding of the experiential model of education applied through cross-cultural immersion
  • The skills to effectively achieve thematic learning goals by facilitating orientations, reflective dialogues, and re-entry workshops
  • Guidance on how to manage on-the-ground logistics and support program delivery

Each year, The Experiment trains up to 100 teachers, youth leaders, and facilitators on a range of topics relating to the broad areas of youth, education, logistics, and health and safety. Sessions cover these areas beginning with nuts-and-bolts and best practices, followed by a deeper exploration that includes hands-on activities, usable materials, and practical application of new skills.