During the summer, The Experiment staff is available to all parents, students, and group leaders 24 hours a day. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with tips, tools, and advice for addressing common challenges that may arise.
What to do if your child is having trouble taking out money from the bank while abroad.
Please know that while we recognize resolving this issue may feel urgent to your child, all meals, activities, and program excursions are entirely covered by The Experiment. Being unable to temporarily access money from the bank does not create an emergency situation. Your child’s group leaders are also available to assist students at all times.
Before you call The Experiment office regarding this concern, please do the following:
- Call the bank. Make sure the card is active (i.e., that it doesn’t have a travel hold), confirm the pin number and/or have the bank reset it (making sure to write the pin number down), and confirm that there is money in the account. Please also ask the bank if there could be any problem with your child using the card in the country of their program.
- Consider wiring money. If nothing is wrong with the card and you would like to wire your child money, contact www.westernunion.com to do an online money transfer. Please be sure to consult the program’s itinerary if you need to enter an exact location at which your child can receive the money.
After following these steps, you could call the Experiment office at 800-345-2929 during business hours, 8:30–5:00 PM (EST) Monday through Friday.
If your child reports having lost their luggage, please make sure that their group leaders have been informed. Group leaders can manage the challenge of lost luggage from within the host country more easily than you will be able to from the U.S. or your home location.
Experiencing homesickness is a very normal part of the cultural adjustment process, with almost all students experiencing homesickness at some point on their programs. Please do not be surprised if your child contacts you and seems emotional. Traveling and living in another culture can be challenging, but ultimately can result in exciting learning and discovery.
Here are some tips related to homesickness to consider:
- Limit contact. The more your child talks to you or friends from home, the harder it may be for them to fully immerse in the experience. This can intensify the homesickness. Ask friends and relatives to keep contact brief, and try to encourage your child to spend time with their group members or talk with their host family. Encourage your child to fully engage with the experience and the homesickness will very likely pass.
- Encourage group leader support. If your child is experiencing prolonged homesickness, direct them to speak with a group leader. Group leaders are trained professionals who have tools to help students through homesickness.
Adjusting to Living with a Host Family
If your child calls you at the beginning of the homestay experience, please encourage them to take these steps before you call The Experiment office:
- Engage with the host family. Encourage your child to actively engage with the host family by giving the family the gift that your child brought, showing them pictures from home, offering to cook them a meal, asking to see host-family vacation photos, asking to listen to music they like, etc.
- Reach out to his or her group leaders. Students can contact their group leaders during the homestay and should do so if they need additional advice on how to get the conversation going.
- Give it time. Students almost always begin to feel more connected within 48 hours of the start of the homestay.
Minor Medical Issues
Occasionally, Experimenters will report rashes, bumps, and/or bruises to their U.S. parents before they tell their group leaders or host family. Please direct your child to inform the group leader of any such developments immediately. The Experiment takes health and safety very seriously and needs to know about issues that may seem minor.
Expectations of Participants in Conjunction with Experiment Policies:
- All participants will be inclusive and respectful of other participants, group leaders, The Experiment staff, partners, and host families.
- Everyone will participate actively, stay on track with scheduled programming, and work within the schedule of the group.
- Exclusive relations, whether romantic or fraternal, are discouraged on program and will call for an intervention by Group Leaders. Sexual contact on program is not allowed.
Examples of Behaviors That Are Grounds for Dismissal:
- Compromising the physical or emotional safety of self, another individual, or the Experiment group.
- Engaging in an of the following high-risk activities which are prohibited on program, unless on the itinerary and facilitated by a pre-screened vendor: hitchhiking, surfing, driving a vehicle, driving or riding on a motorcycle or scooter, parachuting, bungee-jumping, hang-gliding, riding in private airplanes, cliff jumping, rock climbing, white water rafting, and scuba diving.
- Committing any illegal acts that violate the laws of the country in which the group is traveling.
- Possession and/or use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Signs of severe mood changes and other mental health developments that may be injurious without intervention of trained counselors or psychiatric help or otherwise require support beyond the capacity of The Experiment and Group Leaders.
- Undisclosed medical/mental health conditions and/or medications, or undisclosed changes to a condition or prescribed medication.
- Repeatedly disregarding specific behavioral and safety expectations.